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AV SYSTEMS DESIGN

THE JOURNAL OF AV SYSTEM DESIGN AND ENGINEERING

Designing THE RANCH


Restaurant & Saloon
Control Room
System Design

Identifying and
Solving EDID
Issues

Summer 2012 | www.avsystemsdesign.com


Choose Quantum.

Extron HDCP-Compliant Videowall Processors


At extron, we know videowalls. From small conference room displays to the largest command and control systems,
we know what customers expect from a videowall processor. thats why we designed Quantum to be easy to specify
and provided features that make it quick to integrate and simple to operate. With full HDmI and HDCP support, Quantum
processors are the superior choice for videowall displays.

Quantum Elite 615


HDCP-Compliant Scalable Videowall Processing System

Quantum Elite 408 Quantum Connect 408


HDCP-Compliant Scalable Videowall HDCP-Compliant Videowall
Processing System Processing System
Choose Success.

Easy to Design, Easy to Congure, Easy to Use

QGE 100
DVI/rGB Computer Screen Capture IP encoder

Successful Designs Successful Integration Successful Operation


D Integration: Quantum videowall processor D Fast input detection: Detects and displays D Simple control: Select window layouts
input and output options integrate seamlessly input sources in less than one second. and change sources using the Quantum
with your switching, distribution, and control control software and an extron touchLink
D Simple source setup: Quantum videowall
systems. processors allow you to quickly create touchpanel, or third-party controller.
D Scalability: Card frame architecture lets you capture profiles for non-standard sources D Quality imaging: High performance, patented
customize Quantum videowall processors for applying them to all input channels in a scaler technology maintains optimal image
your application. Select the ideal configuration single step. quality, keeping customers focused on their
from a variety of input, output, and card frame content, not the technology.
D hDCp compliance: new HDmI input and
options. output cards are fully HDCP compliant, D Reliability: Designed for 24/7 operation in
D Input Flexibility: Accepts a wide range of enabling presentation of copy-protected mission-critical environments, Quantum
input signals including HDmI, DVI, analog content from Blu-ray players or PCs on videowall processors are the ideal choice for
rGB, HD, and standard definition video, HDCP-compliant displays. your most demanding applications.
plus DVI/rGB signals streamed over an IP
D Support: extron Videowall Commissioning
network using the QGe 100. service helps ensure success. An extron
D output Flexibility: Works with nearly any engineer will assist with pre-installation
display device including: projection cubes, design review, on-site programming and
single input projectors, 4K projectors, optimization, and operator training.
LCD flat panels, and microtiles.

www.extron.com/quantum
Contents VOLUME 2, NUMBER 1

48

16 62

Cover Story

16 THE RANCH
A new, upscale restaurant and saloon brings a long-awaited performance
and dance venue for country music to Southern California.
Feature Story

48 Control Room System Design


A growing market opportunity for AV system integrators.
By Keith Scheffler

Technically Speaking

62 EDID: A Guide to Identifying and


Resolving Common Issues
By Jim Scrivner

Departments
56 Whats Inside 58 EXTRON NEW 61 Tech Watch 74 Design Forum 76 Tech Corner
The Extron XPA 2003C PRODUCTS Interesting technologies Using iPad for HDMI Cable Quality
Three Channel Combo The latest product that you need to System Control Matters in Pro AV
Amplifier 200Watts introductions from Extron know about By Derek Joncas By Ron Justice
Per Channel

2 AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


7 56 76
10,000,000:1 720 Hz
Contrast Ratio
Refresh Rate

181
Viewing Angle

9 74 86

NEWS COLUMNS

7 Company News 4 From the Editor


New North Carolina Facility Opens, Extron Expands with To Thine Own Self Be True
Eleven New Regional Offices, Extron Quantum Elite and By Casey Hall
Christie MicroTiles, University Future-Proofs Classrooms,
Secure AV for G8/G20 Summits Achieved with Extron Fiber 6 Corner Office
Making THE RANCH
10 Industry News By Andrew Edwards
No HDMI Version Numbers, New Grounding Symbols on
Audio and Control Ports, New Half Rack Standard 13 Stories from the Road
The Case of the Missing Controller
11 Now Shipping By Karl Rosenberg
The latest products available from Extron
14 The Pro Perspective
Reducing the Impact of BYOD
By Tim Siglin

80 Hidden Gems 82 Education Central 83 Company Events 86 The Last Word


Half Rack Shelf System Extron XTP Systems Extron Institute and Specsmanship
By Dave Pincek Certification: Its All Tradeshows By Steve Somers
About the Know How

www.avsystemsdesign.com 3
From the Editor

To Thine Own
Self Be True

I m no expert on classic literature, but there are moments when


that line hits home. And it applies to Extron more than ever
these days.
Training and Certification
Extron wouldnt be Extron without the S3 Technical Institute.
With everyones busy schedule during InfoComm and ISE, we
A few months ago Andrew made the announcement that Extron found that we could only serve a small number of students with
would no longer exhibit at the InfoComm USA or ISE Integrated training at these shows, with barely enough time to skim the
Systems Europe tradeshows. Since that time Ive heard all sorts of surface on topics like EDID, digital rights management, and
wild speculation put forth as possible reasons for the decision. While digital signal path integrity. For 2012, were bringing Extron
its always fun to turn the crank on the rumor mill, there really Institute classes to you with expanded EI course schedules in all
isnt any more or less to it than what Andrew communicated in his of our training facilities.
column. Were being true to ourselves and true to what has made the In addition to our familiar schools of AV Technology and
difference for our customers since Andrew started Extron in 1983 Emerging Technologies, weve also developed specialized
were putting our energy into products, support and training. Extron certification training for Configurable Control Systems,
and will soon be offering in-depth training on our award-
Regional Sales and Support offices winning XTP Systems line of digital video products which are
Not all that long ago, the majority of AV system installations were now shipping.
centered in a handful of world markets, and Extron could cover
global business from a small number of headquarter locations: Extron Roadshows
Anaheim, Amersfoort, Singapore, and Tokyo. Today, Extron has Our industry has changed dramatically over the past few years,
grown to more than 20 sales and support offices worldwide, and demanding efficient and effective use of every billable hour of
were committed to opening nearly a dozen new locations in the time. Many of you have commented that its becoming harder and
next couple of years. As you know, Extron is not merely a sales harder to find a week in your schedule to devote to an industry
company. Each of our established, new, and planned regional tradeshow and travel, let alone send your entire staff. Thats why
offices is a full service location, with local technical support and were putting Extron products on the road, with regional events
training personnel just a phone call away. Look for us in Beijing, planned for Europe, Asia and major US cities. Each roadshow
Johannesburg, Moscow, New Delhi, and Mexico City; and in location will also host one of our well known Extron Institute On
Chicago, Dallas, New York, Silicon Valley, and Toronto. The Road courses, bringing you the latest training to complement
our new product offerings.
Regional Sales and Technical Staff Will we miss InfoComm USA? Certainly. It has been a great
Many of you have commented that you like having your Extron event, and for those of us in the Support department, seeing our
Sales Manager in town. Were putting more feet on the street customers at the Bash was always a treat. In particular, I have
each month with the addition of Field Support Engineers, System always loved the high-fives we get at the end of the party as we
Design Engineers, Trainers and Field Sales Staff as fast as we can say goodnight to everyone. However, as good as those accolades
find and train qualified professionals to fill these positions. More make us feel, Im happy to trade them for the peace-of-mind that
Extron personnel, located down the street or the next town over, comes with knowing that were putting ALL of our energy into
means more timely responses to your Extron sales and technical efforts that directly support our customers and our products. And
needs. Plus, you now have local resources to help you with needs for all of us at Extron, that rings true.
assessment and design reviews, present new product solutions,
and close sales with your key customers. Casey Hall, Vice President Sales and Marketing, North America

4 From the Editor AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


XTp Crosspoint 3200
XTp Crosspoint 1600 modular matrix Switcher
modular matrix Switcher

XTp T uWp 202 XTp T uWp 304


transmitter transmitter

XTp r hDMI XTp T hDMI


XTp T uSW 103
receiver
transmitter transmitter

XTp T VGA XTp Sr hDMI


transmitter receiver

Extron XTp Systems


extron XtP Systems provide a completely integrated switching and distribution solution for multiple digital and analog formats. they
support local connectivity as well as extended transmission capability for sending high resolution video, audio, rS-232, ethernet, and
power up to 330 feet (100 m) over a single CAt 5-type cable.

Easy to Set up reliable


Xtp Systems can easily be set up and configured out of the Xtp Systems deliver robust system reliability and dependable
box to save you time and money. Intuitive control software switching of video signals through eDID and hDCp key
provides straightforward system configuration without management. Featuring advanced 24/7 system monitoring and
complicated programming. hot-swappable modular components, Xtp Crosspoint matrix
switchers are built for continuous, trouble-free operation in the
most critical applications.

performance Flexible System Designs


Xtp Systems deliver extremely high switching and transmission Xtp Systems let you easily integrate digital and analog devices
performance to support a wide range of video formats, into your system design. Connect and switch between local
including the highest resolution DVI and hDmI signals. the high devices, or extend to remote locations up to 330 feet (100 m)
data-rate digital backplane provides a truly future-ready aV away using just a single Cat 5-type cable that carries, video,
integration solution. audio, RS-232 or IR control, ethernet, and power.

Now Shipping Select Configurations


Contact your extron Support Representative to Design your Xtp Systems

www.extron.com/xtp
Corner Office

Making
THE RANCH

W hen I meet customers who attend our Extron Institute in


Anaheim, CA, for the first time, Im often asked Where
are you from? I guess its my accent that gives it away. Im
way; we do them the right way, whether its easy or not. Ive
learned that you cant be penny-wise and pound-foolish in
deciding whos going to do the job. We came up with a really
originally from Wilson, North Carolina. Even though Ive lived good contractor and worked with them on a building that goes
in Southern California for the last 30 years, I still reply that Im far above the industry standard. In fact, weve been told that our
just visiting. You know what they say, you can take the boy new Anaheim headquarters has the highest standard put into a
out of North Carolina, but you cant take North Carolina out of Class A building that theyve ever worked on.
the boy. I am a perfectionist and determined from the start that we
Along with my North Carolina roots comes a passion for were going to use products, such as lighting and performance
country western music and dancing. Im talking two-step and audio systems, from manufacturers who do things the way we
some west-coast swing. I dont line dance. I used to dance with would do them if we made those products. The folks at Lutron
my daughter, Ashton, at the Crazy Horse Steak House & Saloon, understood what we were trying to achieve and worked with
and I met my wife, Morgan, there as well. We were regulars at us to create the lighting controls used throughout THE RANCH
the Crazy Horse until it closed in 2005. Restaurant and Saloon, and in the corporate areas of the
Since the Crazy Horse, there hasnt been a successful venue Anaheim headquarters and our new East Coast headquarters in
that truly caters to the country western music crowd in Southern Raleigh. For the concert sound system in the Saloon, we went
California. At least until now. In January of this year I opened with Meyer Sound, not only because they had the best products
THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon, a 20,000 square foot facility for the stage, but because John and Helen Meyer are people
dedicated to fine dining, country music and, of course dancing. after my own heart; they do things the right way and delivered
Designing Extrons new six-story worldwide headquarters and a system that complements top-level touring acts without
THE RANCH Restaurant and Saloon has been an interesting overwhelming the audience.
experience to go through, and its been quite an education for me. Doing things the right way extends to THE RANCH operations
I thought I knew a little bit about what we do in this industry, as well. Its not for everyone. You wont find peanut shells on
but I quickly learned how much I didnt know about what AV the floor or folks dancing in the aisles. What you will find is a
industry consultants and integrators go through when working clean, upscale restaurant and saloon with an outstanding staff
with general contractors and the various trades that are involved and a menu to match. Its really no different than what weve
in such a large project. Seeing the degree of expertise required done for years on the AV hardware side develop and deliver
first hand, the scheduling that has to be maintained and what the best products available, with the best customer service we
happens if you change your mind. Youve got to have people that can provide.
you can count on who are going to guarantee the job gets done The next time youre in Anaheim for one of our Extron
and gets done right. Let me tell you something, for big projects Institute training courses, youll get to experience THE RANCH
like these, a 200,000 square foot Class A building in Anaheim first hand. Bring your boots; were going to do a little
and 146,000 square foot building in Raleigh, NC, both built two-stepping!
at the same time you need special people just to install the If you have any comments, I would like to hear your thoughts.
window shades! Email me at president@extron.com.
Early on, there was a lot of talk about standard practices
with projects like this. Well, we dont do things the standard Andrew Edwards, President

6 Corner Office AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Company News

New North Carolina


Facility Opens
Extron has moved its East Coast operations
into a new, four-story, 146,000 square
foot building on a seven-acre campus in
Raleigh, North Carolina. The new building classes and certification programs. With opened product demonstration and
includes an 8,000 square foot training a larger sales floor and a larger sales team, training facilities in Washington, DC.
facility, and expanded areas for sales, Extron can better serve its customers in Other Extron offices are located in The
manufacturing, as well as research and the East with continued local support and Netherlands, London, Paris, Frankfurt,
development. The state-of-the-art training its 24-hour tech support hotline. Singapore, Japan, China, and Dubai.
center will include a demo room and an The new building is part of a major Extron is looking for talented people
audio demo room to showcase the latest expansion effort in North America, which to fill a number of job openings. For
products and technology offered by Extron, includes a new corporate headquarters more information, visit our Web site at
and large classrooms to facilitate training building in Anaheim and recently www.extron.com.

Extron Expands Washington DC Beijing

with Eleven New


Regional Offices
Extron will open eleven additional new
regional offices for training and product
demonstration worldwide. The new
offices will be located in the Silicon
Valley area, Dallas, Chicago, New York,
Washington DC, Toronto, Mexico City,
Moscow, Johannesburg, New Delhi,
and Beijing. Extron training choices, including courses receive the support needed to be
With offices throughout the world, to pursue various Extron Certifications. successful and get the job done.
Extron product demonstration and training These new facilities will bring us The Beijing and Washington DC offices
will be more accessible and available to closer to so many more people, says are now open, and the Dallas area facility
customers. Each facility includes a state- Andrew Edwards, President of Extron. is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter
of-the-art training room fully equipped to It will be much easier for our customers of this year. More details regarding the
showcase and demonstrate the latest in around the world to attend training other new offices will be announced soon.
Extron technologies and solutions. Staffed courses and learn about products at After the expansion, Extron will have
by Extron S3 Institute experts, these convenient times and locations. Our more than 30 offices worldwide to serve
facilities will feature a familiar variety of objective is to see that our customers its customers.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Company News 7


COMPANY NEWS

Extron Quantum Elite


and Christie MicroTiles
Emerson is a diversified global
manufacturing company recognized
for its ability to bring technology and
engineering together to create solutions.
Reinforcing this brand, the Emerson
corporate lobby in St. Louis, Missouri
includes a cutting-edge videowall display
featuring an Extron Quantum Elite
videowall processor. System integrator
Innovative Technology Group sought Software, an intuitive control interface coupled with its ability to drive high
a processor that could provide best- for setup, configuration, and system resolution displays made it an ideal
of-class scaling and drive 48 Christie operation. Users can recall window solution for Emersons state-of-the-art
MicroTiles at their maximum resolution. layouts and select sources via an intuitive videowall. It also met the challenge
This requirement was met by Extrons touchpanel control system interfaced more cost-effectively than alternative
Quantum Elite videowall processor. to a PC running this software. The processors in the same class, making
Capable of processing over 58 million Quantum Elite Processor responds to it the clear choice for system designer
pixels, it allows for scaling and image control commands with no system lag, George Brosie of Innovative Technology
magnification across extremely large, allowing users to quickly and efficiently Group who stated; Quantum Elites
high resolution displays. operate videowall systems in real-time. ability to match the high pixel density
A variety of window layouts can be The Quantum Elite videowall of the MicroTiles was a key feature that
created using Quantum Elite Control processors best-in-class image quality helped make the installation a success.

pharmacy, biology, chemistry, VGA, audio, and control signals over


physics, and psychology. The CAT 6 cables to a Sanyo 1280800
college hired Wassmann Audio LCD projector.
Video to design and install the Extron MPA 401-70V 40 watt mono
AV systems. power amplifiers were used in some
The University wanted to classrooms, and XPA 2001-70V 200
future-proof 31 new classrooms watt mono power amplifiers in larger
by installing digital AV systems rooms, to power distributed ceiling
that are able to support current speakers. Both amplifiers are ENERGY
analog equipment, including STAR qualified and feature Extrons
VGA laptops and document exclusive, highly efficient, advanced
cameras, alongside digital Class D amplifier design with auto
University Future- sources including Blu-ray Disc players, power down.

Proofs Classrooms desktop PCs, the latest laptops, and For system control, Wassmann
future digital sources such as tablets. used Extrons MLC 226 IP MediaLink
Western New England University in Wassmann selected Extrons MPS 409 Controller to standardize the control
Springfield, Massachusetts recently Media Presentation Switcher for each interface and provide intuitive AV control
completed the largest project in the rooms AV system and used Extron for faculty members. The school is
schools 92-year history: the construction MTP/HDMI U T A D and MTP/HDMI U R considering a campus-wide deployment
of a $40 million, 127,000 square foot Universal Twisted Pair Transmitters and of GlobalViewer Enterprise for centralized
academic building to house programs in Receivers to send HDMI and analog technical support of all buildings.

8 Company News AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


COMPANY NEWS

to provide up to 72 inputs and 72 outputs


for routing digital AV signals.

Fiber for High Performance Reliability


The FOX Matrix 7200 fulfilled the
requirements for security, reliability, and
robustness. It provides dual redundant
and hot-swappable power supplies,
hot-swappable input/output boards, field-
upgradability, and the capability to switch
high speed AV signals, with any source
being routed to any destination with zero
latency or processing of the signals.
To simplify integration, Extron
Rendering simulating actual command center FOXBOX and FOX 500 Series DVI and
RGB fiber optic extenders provided
all-digital, pixel-for-pixel performance,
and direct conversions from RGB to
Secure AV for G8/G20 Summits DVI-D. Computer-generated data was

Achieved with Extron Fiber transmitted through FOX 500 DVI fiber
optic extenders to a local monitor and
each sites matrix switcher for system-wide
The Joint Security Forces responsible for Red/Black System Design distribution. Media feeds were converted
information sharing and security at the Displays for the G8 and G20 attendees from standard definition composite and
G8 and G20 economic conferences in presented event schedules and current component signals to high resolution RGB
June 2010 required a secure AV system media information, while command signals using Extron DVS 304 scalers. The
to coordinate command and control center monitors and displays provided scaled signals were then transmitted via
operations. Canadian AV integrator, an extensive selection of security FOXBOX VGA fiber optic extenders to the
Applied Electronics, Inc. was selected to graphical and contextual data. Extron main distribution system, while the secure
design and install the AV system with fiber optic products formed the core feeds utilized FOXBOX DVI transmitters.
Extron products to support mission- AV system for the command centers in Displays and projectors included discreetly
critical operations at and between Barrie and Toronto, with twisted pair mounted FOXBOX DVI Plus receivers.
the four temporary command centers products supporting the command
spread across the Province of Ontario: center in Huntsville. Fiber optic cabling Reconfigurable for Future Events
one in Barrie, one in Huntsville, and and unidirectional fiber optic links With the training provided by Applied
two in Toronto. In addition to security, provided electrical isolation between Electronics integrators and Extron
reliability, flexibility, and ease-of-use unclassified AV signals from non-secure engineers, the Canadian security forces
were vital system requirements, Applied sources and classified secure data are capable of installing and controlling
Electronics chose Extron products link signals. AV systems in various configurations
for complete end-to-end routing and Video sources included secure for use at other events with very little
control of the AV signals. We used computer feeds, computer workstations, assistance. They are quite pleased with
Extron as a single source because they satellite receivers, a traffic camera the reliability of their AV equipment,
had everything required for this major system, and an air-to-ground camera the ease with which system designs
job, and their equipment provided the system. Applied Electronics integrated are reconfigured, and the dedication
ideal solution for what we needed, says Extron FOX Matrix 7200 modular fiber and personalized service provided
Wolfgang Pechmann, Project Manager optic matrix switchers populated with by technology experts from Applied
for Applied Electronics. FOX I/O 88 MM 88 input/output boards Electronics and Extron.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Company News 9


Industry News
performance standard. All HDMI cable New Half Rack
products will now be required to be Standard
labeled by cable type. Look for these
labels when choosing the HDMI cable Extron Electronics and Middle Atlantic
that is best for your needs: Products are initiating and supporting
the establishment of a new standard
for half-width rack systems for AV
No HDMI STANDARD HIGH SPEED integration. Working in cooperation with

Version Numbers the Electronic Components Industry

STANDARD HIGH SPEED Association - ECIA, Extron and Middle


with ETHERNET with ETHERNET
On January 1, 2012, the HDMI Atlantic are seeking to establish and
organization began actively enforcing maintain a specific ECIA standard
the HDMI Adopted Trademark and STANDARD for what has typically been offered as
AUTOMOTIVE
Logo Usage Guidelines to address long- a custom rack offering until now. To
standing market confusion about HDMI further strengthen the quality and
compatibility. The guidelines require the application of the standard, the two
removal of any numeric reference to a New Grounding companies are inviting manufacturers
particular version of the HDMI standard, Symbols on Audio of compact-format devices to join a
eliminating possible implications of
performance that may not be achievable
and Control Ports communication and working group for
this effort.
by the product. Over the coming months, you may notice
Historically, although a cable or device a change on the back panels of many
was listed as complying with a numeric Extron products. Extron has traditionally
version of the HDMI standard, it may used the familiar earth ground symbol,
not have actually supported all features which looks like an upside down tree, to
available for the stated version, such as identify the ground pin on all applicable
deep color, 3D, alternative audio formats ports: DC power, audio, and control. A
and color spaces, etc. Thats because new directive issued by Underwriters
many of the features introduced within Laboratories UL and the International
the various versions of HDMI are actually Electrotechnical Commission IEC, has
optional at the manufacturer or adopter further defined the earth ground symbol
level. Before the new rule, a product and limits its use to the identification of
could advertise HDMI 1.3 compliance ground pins that are physically bonded
because it supports deep color, but only to the AC inlet ground and can sustain
has maximum pixel clock of 165 MHz. high amperage.
Such a product would support deep color In response to the new directive, new
at 720p but is incapable of deep color Extron products will use the following Extron has long advocated the use
at 1080p/60. symbols for ground pins: of standard, rack-mount enclosure
The new requirement calls for dimensions as a means of improving AV
manufacturers to promote only the On DC power ports, we will use + system designs and integration, says
supported HDMI features on a product- and - symbols Dave Pincek, Vice President of Product
by-product basis. The only real way to On audio ports, we will use the signal Development for Extron. With this
ensure that a product you are considering ground symbol, which looks like an proposed new standard for a compact
will support the HDMI features upside down arrow mounting system, key AV equipment
you need is to carefully review the On control ports, we will use an can now be more easily integrated
manufacturers specifications. uppercase letter G into lecterns, columns, table legs, and
As for HDMI cables, there are similar spaces without sacrificing system
now five cable types to choose from; Look for these changes on future functionality, thermal management, or
each designed to meet a particular products and product documentation. room aesthetics.

10 Industry News AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Now Shipping

TLP 710CV
7" Cable Cubby
TouchLink Touchpanel

The Extron TLP 710CV is a configurable


7" Cable Cubby TouchLink Touchpanel
TLP 710CV
that combines AV system control with
the convenience of an Extron Cable
Cubby enclosure. The TLP 710CV features
a flip-up, full-color, high-resolution CAT 5-type cable. Power over Ethernet control, with cable management and easy
touchscreen in an elegant, metal - PoE allows the touchpanel to receive access to AV connectivity and power. A
enclosure that can be mounted securely power and control over an additional built-in speaker provides audio for video
into a tabletop, lectern, or other flat CAT 5-type cable, eliminating the need preview and audible feedback from
surface. An integrated MTP twisted pair for a local power supply. The touchpanel button presses.
receiver accepts S-video or composite enables integrators to deploy furniture-
video and audio input signals over mountable, fully configurable touchscreen www.extron.com/tlp710cv

SME 100 HD

SME 100 integrated three-input switcher with scales and optimizes video input signals
H.264 Streaming Media Encoder audio, plus buffered loop-throughs for for the intended viewing application.
simplified integration into AV systems. Encoding controls also provide
The Extron SME 100 is a live streaming The SME 100 employs standards- adjustments for bit rate and quality. By
media encoder that interfaces with DVI, based H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and AAC extending AV signals over networks,
RGB, HDTV, and standard definition encoding, and outputs an IP stream the SME 100 significantly expands AV
signals for delivering media over IP that can easily be decoded and viewed system capability.
networks. It is designed specifically for on desktop or laptop PCs. High
pro AV applications and features an performance Extron signal processing www.extron.com/sme100

www.avsystemsdesign.com Now Shipping 11


Now Shipping

MLC 104 IP Plus App MLC 226 IP App

MediaLink for iPad MediaLink Controller, and its familiar system using a Wi-Fi network, allowing
iPad Control App for MLC 104 IP Plus user interface looks like the MediaLink them the freedom to move throughout
and MLC 226 IP Controllers controller on the wall. It supports the room. It also provides real-time status
MLC 104 IP Plus and MLC 226 IP and remote control of multiple rooms
MediaLink for iPad is an AV control MediaLink Controllers that are configured for troubleshooting and management.
system app designed for the Apple iPad. using Global Configurator. Each button MediaLink for iPad is available for
MediaLink for iPad provides users with press is tracked between the app and the download at the Apple iTunes App Store.
an additional point of control for rooms controller, allowing both to stay in sync.
with an installed Ethernet-enabled Presenters can wirelessly control the AV www.extron.com/medialinkforipad

MLC 104 IP Plus control MLC 226 IP control

System 5 IP control

MediaLink for the classroom computer to become an in size, and may be easily docked and

Windows additional point of AV system control for hidden. This provides convenient, discreet,
rooms equipped with an MLC 104 IP Plus, and easy access to the AV control system,
Control Application for the
MLC 226 IP, or System 5 IP. MediaLink while presenting from the same computer.
MLC 104 IP Plus, MLC 226 IP,
for Windows supports real-time button The familiar user interface provides a
and System 5 IP
tracking between the application and the similar look and feel to the controller
MediaLink for Windows is an AV controller, allowing both to stay in sync. on the wall. MediaLink for Windows is
control system application designed A button press on either the application Section 508 compliant.
for computers running Microsoft or controller will immediately be reflected
Windows XP and Windows 7. It allows on the other. The application is small www.extron.com/medialinkforwindows

12 Now Shipping AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Stories from the Road

The Case of the


Missing Controller
By Karl Rosenberg, Regional Application Specialist
and Extron Institute Trainer

A s a regional application specialist for Extron Electronics,


Ive seen the computer and AV worlds become increasingly
intertwined. One of those points of intersection is Apples iPad,
everything finally worked out, but not without a lot of unnecessary
problems. Unnecessary because if the company had used one of
our TouchLink Touchpanels along with the iPad, when the iPad
and in particular its use as an AV system controller. went down, we could have used the touchpanel itself, instead of
I recently visited a mid Atlantic reseller to give an Extron relying on the iPad as the sole control interface in the room.
training class. The reseller was using an Apple iPad as the sole
control interface for the rooms AV system. When I arrived, the
iPad turned the rooms lights on and then sat there for about an
If you want to use an iPad to control
hour while we set up for the class. Then the iPads battery died. It your AV system, thats fine, but use
turned out that someone had forgotten to charge it overnight. it in conjunction with a permanent
The situation was made worse by the fact that the room we
control panel...
were using didnt have a spare power outlet with which to recharge
the iPad; that had to be done in the next room. I asked how long
the charging cable was and was told it was the standard iPad two The iPad is a wonderful device, particularly in facilities such as
or three-foot long cable, and an extension cord was not available. older schools where the classroom PCs are often antiquated. Ive
I explained that I wanted to actually control the equipment in the seen classrooms with computers running Windows 98! As a result,
training room from the training room, not from the room next teachers will often bring their own iPads to class, since the tablets
door, but to no avail. are much faster than the old desktop PCs.
So while the iPad was charging next door, I had to stand on a However, there are problems associated with using an iPad
table to switch the input on the overhead projector from input one, as your only AV system controller. I often walk into a school or
which was the Polycom videoconferencing/VTC system, to my company and hear a client exclaim, Hey, look, were using an
laptop on input two. iPad! Im excited for them; its like they just bought a new car.
The problems kept mounting. With no iPad, we had to use the But I know exactly whats going to happen and its exactly what
Polycom remote control which was also missing. By the time we did happen in the aforementioned case: the batterys going to
found the remote, we discovered that it too had dead batteries in die, or the iPad is going to go missing. Every time I hear about an
it. Someone finally found a set of the right batteries. iPad being used as the sole controller of an AV system, I also hear
While the iPad was dead or missing, someone began calling some horror story to go along with it.
into the training room, and the calls automatically routed through The bottom line is that if you want to use an iPad to control
the VTC system onto the screen. If the iPad had been there, we your AV system, thats fine, but use it in conjunction with a
would have been able to deny the call and go on with our permanent control panel, such as a TouchLink touchpanel
training session. Without the iPad, every time a call came in, the or MediaLink controller. That way, if the iPad isnt charged or
system switched the screen to the VTC input; whatever I had on perhaps not even present, the touchpanel can still control your AV
the screen disappeared and everything ground to a halt. Finally, system. TouchLink Touchpanels are hardwired, reliable interfaces
someone had to get on a landline and call the office to ask them that, in conjunction with an IP Link control processor, work every
to stop putting calls through to the training room. time, and youre not likely to accidentally take one home and
The next morning we discovered that the iPad belonged to an forget to bring it in or charge it.
employee who took it home the previous night and forgot to bring
it back. And yes, I had a class that day too. Now, however, instead Karl Rosenberg is Regional Application Specialist at Extron Electronics based in the Mid-
Atlantic region of the U.S. He provides product and technology training at Extron Institutes
of a dead iPad, we had no iPad at all.
and Extron Institutes on the Road. Karl has worked in the AV industry for 24 years, and was
The iPad owner drove home, brought the iPad back and named 2008 NSCA Instructor of the Year for the College of Technical Knowledge.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Column 13
The Pro Perspective

Reducing the
Impact of BYOD
By Tim Siglin,
Chairman of Braintrust Digital

I n the simpler days of AV system design and integration, only a


decade or so ago, most corporate boardroom, lecture hall, and
classroom systems consisted of a few dedicated sources, typically
our designs. Sure, weve heard the occasional fish story about the
one that got away, a product that didnt quite match up to the
standard or specification. Fortunately, those are far fewer than
a desktop computer and VHS or DVD player. The equipment itself the numerous stories we share of products that lack support for
was nothing fancy and presenters brought in their presentations a certain signal path from a specific input to a specific output.
on some form of electronic storage media. BYOD connectivity is fast becoming the sole narrative
Soon, presenters began bringing in their own source devices, in our AV system designs. The software and hardware in
usually in the form of a personal laptop. From that point on, day- mobile devices, while designed for consumer use in consumer
to-day AV system use required a significant amount of additional settings, may not work so well, if at all, when connected to
cabling and projector tweaking, especially if the presenter brought a professional AV system.
in something really unusual, such as an Apple Powerbook or other Ive had one foot in the networking world and the other
non-Windows device with an odd aspect ratio or resolution. in AV for the past 20 years, and Ive learned one major lesson:
This early first wave of whats become known as BYOD, Bring when it comes to computers, tablets, and mobile handsets,
Your Own Device, meant a rethinking of AV system designs, be skeptical of the spec sheet.
one driven by a number of Even though two
uncertainties that could at devices may share the
least be contained. Assuming same chipset and baseline
the projector could handle specifications, its up to
the input or youd designed the AV designer to confirm
one of Extrons video scalers that a particular hardware-
into the system, problems software combination will
could be minimized. After a work before centering design
few years, we became adept on that combination. And
at accommodating a range even if the products list
of laptop choices, and AV compatibility with a popular
system design settled into a specification, thats no
comfortable, predictable pattern once more. One could almost guarantee they actually comply with that specification.
hear the collective sigh of relief from AV designers and integrators. Consider Google TV. Two companies, Logitech and Sony,
Recently, the iDevice* appeared like a shark in the water, and launched Google TV-powered set-top boxes to capitalize on the
things became unsettled once again. trend to digitize content for playback on multiple displays. Both
This second wave of BYOD is fueled by a whole new species of companies used the Google reference design and the same Intel
content devices: set-top boxes, handsets, and mobile tablets, with Atom processor, and both included integrated media players that
names like Google Android, Apple iOS, HP WebOS, and Microsoft could play content across local area and wide area networks.
Windows Phone. These are the new reality in AV design, and to Both also claimed compliance as Google TV products. Yet one
safely navigate the iDevice-infested waters, integrators must be succeeded in the marketplace while the other failed spectacularly.
aware of hardware-software combinations and device security. The Google TV specification for media playback is based on a
table of popular codecs and signal formats that are meshed into
HARDWARE-SOFTWARE COMBINATIONS key combinations, such as H.264 and MP4.
Most of us have trained ourselves to read product spec sheets, Because both Sony and Logitech products were based
looking for standards-based inputs and outputs before creating on the official Google TV specifications, it should have been

14 Column AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


safe to assume that these products would play content in the BYOD connectivity is fast
codec/format combinations listed in the Google TV spec.
Not quite. The Logitech product, Revue, had a significant
becoming the sole narrative
number of unsupported codec/format combinations, and those in our AV system designs.
combinations proved to be deal-breakers for a number of potential
users, causing a flood of product returns. Logitech ultimately
decided to discontinue Revue and all Google TV products. or listen to any IT administrator and youll likely hear the
Sonys products, on the other hand, closely match the Google term sandboxing.
TV specification, albeit with a few limitations such as DTS audio Sandboxing is a means of restricting browser access to the
playback. Sony, for its part, says its products are selling very well host devices operating system, such as blocking a third-party
and has tripled its Google TV product line for 2012. Web browser plug-in from accessing a laptops Web camera
But even products designed to a specification are not immune without explicit permission. The idea is to place either the device
to unforeseen issues downstream. The recent update to Google TV or the content in a de-militarized zone, or DMZ, between the
2.0, for example, has apparently broken workarounds used to solve firewall and the outside world, so that untrusted or untested
some initial product shortcomings, adding another wrinkle for AV devices have limited access to limited corporate information.
designers: the firmware update. Most presenters use their own devices to guarantee that they
The BYOD world will have many more of these stories, from can control the presentation and its flow, but few have practiced
designers and end users alike. To get out in front of the tsunami in an environment where network access is limited or blocked
headed our way, its best to specify not only a version of the altogether. One issue we often see with presenters who want to
device and operating system (e.g., iPad 2 running iOS 5.0.1) but stream content live as part of a presentation is that key ports on
also the version of the application software with which the system a corporate router are intentionally blocked.
was tested. Its also not a bad idea to turn off device auto-update So, what does sandboxing mean for AV designers? I think we
features for applications, at least until testing is completed. find a striking parallel in the history of AV designs centered on
laptop computers: presenters looking to fully self-contain their
DEVICE SECURITY presentations in order to guarantee the ability to deliver.
Before the era of the mobile presentation device, physical security We think this trend will re-emerge in the mobile device era, but
was also very simple: a generic key in a generic lock on a generic with a distinctive twist. Instead of forcing presenters to contain all
cabinet. It was much harder to walk out of the room with the the content on the device, a set of trusted applications will emerge,
desktop computer, and even providing physical security for much like the Acrobat Reader, Flash plug-in, and Microsoft Office
laptops required little more than a simple Kensington lock. applications that are accepted on corporate devices and networks
In todays BYOD environment, were dealing with personal worldwide. Some of these applications may even be created by the
devices loaded with intensely personal information, and our AV industry; first as a one-off way to provide trusted access on a
system designs need to accommodate the physical security particular corporate network, but spreading to required use on a
of those devices. No presenter wants to connect their iPad or number of customer sites worldwide.
iPhone to the display system and then walk away from it for a The challenge is daunting. Our research has found over 4,400
round of glad-handing around the room; the average presenter permutations required for existing Android, Apple, Microsoft,
will likely slip the device back into a briefcase or pocket until and RIM devices. The use of trusted applications will be the
their presentation starts. Because devices are now connected to one guaranteed way to fend off the iDevice sharks and clear the
the system just prior to the presentation, the average facilities waters for AV system design. An added benefit is that there will
tech has to scramble to test the system again at the last moment be a significant amount of ongoing support work identifying and
if something goes awry. Long term, we need to be thinking of working around the next school of iDevices on the horizon.
ways to protect devices while also making the facilities persons
job easier. The solution could be as simple as providing an * iDevice is used here to describe a wide range of portable devices
architectural mounting frame with a clear acrylic top, where the and set-top boxes capable of storing, streaming, and playing audio
device is easily seen and used, but not so easily removed. and video content.
Then, theres the issue of network security. Most IT
departments are more concerned about securing the network Tim Siglin is Chairman of Braintrust Digital, a media production company, and co-founder of
the consulting firm, Transitions, Inc. He has been involved in AV systems design since 1992,
from the device than they are about providing easy WiFi and
serving customers on five continents and focusing on the complex integrations of new media
Internet access to visiting presenters. Go to any RSA conference technologies years before they reach mainstream use.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Column 15
THE RANCH
A new, upscale restaurant and saloon brings
a long-awaited performance and dance venue
for country music to Southern California.

T
HE RANCH is a state-of-the-art, fine dining
and country music establishment located
on the ground floor of the brand new
Extron Electronics corporate headquarters
in Anaheim, CA. A personal vision and dream of Extron
President Andrew Edwards, THE RANCH comprises a
rustic yet elegantly styled restaurant based on regional
American cuisine and fine wines, and a similarly themed
saloon next door for live concerts and dancing. This new
venue delivers a unique combination of a quality culinary
experience with a seasonally driven menu emphasizing the
best local ingredients grown on THE RANCH farm, and an
intimate setting for musical performances featuring local
and prime country music artists.
Facility Design Team
EXTRON ELECTRONICS
Andrew Edwards, President
Owner
Ron Tucci, Vice President of Facilities
Project Manager

NEWSON BROWN ACOUSTICS, LLC


Michael Brown, Principal
Rolando De La Cruz, Acoustical Consultant
Acoustic Design Consultants

Technical Design Team


EXTRON ELECTRONICS
Andrew Edwards, President
John Fish, CTS-D, Consultant Applications Engineer
Principal Designer, Sound and AV Systems
Project Manager, Sound, AV and Lighting Systems

ALL STAGE PRO


Ian Ingram, Designer, C.O.O.
Theatrical Lighting Design
Sound System Design Support

MEYER SOUND LABORATORIES, INC.


Michael Creason, Design Services Manager
FOH Speaker System Design Support
THE RANCH Saloon features a large, 47 by 26 foot (14 by 8 m) sunken dance floor for guests to enjoy country
music dancing, and be up close and personal with the performers on-stage. Inset: President and Owner
Andrew Edwards and his wife Morgan.

Inspiration for THE RANCH The Extron Dedication to Customer Satisfaction


The inspiration for Andrew Edwards, Extron President and Owner, Extends to THE RANCH
to build THE RANCH is his deep, lifelong passion for country For 29 years, Extron Electronics has been delivering high
music and dancing the two-step, as well as fine cuisine. It also quality, robust AV product solutions, together with unparalleled,
stems from an emotional longing for a flagship destination for personalized customer support services. Both have always
country music performances and dancing, which had disappeared been part of Andrews uncompromising principle of combining
in Orange County and Southern California since the closure in customer satisfaction and product quality. THE RANCH
the 1990s of the legendary Crazy Horse Steakhouse & Saloon. For continues to deliver on that business principle through the
many years, Andrew would frequent there as well as other venues extensive, year-long culinary R&D program put in place to
to experience intimate performances by well-regarded country ensure THE RANCH delivered the best possible dining and wine
artists, and dance the two-step with his wife Morgan and his experience from day one. For further insight on THE RANCH
daughter Ashton. restaurant, see Andrews article on page 6.
THE RANCH is Andrews personal vision of a new, special This devotion to customer service also included a
upscale destination that pays homage to the Crazy Horse, while comprehensive, multi-year process of conceptualizing, designing,
honoring the history of country music in North America. It is also and installing a state-of-the-art, live sound reinforcement system
a place where passionate country music fans in Orange County featuring high performance Meyer Sound speakers, as well as
and Southern California can call home again. high performance AV systems featuring Extron audio amplifiers

18 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


and speakers throughout the saloon and restaurant. Simply put,
Andrew wanted THE RANCH to be equipped with The finest
sound system available, so that patrons could always enjoy a
pleasurable, high quality sound experience, whether watching a
live performance, dancing, or dining in the restaurant.

Essential AV Requirements at THE RANCH


Andrews personal vision for THE RANCH, particularly the
saloon, was a revival of the historical, intimate country music club
atmosphere that brings on-stage performers up close and personal
with the fans. The saloon features a 40 foot (12 m) wide concert
stage with backstage facilities, plus a large, 47 by 26 foot (14 by 8 m)
sunken dance floor. Its seating capacity of 178 patrons, or up to
350 with audience seating on the dance floor, makes it a small club
venue, yet one with everyone close to the entertainment on-stage.
More than two years prior to the start of construction in 2010
for the Extron corporate headquarters building, Andrew and
Extron Consultant Applications Engineer John Fish began to lay
out the essential requirements and plan solutions for delivering A flexible Extron AV routing system provides HD video to six LCD panels over
all of the AV operations for THE RANCH. Several experts in live the Longhorn and Mustang bars.

sound reinforcement, building acoustics, and broadcast video


production were also consulted.

High Performance, Live Sound Reinforcement System Andrew wanted THE RANCH
and Acoustics
to be equipped with The finest
The most important requirement for the sound system was that
it be capable of delivering very high quality reinforcement for sound system available, so
live country music concerts. Basically, the system should be that patrons could always enjoy
capable of playing music at a moderately high volume level up
a pleasurable, high quality
to 105 dB, with a wide, balanced frequency response and be free
of distortion. The sound should generally be perceived as being sound experience.
loud, yet still comfortable to hear. The system needs to deliver
appreciable sound pressure levels as appropriate, but never
actually sound too loud to the point of discomfort, says Fish. full bandwidth music delivery with even coverage throughout.
This is especially important during concerts, when there is a We wanted to put in a high density of speakers everywhere to
tendency to really crank up the volume from the stage. avoid the typical hot spots, while allowing us to keep the volume
Andrew was absolutely insistent on the sonic character at moderate, comfortable listening levels, Fish says.
of the room being a vital part of the sound system, since
poor room acoustics can negatively impact audio quality. He AV Presentation Needs
therefore mandated a holistic approach to sound system design A total of six large LCD flat-panel displays were to be installed in
that includes both acoustic treatment and equipment, with the saloon, four at the 47 foot (14 m) Longhorn bar and two at the
the ultimate goal of fully appreciating the sonic performance 27 foot (8.2 m) Mustang bar. Flexible switching and routing would
without acoustical issues getting in the way. be necessary, so that staff could switch TV channels for any of the
displays, and select the TV channel to be played through overhead
High Quality Background Audio speakers at each bar, or engage closed-captioning.
The requirement for high quality sound also extended to
background music for both the saloon and the restaurant. The Professional Video Capabilities
system design needed to include a large quantity of hi-fi quality Although high performance live sound reinforcement would
speakers rather than conventional paging speakers to ensure be the major focus for AV in the saloon, there was also the

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 19


2 Large space acoustics

1 Performance venue

High performance sound system 4

Multiple points of Extron control 6

Design Challenges and Solutions at THE RANCH


1 Performance venue next to fine dining restaurant
DESIGN CHALLENGE
Sound isolation between the saloon and restaurant must be maintained to keep a lively concert performance contained
within the saloon, especially for deep bass frequencies.
SOLUTION
Use a wall of rooms design with functional space between the saloon and restaurant. This space, in combination with
specialized multi-layered walls creates an effective sound barrier.

2 Large space acoustics


DESIGN CHALLENGE
Create a controlled acoustical environment within a large, 122,000 cubic foot (3,450 m3) performance space with an RT60
value of just 0.8 seconds, essentially the sonic qualities of a high-end listening room.
SOLUTION
Use a generous quantity of acoustic materials integrated into ceilings and walls to limit reflections. Install an overhead 4,500
cubic foot (127 m3) bass trap to prevent low frequency resonances.

3 Hidden cable pathways


DESIGN CHALLENGE
Design a fully adaptable, flexible system infrastructure for future-proofing, with high capacity cable pathways throughout
the saloon, while also ensuring that everything is hidden from view.
SOLUTION
Install wide cable tray systems close to the ceiling that cover the stage and audience areas. Large, below-floor conduits
provide concealed cable pathways between the monitor and front-of-house locations. Large conduits also extend through
the outer building shell to allow access for production trucks in the parking lot.

20 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


3 Hidden cable pathways

Multiple sources & destinations 5

4 High performance sound system


DESIGN CHALLENGE
The high performance sound reinforcement system must be of extremely high quality, meet the expectations of top-level
touring acts, and be absolutely failsafe.
SOLUTION
Use rider-friendly sound reinforcement gear in all critical locations, including Meyer Sound line arrays and subwoofers,
and Yamaha consoles at the FOH and monitor positions. Create an analog backup pathway parallel to the primary digital
audio path.

5 Multiple sources and destinations


DESIGN CHALLENGE
Provide parallel, flexible signal distribution for both HDMI and composite video to LCD flat panels as well as Extron
TouchLink touchpanels for video preview. Endpoints require cabling distances well over 100 feet (30 meters).
SOLUTION
Use Extron HDMI and composite video matrix switchers for signal routing and distribution, together with Extron
DTP HDMI 301 twisted pair extenders for HDMI signals.

6 Multiple points of Extron control


DESIGN CHALLENGE
Integrate AV, audio DSP, lighting, and HVAC into a single user control interface, to enable centralized system control from
multiple locations throughout THE RANCH.
SOLUTION
Use Extron IP Link Ethernet control processors and TouchLink touchpanels, together with custom technology developed
specifically for THE RANCH, to work with AV as well as building automation systems.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 21


Challenges and Solutions for System Integration
at THE RANCH
The chance to design and build a restaurant and saloon from
scratch allows a very unique opportunity to assume total control
over all stages of planning and construction, while avoiding the
many integration challenges commonly associated with existing
building structures. However, many of the specific and even
unique application needs for THE RANCH presented their own
challenges that required careful planning, system design, and
well thought-out solutions.

Sound Isolation Between the Saloon and Restaurant


The saloon and restaurant are separate entities of THE RANCH.
One venue will be a lively atmosphere with music presented at
appreciable volume levels during concerts and DJ nights, while
the other will be a quieter setting with music in the background.
The cold storage area and other rooms near the Longhorn bar are designed With the saloon adjoining the restaurant, a significant issue arises
with multi-layered walls to prevent sound from passing between the saloon in trying to keep the sound of a concert performance contained
and restaurant.
within the saloon.
To address the need to attenuate appreciable sound pressure
levels from the saloon to the restaurant, Newson Brown Acoustics,
need to support presentations and video productions. This LLC, a very well-respected acoustical consulting services company
includes adding pan/tilt/zoom HD cameras into the design in Santa Monica, CA, was consulted during the architectural
to allow image magnification - IMAG for on-stage performers design stage to help develop an effective solution. Working in
and dancers to be captured for routing to large screens and collaboration with GAA Architects, Inc. in Irvine, CA, Newson
digital video recorders. Infrastructure was also needed to Brown Acoustics performed detailed acoustical analysis and
facilitate outside broadcast production crews, and in-house modeled some potential solutions to isolate sound between the
video productions for capturing live performances. The plan two venues.
was to add video production capabilities sometime after the A very well-designed, single wall structure would provide some,
initial opening of THE RANCH, but have all the available but not enough acoustical isolation. A barrier with two sound wall
facilities and infrastructure in advance. structures and a sufficiently sized air gap in between will deliver
much better sound abatement, but substantial space would have
System Control to be sacrificed. John Fish ultimately proposed a wall of rooms
THE RANCH had several system control requirements that with two reinforced walls dividing both halves of THE RANCH,
extended well beyond switching a TV channel or playing a DVD. and saloon and restaurant operations spanning between them.
A single point of control using Extron technology was needed for This offered the dual benefit of having large air gaps roughly
controlling the HVAC, lighting, sound system, and AV equipment. between 8 and 15 feet (3 to 4.5 m) to deliver very significant
This would give authorized staff the ability to tailor the ambient noise attenuation, while maximizing space between the walls for
lighting and audio to a particular setting or application, and functional operations of the saloon and restaurant.
quickly and efficiently make environmental adjustments to Successful sound isolation requires careful attention to detail,
ensure patron comfort and satisfaction. taking into account all possible avenues for sound leakage,
As a particular example, Andrew wanted the system to be including the seams where the walls meet the floor slabs and
capable of maintaining temperatures on the dance floor and upper floor deck, electrical junction boxes, and gaps around
on the stage below 65 F (18 C), with each zone separately conduit, plumbing, and air ducts. We really took great care to
controlled. Additional zones would be required throughout the minimize the potential for objectionable sound bleed-through
saloon and also the restaurant, with a total of 36 temperature between the adjacencies for the two spaces, says Michael Brown,
sensors and 33 independently adjustable HVAC zones. All zonal Principal at Newson Brown Acoustics. The Wall of Rooms
control and monitoring were to be accessible from an Extron sidebar provides more detailed information about the measures
TouchLink touchscreen interface. taken to isolate sound between the restaurant and saloon.

22 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


THE RANCH Floor Plan
THE RANCH is an upscale entertainment venue with A TECHNICAL FEATURE B ACOUSTIC CHALLENGE C UNIQUE FEATURE
a restaurant and saloon, as well as a 14,000 bottle
Restaurant AV Systems Wall of Rooms 4,500 cu. ft (127 m3) Bass Trap
wine cellar. It occupies 20,000 sq. ft (1,858 m2) of the See page 41 See page 25 See page 26
first floor in the new Extron corporate headquarters in
Anaheim, California. There are many unique structural
and system design elements in THE RANCH that
meet numerous acoustical, performance, and
operational challenges in establishing particularly
high benchmarks for live sound, pro AV, and system
control. The performance and capabilities of the AV
systems for THE RANCH are well beyond the norm
for fine dining and live sound venues.

D
Carolina Room
Monitor World

FOH E

DJ Booth

VENUE FACTS VENUE FACTS


C
The Restaurant The Saloon
8,400 sq. ft (780 m ) facility
2
8,700 sq. ft (810 m2) facility
Exhibition-style 3,000 sq. ft (280 m2) kitchen 40 ft (12 m) wide concert stage
Seating for 360 guests 47 by 26 ft (14 by 8 m) sunken dance floor
The Porch
Six separate dining areas, including The Longhorn and Mustang full-service bars
Carolina Room for private dining, and The Concert seating capacity of 350 guests
Porch indoor and outdoor patios A State-of-the-art sound reinforcement system
Background music system featuring 86 featuring Meyer Sound speakers
Extron System Integrator Series speakers 14 flown speaker cabinets in two line arrays
and nine Extron MPA and XTRA Series Five double-18 inch (46 cm) subwoofers in a
ENERGY STAR qualified amplifiers custom-built bunker below-stage
12 independently controllable audio zones 87 Extron System Integrator Series
Dedicated AV presentation systems for The Restaurant Saloon speakers installed with ten Extron XTRA
Entrance Entrance
Carolina Room and The Porch Series ENERGY STAR qualified amplifiers
Extron control system with TouchLink to support 19 audio zones
touchpanels for AV, lighting, and HVAC control AV system featuring Extron SMX 300-based
Lutron lighting control systems HDMI/DVI switching, distribution, and long
Bidirectional digital audio links connect distance transmission via DTP HDMI 301 to
restaurant and saloon audio systems six 52 inch (132 cm) LCD monitors
Extensive acoustic treatments within ceilings Extron control system with TouchLink
D UNIQUE FEATURE E TECHNICAL FEATURE
and on walls throughout touchpanels for AV, audio DSP, lighting,
Speaker Constellation in Trellis Subwoofer Bunker and HVAC control
See page 32 See page 30 Extensive acoustic treatments on ceiling and
walls, plus a large overhead bass trap

R E S TA U R A N T & S A L O O N

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 23 24


Wall of Rooms Creating a Controlled Acoustical Environment Within a Overall, the rooms sonic character is very well-controlled
In order to isolate and prevent live music produced in the saloon from entering the restaurant, the design team utilized Large Space without sounding excessively damped. We determined the
a wall of rooms concept, in which functional spaces such as the ticket booth, security booth, storage area, and The room acoustics had to be well-controlled to minimize their appropriate quantity of acoustical treatment by detailed
restrooms were constructed between the saloon and restaurant, using multi-layered walls on both sides to block acoustic impact on sound system performance. John Fish targeted an calculation, to provide the optimal balance between audio
transmission. Each wall utilizes multiple layers of building material, such as gypsum drywall, acoustic batting, and air gaps. RT60 of 0.8 seconds for the saloon, which essentially would clarity, which benefits from minimal reverberation, and room
The wall system transduces air vibration acoustical energy into wall vibration mechanical energy then back into air
make it comparable to a benchmark listening room in a ambience, which ensures perceptible audience response for the
vibration. These changes in state greatly attenuate the acoustical energy. The functional spaces between the walls span
production studio. However, the saloon was to occupy a large, performers, Brown says.
8 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 m), providing another important barrier that further reduces the acoustic energy.
122,000 cubic foot (3,450 m3) volume in an empty building To control the low frequency resonances that can give the
shell, which inherently presents opportunities for reverberation bass response within the environment an objectionable boomy
because of the wide open space and the numerous character, Newson Brown Acoustics took advantage of a large,
reflective surfaces. empty space above the Longhorn bar to design and install a
Dual Layer
5/8" (1.6 cm) Acoustical treatments included 6 inches (16 cm) of semi- large bass trap. See the sidebar below. This solution proved
Steel Plate Gypsum Board Acoustic
rigid fiberglass panels on the ceiling, 2 inch (5 cm) semi-rigid very effective in absorbing bass frequencies and ensures a tight,
Sealant
fiberglass panels on a significant portion of the walls along the well-defined sonic character from the subwoofers.
perimeter of the saloon, heavy black drapery lining the back
wall of the stage, and a combination of rigid and semi-rigid Designing a Fully Adaptable, Flexible System Infrastructure
acoustic panels on the perimeter walls of the dance floor. See Commercial AV system designs often include some form of
the sidebar, Overcoming Acoustical Challenges. Some elements future-proofing to allow some opportunity for expansion. But
of the saloons interior design, including the brickwork for the for THE RANCH, and the saloon in particular, there was a
columns and the cedar beam trellis around the dance floor, wide range of potential future applications and functions to
provided diffusion to give the sonic character some liveliness. be supported, especially video presentation and production, as
Acoustic
Batting
Acoustic
Energy

4,500 Cubic Foot (127 m3) Bass Trap


A large bass trap, measuring 7.5 ft (2.3 m) tall, 50 ft (15 m)
Triple Layer 5/8"
Gypsum Board long, and 12 ft (3.7 m) deep, was constructed over the
Longhorn bar, directly opposing the stage. It serves to
attenuate acoustic reflections and limit standing waves 2" (5 cm)
Acoustic Panel
to optimize the low frequency response of the room,
significantly improving the clarity of the sound mix. The Acoustic Energy
bass trap utilizes six layers of 2 inch (5 cm) thick semi-
rigid insulation panels, spaced out to progressively reduce Black Drapery
Covering
acoustic energy as it passes through the layers. All
surfaces of the cavity are lined with these panels, and the
AC Outlet with Restrooms, Storage opening is covered with a thick black drape to conceal
Acoustic Sealant Area, or other the bass trap.
Functional Space

Bass Trap
Acoustic energy within the saloon is fully Trellis
diminished by three sonic barriers before it
can enter the restaurant. The first barrier is
the wall boundary for the saloon. The second
barrier is the air space on the other side of the Stage Mustang Bar Longhorn Bar
wall. The final barrier is the wall boundary for
Air Gap
the restaurant, a complex structure of multi- Subwoofer Bunker
layered construction elements that complete
the acoustic attenuation.
LIFT PAGE
to see the floor plan

25 26 AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Overcoming Acoustical Challenges
A common reality, in the construction of live music venues,
is that acoustical considerations are not addressed due
to budget constraints or aesthetic demands. For example,
interior design elements can take precedence over good
acoustic principles, leading to reflective surfaces that conflict
with the intended sonic character of the venue.
The most important functional objective for the saloon
was to deliver very high quality sound with a low RT60
value for good tonal definition and intelligibility. Therefore,
acoustical treatments needed to be accommodated
An extensive infrastructure of cable trays and conduit travel above and below within the interior styling. In the restaurant, acoustical
the stage and audience area in order to accommodate current and future
considerations also were very important, to create a
applications and technologies.
sonically well-controlled environment where patrons can
always converse normally and comfortably with each other,
even when the restaurant is busy.
The perimeter walls around the saloon and many of
well as new technologies that may emerge down the line. John
the walls in the restaurant were treated with semi-rigid,
Fish was tasked with the unusual challenge of designing a system 2 inch (5 cm) acoustic panels and covered with acoustically
infrastructure with the maximum flexibility to basically allow transparent fabric. The walls surrounding the sunken
any sort of new technology, cable, device, or application to be dance floor were acoustically treated with 1 inch (2.5 cm)
incorporated into the system, permanently or temporarily, without semi-rigid panels behind 1 inch rigid panels for protection
against accidental bumping. These panels limit the
major structural changes or system redesign.
bouncing of sonic waves off hard surfaces that lead to
Fish designed the infrastructure with a system of overhead
unwanted reverberations and a degradation of the overall
cable trays and vertical ladder trays that provide ample reach for sound quality in the saloon. In the restaurant, the panels
routing cables anywhere above and below the stage, and above significantly reduce the hard surface reflections typical in
the dance floor and seating areas. The system originates from many restaurants that lead to elevated ambient noise levels,
the equipment racks in Monitor World, an area at stage right making it difficult to have normal conversations.
The acoustic panels have an NRC - Noise Reduction
dedicated to the monitor console, amplifiers, signal processing,
Coefficient rating of 0.95, meaning they absorb 95% of the
and audio patching. This cable management system keeps a large
sound that comes into contact with the panel in the critical
quantity of cabling well-organized, and provides plenty of space 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, and 2 kHz vocal ranges. While
for expansion and modifications. these panels are intended to help control reflections within
Additional cable paths were also provided below the stage the space, they also aid in reducing sound transmission
and under the dance floor. PVC pipes were installed at the between the saloon and restaurant.

building exterior behind the stage, leading below-stage to a


5/8" (1.6 cm)
floor box upstage center with additional conduits running to Gypsum Board
the FOH - Front of House console area, and to Monitor World. 2" (5 cm)
Acoustic Panel
Having conduit access at the building exterior will allow direct
connection to a video production truck rolled in for a special
event or media coverage. The large conduit paths will provide
plenty of space for video engineers to easily run whatever cable Acoustic Energy

they need for their cameras and other video equipment in


the saloon.
We asked ourselves the question of what to provide for
Fabric Covering
a broadcast truck, whether triax, SDI, or fiber, Fish says.
Wood Trim
Ultimately, the answer was simple none of them! Just provide
a generous conduit path so anything can be brought in with
Acoustic panels integrated into the interior design of THE RANCH
no restrictions. contribute to the desired RT60 value of 0.8 seconds, by absorbing up
Fish also included extensive tie lines for XLR, coaxial, fiber, to 95% of sound waves in the vocal frequency range.
and CAT 6 connections extending from dedicated patch panels

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 27


at Monitor World out to several locations on the stage, as well as are large vertical arrays designed for much larger venues than
the FOH console area. This provides a ready-to-go interconnection a club. Bringing arrays into a small club environment is an
infrastructure for bringing in production equipment, placing it interesting challenge for sound design, because theyre really for
anywhere on-stage or in the audience to meet touring riders with big spaces, Fish says.
specific audio or video connectivity needs. Fishs system design begins with 76 total available microphone
A prominent engineer for a televised awards program connections on-stage, from floor boxes and wall panels. These
evaluated what we were doing with the infrastructure design, connections are homerun to patch panels in the racks in Monitor
Fish says. His verdict was, This is perfect! There is everything World. From there, 48 mic lines are available for patching into a
we need to have a production here. custom Ramtech stage box that provides two direct outputs and
two Jensen transformer-isolated outputs. The direct outputs go
Creating a High Performance, Credible Live Sound to remote mic preamps, and directly to the FOH console as an
Reinforcement System Design analog backup. The isolated outputs are for monitoring and for
Andrew had envisioned THE RANCH as the benchmark venue video broadcast production trucks. The monitoring outputs go to a
for local artists, as well as the destination in the region for Yamaha M7CL 48-channel digital mixing console, where the mic
top country performers seeking an appealing, more intimate channels are mixed, processed, and then output to the monitor
alternative to the large arenas, stadiums, and performing arts system. A Yamaha DME 64N DSP digital mixer further processes
centers. Therefore, the mandate to John Fish was straightforward: and optimizes the audio for eight stereo wireless in-ear monitor
go for the best in performance and quality when selecting systems, and a variety of Meyer Sound stage monitor speakers
equipment for the live performance system, to make it capable of including the UM-1P and UM-100P, and the UMS-1P subwoofer.
meeting the typical requirements in riders for these top touring
acts. The system is being designed far beyond what would be Front-of-House Console
expected in a normal club, simply because of the need to be able The mic channels that passed though the Ramtech stage box are
to attract top-level performers, Fish says. routed to seven Yamaha AD8HR high performance mic preamps.
Despite the mandate to specify the best equipment, The AD8HR preamps feature the same well-renowned microphone
designing a live sound reinforcement system that meets the preamplifier circuitry in Yamahas flagship PM5000 analog mixing
typical riders for top touring acts can be challenging in many console. Here, the mic signals are converted to 48 kHz/24-bit
ways. Sound engineers for high-level acts may be particular about digital audio, and then the AES/EBU digital audio channels are
the brand and model of certain gear theyll want to use, such as converted to EtherSound through Yamaha NAI48-ES network
the mixing console or microphones. Therefore, bringing in the audio interfaces. The result is a single STP network cable that
best from a specific manufacturer may be good for one artist carries all the mic channels over to the FOH area, and into a
but not preferable for another. Another challenge is that many second Yamaha M7CL digital mixing console.
products right-sized for a small club venue, such as speakers, may The performance of the FOH mixing console plays a very
not be rider-friendly. Speakers acceptable to touring acts typically important role in the quality of the sound mix for the main left
and right stage speakers, and therefore the overall performance
of the live sound reinforcement system. FOH engineers working
with top-level artists generally demand top-quality consoles. Since
the best was needed for THE RANCH, a high-end digital mixing
console was certainly under consideration. But the reality with
mixing consoles is that at the upper-tier of FOH engineers working
for top-level touring acts, there tend to be individual preferences.
Choosing a specific model could mean that one top-level act might
embrace it, while another may not want to work with it at all.
The Yamaha PM5D was among the top-tier consoles being
considered for THE RANCH. This console and the smaller M7CL
are very popular with FOH engineers. It was ultimately decided
that instead of choosing the higher-end touring console, the M7CL
would be a better fit for the saloon because of its wide appeal
and accessibility to FOH engineers working with a range of bands,
including local, mid-level, and also top-tier acts that happen to

28 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Saloon Performance Audio System

Microphones

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
AD CONVERTOR WITH REMOTE PREAMP

1 OVER
-6
2 OVER
-6
3 OVER
-6
4 OVER
-6
5 OVER
-6
6 OVER
-6
7 OVER
-6
8 OVER
-6
+48V POWER
96kHz
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 88.2kHz
+48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12
-18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18
48kHz HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30
44.1kHz -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 HPF
WORD CLOCK IN GAIN/ +48V
DIGITAL OUT A dB DATA MASTER
OFF ON
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 WORD CLOCK ON/ OFF

AD CONVERTOR WITH REMOTE PREAMP

1 OVER 2 OVER 3 OVER 4 OVER 5 OVER 6 OVER 7 OVER 8 OVER +48V POWER
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 96kHz
88.2kHz
+48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12
-18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18
48kHz HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 44.1kHz -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 HPF
WORD CLOCK IN GAIN/ +48V
DIGITAL OUT A dB DATA MASTER

Analog WORD CLOCK OFF ON


ON/ OFF

AD CONVERTOR WITH REMOTE PREAMP


2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
1 OVER
-6
2 OVER
-6
3 OVER
-6
4 OVER
-6
5 OVER
-6
6 OVER
-6
7 OVER
-6
8 OVER
-6
+48V POWER
96kHz +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V
-12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12
88.2kHz -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 48kHz
44.1kHz
HPF -30
-48
HPF -30
-48
HPF -30
-48
HPF -30
-48
HPF -30
-48
HPF -30
-48
HPF -30
-48
HPF -30
-48 HPF
WORD CLOCK IN GAIN/ +48V
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 DIGITAL OUT A dB DATA MASTER
WORD CLOCK OFF ON
ON/ OFF

Analog
AD CONVERTOR WITH REMOTE PREAMP

1 OVER 2 OVER 3 OVER 4 OVER 5 OVER 6 OVER 7 OVER 8 OVER +48V POWER
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 96kHz +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12 +48V
-6
-12
88.2kHz -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18
48kHz HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30
44.1kHz -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 HPF
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 WORD CLOCK IN
DIGITAL OUT A dB
GAIN/
DATA
+48V
MASTER
WORD CLOCK OFF ON
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ON/ OFF

AD CONVERTOR WITH REMOTE PREAMP

1 OVER
-6
2 OVER
-6
3 OVER
-6
4 OVER
-6
5 OVER
-6
6 OVER
-6
7 OVER
-6
8 OVER
-6
+48V POWER
96kHz +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V
-12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12
88.2kHz -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 48kHz HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30
44.1kHz -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 HPF
WORD CLOCK IN GAIN/ +48V
DIGITAL OUT A dB DATA MASTER

33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 WORD CLOCK OFF ON


ON/ OFF

AD CONVERTOR WITH REMOTE PREAMP


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
1 OVER
-6
2 OVER
-6
3 OVER
-6
4 OVER
-6
5 OVER
-6
6 OVER
-6
7 OVER
-6
8 OVER
-6
+48V POWER
96kHz +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V +48V
-12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12
88.2kHz -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18
48kHz HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30
44.1kHz -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 HPF
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 WORD CLOCK IN GAIN/ +48V
DIGITAL OUT A dB DATA MASTER
WORD CLOCK OFF ON
ON/ OFF

41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 AD CONVERTOR WITH REMOTE PREAMP

1 OVER
-6
2 OVER
-6
3 OVER
-6
4 OVER
-6
5 OVER
-6
6 OVER
-6
7 OVER
-6
8 OVER
-6
+48V POWER
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 96kHz +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12 +48V -12
88.2kHz -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18
48kHz HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30 HPF -30
44.1kHz -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 -48 HPF
WORD CLOCK IN GAIN/ +48V
DIGITAL OUT A dB DATA MASTER
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 WORD CLOCK OFF ON
ON/ OFF

49 50 51 52 53 54
Remote Microphone Preamps Digital

FOH MONITOR BROADCAST


EtherSound
POWER
ISOLATED ISOLATED

POWER

Network Audio Interface Digital


EtherSound

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER
SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL
-6 -6 -6 -6 -6
-9 -9 -9 -9 -9
-12 -12 -12 -12 -12
-15 -15 -15 -15 -15

CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE -18
-24
-18
-24
-18
-24
-18
-24
-18
-24
CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE
OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER
-40 -40 -40 -40 -40
-6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6
-50 -50 -50 -50 -50
-12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

-18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 MIX MATRIX -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18

-30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30

Stage Box
-60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60

MIX / MATRIX HA DYNAMICS 1

ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON THRESHOLD ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON
PAN DYNAMICS 1

THRESHOLD

HPF
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
FREQUENCY

EQ
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

House Monitoring Broadcast


HIGH

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FREQUENCY
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 HIGH MID 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

Analog Backup 10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
FREQUENCY

LOW MID
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
10

20

30
FREQUENCY
40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 LOW 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40
50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60
FREQUENCY

Digital
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
SCENE MEMORY

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 ST IN ST IN ST IN ST IN STEREO MONO 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
1 2 3 4
0 10
STORE RECALL MONITOR
SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL SEL
LEVEL

CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE USER DEFINED KEYS CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE CUE

Analog Backup
OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER OVER

-6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6

-12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

-18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18
1 2 3 4 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18 -18

-30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30

-60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60 -60

ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON 5 6 7 8 ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON

9 10 11 12
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

Analog Backup
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
MATRIX

10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 17-24 25-32 41-48 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

MIX9-16
20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
1-8 9-16 ST IN STEREO 33-40
30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
MIX1-8

40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40
50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 DCA 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60

ST IN ST IN ST IN ST IN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 1 2 3 4 STEREO MONO
33 34 35 36 37 38 49 40

FOH Mixing Console

Signal Processors
Digital Speaker Speaker
Management System Management System
Digital 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Analog
Backup
ENTER ENTER

Primary A C E SIGNAL/CLIP

MUTE
SIM
A C E SIGNAL/CLIP

MUTE
SIM

Path 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
ENTER

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
ENTER

Path
ENTER ENTER

MENU CANCEL MENU CANCEL


B D F SIGNAL/CLIP B D F SIGNAL/CLIP

MUTE MUTE

Center Fill Speaker


Dance Floor Dance Floor
Extron
MDA 3A

Left Fill Right Fill


MDA 3A
POWER
INPUT OUTPUTS
12V BAL
.3A MAX L R L 1 R L 2 R L 3 R ON

Distribution Amplifier
1 2 3

1 2 3
UNBAL

Front Fill Speakers

House Left Speaker Array Subwoofers House Right Speaker Array


CH 1 CH 2 CH 3 CH 4 CH 5 CH 6 CH 7 CH 8
VOLTAGE

AC POWER LOAD
CURRENT

Column Fill Speakers


48 V DC Power Supply

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 29


2" Fiberglass
Panels (3)
2" Fiberglass
Panels (2)
8" CMU
Concrete Wall

Acoustically Transparent
Fabric Cover

Meyer Sound 700-HP (5)

Subwoofer Bunker
Five Meyer Sound 700-HP subwoofers were installed under
the stage. This conveniently conceals them from view, but the space
under the stage can create a resonance cavity that could affect performance.
Additionally, significant deep bass will emanate behind the subs and adversely affect
performers on the stage. An option considered was the use of cardioid subs, which limit
directionality to the front of the sub, by sending out in-phase and out-of-phase low frequencies that
cancel out around the rear of the cabinet. However, achieving this effect requires sufficient space behind the
subs, and the performers would be too close to them. The solution was to construct a special bunker under the
stage to enclose the subwoofer array. The fiberglass panels and the cement walls act to block low frequencies coming out from
behind or above the subwoofers, effectively pushing out all of the deep bass from the front of the subwoofer array and into the room.

be using the PM5D console. Furthermore, many acts can bring The DSPs act as the traffic cop for all of the audio in the saloon.
in their M7CL settings on a USB flash drive and plug it right into The Soundweb London DSPs together provide total I/O capacity
the saloons console, and top-level performers can have their for up to 32 digital input channels, 20 analog input channels, 12
PM5D settings translated for use on the M7CL. For performing digital output channels, and 32 analog output channels. There
acts wanting high-end consoles, THE RANCH can simply rent a are digital audio links to and from the restaurant, to facilitate
specific model for the show. expansion of restaurant operations into the saloon, or bringing
Although we easily could have had a top-end console, the fact live concert sound into the restaurant dining rooms.
that everyone will work with the M7CL made it the obvious choice
for us, Fish says. Well bring in whatever is needed for the big Meyer Sound Speaker Line Arrays
acts, even a legacy analog console if thats what they want. As with the FOH console, the performance of the main left
and right speakers is critical in defining the quality of the live
Audio Signal Management and DSP sound reinforcement system. Meyer Sound is a particularly
The resulting house mix coming out of the M7CL console travels well-respected brand for live sound reinforcement. Andrew
back over EtherSound to Monitor World, where it is converted to had fostered a very close relationship with Helen and John
AES/EBU and then sent to a system of five BSS Audio Soundweb Meyer, and as a result, they agreed to provide close guidance
London digital audio processors. These DSPs process the house and support throughout the system design, installation, and
mix, as well as audio from the DJ and AV systems. They then commissioning, using the resources and talent of the Meyer
provide centralized routing and management of audio signals to Sound engineering team.
the main stage left and right speakers, the subwoofers, and the When evaluating the ideal speakers to provide sufficient
many other speakers throughout the saloon. As Fish describes it, coverage for the size of the saloon, Meyer engineers initially

30 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


suggested that a horizontal speaker cluster might be ideal for the
left and right stage speakers. Each cluster would have speakers
aimed toward the dance floor and speakers facing out to the
side seating areas. But top-level acts for live sound generally use
vertical speaker arrays for projecting sound in large venues. FOH
engineers for touring acts are accustomed to mixing to vertical
arrays, and they will typically be specified in riders. So the
decision was made to go with vertical arrays for THE RANCH.
Fish selected Meyer Sound MICA speakers for the saloon sound
system. A compact array of just six speakers on each side of the
stage provides the right amount of dispersion needed to cover the
size of the saloon. Smaller array speakers with somewhat more
modest amp power could have been chosen for THE RANCH, but
since the MICA was reasonably compact, and also familiar to
touring acts alongside the MILO, its bigger brother, it turned out
to be the best choice for meeting touring riders.
The substantial power output capability of the MICA arrays,
though well beyond what was necessary, provides an important
advantage in that the speakers will be driven far below their To meet this challenge, a subwoofer array of five Meyer Sound
maximum capability, which allows the sound to be maintained 700-HP subwoofers, each with two 18 inch (45 cm) drivers, is
at a very high quality level and well below distortion. Patrons enclosed in an acoustic bunker under the stage to contain bass
at THE RANCH in turn will always be assured a comfortable, energy and direct it outward, while preserving the visual appeal
pleasurable listening experience without the sound from the stage of the stage. See the Subwoofer Bunker sidebar for additional
blasting at them. This is a critical advantage in meeting a very information. Subtle time delays of 1 ms and 3 ms were added to
important mandate by Andrew to maintain moderate volume the inner and outer subwoofer pairs, respectively, to help spread
levels at all times, even during a full-blown concert, Fish says. the bass outward from the five-sub array.
While the five double-18 inch subwoofers certainly deliver very
Meyer Sound Subwoofers clean, tight bass at notable sound pressure levels, the amount of
An ample quantity of subwoofers was needed to deliver clean, low frequencies may be too much for anyone close to the stage,
solid, undistorted deep bass, with a flat in-room response down particularly when the dance floor is used for theater or table-
to 20 Hz, at moderate levels well below distortion. But in a club style seating during special events. An additional Meyer Sound
setting, finding the space to place them can be difficult. Stacking 600-HP twin 15-inch (38 cm) subwoofer was flown above each
them vertically on-stage yields an ideal cylindrical distribution MICA speaker array, allowing some of the low-end to be directed
pattern for the room, but this method takes up considerable space to them instead of the under-stage subs. Having the 600-HPs
and performers do not like being in close proximity to them. will allow us to steer some of the bass away from the dance floor
to minimize exposure for audience members seated there, Fish
explains. The additional subs will also give us extra flexibility to
support other applications.

Additional Meyer Sound Speakers


Audience members or dancers very close to the stage will be out
of the ideal coverage pattern of the main speakers. To compensate,
Fish selected four Meyer Sound UPM-1P compact profile speakers
to provide front fill for those close to the stage. In addition, Fish
provided center fill from a Meyer Sound UPQ-1P speaker, flown
above the stage in between the MICA arrays. This was for dancers
or a segment of the audience around the center of the dance floor,
where they would be just beyond the ideal dispersion pattern of
The subwoofer bunker the arrays.
during construction
www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 31
Above: Custom black-painted Extron SI 26CT speakers were used overhead in the bar areas to
ensure high bandwidth music delivery and even coverage throughout. Right: Custom Extron SI 28
speakers were mounted in the trellis over the audience areas using custom mounting brackets
fabricated in-house.

Certain areas to the left and right of the dance floor may be
blocked from the main speaker arrays by columns. Fish had a
Meyer Sound MM-4XP speaker attached to the rear side of each
column to help project sound from the arrays to those areas.
The speakers are remotely powered by an MPS-488HP 48 V engineering team found to be a very good match for the SI 28. The
power supply. SI 28s were also used in conjunction with a series of transformer-
All of the Meyer Sound speakers are set up and optimized with modified Extron SI 28W two-way in-wall speakers mounted into
the Meyer Sound Galileo DSP processor. The Galileo provides the ceiling, in an audience area that extends beyond the trellis.
dedicated calibration and DSP adjustments for each individual A total of 35 SI 28 and seven SI 28W speakers were installed,
speaker model, including parametric EQ, delay, matrix mixing, effectively forming a constellation of downward-firing speakers
and filtering. to fully envelop the seating areas around the dance floor. Custom
mounts were made at Extron to allow the SI 28s to be side-mounted
Extron Speakers for the Perimeter Areas to the trellis beams. These speakers were powered by Extron
The Meyer Sound speakers provide excellent coverage for areas XPA 2002-70V two channel 400 watt, ENERGY STAR qualified
within and bordering the dance floor. However, many of the amplifiers. There are 11 speaker zones in the trellis seating areas,
seating areas are beyond the ideal reach of these speakers. This all with precise delay mapping and blend from the house left/right
could be addressed by turning up the volume of the stage speakers. mix. There are an additional eight zones that cover both bars, the
But then the sound can become very loud and uncomfortable for lobby, smoking patio, and restrooms. This high density of speakers
those near the stage. One of the most important objectives for the for 70 volt distribution allows optimal projection of sound from the
sound system was very good distribution of sound everywhere, stage without having to greatly increase the volume, which in turn
with the sound in the room seeming loud when appropriate, but keeps the speakers operating with plenty of headroom to maintain
not actually loud to the point of patron discomfort. consistent audio quality. As Fish summarizes it, the speaker
What Fish needed to do was take the sound from the stage constellation supports the main stage speakers by spreading the
arrays and project it into the outer areas beyond the dance floor. sound all around to ensure even, comfortable listening levels
The original design solution was to add an exploded delay cluster during concerts, on DJ nights, or when a local band is playing.
with the speakers spread around the perimeter of the dance floor,
each suspended from the ceiling. But when Andrew decided Totally Failsafe System Operation
that a cedar beam trellis would be added to the interior design, The design for the live sound reinforcement system needed
this solution would not be practical. Fish then decided to take to include sufficient measures to ensure that a concert event
advantage of the trellis and design a 70 volt speaker distribution continues uninterrupted in the event of any problems in the system.
system using black Extron SI 28 two-way surface mount speakers Fish fulfilled this requirement by creating fully redundant digital
mounted to the beams, firing straight downward. The speakers and analog audio paths, from the microphones to the speakers.
were modified with high quality Altec transformers that the Extron This approach to system design is significantly beyond the norm

32 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


for live performance venues, and is often considered redundant input into a Rane Serato scratch processor. The audio outputs
or costly. But for THE RANCH, it was an important aspect of its from the Rane Serato and the laptop are fed into a Pioneer DJ
priority to maximize customer satisfaction. mixer. Two wireless microphone systems are also connected into
Analog XLR lines from the stage box run parallel to the the DJ mixer, for use by the DJ and the dance instructor.
EtherSound going to the FOH console. Redundant digital and S/PDIF digital audio output from the DJ mixer is sent to the
analog paths were also provided out of the FOH console and over Soundweb London DSPs and ultimately to the Meyer Sound and
to the DSPs. Fish built additional redundancy into the system by Extron speakers. As with the live sound reinforcement system, a
having the digital and analog console feeds going into two separate secondary analog stereo output from the DJ mixer serves as a
DSPs, which send out duplicate AES/EBU and analog XLR signals, backup to ensure full system reliability.
each to its own Meyer Sound Galileo DSP that optimizes the audio Two Meyer Sound UPQ-1P speakers, installed above the rear of
for the Meyer Sound speakers. See the diagram on page 29. the dance floor, provide back fill for the DJ. These are also used as
Several physical and logical access points were made available surround speakers when the system is used in a surround sound
throughout the signal chains for switching over to analog. application. Additionally, there are two Extron SI 28W speakers
In the end, we have provided an analog backup for the entire installed on the ceiling in the DJ booth, and fed from the DJ mixer
digital audio chain, Fish says. This is very unusual in live sound via an Extron XPA 2002 two channel 400 watt power amplifier.
systems, but for us it will absolutely ensure that the show must The sound system is fully capable of revealing the artifacts and
go on, no matter what may happen. limitations inherent in compressed music files that DJs use when
playing back from their laptops. Therefore, Andrew insisted that all
DJ System music tracks must be uncompressed, sourced from CDs, to ensure
An alcove at stage left serves as a booth for the DJ, and for the highest sound quality. A dedicated, large capacity media
housing the DJ system. This system includes two Pioneer multi- server will eventually house a comprehensive library of WAV files
format audio players for CDs and music files and the DJs laptop sourced from THE RANCHs growing collection of country music
that serve as the primary music sources. The audio players are on CDs, and serve as the primary music source for the DJ system.

The saloon AV system in the DJ booth features an Extron DVS 510 scaling presentation switcher, an SMX 300 modular matrix switcher with
SMX 88 HDMI boards, a MAV Plus 168 AV matrix switcher, and a PowerCage 1600 enclosure designated for future system expansion.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 33


System Fine-Tuning and Optimization supporting the main sound reinforcement system by sending DJ
Fish performed a detailed system calibration procedure for the or concert sound to areas including the restrooms, backstage, bars,
Meyer Sound speakers, particularly the MICA arrays that included and patio. The system design accommodates numerous source
frequency response optimization for individual speakers in the devices and displays as well as local AV hookups, plus plenty of
array, based on spatial averaging from several locations in the I/O capacity to support future additions or applications.
room. As a result of this detailed fine-tuning, he was able to have
the arrays perform their very best by delivering accurate sonic Video
detail and creating a wide, cohesive stereo image. This allows an The AV system, housed in the DJ booth, provides distribution
FOH engineer to create a true stereo mix, which is beyond the of video to six 52 inch (132 cm) Sharp LCD displays at the bars.
norm for typical performance venues. According to Fish, The The AV sources are primarily seven DirecTV HD tuners but
engineer can actually pan vocals and instruments according to also include Blu-ray Disc and DVD players, a network media
their locations on-stage. player, and a triple-iPod/iPhone dock. Apart from the iPod
Fish also optimized all of the Extron distributed speakers in dock, these sources output HDMI at HDTV 1080p to an Extron
the saloon with DSP processing to fully complement the MICA SMX 300 System MultiMatrix modular matrix switcher, with
arrays, dividing up the speakers into 19 zones, and then applying two SMX 88 HDMI boards daisy-chained. The HDMI outputs
the appropriate amount of delay and blend from the left and right are then transmitted over twisted pair to the six LCD displays,
arrays into them. The Extron speakers work together with the using Extron DTP HDMI 301 long distance extenders.
main speakers to give presence from the stage, even when youre The AV system also provides parallel composite video
well away from the dance floor, he says. You really cant tell signal routing from the sources, so they can be previewed
theyre there unless someone shuts them off. on Extron TouchLink touchpanels throughout the saloon.
Composite video outputs from the AV sources feed into an
Comprehensive AV System Extron MAV Plus 168 AV matrix switcher, and its outputs are
The saloon includes a fully equipped AV system that serves transmitted to the touchpanels via Extron MTP T AV RCA
a variety of applications, from watching TV at the bars, to twisted pair transmitters.

Equipment racks in Monitor World at stage right house the performance sound system equipment including Extron XTRA Series 70 volt amplifiers,
remote mic preamps, DSPs, speaker management, and a custom stage box with isolated splits for monitoring and broadcast.
34 AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012
Saloon AV Video System

Extron Extron
Extron DVI 201 A D Tx DVI 201 A D Tx
Transmitter Extron Transmitter
MTP T 15HD A D (Upstage Center) MTP T 15HD A D (DJ Booth)
Transmitter Transmitter
Blu-ray Players (Upstage Center) (DJ Booth)
INPUT INPUT
DVI DVI

AUDIO L+R AUDIO L+R

DIRECTV Receivers
RS-232 RS-232
PASS THRU PASS THRU

HDMI
Rx Rx

AUDIO IN Tx AUDIO IN Tx

PUSH PUSH

COMPUTER IN COMPUTER IN

CAT 5-type CAT 5-type


POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT
DIRECTV

PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT
DIRECTV

DVD Players Extron Extron


PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT
DIRECTV

PUSH

DIRECTV HD
PUSH

MTP/HDMI U R MTP/HDMI U R
Receiver Receiver
POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p

SELECT
DIRECTV

PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
ANALOG ANALOG
DIRECTV
SELECT
SIGNAL RGB SIGNAL RGB
VID LEVEL PEAKING DIGITAL SIGNAL VID LEVEL PEAKING DIGITAL SIGNAL
AUDIO Y/C AUDIO Y/C
RS-232 YUV RS-232 YUV
PUSH PUSH RGB RGB
POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD

DIRECTV
SELECT
MTP/HDMI U R MTP/HDMI U R

PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT

HDMI RGB HDMI RGB


DIRECTV

Composite Video
Media Player

Composite Video INPUTS PIP PICTURE CONTROLS

ADJUST VOLUME

1 2 3 4 5
PIP SIZE BRIGHT DETAIL MENU MAX
ON/OFF /CONT
MID

9 10
IR

6 7 8
CONFIG PIP POSITION COLOR ZOOM MIN
NEXT
SWAP /TINT /PAN

DVS 510
DIGITAL VIDEO SCALER

Composite Video Extron


HDMI HDMI
DVS 510 SA
DVI Scaling Presentation
Switcher
I/O PLANE SELECT

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

INPUTS

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 CONTROL HDMI Extron


DTP HDMI 301 Tx
ENTER PRESET VIEW ESC

Extron
CONFIG

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Transmitters
P MAIN
O

SMX 300 Frame


W
OUTPUTS E
R I/O CARDS
SMX SERIES SWITCHER

with 2 SMX 88 HDMI


DTP HDMI 301 Tx

HDMI HDMI HDMI


INPUTS
Extron
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DTP HDMI 301 Rx
CONTROL I/O DVI INPUT LOCAL OUTPUT
DTP HDMI 301 Tx
Receivers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 ENTER PRESET VIEW ESC VIDEO AUDIO

OUTPUTS DVI 200 Tx SERIES


RS-232 IR

CAT 5-type
Extron
MAV PLUS SERIES
AV MATRIX SWITCHER with IP LINK

Extron DVI 201 Tx


Tx Rx Tx Rx DTP HDMI 301 Rx

MAV Plus 168 AV Transmitter


Extron 16x8 Matrix Switcher RS-232 IR

MTP T AV RCA Composite Video


Tx Rx Tx Rx DTP HDMI 301 Rx

Twisted Pair HDMI


Transmitters DVI INPUT LOCAL OUTPUT

DVI 200 Tx SERIES


HDMI
Extron
DVI 201 Tx
CAT 5-type Transmitter CAT 5-type

OUTPUT OUTPUT

LCD Display
DVI DVI

AUDIO L+R AUDIO L+R

RS-232
PASS THRU
RS-232
PASS THRU
(Mustang Bar)
Rx Rx

Tx Tx

LCD Display
(Mustang Bar)
Extron Extron Extron Extron Extron Extron
TLP 1000TV TLP 1000TV TLP 1000MV TLP 1000MV DVI 201 A D Rx DVI 201 A D Rx DTP HDMI 301 Tx

10" Tabletop 10" Tabletop 10" Wall Mount 10" Wall Mount Receiver Receiver
TouchLink TouchLink TouchLink TouchLink (Upstage Center) (DJ Booth)
Touchpanel Touchpanel Touchpanel Touchpanel CAT 5-type
(DJ Booth) (Longhorn Bar) (Mustang Bar) DTP HDMI 301 Tx

RS-232 IR

DTP HDMI 301 Tx Tx Rx Tx Rx DTP HDMI 301 Rx

Extron RS-232 IR

DTP HDMI 301 Tx Tx Rx Tx Rx DTP HDMI 301 Rx


Transmitters
DTP HDMI 301 Tx

HDMI
RS-232 IR

CAT 5-type
Tx Rx Tx Rx DTP HDMI 301 Rx

Extron RS-232 IR

DTP HDMI 301 Rx


Receivers Tx Rx Tx Rx DTP HDMI 301 Rx

HDMI LCD Display


(Longhorn Bar)

LCD Display
(Longhorn Bar)

LCD Display
(Longhorn Bar)

LCD Display
(Longhorn Bar)

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 35


Stage Lighting for THE RANCH At the FOH console station, a Road Hog lighting console from High
End Systems provides centralized control of the lighting system
The saloon features a comprehensive stage lighting system to through DMX512, an industry standard protocol for theatrical lighting
provide a wide variety of lighting scenes and visual effects for control. In addition to the Road Hog, there is also a virtual console
feature concert acts. It is also used to set the lighting ambiance on a PC, which serves as a backup for the primary console.
on DJ nights or when a local band is performing. The system was A noteworthy feature of the stage lighting is a custom rotating
designed and integrated by All Stage Pro in Santa Ana, CA, and mirror ball, fashioned of five Fender Telecaster guitar replicas mounted
features a total of 83 lighting fixtures, the majority of which are to a center cone. Full-size replicas were created from an actual
LED-based for significant electrical infrastructure and cost benefits Telecaster provided by Fender. Each guitar is fully adorned with
compared to incandescent or arc lamps. In addition to lower energy mirrors, as well as actual Fender hardware. The center cone is covered
usage, fewer electrical circuits are required for installing LED light with dark mirrors to add an extra dimension to the glittering effect.
fixtures. We have been encouraging the use of LED lighting to During the planning stages, Ingram worked closely with Andrew,
our customers, so they can benefit from significant cost savings presenting 3D simulations through software modeling of the stage
and be more green, says Ian Ingram, Principal of All Stage Pro. and lighting system. Andrew asked me to come up with something
The stage lighting system includes a combination of wash lights, that he could be proud of, says Ingram, a 20-year veteran of
ellipsoidals, and moving lights rigged to battens over the stage professional lighting and sound with over 400 installations to his
and dance floor. Additional lights, including LED striplights and credit. In the end, we came up with a great system that will always
bars, are mounted to trusses at the back and sides of the stage. produce an amazing light show and make everyone say Wow!

Local AV Inputs and Outputs the Extron SMX 300, which is fed into an Extron HAE 100 that
There are also local AV source and display hookups available extracts the embedded HDMI audio as S/PDIF digital audio.
in the DJ booth and on the stage, with Extron DVI 201 A D Tx The AV sources also provide analog stereo audio output into
and MTP T 15HD A D Decora twisted pair transmitters, and the Extron MAV Plus 168 AV. An audio output from this matrix
DVI 201 A D Rx Decora twisted pair receivers installed in switcher then goes into the DSPs. This serves as a backup audio
a four-gang junction box at both locations. The twisted pair path to the Soundweb London DSPs, similar to the redundancy
DVI and analog VGA signals with audio go into two Extron built into the live sound reinforcement and DJ systems.
MTP/HDMI U R receivers in the DJ booth, whose outputs then In addition to the constellation of Extron SI 28 and SI 28W
feed directly into an Extron DVS 510 ten input scaler and switcher. speakers around the dance floor, there are many other Extron
The DVS 510 provides video signal processing and optimization, speakers installed throughout, including 36 Extron SI 26CT
and then delivers DVI output at HDTV 1080p to the SMX 300. ceiling speakers at the two bars for patrons to watch TV. A few
Two of the HDMI outputs of the SMX 300 are sent over Extron Extron SI 26X speakers were substituted in a few locations where
DVI 201 Tx twisted pair transmitters to the DVI 201 A D Rx unexpected obstructions above the ceiling were discovered.
receivers on the stage and in the DJ booth. There are additional These speakers were modified with 70 volt transformers. SI 26CT
video paths from the saloon AV system to the AV systems in the speakers were also installed in the lobby, restrooms, and
restaurant, so that events in the saloon can be routed to private backstage areas. A pair of weatherproof speakers was used for the
parties in The Porch or The Carolina Room. patio. In total, 87 Extron speakers were installed in the saloon.
COURTESY OF ELATION PROFESSIONAL

Ten Extron XPA 2002-70V two channel ENERGY STAR qualified


Audio power amplifiers, in the rack at Monitor World, deliver 200 watts
In addition to distributing video to the LCD TVs, the AV system rms power per channel to the Extron speakers in the saloon. The
also provides audio distribution from the AV sources to the BSS amplifiers deliver plenty of headroom for the system to ensure
Audio Soundweb London DSPs, which then route the audio to the clear, optimal sound quality. Extron 70 volt power amplifiers were
speakers. The audio for the DSPs comes from an HDMI output of selected because of their high energy efficiency, compact size, and

36 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Saloon AV Audio System

Blu-ray Players iPod Dock

DIRECTV Receivers
PUSH PUSH
HDMI
POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
iPod
SELECT Music
DIRECTV Video
Photos
Podcasts
Extras
Songs
PUSH PUSH
Shuttle Songs
POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD Now Playing

SELECT
DIRECTV

MENU

DVD Players
PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT
DIRECTV

PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT
DIRECTV

PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT
DIRECTV

PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT
DIRECTV

PUSH PUSH

POWER GUIDE MENU RES 480 480p 720p 1080i 1080p DIRECTV HD
SELECT
DIRECTV

Audio
Media Player

Audio INPUTS PIP PICTURE CONTROLS

ADJUST VOLUME

1 2 3 4 5
PIP SIZE BRIGHT DETAIL MENU MAX
ON/OFF /CONT
MID

9 10
IR

6 7 8
CONFIG PIP POSITION COLOR ZOOM MIN
NEXT
SWAP /TINT /PAN

DVS 510
DIGITAL VIDEO SCALER

Audio
Extron
HDMI HDMI DVS 510 SA
Scaling Presentation
Audio
Switcher
I/O PLANE SELECT

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

INPUTS

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 CONTROL

ENTER PRESET VIEW ESC

Extron
CONFIG

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 P
O
MAIN

SMX 300 Frame


W
OUTPUTS E
R I/O CARDS
SMX SERIES SWITCHER

with 2 SMX 88 HDMI

HDMI HDMI
INPUTS

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 INPUT
SIGNAL
OUTPUT
SIGNAL
INPUT
SIGNAL
OUTPUT
SIGNAL Extron
HAE 100
CONTROL I/O HDCP HDCP HDCP HDCP

2-CH PCM ANALOG 2-CH PCM ANALOG

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 ENTER PRESET VIEW ESC VIDEO AUDIO


CONFIG
BITSTREAM S/PDIF
CONFIG
BITSTREAM S/PDIF

OUTPUTS
HAE 100
HDMI AUDIO EXTRACTOR
HAE 100
HDMI AUDIO EXTRACTOR
HDMI Audio Extractors
MAV PLUS SERIES
AV MATRIX SWITCHER with IP LINK
S/PDIF S/PDIF
Extron
MAV Plus 168 AV Audio
16x8 Matrix Switcher Extron
SSP 7.1
VOLUME
SOURCE MODE OVERRIDE INPUTS
CLIP

Extron
1 2 3 4 5
D DOWNMIX

Surround Sound
DTS PL II/IIx
PCM DTS NEO:6

SPW 82
TWO WAY IN-WALL LOUDSPEAKER
1" TITANIUM SWIVEL TWEETER
8" WOOFER

SI 28W-MOD SPW 82
TWO WAY IN-WALL LOUDSPEAKER
1" TITANIUM SWIVEL TWEETER
8" WOOFER

Extron CONFIG
2-CH TO ALL

SURROUND SOUND PROCESSOR


SSP 7.1
Processor
Two-Way In-Wall Speakers XPA 2002-70V
Power Amplifiers

1 2
OVER
TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL
XPA 2002
Saloon East

SPW 82
TWO WAY IN-WALL LOUDSPEAKER
SPW 82
TWO WAY IN-WALL LOUDSPEAKER
Audio
Signal Processors
1" TITANIUM SWIVEL TWEETER 1" TITANIUM SWIVEL TWEETER
8" WOOFER 8" WOOFER
(Hall)

1 2
OVER
TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL
XPA 2002

SPW 82
TWO WAY IN-WALL LOUDSPEAKER
1" TITANIUM SWIVEL TWEETER
8" WOOFER
SPW 82
TWO WAY IN-WALL LOUDSPEAKER
1" TITANIUM SWIVEL TWEETER
8" WOOFER

Extron
SI 28W-MOD
Two-Way In-Wall Speakers
Extron
SI 28-MOD
Surface-Mount
Speakers

1 2
Saloon East

OVER
TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL
XPA 2002
(Trellis)

Extron Outdoor
Speakers
Extron XPA 2002-70V

Lobby rooms Patio


SI 28-MOD Power Amplifiers
Surface-Mount
Speakers OVER
1 2
Rest-
TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL
XPA 2002

OVER
TEMP
1 2
LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL
Extron
SI 26CT
XPA 2002
Saloon North

Two-Way Ceiling
Speakers
Extron
SI 28-MOD
1 2
OVER
TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL
XPA 2002

Surface-Mount
Speakers Extron
SI 26CT
Mustang

1 2 Two-Way Ceiling
Bar

OVER

Speakers
TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL
XPA 2002

1 2
OVER
TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL
XPA 2002
Saloon West

Extron Extron
SI 28-MOD SI 26CT
Surface-Mount Two-Way Ceiling
Speakers Speakers
Longhorn
Bar

1 2 1 2
OVER OVER
TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT TEMP LIMITER / PROTECT
SIGNAL SIGNAL
XPA 2002 XPA 2002

Extron Extron
SI 28-MOD SI 26CT
Surface-Mount Two-Way Ceiling
Speakers Speakers

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 37


Several Extron system control products were used for
THE RANCH, including the following:

Four Extron IPCP 505 IP Link control processors, two in the


saloon and two in the restaurant for controlling AV sources,
Extron scaling and switching devices, displays, and the BSS
Audio Soundweb London DSPs. An additional IPCP 505 is
available for controlling future equipment added to the saloon.
An Extron IPL 250 IP Link control processor for The
Carolina Room in the restaurant, dedicated to the local AV
presentation system.
Six Extron TLP 1000TV tabletop TouchLink touchpanels at
the restaurant and saloon host stations, FOH, DJ booth, The
Carolina Room, and Andrews VIP booth in the saloon.
Four Extron TLP 1000MV wall-mounted TouchLink
touchpanels for the Longhorn and Mustang bars in the
saloon, the managers office, and The Porch in the restaurant.
An iPad with the TouchLink for iPad app.

The following summarizes the various system control


capabilities available at THE RANCH, using a mix of Extron
their transformerless amplifier designs that deliver significantly products and technologies. System control access varies according
better audio performance over typical high impedance amplifiers to location and the staff member operating the controls.
with step-up transformers. Extron 70 volt amplifiers certainly
were an appealing choice for their low power consumption, but a HVAC Automation
big plus was the fact that they dont use transformers, which can There are 36 temperature sensor locations throughout the restaurant
be a limitation on audio quality, Fish says. and saloon. At select locations, the Extron TouchLink touchpanel
GUI includes a separate floor plan for each facility, showing the
Integrating Traditionally Distinct Systems for Centralized locations of the sensors and their current temperature readings.
System Control THE RANCH management has the authorization to change climate
Bringing together AV, audio DSP, lighting, and the HVAC systems control set points at 33 of these sensor locations, including the
into a single touchscreen control interface would be a significant dance floor, bars, stage, and each dining area of the restaurant. On
challenge. For THE RANCH, the large quantity and wide variety of the dance floor, there are sensors at three different heights 5, 10,
devices, and the range of controls and functions required called for and 15 feet (1.5, 3, and 4.5 meters), a further testament of Andrews
system design, integration, and configuration on a scale reserved particular dedication to ensuring patron comfort while dancing.
for the most complex AV projects. The control system design
necessitated interfacing with the HVAC systems using BACnet, an Lighting Scenes
industry standard control protocol for building automation. All ambient lighting in the restaurant and saloon is managed by
From the beginning, it was determined that the project should Extron TouchLink to control the Lutron Quantum lighting control
leverage the technologies within the Extron IP Link control systems. Lighting scenes are recalled by authorized staff operating
processor and TouchLink touchpanel families. THE RANCH the Extron control systems. Individual dimming adjustments are
presented an opportunity for Extron to match the requirements available to further fine-tune specific lighting scenes or areas. For
of an upscale entertainment venue with evolving Extron control example, house lights are dimmed prior to performances in the
system technology. The result is an Extron control system solution saloon, using presets at the FOH or DJ booth touchpanels.
that allows access to multiple AV and environmental system
controls from a single touchpanel control interface, making it Saloon AV System
quick and easy for authorized staff to apply system adjustments Wall-mounted Extron TouchLink touchpanels at the Longhorn
without having to work with separate AV, lighting, or thermostat and Mustang bars allow bartenders and service staff to change
controls at different locations. TV channels on individual displays. They can also set the volume

38 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


The architectural lighting for THE RANCH establishes an appealing, welcoming ambiance
for guests. Right (top and bottom): The restaurant and saloon each have a dedicated
Lutron Quantum lighting control system with a series of Lutron LP dimming panels.

Architectural Lighting with Lutron Systems


Architectural lighting is a very Authorized staff at THE RANCH can engage lighting scenes
important element of the interior and adjust levels in individual areas through wall-mounted Lutron
design for an entertainment venue. seeTouch QS button panels. Lighting presets and dimming levels
It defines the overall ambiance and can also be accessed through Extron TouchLink touchpanels
visual character of the environment, and the Extron control system solution that communicates with
while at the same time accenting key aesthetic elements of the Quantum processors. The Carolina Room in the restaurant
the interior design. THE RANCH features a total of about 500 features a dedicated GRAFIK Eye QS controller that provides
accent lighting fixtures throughout the restaurant and saloon, local scene programming and lighting control capabilities.
including spotlights, pin-spot downlights, chandeliers, sconces, Lutron lighting systems were also installed throughout the
cove lighting, and recessed lights. The architectural lighting for new Extron corporate headquarters building in Anaheim as well
THE RANCH establishes the engaging, welcoming atmosphere as the new Extron building in Raleigh, NC. The systems feature
that Andrew desires to bring to his guests every evening. occupancy sensors and astronomic timeclocks to optimize energy
The lighting fixtures were integrated into a centralized lighting conservation, as well as Lutron EcoSystem digitally addressable
management system with intuitive user controls. The Lutron ballasts. Many of the systems were also integrated with the HVAC
Quantum lighting control system was selected for THE RANCH, systems to automatically adjust thermostats in unoccupied areas.
comprising a Quantum processor and a series of Lutron LP Lutron XPS systems control essential lighting for the core
dimming panels. Quantum, the newest and the most advanced and shell of each building, including the main lobby and central
of Lutrons centralized lighting automation technology, met the hallways. Conference rooms on each floor feature Lutron
requirements for managing all lighting in THE RANCH. Andrew GRAFIK Eye QS lighting control to provide scenes for meetings,
mandated separate Quantum systems for the restaurant and videoconference sessions, and AV presentations. GRAFIK Eye QS
the saloon, allowing each system to operate independently and is also used in the Extron Institute training centers with lighting
ensure full reliability. scenes for instructor-led or group-based training sessions, as well
The 500 fixtures were wired into groups, called zones, based as video recording. Lighting scenes and levels can be accessed
on type and location. There are 75 zones for the restaurant and 57 through the GRAFIK Eye QS panels, wall-mounted seeTouch QS
for the saloon. Each Quantum system was configured using Lutron panels, or Extron TouchLink touchpanels.
Q-Design software to arrange these zones by physical areas, such The lighting for individual offices and open office spaces
as the Longhorn bar in the saloon, or one of the dining rooms in the are regulated using Lutron Energi Savr Nodes connected to
restaurant. The systems were then programmed and commissioned seeTouch wall panels and occupancy sensors in each space.
using Lutron Q-Admin software, to create a series of lighting scenes Each individual office and conference room in the building
that deliver preset dimming levels for each zone within an area. features Lutron Sivoia QS shading systems. Sivoia QS shades
Various lighting scenes are used daily at THE RANCH, such as for in the conference rooms are motorized and integrated into the
late afternoon or early evening, or after sunset. GRAFIK Eye QS systems.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 39


Extron TouchLink GUI Interfaces
Several touchpanel interfaces were created for
Extron TouchLink TLP 1000MV and TLP 1000TV
touchpanels at THE RANCH to provide intuitive AV,
audio DSP, lighting, and HVAC control. Dedicated
GUI designs were created for specific locations
throughout, each with its own set of controls
based on the intended application and degree of
system access for the staff. For example, servers
at the bars are able to select channels for the TVs
and adjust volume levels, while the FOH engineer
has the ability to set the sound system to specific
concert presentation modes. Management
has master control of all systems from their
touchpanels, including the capability to monitor
and adjust temperatures throughout the saloon
Ten Extron 10 inch (25 cm) TouchLink touchpanels are used throughout THE RANCH. and restaurant.
At the bars, servers can independently select channels for each of the six displays.

HVAC: 36 HVAC sensors in THE RANCH DSP: TLP 1000TV touchpanels at the FOH and AV: In The Porch dining room, the AV system is
can be monitored from a custom GUI, which DJ booth allow DSP settings for concert and controlled via a TLP 1000MV touchpanel.
provides controls for the HVAC system. music playback modes to be selected.

level and select the TV channel for the ceiling speakers at each into an all-out mode with the subs and main speaker arrays
bar, bring up the channel guide, and power the TVs off or on. cranked up. The DJ can also control the TVs and adjust volume
levels at the bars. A potentially important function for the DJ is the
Restaurant AV System ability to engage analog backup audio for the DJ and AV systems.
The host has the ability to select the input source for background
music, and adjust volume levels in individual areas such as the FOH
dining rooms. Dedicated Extron TouchLink touchpanels are The Extron TouchLink tabletop touchpanel at the FOH console
provided for local AV systems in The Carolina Room and The Porch provides a series of audio DSP presets to engage various concert
for selecting and operating input sources, controlling the displays, modes for the system, with predetermined levels for the main
adjusting volume level, and selecting background music or one of speaker arrays and subs. The presets also allow for control of the
the local sources for the speakers. The controls also allow lighting audio content going to the front fill speakers and the subwoofers.
scene selection and setting the room temperature. In The Porch, The FOH engineer can use the touchpanel to initiate analog audio
the user can also drop down or retract the projection screen. backup in the event of a system failure, and assist the DJ by
recalling DSP presets for the DJ system.
DJ System
The tabletop Extron TouchLink touchpanel in the DJ booth Master System Control
provides access to a series of audio DSP presets to switch between THE RANCH management, including Andrew, has master control
various DJ presentation modes that focus the audio toward the of all systems including HVAC, the sound system, and lighting
dance floor, spread the audio around the room, or bring the system functions in both the restaurant and saloon. There is also the ability

40 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Above: The Carolina Room features a dedicated AV system with a 70-inch (178 cm) LCD monitor
and Extron SI 26X speakers. Right (top): The Porch features its own AV system with a DLP
projector and Extron SI 26 speakers. Right (bottom): The restaurant AV systems utilize ENERGY
STAR qualified Extron amplifiers for their performance and efficiency.

Restaurant AV Systems
The restaurant has three AV systems that serve its own requirements A total of 61 Extron SI 26 surface mount speakers are installed in the
distinct from the saloon. The primary system supplies background restaurant, all modified with 70 volt transformers. Most are side-mounted
music to all areas including the lobby, bar, two dining rooms, The using custom brackets to cedar beam trusses bracing the vaulted
Carolina Room for up to 14 private dining guests, The Porch interior ceilings. Others are installed above custom coffered ceilings to a Unistrut
and exterior patios for up to 50 guests, the restrooms, and even support system via Extron V-Lock mounts. Elsewhere in the restaurant,
the kitchen. The Carolina Room and The Porch have dedicated AV there are several Extron SI 26CT and SI 26X ceiling speakers, and
systems for clients to deliver multimedia presentations. weatherproof speakers for the outdoor patio and entrance areas. In total,
86 Extron speakers are installed throughout the restaurant.
Background Music System As in the saloon, the aim of the distributed sound system design
The background music system is tucked away behind custom millwork was to create a high density or constellation of speakers with plenty
recessed into the wall. It features several background music sources, of headroom from the amplifiers. This provides even distribution of high
including a triple-iPod/iPhone dock, a CD changer, and a network quality sound to everyone at moderate volume levels.
media player. They go into a system of three BSS Audio Soundweb
London DSPs dedicated to providing audio signal processing, Presentation AV Systems
management, and routing to designated speaker zones throughout the The equipment for The Carolina Room is housed in a small rack within
restaurant. Sense microphones, installed in several areas, are used by the custom cabinetry, while the system for The Porch is situated in
the DSPs to detect ambient noise levels in individual zones, and then the background music system rack. Both are identically configured
compensate with subtle volume adjustments. There are digital audio with a DirecTV HD tuner, a Blu-ray Disc player, and digital and analog
links to and from the saloon sound system. AV connectivity through Extron MTP/HDMI U T A D Decora twisted
The outputs from the DSPs feed into a series of Extron ENERGY pair transmitters on the wall and in a floor box. They are paired with
STAR qualified amplifiers, including six XPA 2002-70V two channel MTP/HDMI U R twisted pair receivers that go into an Extron DVS 510
power amplifiers, two MPA 401-70V mono amplifiers, and an ten input switcher and scaler. The DVI output from the DVS 510,
XPA 2001-70V mono amplifier. The XPA 2002-70Vs provide 200 watts together with the HDMI from the AV sources, are directed into an
rms power per channel, more than ample headroom to power speakers Extron SW4 HDMI four input HDMI switcher, whose output is then
in individual zones. The other amplifiers provide 40 watts and 100 watts transmitted over to the display via an Extron DTP HDMI 301 twisted pair
rms for smaller speaker zones in the kitchen and restroom. extender. The balanced stereo audio output from the DVS 510 goes to
Extron ENERGY STAR qualified 70 volt amplifiers were selected for the Soundweb London DSPs in the background music system rack.
their high quality audio performance as well as their energy and space The Carolina Room features a 70-inch (178 cm) Sharp LCD
efficiency. They are convection cooled and generate very little heat, flat-panel display recessed behind the custom woodwork, while an
allowing them to be situated close together and directly adjacent to overhead-mounted Panasonic DLP WUXGA projector with a long-throw
other AV devices, an important benefit given the limited space available lens is installed in The Porch. Wall-mounted microphone connections
in the rack. The two MPA 401-70V amplifiers and XPA 2001-70V are also available in The Porch, which are run to the background music
together occupy just a single rack unit of space. system rack and input to the DSPs.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 41


to monitor sound pressure levels in the saloon through microphones relied on the Extron GUI Configurator software as a powerful,
above the dance floor, adjust microphone levels for the DJ and easy-to-use design tool to expedite the creation of Extron
dance instructor, and more. These controls provide the capability TouchLink touchpanel interfaces. Custom graphical elements
to quickly respond to any need for adjustments, but foremost, help were easily imported into the software through the resource
ensure satisfaction for patrons at THE RANCH. management tool, and then used with the GUI Configurator
customization features to create layouts for the primary, pop-up,
Power Management and modal pop-up pages. The design of the visual elements and
In addition to master system controls, Andrew mandated the page layouts incorporates the principles and recommendations in
incorporation of active power management for the sound system the Extron Guide to Graphical User Interface Design.
and the AV systems in THE RANCH, so they can be remotely shut
off every night to conserve energy. The Extron control system is Perfecting the GUIs for the End User
programmed to automatically power down all of the rack systems The GUIs were tested on-site at various stages of their development,
in the saloon and restaurant after closing, as well as the FOH and by uploading them to the Extron TouchLink touchpanels at
Monitor World mixing consoles. The systems are automatically THE RANCH, and then carefully evaluating their user-friendliness,
powered up again the following day, at specific times according to practical functionality, and visual presence in actual lighting and
operating hours for the restaurant and saloon. Button controls are operating conditions. Modifications and fine-tuning were applied
also available on the TouchLink GUI to turn individual systems as necessary, ultimately allowing the team to perfect the GUIs for
on or off. Additionally, any system shut down will automatically the viewing environment, and to the needs of the management
be powered upon activation of a control function. Four Extron and staff.
IPL T PC1 IP Link controllers for AC power and eight Furman
Sound MINIPORT-20 remote power relay units were installed at The Final Result
the racks to power up and shut down systems. Since the completion of the saloon and its opening to the public,
sound system engineering experts, local and touring bands,
A Successful Extron Control System Solution and veteran musicians have had an opportunity to experience
The Extron control system interfaces with the Tridium Niagara- THE RANCH, and all have been extremely impressed with the
based network, via BACnet, to communicate with the building acoustics and performance of the sound system. Reactions were
automation systems for HVAC. Using features derived from the all very positive from professionals and local fans alike.
upcoming release of Extron Global Configurator Professional, the We have heard many enthusiastic comments from folks in
control system groups several Extron IP Link control processors the audio community, Fish says. Its great to get the positive
and control from 10 Extron TouchLink touchpanel locations. feedback for the saloon system in these early days. The saloon
Conditional logic allows for communication and system status regularly hosts local bands and will continue to feature headline
reporting between touchpanels, and also for the system to operate concerts with higher-level performers on tour. And it will always
the HVAC systems. The Extron control system solution also relied be ready to welcome the top-tier artist looking for a flagship
on the Extron Global Configurator software and the dependability country music club for a new album promotion, or just wanting
of the Extron IP Link control processors, TouchLink touchpanels, a more intimate place to audition their tunes. THE RANCH has
and Extron Certified device drivers to reliably control AV sources, never had a formal promotional campaign or grand opening.
displays, and Extron devices. Yet it is continuing to quickly grow in popularity throughout
Orange County and Southern California, simply by its reputation
Creating the GUIs and word-of-mouth.
The integration team was tasked with creating touchpanel In many ways, THE RANCH is representative of the core
interfaces integrating a diversity of AV and environmental system philosophies that have sustained Extron for nearly three
functions into a GUI that also is easy to operate for the staff. The decades doing the job right the first time, with high quality
visual themes of the GUI needed to be consistent with the color products backed by industry-leading service that keeps customers
scheme and styling of THE RANCHs promotional materials. coming back. I created THE RANCH as a place that country
To ensure the greatest flexibility in customizing the visual look music enthusiasts like me could call home, says Andrew. A
and feel of the interfaces, graphical elements and page layouts top-notch staff serving meals prepared from scratch, and the
were created from scratch. Third-party image software was high performance sound and AV systems have come together
used to craft all graphical elements, including the backgrounds, to provide the highest quality fine dining and live performance
multi-state buttons, icons, and level indicators. The team then experience available anywhere in Southern California.

42 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


R E S TA U R A N T & S A L O O N

AV EQUIPMENT LIST
2 BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-160
SALOON Networked digital signal processor

SOUND SYSTEM HOUSE 3 BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-800


Networked digital signal processor
2 Apple iPad 2 1 Clear-Com FL-7
StageMix app for Yamaha remote console operation Intercom call signal flasher
and SPL monitoring
1 Clear-Com MS-702
1 Dell 24 inch (61 cm) LCD monitor Intercom main station
For monitoring Tascam digital audio recorder
1 Clear-Com Tempest2400
2 Clear-Com RS-601 Wireless intercom system
Wired intercom bodypack
1 Extron DMP 64
2 Clear-Com CC-95 ProDSP digital matrix processor
Intercom headset
8 Extron MDA 3A
1 Clear-Com FL-7 Three output audio distribution amplifier
Intercom call signal flasher
10 Extron XPA 2002-70V
35 Extron SI 28 Two channel 400 watt power amplifier
Surface mount speaker, modified with 70 volt transformer
6 Furman Sound MINIPORT-20
7 Extron SI 28W Remote power relay
In-wall speaker, modified with 70 volt transformer
and ceiling-mounted 5 Furman Sound P-8 Pro Series II
AC power conditioner
1 Furman Sound MINIPORT-20
Remote power relay 2 Meyer Sound Galileo 616
Digital signal processor for management of Meyer
1 High End Systems Road Hog Sound speakers
Stage lighting console
1 Meyer Sound MPS-488HP
1 Laptop 48 volt power supply for MM-4XP speakers
Hog 3PC virtual console software for High End Systems
remote lighting operation and RMS software for Meyer 8 Meyer Sound UM-1P
Sound remote speaker monitoring Stage monitor speaker
2 Meyer Sound 600-HP 2 Meyer Sound UM-100P
Double-15 inch (38 cm) subwoofer flown Stage monitor speaker
5 Meyer Sound 700-HP 1 Meyer Sound UMS-1P
Double-18 inch (45 cm) subwoofer under stage Subwoofer
12 Meyer Sound MICA 2 Patch bay with 24 RJ-45 ports
In two six speaker arrays for stage left and right 1 Patch bay with 32 duplex LC fiber optic ports
2 Meyer Sound MM-4XP 1 Ramtech 54 channel custom stage box
Mini speakers for columns on the dance floor Two direct outputs and two transformer-isolated outputs
3 Meyer Sound UPQ-1P 1 Rosendahl Studiotechnik nanosyncs HD
Speakers for center fill and DJ back fill Video and audio sync reference generator
4 Meyer Sound UPM-1P 2 Shure PA421SWB
Speakers for front stage fill RF antenna combiner
1 Yamaha M7CL-48ES 1 Shure PA845SWB
Digital 48 channel mixing console for FOH, equipped with: RF distribution amplifier
1 Yamaha MY16-ES64 EtherSound card 8 Shure P9T
2 Yamaha MY16EX-CA EtherSound expansion card Wireless transmitter for PSM900 wireless in-ear monitors
1 Yamaha MBM7CL meter bridge 4 Shure UR4D+
1 Yamaha PW800 power supply Wireless mic receiver
1 Tascam X-48
SOUND SYSTEM STAGE
48 track hard disk-based digital audio recorder
14 Bittree 489 Series 7 Yamaha AD8HR
224 programmable audio patch bay Eight channel remote microphone preamp
1 Bittree Video Series 1 Yamaha DME 64N
224 video WECO patch bay Digital signal processor

Continued on next page

theranch.com

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 43


1 Yamaha M7CL-48ES 4 Shure UR2/Beta 58A
Digital 48 channel mixing console for monitoring, Wireless cardioid handheld microphone
equipped with:
1 Yamaha MY8-DA96CA analog card DJ SYSTEM
1 Yamaha MBM7CL meter bridge
1 Yamaha PW800 power supply 1 Dell 24 inch (61 cm) LCD monitor
1 Extron IPL T PC1
2 Yamaha NAI48-ES
IP Link AC power and device controller
EtherSound digital audio network interface
2 Extron SI 28W
MICROPHONE KIT In-wall speaker, ceiling-mounted
1 Extron XPA 2002
1 AKG C 451 B/ST Two channel 400 watt power amplifier
Condenser, cardioid microphone matched pair
2 Laptop
1 AKG D 112 Playback of uncompressed WAV music files
Dynamic, large diaphragm cardioid microphone
2 Pioneer CDJ-900
1 Audix DP8 Elite Multi-format DJ audio player
Drum microphone kit
1 Pioneer DJM-900
1 Audix FireBall DJ mixer
Dynamic, cardioid harmonica microphone
1 Rane Serato SL 4
3 Audix OM2 Scratch processor
Dynamic, hypercardioid vocal microphone
2 Shure PGX4
6 Audix OM3 Wireless receiver
Dynamic, hypercardioid vocal microphone
1 Shure SRH750DJ
1 Cascade Microphones FAT HEAD II Professional DJ headphones
Ribbon, figure 8 microphone Blumlein pair
1 Cascade Microphones V57 AV SYSTEM
Condenser, large diaphragm and stereo pair kit
2 Denon DBP-2012UDCI
4 Countryman EMW
Blu-ray Disc player
Condenser, omnidirectional lavalier microphone
7 DirecTV H25
2 Countryman Type 10
HD receiver
Direct box
6 Extron DTP HDMI 301
4 Da Cappo DA12AC
HDMI twisted pair extender
Condenser, omnidirectional headworn microphone
2 Extron DVI 201 A D Rx
2 Electro-Voice RE320
DVI twisted pair receiver
Dynamic, cardioid large diaphragm microphone
2 Extron DVI 201 A D Tx
3 Heil Sound PR 20
DVI twisted pair transmitter
Dynamic, cardioid microphone
2 Extron DVI 201 Tx
1 Neumann KMS-104
DVI twisted pair transmitter
Condenser, cardioid vocal microphone
1 Extron DVS 510 SA
8 Radial Engineering J48
Ten input scaling presentation switcher
Active direct box
2 Extron HAE 100
4 Radial Engineering JPC
HDMI audio extractor
Computer direct box
1 Extron MAV Plus 168 AV
4 Sennheiser MD 421-II
Composite video and audio matrix switcher
Dynamic, cardioid instrument microphone
4 Extron MTP T AV RCA
6 Shure BETA 58A
Video twisted pair transmitter
Dynamic, cardioid vocal microphone
2 Extron MTP T 15HD A D
2 Shure BETA 87C
VGA twisted pair transmitter
Condenser, super cardioid vocal microphone
2 Extron MTP/HDMI U R
1 Shure BETA 91A
Universal twisted pair receiver
Condenser, half cardioid kick drum microphone
1 Extron SMX 300 System MultiMatrix
4 Shure BETA 98D/S
Modular matrix switcher with two SMX 88 HDMI I/O boards
Condenser, cardioid miniature drum microphone
36 Extron SI 26CT
4 Shure BETA 98H/C
Ceiling speaker
Condenser, cardioid clip-on instrument microphone
6 Extron SI 26X
1 Shure DMK57-52
Ceiling speaker, modified with 70 volt transformer
Drum microphone kit
1 Extron SSP 7.1
6 Shure SM58
Surround sound processor
Dynamic, cardioid handheld microphone

Continued on next page

theranch.com

44 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


1 Furman Sound MINIPORT-20 1 Middle Atlantic RM-iDock-3M
Remote power relay Triple iPhone/iPod dock
6 Sharp PN-E521 1 Western Digital WD TV Live
52 inch (132 cm) LCD display Streaming media player
1 Middle Atlantic RM-iDock-3M
Triple iPhone/iPod dock THE CAROLINA ROOM
2 Tascam DV-D01U 1 DirecTV H25
DVD player HD receiver
1 Western Digital WD TV Live 1 Denon DBP-2012UDCI
Streaming media player Blu-ray Disc player
1 Extron DTP HDMI 301
GREEN ROOM
HDMI twisted pair extender
1 Clear-Com KB-702 1 Extron DVS 510 SA
Intercom remote speaker station Ten input scaling presentation switcher
1 DirecTV H25 1 Extron IPL T PC1
HD receiver IP Link AC power and device controller
1 Extron MLC 62 RS D 1 Extron MTP/HDMI U T A D
MediaLink controller Universal twisted pair transmitter
1 Sharp PN-E521 1 Extron MTP/HDMI U R
52 inch (132 cm) LCD display Universal twisted pair receiver
1 Extron SW4 HDMI
CONTROL Four input HDMI switcher
2 Apple iPad 2 1 Sharp PN-L702B
TouchLink for iPad app for remote TouchLink operation 70 inch (178 cm) LCD display
2 Extron IPCP 505
THE PORCH
IP Link control processor
3 Extron TLP 1000MV 1 DirecTV H25
10 inch (25 cm) TouchLink wall-mounted touchpanel HD receiver
4 Extron TLP 1000TV 1 Denon DBP-2012UDCI
10 inch (25 cm) TouchLink tabletop touchpanel Blu-ray Disc player
1 Draper Access / Series V
133 inch (338 cm) 16:9 motorized front projection screen
RESTAURANT 1 Extron DTP HDMI 301
HDMI twisted pair extender
BACKGROUND MUSIC SYSTEM
1 Extron DVS 510 SA
2 BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-160 Ten input scaling presentation switcher
Networked digital signal processor 1 Extron IPL T PC1
1 BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-800 IP Link AC power and device controller
Networked digital signal processor 1 Extron MTP/HDMI U T A D
1 BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-BOB2 Universal twisted pair transmitter
Audio output expander 1 Extron MTP/HDMI U R
1 Denon DCM-390P Universal twisted pair receiver
CD changer 1 Extron SW4 HDMI
1 Extron IPL T PC1 Four input HDMI switcher
IP Link AC power and device controller 1 Panasonic PT-DZ6710
2 Extron MPA 401-70V 6,000 lumen WUXGA DLP projector
Mono 40 watt power amplifier
61 Extron SI 26 CONTROL
Surface mount speaker, modified with 70 volt transformer
2 Extron IPCP 505
17 Extron SI 26CT IP Link control processor
Ceiling speaker
1 Extron TLP 1000MV
8 Extron SI 26X 10 inch (25 cm) TouchLink wall-mounted touchpanel
Ceiling speaker, modified with 70 volt transformer
2 Extron TLP 1000TV
1 Extron XPA 2001-70V 10 inch (25 cm) TouchLink tabletop touchpanel
Mono 200 watt power amplifier
6 Extron XPA 2002-70V
Two channel 400 watt power amplifier

theranch.com

www.avsystemsdesign.com Cover Story 45


THE RANCH Restaurant
The restaurant at THE RANCH offers a high quality fine dining The sixth floor of the Extron corporate headquarters building is
experience in an elegant yet inviting dcor, welcoming guests in home to THE RANCH Cellar. By the summer of 2013, there will also
an atmosphere of comfort and old-fashioned genuine hospitality. A be a world class instructional kitchen with stadium-style seating for 18
seasonally driven menu emphasizes farm to table fresh ingredients, guests, a 50 seat private dining room with its own wine cellar and 20
and features dishes inspired by a variety of regional American cuisines seat tasting room, and a 200 seat private dining and meeting facility.
and flavors, frequently complemented with culinary influences from A large, fully equipped kitchen will support events on the sixth floor.
around the world. THE RANCH Restaurant abides by a philosophy of To ensure the best possible service and quality to his customers,
cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible, to capture Andrew established an internal culinary R&D program over a year
the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. in advance of opening THE RANCH. He built an experimental
Executive Chef Michael Rossi and his culinary team create kitchen, and brought in food and wine experts to conceptualize,
dishes featuring hand selected, organically grown produce in create, critically evaluate, and fine-tune menu items, cocktails,
season, much of it locally harvested from the Edwards Ranch and food and wine combinations. The Executive Chef and Master
Estates, where it is picked just before the peak of maturity for Sommelier are both highly experienced, boasting extensive
maximum flavor and served at the table within hours. Other key backgrounds in cuisine and wine with experience in several of
ingredients include fresh, sustainable seafood selections, meats the regions most noted restaurants. Andrew absolutely wanted
sourced from the highest quality ranches and farms, and the to ensure that everything reflected the utmost in quality and
best from the California artisan bread and cheese makers. refinement by the time THE RANCH opened to the public.
The restaurant offers a value oriented, diverse selection The kitchen for THE RANCH is a state-of-the-art showcase facility,
of world class international wines from THE RANCH Cellar, equipped with the latest in culinary technologies and a full staff that
which houses an extensive, 14,000 bottle collection, judiciously prepares all the essential foundations of its dishes from scratch daily.
selected by Vice President of Food & Beverage and Master Chef Rossi has proclaimed this facility to be The Lamborghini of
Sommelier Michael Jordan. The collection represents the worlds kitchens and The most beautiful kitchen in Orange County.
premier wine growing regions with an emphasis on California
and the West Coast. The wine list features over 80 wines by the
Please visit www.theranch.com for more information
glass and over 500 bottle selections to complement the dishes
on the restaurant and online reservations.
which have been specifically crafted to pair with them.

46 Cover Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


800 Watt ENERGY STAR Qualied
Power Amplier for Premiere Spaces

Extron XpA 4002

extron introduces the XPA 4002 and XPA 4002-70V, the newest additions to the XtrA Series of audio power amplifiers. Both XPA
models deliver two channels of 400 watts rms for low impedance or 70 volt speaker systems. they are ideal for large environments such
as auditoriums, convention centers, and houses of worship for powering a large quantity of high impedance distributed speakers, as well
as high powered speaker cabinets or paging horns.

XtrA Series enerGY StAr qualified amplifiers are energy efficient products that conserve energy and reduce costs. they feature an
extron exclusive, highly efficient, advanced Class D design with patented CDrS - Class D ripple Suppression technology that provides
a smooth, clean audio waveform and an improvement in signal fidelity over conventional Class D amplifier designs. XtrA Series power
amplifiers are housed in a compact 1u, convection-cooled full rack width enclosure and do not require fans for cooling, making them
ideal for installation in racks as well as enclosures with limited space and ventilation.

key Features:
two channel amplifiers with 800 watt rms output for low impedance
and 70 volt speaker systems
eneRgy StaR qualified amplifiers
professional grade signal-to-noise and thD+n performance
extron patented CDRS - Class D Ripple Suppression
Convection cooled, fanless operation
ultra low inrush current - no need for power sequencing
power factor correction Xpa 4002 - two Channel Power Amplifier NoW ShIppING
Rack-mountable 1u, full rack width enclosures Xpa 4002-70V - 70 Volt two Channel Power Amplifier NoW ShIppING

www.extron.com/xpa4002
Control Room
System Design
A growing market opportunity
for AV system integrators.
By Keith Scheffler, Systems Design Engineering Manager

T
he recent growth of the control room integration
market has been fueled by three main factors.
One is an increased need to manage information
from a central location. Since 9/11, agencies and
organizations of all types are motivated to create environments
that will enable them to monitor systems and situations so
they can respond quickly to any eventuality. Even agencies that
historically have been reluctant to share unanalyzed data are
under increased pressure to work together for the common good.
The second factor driving the growth of the market is the
affordability of new technology for aggregating and displaying
information from multiple sources. Information in the form
of video, audio, and computer data can now be collected from
around the world and streamed across the network to a central
location, where it can then be processed and displayed in real-
time for operators and decision makers.
The third factor is new types of control rooms and control
rooms in new places. Motivated by the need to centrally manage
large amounts of data and the affordability of videowalls and
other technologies, customers are requesting control room-type
systems in surprising locations.
This growing control room system market represents new
business opportunities for every AV system integrator, even if
youve never designed a control room before. To take advantage of
this opportunity, AV professionals need a thorough understanding
of the unique design considerations control rooms require.

48 Feature Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


www.avsystemsdesign.com Feature Story 49
A Network Operations Center is the heart of a major data center or telecom From a Command and Control Center, officials can monitor and operate
network, a place to keep an eye on everything and keep things running smoothly. communications, surveillance, and weapons systems essential for controlling
operations in the air and on the ground.

Types of Control Rooms display systems. In most cases, security is a big concern in
Control rooms are no longer the exclusive domain of government terms of the technologies used and access control. Your staff
organizations or giant corporations with massive budgets. School may need to follow specific security privileges and screenings
districts, municipalities, and even medium-sized companies are during installation.
increasingly finding that they need to be able to pull together data Emergency Operations Centers: Also referred to as EOCs,
from a wide variety of sources into a central nerve center. These these facilities are growing in popularity and are designed to
installations can involve multiple video and audio feeds, computer prepare a government or private agency for potential emergencies
data, videoconferencing, digital signage, and telecommunications and provide an operations center to manage resources during
that all need to come together for monitoring and management. an emergency. Often a wide variety of information sources
Sometimes, clients arent even aware that they need a control are monitored. These may include news, weather, police, fire,
room to meet their goals. transportation, civilian communications, and telephone and
Here are a few examples of the types of facilities that fit the other utilities. These locations require significant interagency
control room description: communications. An EOC may serve a number of uses including
Network Operation Centers: Also referred to as NOCs, these operations, training, meetings, and other uses.
may be used to monitor networking applications, Internet Executive Briefing Centers: An executive briefing center can
traffic, and firewall activity to ensure quality, reliability, and take many forms, but most often it is an executive boardroom
security. Their emergency management plans usually call for with display wall technologies. These rooms are used for executive
them to monitor news and weather reports and communicate level decision making and for high level presentations to
with local agencies during storms or power outages. An NOC influential clientele, vendors, and partners. The display systems
can be operated by a large organization for its own internal in these rooms may not be extremely large, but they are typically
support or by a third-party Internet service provider or designed to be of sufficient quality to impress visitors.
telecommunications company.
Command and Control Centers: These centers can include Needs Assessment/Design Scope
government command posts for a range of activities, from border The demands a control room application places on the AV system
control and police operations to missile launch and satellite will be dramatically different than those of a simple boardroom.
monitoring. Civilian applications include facilities for utility Whether you are designing a large, mission-critical emergency
companies, corporate centers, manufacturing process monitoring, operations center, or a basic control console with two operator
water treatment plants, and even broadcast production and stations and bank of monitors, understanding the clients needs
editing. Command and control systems typically have a large for the environment is critical to the success of the project.
number of sources, including full motion video and high Often the initial scope or design requested from the end user
resolution graphics, so they usually require high resolution is based on control rooms they have visited or read about and not

50 Feature Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


An Emergency Operations Center is the central command and control Executive Briefing Centers are often used by large organizations to demonstrate
facility for emergency management or disaster management to ensure an how their solutions work for high value prospective and current clients.
effective response.

necessarily the best fit for their technical needs or architectural have enough floor space to install rear projection or video wall
limitations. This occurs more often with end users that do not cubes so wall mounted flat panels may be the best solution. Front
have an existing control room. projection is another option, assuming there arent any ambient
A comprehensive needs assessment discussion will provide light issues. There are many videowall solutions available these
you with a greater understanding of the clients intent for the days. Successful design is a matter of selecting the right one based
room. This will enable you to create an appropriate proposal and on your design discussions, architectural influences, and budget.
ultimately a design that instills confidence in the end user that Sometimes, a central video wall system will not be required.
your solution considers all the aspects of their application and Instead, local displays at each operator console, possibly fed with
fits their stated goals. a matrix router system, may be sufficient.
Start with the basics, what is the intent of the room? Is it to The rooms size, shape, and construction will also heavily
monitor critical data for operational or emergency management influence your audio decisions. For some applications,
purposes? Will the room be used for demonstrations to existing sound from all of the system sources is likely to be combined
and prospective clients or possibly to the media? What levels of with radios, telephones, and human voices when the control
security will be required? room is operating at or near full capacity. It is important to
The answers to these types of questions will set the tone for provide acoustic controls to absorb this ambient noise. Consider
the rest of your design. For example, if the intent is to woo new using perforated ceiling tiles, which can be fitted with a special
clients, then an upscale approach to furniture and fixtures is sound-absorbing material. This kind of ceiling, together with
probably in order. If the room will be used purely for operational durable acoustic wall panels and a carpeted floor, provides
purposes, then perhaps more consideration should be put into an improved acoustic environment. Without effective acoustic
the functional elements and human interface factors. If the treatment, the room can become an auditory nightmare,
room is mission critical, requiring 24/7 operation, you will compromising the ability to process information and make
need to consider redundant power and hardware designed for critical decisions.
continuous operation. The age of the facility may pose problems, such as structural
There are many details that should be discussed during the vibrations, older circuitry, and inadequate ventilation. To support
needs assessment. These details can be grouped into five main voltage requirements, electrical rewiring may be required.
categories: Room size and architecture, staffing and ergonomics, Projector and display mounts may have to be customized for
technologies required, system control, and ancillary rooms. fit and to make them structurally sound. In older facilities,
the entire HVAC system should be examined and possibly
Room Size and Architecture modified to ensure that it can provide adequate cooling and
Architectural considerations may drive selection of the display ventilation to ensure operator comfort and reliability of the
technology. For example, if there is limited space you may not AV equipment.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Feature Story 51


Staffing and Ergonomics the customers intentions. For example, if the application requires
It is important to discuss how the room will be operated and by that six computer sources be viewed at the same time and
whom. The size of the operational staff and their location in the each computer is 19201080, you will need a surface area of
room will influence your design choices. Youll want to know approximately 2160 pixels high by 5760 pixels wide to view them
where the decision-makers will sit, what data they need to see all at full uncompressed resolution. The screen size will depend
to do their jobs, and how they need data to be displayed. If the on operator locations and their viewing distances.
organization will run multiple shifts, it will be helpful to know These answers will lead to you determining whether you need
how the staff size and makeup will change from days to nights a matrix router, a multi-image processor, or a video wall processor.
and weekends. The approach you take in distributing the source content within
Ergonomics are an important consideration. Operators face the control room will be critical. If your source content is high
the rigorous demands of monitoring real-time information and resolution DVI signals, you will need to consider a digital matrix
complex systems. Good console design and layout will help to or even one that supports fiber transmitters and receivers, analog
reduce the operators stress, eye strain, and fatigue. video, or perhaps a system that supports USB for keyboard and
It is imperative that the operator consoles are properly outfitted mouse extension.
with appropriate monitors, keyboards, communications equipment, In large-scale control room environments, signals have to
and work surface space. What size monitors will be located at travel long distances from source to display. Your system is likely
the operators workstations and how will that affect their ability to require some form of signal extender to deliver optimal image
to view a display wall? Will the operational computers be located quality to every display. This is particularly important with HDMI
at the workstation or in a remote rack room? In some cases, the and DVI signals because signal degradation is observable in
spacing between consoles will have to provide a degree of privacy, cable lengths beyond about 15 feet (5 meters). Fiber is an ideal
while still facilitating communication between operators. method of distributing the high resolution video sources while
If you are providing the operator consoles, it may be a good maintaining high quality. Fiber may also be required for secure
idea to work with a console vendor to leverage their expertise. environments, such as military or government applications. If
If you are not providing consoles, then be sure to coordinate appropriate, advanced twisted pair technologies can be used
with the console/furniture provider to be sure everything has instead of fiber to achieve the necessary quality at a lower price,
been properly discussed ahead of your proposal and certainly and with a cable type that may be more familiar to the end users.
before you begin on site. The rooms furniture will be
your second most critical coordination item beyond the
architectural elements.

Technologies Required
The AV system in a control room must clearly display varying
types of information in a way that minimizes environmental
noise and competing communications. System components
will be subjected to rigorous demands and are often expected
to fulfill mission-critical needs. The products that are specified
should meet the highest possible criteria for performance,
reliability, and upgradeability.
When considering the overall system design, it is best
to start with the types and locations of the environments
data sources. The nature of each data source and how the
staff will interact with and process the information provided,
will guide your display technology selection and video
distribution methodology.
For example, it is critical to understand the resolution of
each source to be viewed on the main display wall and how
many of these sources are to be viewed simultaneously. This
information will dictate the size of the display wall and what
overall resolution or pixel count will be needed to accomplish

52 Feature Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Display Options for Videowall Systems
When designing a videowall system, engineers have several display types from which to choose, each with
distinct drawbacks and benefits. The best choice for any specific application is one that takes into account not
only screen size, resolution, and brightness, but also other factors that include footprint, consumable use, heat
generation, and mechanical noise. The following is a brief comparison of the display options available:

Flat Panel LCDs


THINGS TO CONSIDER
Sizes range from 40" to 108"
Bright, high-contrast images enhance
readability, even in rooms with ambient light
Bezels are typically wider than projection
cubes, but thin-bezel and ultra-thin-bezel
Projection Cubes models are available
THINGS TO CONSIDER With a depth of only two to four inches,
Sizes range from 50" to 80" they are well-suited for facilities with
Illuminated by replacement-free LEDs space limitations
Extremely thin bezel enables creation
of near seamless image
Large footprint of 18" to 34"
Mirror
Screen

Mirror

Rear Projection
Front Projection THINGS TO CONSIDER
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Projector is isolated which eliminates problems
Projector placement and installation are fairly caused by ambient light spill, room obstructions,
straightforward compared to rear projection and fan noise
Ambient light and obstacles in the viewing room Mirrors employed to facilitate folding the
can impact the visibility of the image projection path increase the complexity
Depending on the type of projector used, lamps of installation
can generate heat and be costly to replace Depending on the type of projector used, lamps
Projector fan noise can be a drawback can generate heat and be costly to replace
Generally requires the most dedicated floor
space of all videowall display options

www.avsystemsdesign.com Feature Story 53


Most control room applications require
the capability to display multiple video
sources simultaneously on a single screen. A
multi-image processor works well for small
rooms or for desktop display. While basic
image tiling and picture-in-picture processing
are possible with a PC or with hardware built
into the display, a high quality multi-image
processor adds valuable functionality and
flexibility to your system. The best models
accept a large number and wide variety of
input signals, as well as high performance
graphics scaling for maximum image quality.
Other valuable features, such as picture-in-
picture window customization, image freeze,
bordering, text labeling, and video transition
effects will enable you to create an enhanced,
professional quality, multi-image presentation. Ancillary Rooms
Larger, more complex control rooms may require a videowall Control rooms often have one or more nearby or adjacent
that spans an array of video cubes, flat-panel displays, or rooms, which are ancillary to the control room. There is
projectors. A videowall processor system is essential for combining likely an equipment room or rack room for housing servers,
various input sources and performing signal processing and telecommunications, networking and the AV system support racks.
scaling. A videowall system may include multiple videowall You will need to consider the space requirements, power, and heat
processors, as many as one for each display, and a matrix load for the equipment room. You will need adequate pathways for
switcher for signal distribution. This multiple processor approach cables throughout the facility. The same is true for the workstation
provides sufficient bandwidth for maximum system performance and display wall systems areas.
without introducing latency or video artifacts. The display In many cases, there will be a conference or boardroom
wall processor should be easy to operate using its own control adjacent to the control room. The rooms often have one or more
application, and be adaptable to control with a touchpanel or windows between them to enable viewing of the control room
Web interface. and display wall. Often there is some kind of automated shade
Control rooms often involve large budgets, so it is wise to get system for the conference room window. These rooms may be
the clients early buy-in on key products. One of the best ways provisioned with back up display systems or even capabilities
to facilitate critical decisions about image quality and system that duplicate the control room system. These types of rooms may
functionality is through one or more product demonstrations. also be described as War Rooms or Crisis Management Centers,
Fortunately, manufacturers are typically happy to work with you and are designed for handling emergencies or high level business
to arrange a working demonstration or proof of concept. decisions. They are typically similar to a boardroom, but may
have additional hardware features and often have higher security
System Control than a typical boardroom.
Enabling a control room manager to directly interact with the Training rooms are also found within the control room
video processor control software is adequate for many operations- environment. These areas are typically used to train the support
type systems. Usually though, control room clients prefer the staff. They can be simple computer based training rooms or in
intuitive, centralized control interface that a touchpanel control some cases, a very comprehensive room with duplicate features of
system provides. The system should make it easy for authorized the actual control room. Training rooms may also serve multiple
users to select videowall presets, reroute signals, adjust audio uses, including break rooms, conference rooms, Internet cafes, etc.,
sources and volume, and control other room elements, such as which is a cost-efficient solution for rooms with limited day to
lighting and motorized screens. day usage.
However, a combination of both types of control may be Break rooms may not seem like a significant part of a control
required. It is critical to discuss the control system in detail to be room design. However, these areas often provide comfort and
sure you are providing the right user interface for the application. downtime away from a stressful work environment. Break room

54 Feature Story AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Leverage Extrons Expertise
AV systems can include entertainment devices like sound systems,
large TVs, and even gaming systems.
Whether you have never designed a control room system or you have
All of the design scope information described above, including dozens in your portfolio, you can benefit from the extensive expertise
room size and architecture, staffing requirements, traffic patterns, of Extron professionals. Our team of System Design Engineers have
decades of combined experience in all aspects of control room design
analysis of source signals, and more, should be used to lead you
and integration. One of the best ways to ensure the success of your next
to the right decisions on technologies to employ. The more details control room project is to leverage our expertise by taking advantage of
you can gather during the design scope process, the better chance the following Customer Support Programs:

you have of designing a system that meets the clients needs.

Effective Project Management


Complex control room projects involve more than just the AV
integrator and its direct subcontractors. Coordination between the
many trades, client staff, and vendors is critical to the success of
the project.
No matter how well you plan your project, progress can be Design Assistance Program
derailed by an unforeseen event. Even so, detailed planning in the The Extron Design Assistance program gives you access to our talented
team of experienced and knowledgeable AV Systems Design Engineers
early stages and effective project management throughout the life
who have extensive experience designing and integrating control room
of the project can prevent what otherwise would have resulted in systems. An SDE will work one-on-one with you to conduct a thorough
a major setback. needs assessment, review the design and product selection, and
examine various alternatives to find the most cost-effective solution.
It is important to pro-actively monitor all tasks so you can
quickly resolve issues or challenges as they arise. Assume the
responsibility to manage and schedule delivery, installation,
set-up, and end-user training from beginning to end. Youll
benefit from producing a detailed Gantt chart or timeline with
dates and person responsible for each milestone, even if another
person or trade is doing this already. This will help you keep
track of the progress and allow everyone to focus on the same Project Registration Program
dates and milestones. Keep in mind that a lot of what goes into a When you register your control room project with us youll receive system
design assistance, special pricing consideration, and product availability
control room has to be customized and will require specialized
assurances that can help you meet project deadlines. Our design engineers
manpower, all of which must be tracked. can also perform a value engineering review of your existing design.
Weekly updates and project status reports that are delivered
to each team leader will help ensure that your project is
completed on time, avoids cost overruns, and performs as
expected. At the end of the project, plan in advance to provide
your client with an on-site orientation covering the completed
install, a schedule of training sessions, and a compilation of
final engineering documents.

The Most Important Question Extron Product Commissioning


Each customer has a unique set of goals and preferences related Extron Product Commissioning is a proactive program designed to
ensure optimum performance in AV systems that use select Extron
to the form and function of their control room project. The
products, such as Quantum Series videowall processors, WindoWall
most successful system designer is the one who listens well. So, multi-graphic processors, VN-Matrix streaming products, and fiber
remember: As with any system design, the most important control optic matrix switchers. This service involves a pre-installation design
review with Extron engineers. An Extron engineer will visit your project
room design question is What does the client want?
after installation to optimize and calibrate products for the best system
performance possible, and will provide on-site training for you and your
customers to ensure complete satisfaction with system operation.
Keith Scheffler is Systems Design Engineering Manager at Extron Electronics. He leads
a team of System Design Engineers who provide system design support and technical For more information on these and other Extron customer programs,
troubleshooting services to system integrators before and after the sale. Keith has over
please contact your Extron Customer Support Representative.
20 years of experience, including senior level engineering positions with several major AV
integration firms.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Feature Story 55


WHATS INSIDE
THE XPA 2003C
Take a peek under the hood to see what makes the XPA 2003C unique.

The XTRA Series XPA 2003C is an ENERGY STAR qualified, three channel power amplifier for low impedance
and 70 volt or 100 volt applications. It delivers 600 watts of output power with professional grade signal to
noise and THD+N performance. XTRA Series amplifiers include several efficiency characteristics such as low
power draw and very low waste heat, as well as many innovative technical features.

Convection Cooled, Fanless Design


for Quiet, Reliable Operation
Regulated Switchmode Power Supply
The efficient design of the XPA 2003C allows it to operate and remain
with Power Factor Correction cool without the use of a fan or vents. This keeps the amplifier sealed
from any dust or contamination, eliminates the possibility of failure
XTRA Series amplifiers are
from overheating, and allows the XPA 2003C to be installed in tight
powered by an Extron-designed
spaces adjacent to other equipment.
and manufactured switchmode
power supply that is fully
regulated, so that it maintains a
constant output voltage regardless
of AC line variances. It also
features power factor correction
to prevent noise from entering the No Vents
AC line, which can lead to audio
artifacts from other equipment
sharing the same line. No Fans

XPA 2003C-70V Rear Panel

56 WHATS INSIDE AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


WHATS INSIDE

Program and Distributed Amplification


in a Single Enclosure
The XPA 2003C combines two amplifiers. One is a two channel amplifier that outputs
200 watts per channel into 4 ohms for stereo program reinforcement. The other is a
mono, 200 watt amplifier for 70 volt or 100 volt distributed speaker systems.

Program speakers, 8 ohm Distributed speakers, 70 or 100 volt

Automatic Clip Limiter


At the amplifier gain stage, signal waveforms are compared before CDRS Class D Ripple Suppression
and after amplification for clipping distortion. At the onset of clipping,
amplifier gain is momentarily reduced to maintain signal integrity, Class D amplifiers deliver very high efficiency by rapidly
prevent overheating, and protect the speakers. switching between output transistors in off and on states.
However, there may be a residual high frequency switching
1 Signals compared ripple on the output that can compromise audio fidelity and
lead to RF emissions. Extrons patented CDRS technology
completely removes the switching ripple, ensuring optimal
audio performance while preventing RF interference.

Before amplification 2 Level reduced CD R S

Clipped signal
before after

After amplification 3 Clipping eliminated

www.avsystemsdesign.com WHATS INSIDE 57


EXTRON
NEW PRODUCTS

XPA 4002

XPA 4002
Two Channel Amplifier 400 Watts Per Channel

The Extron XTRA Series XPA 4002 is a 1U, convection-cooled power amplifier delivering two channels of
400 watts rms. This professional grade amplifier features a 100 dB signal-to-noise ratio with 0.1% THD+N.
The XPA 4002 is an ENERGY STAR qualified amplifier with an Extron exclusive, highly efficient, advanced
Class D amplifier design. It also features patented CDRS - Class D Ripple Suppression technology that
provides a smooth, clean audio waveform and an improvement in signal fidelity over conventional Class D
amplifiers. The XPA 4002 is half the size of comparable amplifiers, conserving rack space and weighing only
9 lbs (4 kg). The Extron exclusive, high efficiency design generates very little heat and allows the amplifier
to be convection cooled.
There are two XPA 4002 models. The XPA 4002 is a two channel low impedance amplifier that
delivers 400 watts rms per channel into 4 ohms or 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms for program
audio reinforcement. It features a bridged mode that provides a single 800 watt output into 8 ohms.
The XPA 4002-70V two channel amplifier delivers 400 watts rms per channel for 70 volt high impedance
speaker systems in voice reinforcement and distributed audio applications.
The XPA 4002 and XPA 4002-70V are ideal for large environments such as auditoriums, convention
centers, and houses of worship for powering a large quantity of high impedance distributed speakers, or
high powered speaker cabinets or paging horns.

www.extron.com/xpa4002 for more information.

58 Extron New Products AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


EXTRON NEW PRODUCTS

HDMI DA2

HDMI DA2
Two Output HDMI Distribution Amplifier

The Extron HDMI DA2 is a one input, two output distribution amplifier for HDMI video and embedded multi-channel digital audio. It
supports HDMI specification features including data rates up to 6.75 Gbps, 12-bit Deep Color, 3D, Lip Sync, and HD lossless audio
formats. The HDCP-compliant distribution amplifier supports HDTV 1080p/60 and PC resolutions up to 19201200. The HDMI DA2
features two Extron-exclusive technologies: EDID Minder, which maintains continuous EDID communication between connected devices,
and Key Minder, which continuously authenticates HDCP encryption between all devices, ensuring the simultaneous distribution of source
content to both displays. The HDMI DA2 is ideal for applications that require the distribution of a HDMI source signal to two displays.

www.extron.com/hdmida2

FOX AEX 108

FOX AEX 108


Eight Port Fiber Optic Audio Extractor

The Extron FOX AEX 108 is an eight-port, fiber optic audio extractor for independent processing and routing of audio signals in a fiber
optic AV distribution system. Each port accepts signals from a FOX Series transmitter, extracts the two-channel audio signal to provide
a balanced or unbalanced analog stereo output, and re-transmits the original signal to a FOX Series receiver. Output reclocking on
the buffered pass-through maintains signal integrity, transmitting the fiber optic signal at original power levels. Featuring high-speed, all
digital signal transmission of pixel-perfect video, audio, and control signals over fiber optic cabling, the FOX AEX 108 is ideal for use
in FOX Matrix system applications that require extraction of audio signals for local independent distribution and processing within an
equipment room.

www.extron.com/foxaex108

www.avsystemsdesign.com Extron New Products 59


EXTRON NEW PRODUCTS

Retractor VGA SM

VGA SM/6

VGA SM
VGA Show Me Control Cable

The Extron VGA SM Show Me Control Cable is a male-to-male VGA cable that provides remote input connection and selection for
Extron VSW 2VGA A and SW VGA Ars switchers. The cable features male 15-pin HD connectors and a 3.5 mm stereo audio jack for
optional stereo audio. Operation is simple and convenient: Connect the VGA Show Me cable to your laptop's VGA output, and press
the Share button to share the content of your desktop on the main presentation display. The VGA SM Show Me Control Cable
is available in two versions that are ideal for use in collaborative learning and similar applications: the VGA SM/6, a six-foot (1.6 m)
cable; and the Retractor VGA SM, a unique cable retraction and management system designed to work with Extron Cable Cubby and
TouchLink Cable Cubby enclosures.

SHARE CONNECT EXTEND


your desktop the cable to the Show Me
with the press your laptops cable from the
of a button VGA output Cable Cubby

www.extron.com/vgasm6 for more information on VGA SM/6 and Retractor VGA SM.

Retractor VGA-A Retractor DC

Retractor VGA-A Retractor DC


Cable Retractor VGA & Stereo Audio Cable Retractor DC Power Extension Cable

The Retractor VGA-A combines VGA and 3.5 mm stereo The Retractor DC is a special-purpose module which can be
audio in a single Retractor module, providing a cost-effective used to extend DC power, from a remotely-mounted laptop
option for VGA and audio source connectivity. Retractor power supply*, for many Dell, HP, and Compaq PCs. Retractor
modules are available in versions to support most AV and modules are available in versions to support most AV and
data signal types and fit any Cable Cubby or TLP TouchLink data signal types and fit any Cable Cubby or TLP TouchLink
Cable Cubby enclosure. Cable Cubby enclosure. (*Laptop power supply not included.)

www.extron.com/retractor www.extron.com/retractor

60 Extron New Products AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


TECH
WATCH
U.S. Tablet
Ownership Doubles
The number of Americans who own a tablet jumped
from 10 percent to 19 percent during the 2011
holiday season. A survey by the Pew Internet &
American Life Project showed that, while tablet
ownership stayed steady from mid-2011 to the fall
months, holiday shopping brought a sharp jump
in sales. The increase was driven partly by the
introduction of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes
and Noble Nook Tablet, according to researchers.

iPad (Apple)
www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, Nook (Barnes & Noble)

and www.apple.com Kindle Fire (Amazon)

Large Screen OLED


TVs Astound at CES
Both Samsung and LG made a big splash at this years
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with 55-inch OLED
TVs, the largest ones to hit the market so far. While OLED
has been viewed as the future of display technology, smaller
screen sizes and high costs have limited its acceptance.
These new models suggest that both of these barriers are
OLED TV (Samsung) on the verge of being overcome.
According to a recent report from the global market
research firm, NPD DisplaySearch, 2011 saw rapid
advancements in organic light emitting diodes (OLED)
technology. NPD DisplaySearch forecasts that this trend will
continue through this decade. OLED offers amazing picture
quality, beginning with the potential for absolute black levels,
wide viewing angles, and near-instantaneous response times.
However, manufacturers have yet to demonstrate the ability
to scale OLED display fabrication and the cost of larger
panels is not yet clear.

55EM9600 OLED TV (LG) www.samsung.com and www.lg.com

www.avsystemsdesign.com Tech Watch 61


TECHNICALLY
SPEAKING

EDID: A Guide to Identifying and handshaking are well-known in the field.

Resolving Common Issues EDID also has a long history in AV and is


widely familiar to integrators. However, it
By Jim Scrivner, Manager of Product Marketing
is also difficult to fully understand, and
perhaps more importantly, to effectively

T he professional AV industrys
transition from analog to digital video
technologies continues with the rapid
two-way communication used in HDMI,
DVI, and DisplayPort.
This two-way communication first
troubleshoot when things go wrong in a
digital video setup.
This article aims to bring the
adoption of HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort. encompasses EDID exchange, with HDCP AV professional to a comfortable
Though largely successful, this transition authentication to follow if the content to be understanding of EDID, starting with a
brings with it many challenges in displayed is HDCP-encrypted. Successful clear explanation of EDID. This will be
delivering a solidly robust, trouble-free completion of both is prerequisite to followed by identification of EDID-related
video system to the end user. Such enabling the flow of digital AV content issues commonly encountered in the field,
challenges may be associated with the from source to display. Problems with with suggested guidelines for successfully
integrity of digital video signals as they EDID or HDCP are major causes of resolving them. This information can
travel along cables and pass through system failure leading to this very common then be used to help develop and apply
equipment, and the reliability of the cable symptom: a blank or blue screen with a sound EDID strategies to ensure reliable
connections as well as terminations. message that reads No Signal Present and consistent operation within any
They may also be related to the or something similar. Issues with HDCP AV system.

62 Technically Speaking AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

What is EDID? via the sinks DVI port, and responds in 1994 for analog VGA. At that
EDID - Extended Display Identification accordingly by sending video to the time, the proliferation of CRT data
Data consists of 128-byte data structures sink at WUXGA. EDID is intended display models with various preferred
stored in a video display device to enable a simple plug-and-play resolutions prompted a desire to simplify
also referred to as a sink. The EDID connection while automatically optimizing connection from a PC, by automatically
specifies a sinks characteristics and video compatibility between source communicating attributes of the display
must contain a primary data block, also and sink. to the graphics card. As a result of its
known as VESA block 0. Block 0 lists EDID exchange is standardized by wide implementation for VGA, EDID has
the displays preferred resolution and VESA - Video Electronics Standards been incorporated into the HDMI, DVI,
refresh rate, other resolutions and refresh Organization. It was first introduced and DisplayPort standards.
rates that will be accepted, and color
characteristics. The preferred resolution
is usually, but not always, the same
as the displays native resolution. EDID Whats in an EDID?
also contains a wide range of ancillary
information including the vendor, model,
Here are the some of the essential details contained within an EDID. The Extron control
serial number, date of manufacture, software for matrix switchers was used to display the information.
physical image dimensions, display
transfer characteristics gamma, and
color characteristics RGB primaries
Original hex-encoded
and white point. For more information data for the EDID. The
about whats in an EDID, refer to software translates
the data into readable
the sidebar.
information.
In addition to a sink, EDID may also
Model name of
be stored in repeater devices situated in
the display
between a source and a sink. Switchers,
DAs, and signal processing equipment Preferred or native
resolution and
are common examples of repeaters.
refresh rate
Consumer televisions or monitors with
Full list of timings
HDMI ports require EDID with additional
supported by
128-byte extension blocks, standardized the display
as CEA-861 by the Consumer Electronics
Association, to define parameters for
compatible DTV/HDTV and audio formats
when connected to a consumer device
Supported audio
such as an audio/video receiver, Blu-ray format
Disc player, mobile device, or a PC.
List of audio formats
The CEA-861 block data also specifies, supported by the sink
whenever appropriate, 3D video formats, or repeater

color bit depths for Deep Color, color Speaker allocation


space compatibility including xvYCC, for a specific audio
and parameters for lip sync. format

When a source device connects Additional information,


to a sink, the EDID is sent over to the such as compatible
3D video formats or
source, which then reads the information
color bit depths
and uses it to produce a video output
properly formatted for the display. For
example, a PC receives EDID from a
sink indicating WUXGA native resolution

www.avsystemsdesign.com Technically Speaking 63


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

EDID EXCHANGE
Display is Connected

Just got hooked up.


Its time to assert myself.

I sense a disturbance
in the video output lines...
HPD went from LOW to
HIGH so it means something
Initial Connection HPD Display drives HPD changed at my output port.
signal HIGH I must investigate!

Zzz...

HPD goes HIGH

My name is Elsie Dee


I was born on... Video Output
I prefer to display 1080p/60
and I can play stereo audio.
Heres a list of other video
resolutions that I can
handle: 720p, WXGA... The user commanded
me to generate 720p, so
thats what youll get. This
video is protected content,
so next lets exchange
Tell me about yourself HDCP Keys...
so Ill know what
signals to generate. Video and DDC
lines active
DDC lines active

EDID Exchange

EDID Communication DDC are separate from the TMDS lines the connection by driving the HPD -
Protocol, Step by Step that carry video and audio. Hot Plug Detect signal from low to
The protocol for establishing the high. The HPD pin is separate from
exchange of EDID is standardized 1. Initial source connection A source the DDC and its +5 volt supply line.
by VESA as the DDC - Display Data device is connected to the sink 3. Request for EDID from the sink
Channel, which is based on I2C, a and is powered up. Per the DDC When the source has received an
standard serial bus protocol for two- specification, the source supplies +5 HPD high signal, it then sends a
way communication in many types of volts to the sink. This powers the command requesting the sinks EDID
electronic devices. The DDC specifies sinks EDID circuitry so that EDID via the DDC.
three pins on the HDMI or DVI exchange can take place without the 4. Transmission of EDID to the source
connectors for signal transmission and need to fully power the display. The sink receives the command and
data exchange, including the SDA - serial 2. Acknowledgement of source responds by sending its EDID to the
data line and SCL - serial clock line connection and handshaking source through the DDC.
for I2C, and a +5 volt supply from the Once the sinks EDID circuitry is 5. Source video output based on
source.1 Signals passing through the powered up, it signals confirmation of EDID The source reads the data

1
DisplayPort supports DDC but does not utilize the I2C bus for transmitting DDC signals or EDID between devices. Instead, it translates the I2C bus into a designated auxiliary
channel at the source and sink connections.

64 Technically Speaking AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

within the EDID and responds often are common: no image is shown Figure 1

accordingly by sending its video on-screen, or the image is present


output to the sink at the preferred but appears distorted, fuzzy, or does
resolution, refresh rate, and color not fill the screen see Figure 1. This
space. The preferred resolution may can make it particularly difficult for AV
be overridden if the user selects integrators to isolate the problem. The Normal image display

an alternate output resolution that balance of this article identifies the


complies with the supported video most prominent field issues related to
No Signal!
timings in the EDID. EDID, with suggestions for successfully
6. HDMI sinks and sources such as overcoming them.
consumer televisions and Blu-ray No image on-screen

Disc players For HDMI sink devices, Common Field-Related


the EDID usually contains one or EDID Issues
more extension data blocks providing Signal Integrity Problems in the
compatible timings relevant to DTV, DDC or HPD Lines
as well as supported audio formats, Typical system scenarios. (1) A source Image does not fill the screen

speaker allocation, and if present, is connected to a sink over a long HDMI


lip sync delay. The source detects or DVI cable connection. (2) A source is Common symptoms of an EDID-related problem

the presence of these extension connected far away from a sink over a
blocks via a flag in the primary EDID twisted pair extender.
block, and then requests them from Common symptom. No image seen
the sink. at all. Or if the source is a PC, the image Similarly, signal integrity problems can
seems to be at a low resolution and affect the DDC and HPD lines and affect
The HPD and EDID handshake appears fuzzy, stretched, or does not fill image display reliability. Signals passing
process is illustrated on the left. It is the screen. through DDC and HPD essentially follow
important to mention here that HDMI Explanation. Integrators working standard TTL binary logic. According to
and DVI specifications require successful with HDMI and DVI in the field are very the specifications for HDMI and DVI, a
EDID communication before a source will well-aware of the dramatic effects on low signal is detected if it falls within the
output its video. EDID communication, image quality that result from a loss range of 0 to 0.8 volts. A high signal is
in turn, is dependent on successful of signal integrity in the TMDS video detected if it is sensed within the range
HPD handshaking. lines. Signal degradation can occur as a of 2.0 to 5.3 volts.
Additionally, for HDCP-encrypted result of transmission over long cables, Long cables can cause logic signals
content, EDID communication must poor connections, the use of barrel to drift lower, possibly causing an
be completed first before HDCP connectors to extend cables, cascading intended high signal to be misinterpreted
authentication can occur. Exchange of multiple devices in the signal path, and at the receiving end. Figure 2 illustrates
information for HDCP occurs over the other factors. the effect of HPD signal loss over a long
same DDC lines for EDID exchange.

EDID Communication Issues Figure 2

Problems related to EDID communication


HPD HPD
are very common in the field. They may signal
"High" Threshold "High" Threshold
occur as a result of DDC or HPD signal signal

degradation due to cable losses, poor time time

terminations, or EMI/RFI interference.


HPD
They may also originate in the sink,
HDMI
source, or sometimes a repeater such as Laptop Projector

a switcher, and be related to how HPD


or EDID are being handled or managed Long cables can result in HPD signal loss, causing an intended high signal to be misread by the source.

within the system. The symptoms

www.avsystemsdesign.com Technically Speaking 65


Normal EDID Failure

Figure 3. In the event of an EDID communication failure, a PC usually will send out a default resolution,
such as 1024768, and provide very few options for adjusting the output.

HDMI cable. The signal from the sink has simplifying the signal path by minimizing various resolutions with or without
lost enough voltage that when it reaches discontinuities in the chain. If using audio that can be selected by the
the source, the signal is detected below signal extenders over twisted pair cable, user to match the displays native or
the range defining high HPD. As a result, cable lengths should be kept within preferred resolution. EDID Minder builds
the source fails to request the EDID from manufacturer guidelines. on EDID Emulation by allowing the
the sink and the handshake process A signal test generator can be used to EDID management-equipped device to
terminates. Similar problems can occur test the integrity of the TMDS video lines initiate a handshake with the display
with signal extenders and twisted pair see the sidebar for more information. to receive its EDID, which can then be
cables that are too long. If the TMDS lines are found to be good, stored and subsequently communicated
Even if the DDC or HPD lines have been an EDID management device, such to the source. This can reduce some
affected, the TMDS video lines may still as the Extron EDID 101D, can provide uncertainty associated with determining
be intact since they are handled differently. a quick and effective solution when the best resolution for the display.
Many sources fail to output video if the system modifications are impractical EDID management devices improve
handshake fails, but PCs typically will send or inconvenient. Typically, the device is system reliability by keeping the EDID
an output at a default low resolution, such connected at the source output over a handshake closer to the sources,
as 1024768, to ensure the user can still short cable. The EDID 101D automatically eliminating the uncertainties associated
work with the PC.2 In this scenario, just a manages EDID communication with the with sending HPD and DDC signals
few selectable low resolutions are available source, so that the device essentially over extended cable lengths or through
when manually configuring the output from simulates the function of a sink. The successive devices in the signal path. It
the PC. See Figure 3. source then outputs its content to the is generally recommended that EDID be
Recommended solutions. To EDID 101D, which passes the signals delivered from as close to the source as
help prevent DDC and HPD signal through to the display. possible or practical.
degradation, employ the same practices Extron technologies for EDID Other considerations. Signal
recommended for good digital video management are EDID Minder and degradation effects caused by EMI/RFI
signal integrity by keeping cables EDID Emulation. They enable EDID interference, ground loops, and more can
as short as possible, ensuring that communication with the source using cause voltages to drift upward, potentially
connections are solid and robust, and pre-stored EDID tables, available at leading to misdetection of low logic

2
Although a source usually requires EDID exchange to output its content, a sink device can display incoming signals without EDID communication.

66 Technically Speaking AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

signals. When extending HDMI or DVI should be. Aspect ratio issues can also is at a resolution that a source, such
signals over CAT 5-type cables grouped occur in addition to resolution mismatch, as a PC or its graphics card, does not
with other cables, or in close proximity such as in a system with a 1440900 recognize or accept. In this case, nothing
with power sources, shielded twisted pair monitor and a PC. A default EDID at may appear at all on the display. Or a
cables and connectors are recommended 1024768 will force a lower resolution PC will send out an image at a default
for protection against EMI/RFI. output to the sink, which will then distort low resolution, often 1024768, and
it by stretching it to fill the screen, or just a few selectable low resolutions are
EDID Management Not Configured display the image within a black frame. available when trying to configure the
Typical system scenario. An AV device Recommended solution. Set output. Again, properly setting up EDID
with EDID management is installed right up the EDID management feature to management will resolve the issue.
out of the box and put into operation. capture the EDID from the sink and Be aware that Blu-ray Disc players
Common symptom. Theres no then communicate it to the source. usually will only output HDTV resolutions.
problem getting image display on-screen. Alternatively, set the EDID management If connected to EDID management that is
But the image seems to be at the wrong to communicate pre-stored EDID at the set to a computer resolution, the player
resolution for the display, looking slightly preferred or native resolution of the sink. most likely will send a low resolution
fuzzy, possibly distorted, or not filling up Other considerations. Problems can output at 480p that is universally
the screen. occur if the pre-stored or captured EDID compatible with sinks.
Explanation. Many types of AV
products, including those from Extron,
incorporate EDID management. Examples
include switchers, matrix switchers, Essential Troubleshooting Tools for
DAs, video signal processors, and long EDID-Related Field Issues
distance HDMI or DVI extenders. Having
EDID management in these products can Having a number of tools on hand can save a lot of time and effort, and expedite the process of
improve system reliability by keeping the troubleshooting digital video-related problems in the field, including those related to EDID. One
of the most effective tools is a Quantum Data 780 test generator and HDMI analyzer. However,
EDID handshake closer to the sources,
many other tools can also be effective without requiring significant capital outlay.
eliminating the uncertainties associated
with sending HPD and DDC signals Viewing and confirming EDID. Free software, including Extron EDID Manager and Monitor
over extended cable lengths or through Asset Manager from EnTech, are available for viewing the contents of an EDID. Monitor
successive devices in the signal path. Asset Manager should be used when using a PC running Windows 7. Examining an EDID is
These devices likely have factory usually the best way to determine a displays preferred and compatible resolutions, as well
as audio formats and other attributes.
default settings for EDID management.
Extron AV products are shipped from the
Video test generator. A video test generator such as the Extron VTG 400DVI can output
factory with a default pre-stored EDID test patterns through the TMDS lines without requiring EDID handshake with the sink. It
setting to 720p or 1024768, depending can also show the native resolution of an attached sink device by reading its EDID, making
on the model. The 720p resolution is it handy for quick validation. Extron video processors similarly have built-in test pattern
widely compatible with todays televisions generators, so having one on hand can be very helpful whenever troubleshooting is needed.

and monitors, while the 1024768


EDID management device. The Extron EDID 101D and similar products are small and
resolution is generally compatible with a
compact, and can be used to help quickly debug field issues related to integrity of the DDC
wide variety of desktop monitors. or HPD lines, or some other problem related to EDID.
These default settings usually ensure
reliable image display, but the image HDMI or DVI line tester. Affordable line testers are available that can provide a quick
may not be optimal. For example, if a integrity check of the TMDS, DDC, HPD, and +5 volt supply lines.

system includes a source capable of


Network cable tester. Testers for network cables can be very useful in installations with
1080p output, and a sink at 1080p native
twisted pair extenders. They can be used to check for problems related to terminations,
resolution, the default 720p EDID will shielding, and signal integrity, and to determine whether there may be significant crosstalk.
force the source to output at 720p for the The quality of connector terminations plays an important role in the performance of systems
display. The image, upscaled to 1080p, with twisted pair signal transmission.
then doesnt appear to be as sharp as it

www.avsystemsdesign.com Technically Speaking 67


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

Slow or Unreliable Source Switching displays built-in HDMI or DVI inputs. powered on. Then this EDID is stored for
Typical system scenarios. (1) A basic or Additionally, a display may handle a new each of the inputs and communicated to
low-cost HDMI or DVI switcher is used input selection by switching only the the sources. No EDID management setup
in an AV system. (2) A system design TMDS or DDC lines from the previous is required, which simplifies installation.
includes multiple HDMI or DVI sources source, but doing nothing with the HPD Other considerations. EDID
connected directly to the inputs of line. This can be a problem, because management in a switcher usually ensures
a display. some sources wait for the HPD line to consistent signal resolution and color
Common symptom. Switching change state before sending video. In space format between sources, further
between sources is slow. For some such cases, switching between inputs on contributing to quick source switching.
displays, the built-in switching may even a display can result in no viewable picture
be unreliable with some source devices. until the system is power-cycled. Images Look Great on Some
Explanation. Basic HDMI or DVI Recommended solution. Avoid using Displays but Not on Others
switchers handle transitions between a displays integrated switching whenever Typical system scenario. A matrix
sources by simply disconnecting the possible. Instead, use a switcher with switcher with EDID management is used
signal lines including TMDS video, DDC, EDID management, such as the Extron so that several displays can reliably
and HPD. When the lines are reestablished DVI Plus and HDMI Series switchers. They display content from an HD source.
following an input selection, the EDID speed up switching by exchanging EDID The displays are LCD flat panels and a
negotiation process has to be reinitiated with each connected source. The HPD combination of smaller 720p and larger
between the display and the newly and DDC lines are never disconnected, 1080p models.
selected source device. This renegotiation so the sources continuously output video Common symptom. The picture
of EDID can result in some switching lag. regardless of the input currently selected looks very good on the 720p
This latency may be prolonged if the new on the switcher. See Figure 4. screens, but not sharp enough on
source presents a different resolution or By default, the DVI Plus and HDMI the 1080p panels.
color space to the sink. Series automatically capture the EDID Explanation. Matrix switchers
Switching lag can be especially from the display device when it is with EDID management are similar to
noticeable when switching between a connected to the switcher output and switchers in that EDID is communicated
to each source connected to an input.
EDID management in a matrix switcher
Figure 4
can be very effective in managing
resolution compatibility between sources
Display Display
and various displays.
A common practice, when using
EDID management in a matrix switcher,
is to determine the native resolutions
EDID EDID of the displays to be tied to an input
source, and then determine the highest
Extron
Generic
SW2 HDMI common resolution between them. Pre-
Switcher
Switcher
1 2 1 2
stored or display-captured EDID based
on this resolution is then communicated
EDID EDID
No EDID communication
EDID ! for unselected input to the source, so that the output will be
compatible with all displays. Figure 5
illustrates EDID management setup for
Laptop Blu-ray Player Laptop Blu-ray Player an Extron XTP CrossPoint matrix switcher.
For example, a 1080p television and
An Extron SW HDMI Series switcher actively maintains continuous EDID communication with all a 720p display are to be fed from a
connected input sources, resulting in consistent and reliable operation. Generic switchers simply pass PC via a matrix switcher. The highest
DDC information from only the selected input directly to the output. This necessitates reinitiating EDID
communication between the source and display upon each switch, which can contribute to unreliable common resolution is 720p, so the
operation, switching lag, and visible glitches of the displayed image. EDID management would be set to this
resolution. Although an image will be

68 Technically Speaking AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Figure 5. The Extron XTP Configurator software for XTP CrossPoint Systems includes a user-friendly GUI for managing EDID throughout the system.

reliably shown on both displays, graphics graphics for digital signage and other If an end user is using a mix of
will look sharp on the 720p display but applications should be presented pixel- smaller 720p and larger 1080p flat-panel
may appear somewhat fuzzy on the for-pixel to ensure that details are sharp displays, and insists on the best image
1080p TV. See Figure 6. Additional issues and clear. quality for 1080p, 720p-type televisions
can arise when mixing and matching Other considerations. When may accept 1080p input, making
displays of various aspect ratios. combining televisions with PCs and them ideal in many system designs if
Recommended solution. Complaints desktop monitors, be aware that many they are to present the same images
and service calls can be avoided by TVs may only accept a very limited with 1080p displays. Smaller flat-panel
taking an important step during the range of computer resolutions. In displays increasingly feature 1080p native
needs assessment phase of system these situations, 720p may be the best panels, which will soon make this a
design. During this time, discuss with the common resolution. moot issue.
end user the application requirements for
displaying sources on multiple displays.
Figure 6
Determine what sources will be used,
their content resolutions, and what the
Native 720p Native 1080p
native resolutions will be for the displays. FCC Compliance Testing at Extron
Military, Government,

Ask about the end users expectations


Medical Apps
Other
10
10

for image quality, and whether some 15


Pro AV
65
ITE

compromises will be acceptable if Commercial Consumer Military

a source is to feed a mix of display


Desktop PC
resolutions and aspect ratios. FCC Compliance Testing at Extron
Military, Government,
Medical Apps

The importance of image quality may


Other
10
10

15
Pro AV
65
ITE

depend on the nature of the content. Commercial Consumer Military 720p Output HDMI Matrix Switcher

Video and photos are more likely to be


acceptable than graphics, if they need
to be scaled up or down in resolution. Graphics formatted for 720p are likely to appear fuzzy when scaled up on a native 1080p display.
Whenever possible, high resolution

www.avsystemsdesign.com Technically Speaking 69


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

Color Space Switching or supports RGB color space only and component color space from a newly
Compatibility Issues does not mention component color switched source. The screen may
Typical system scenario. A source space. HDMI expands on the DVI momentarily flash magenta as the display
is connected to a sink through a DVI spec to include optional support for adjusts to the new color space.
switcher. The source is sending RGB component color space, so a displays In switching systems combining
color space video to the sink. A user HDMI input will usually accept it. When sources that output RGB and component
then selects a new source that outputs suddenly receiving a different color color space, problems may occur if
component color space video to the sink. space into an HDMI input, some displays there are monitors with DVI inputs.3 If a
Common symptoms. The screen smoothly handle the transition with no component color space video signal is
momentarily flashes magenta, the image glitches. But others may exhibit a brief switched to a displays DVI input, the
is permanently tinted in magenta and visual artifact. This can occur when result may be no image display, or a
green, or there is no image at all. a display, receiving RGB color space picture tinted with magenta and green.
Explanation. The DVI specification through its input, suddenly senses a Recommended solution. Though
not directly related to EDID, EDID
management can avoid these potential

Additional EDID-Related Pitfalls and color space issues by communicating

Issues to be Aware Of EDID to all input sources that only


specify RGB compatibility. The HDMI
specification requires that sources and
In addition to the common field-related EDID issues discussed in the article, there are several
other situations and instances that can be related to EDID. sinks, at minimum, be compatible with
RGB color space.
HDMI and DVI inputs. Many sinks designed for commercial applications have separate Other considerations. If EDID
HDMI and DVI inputs, which may contain different EDID content between them. The management does not resolve color
EDID for the DVI input likely will not have CEA-861 extension blocks, so an HDMI source
space issues, then it may be necessary
connected into this input may not output HDMI audio. Additionally, the EDID for the DVI
to check the color space settings on the
input may specify a computer resolution in its preferred timing, while the EDID for the HDMI
input specifies an HDTV rate. sources and sinks. Changing the color
space format to auto on the source,
Cascading devices with EDID management. In some systems there will be more than sink, or both often resolves the problem.
one device in the chain with EDID management capability. Generally, it is best to manage
EDID as close to the source as possible, so EDID management should be limited to the
Source Compatibility Problems
device connected directly to the source, and disengaged for devices further downstream.
Typical system scenario. A PC had

EDID from the sink required. In some applications, the original EDID from the sink must be been configured to a specific output
used when applying EDID management. A particular example is 3D video from Blu-ray Disc. resolution. It is then connected to a
The EDID within a 3D-capable sink will specify the 3D video formats supported, which need new display, either manually or through
to be conveyed to the Blu-ray Disc player. EDID management can be used to capture this a switcher.
EDID from the sink and then communicate it to the player.
Common symptoms. The image
does not look right fuzzy, stretched,
Corrupt EDID in display. This is not very common, but may happen with legacy displays.
Corrupt EDID is not likely to be an issue with newer HDMI-equipped sinks. These devices or partially filling the screen. There may
conform to the CEA-861 standard, which requires that the EDID be write-protected in the even be no image at all.
display to prevent accidental corruption. Explanation. After connecting to
the new sink, the PC failed to follow
Customizing an EDID. There may be circumstances in which neither the EDID in the sink
its EDID, and retained its previous
or the emulated EDID will be ideal. For example, a source needs to send an HDMI output to
resolution setting that doesnt match the
a display at a specific resolution, and also send out audio. Emulated EDID can be provided
by the EDID management but with no provision for audio. The solution would then be to sinks native or preferred resolution. If
customize the EDID, which can be done using a software application. But doing so requires the sink is incompatible with the PCs
sufficient knowledge of the EDID data structures and syntax. output resolution, an error message may
be displayed.

3
While this is generally the case for computer monitors with DVI inputs, many PCs, graphics cards, and displays have DVI ports that are actually HDMI compliant.

70 Technically Speaking AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

in other installations, an intermediary


device will extract the audio for playback
over a sound reinforcement system.
Consumer AV receivers commonly
extract HDMI audio to provide surround
sound. The Extron HAE 100 HDMI Audio
De-Embedder is an example of a product
ideal for commercial AV systems.
An HDMI sink sends one or more
EDID extension blocks to an HDMI
source, which includes information
establishing the sinks compatible
Figure 7. Setting the HDMI
output as the default audio audio formats, including PCM or the
device usually solves multi-channel audio formats from Dolby
HDMI audio problems.
and DTS. The sink must specify the
channel count and speaker allocation.
The source outputs audio compatible
Recommended solution. Go issue usually can be resolved easily in with the sink as specified in the EDID.
into the display settings or open the Windows 7 by pressing the Windows logo Usually the format most relevant to
program for the graphics card. Select key, and tapping P to cycle through commercial AV systems is two-channel
the native resolution for the display. the available display modes to Projector or 2.0 PCM.
Make sure the new resolution setting only, or Extend if you intend to use the There are many instances in which
will be retained if the PC is to be external display to extend your desktop. a source may not send out audio
switched with other sources. If the issue Some presenters like to use the over HDMI as expected. A PC may be
persists, connect an EDID 101D or other laptops internal screen as a confidence overriding the EDID and defaulting to
EDID management device to the PC monitor. If the laptop screen resolution a mode with its analog audio output
output, or use a switcher with an EDID equals or exceeds the native of the active and the HDMI audio turned off.
management feature. presentation display, this should not be a Or a Blu-ray Disc player may have been
Other considerations. A somewhat problem. But the presentation image may manually set to output Dolby Digital 5.1,
similar situation may occur when a be less than desirable if the laptop is regardless of the EDID, which the sink
laptop is newly connected to an external connected to a higher resolution projector does not accept. In this case, crackling
display. The laptop may switch over to or flat-panel monitor. artifacts may be audible through the
a specific presentation display mode, sinks speakers.
known as Duplicate in Windows 7, in HDMI Audio Issues A less common situation, leading to
which the desktop is duplicated on the Typical system scenario. A source, no HDMI audio, is failure to transmit the
laptops internal screen and the display. such as a PC or Blu-ray Disc player, is EDID extension blocks to a PC. This is
The video output is identical to both connected to a sink over HDMI. The caused by the PC not following HDMI/
displays, so the resolution chosen by intention is to watch video and listen to DDC specifications when requesting
Windows 7 must be mutually compatible. audio through the speakers in the sink. EDID from the sink.
This resolution may not be optimal for Common symptom. The audio Recommended solution. For a
either or both displays, unless they share is missing. Blu-ray Disc player, select two-channel
the same native resolution. Explanation. HDMI provides the PCM output in the configuration menus.
For example, if the laptops internal convenience of sending audio together For a PC, be sure the driver for the
screen resolution is 1440900 and the with the video on a single cable, which graphics card or integrated graphics is
external projector is 19201200 native, can simplify integration in applications up to date, and then go into the sound
1440900 will be sent to both. This may where audio presentation is needed. settings to activate HDMI audio output.
even happen without the internal screen For some systems, HDMI audio will be See Figure 7. Ensure that settings will be
being active. If the best possible image carried through to a flat-panel display and retained if the system requires switching
is desired for the external display, this output through its built-in speakers, while with other sources. If the issue persists,

www.avsystemsdesign.com Technically Speaking 71


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

Figure 8 If the pre-stored EDID tables do


not support a specific format that is
needed, such as multi-channel high
resolution audio, it will be necessary
Projector
to capture EDID from the surround
HDMI Matrix Switcher sound processor.
Desktop PC
Identify special EDID requirements.
Support for 3D video necessitates
Power Amplifier HDMI use of EDID from a 3D-compatible
Audio Extractor
display device. Many professional
displays do not support audio, so
EDID management with audio support
Extron SI 26CT Two-way Ceiling Speakers will be necessary if sound system
playback is required.
In systems requiring HDMI and sound reinforcement, it is best to keep the video signal path to the Identify where EDID is being
display as simple as possible. In the application shown here, this is accomplished by dedicating a
provided to each source device.
matrix switcher output for the display, and another for the audio system.
A system design may include several
AV system components that manage
EDID. To ensure the most consistent
connect an EDID management device to simplify the digital video signal path to and reliable system operation, always
the source output, or use a switcher with the display. apply EDID management from the
EDID management. device nearest the source, and
Other considerations. Some Develop an EDID Strategy turn off EDID management in all
projectors do not specify audio output Every AV integrator has engineering other devices.
in their EDID, even over their HDMI standards in place to provide guidelines Design systems with EDID
ports, so there may be no HDMI audio for system design. An EDID strategy management to every source.
output from the source. This is also section should be incorporated within The system design should include
likely the case for flat-panel displays these standards to address EDID AV devices that provide active
with no speakers. The lack of audio in management. A well thought-out, EDID management to every source
the EDID will be a problem if there is a documented EDID strategy applied in device. This will ensure robust
product in between that is intended to the early design stages can greatly system operation and reliable
extract the HDMI audio for output to a reduce the potential for on-site issues video output from the sources,
sound reinforcement system. The Extron during installation and commissioning. especially in systems with switching
HAE 100, switchers, and matrix switchers The following are key points to and distribution.
with EDID management can resolve consider when designing a system: Determine whether multiple
this issue by sending EDID directly to EDID settings should be used. In
the source device that specifies audio Identify destination resolution most AV systems, a common EDID
output as well as video at the projectors requirements. The native or preferred setting can be used for all sources.
preferred resolution. Pre-stored EDID is display resolution will determine However, a specific EDID may be
available that includes two-channel PCM the EDID setting. For systems that required for some source devices.
or the multi-channel audio formats via incorporate multiple display devices, For example, a system with 1080p
the EDID extension block. EDID for the highest common sources and displays may include
In addition to EDID management with resolution should be selected. a videoconference codec that only
support for audio formats, the HAE 100 Identify audio application needs. supports 720p output, or the system
extracts embedded HDMI audio, while Two-channel audio is used for most needs a specific surround sound
passing the HDMI signals on to the sound reinforcement applications. If format from a Blu-ray Disc player.
display. If possible, the HAE 100 should there is a need to support surround
Jim Scrivner is Manager of Product Marketing at Extron
be connected to a separate switcher sound, select pre-stored EDID that
Electronics for signal processing and twisted pair
output, as illustrated in Figure 8, to help includes multi-channel audio formats. transmission, and has been with the company for 20 years.

72 Technically Speaking AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


Extron TLP 710CV
The Industrys First 7" Flip-up Touchpanel
the extron tLP 710CV is a configurable 7" Cable Cubby touchLink touchpanel that combines AV system control with the convenience
of an extron Cable Cubby enclosure. It features a flip-up, full-color, high-resolution touchscreen in an elegant, metal enclosure that can
be mounted securely into a tabletop, lectern, or other flat surface. An integrated mtP twisted pair receiver accepts S-video or composite
video and audio input signals over a single CAt 5-type cable. Power over ethernet - Poe allows the touchpanel to receive power and
control over an additional CAt 5-type cable, eliminating the need for a local power supply. the touchpanel enables integrators to deploy
furniture-mountable, fully configurable touchscreen control, with cable management and easy access to AV connectivity and power.

key Features:
7" color touchscreen with 800x480 resolution and 18-bit color depth Light sensor adjusts screen brightness as the ambient room lighting
changes
Full motion video display for preview and monitoring using extron
twisted pair technology Cable Cubby design offers easy access to aV, data, and power
connections
power over ethernet allows the touchpanel to receive power and
control over a single Cat 5-type cable, eliminating the need for a local aC power modules available for uS, europe, and other major world
power supply - poe injector included markets
Built-in speaker provides audio for video preview and audible aV connectivity options:
feedback from button presses - holds up to 11 single-space aap-architectural adapter plates
- holds up to 6 aV and data cable retractor assemblies

www.extron.com/tlp710cv
DESIGN
FORUM
Using iPad for
System Control
By Derek Joncas,
Manager of Product Marketing

W ithout a doubt, this is a very


interesting time to be designing
AV systems in our industry. The new
Bring Your Own Device - BYOD adjacent pump, exit her car, presumably Will the additional devices perform a
movement presents a new set of to pump gas. Glancing back in her troubleshooting role or will it be used to
challenges for AV system administrators direction moments later, I saw that the select sources and adjust volume during
and designers alike. Most of the new woman was trying to interact with the a presentation?
technology is touch-centric, with users LCD screen at her pump. She was When you receive a request to
becoming very accustomed to the double tapping and two finger swiping include or feature a mobile device in your
concept of touchscreens, high-end all over the LCD screen on the pump designs, be sure to do the following:
graphics, and ever-increasing sources console. Unfortunately the LCD wasnt
of data. a touchscreen, but she was clearly 1. Research the users needs.
More than ever, new technologies expecting one. Lesson learned for me. 2. Validate the mobile
are forcing designers to expand their AV designs have always incorporated devices capabilities.
repertoire of traditional designs to meet some quantity of owner-furnished 3. Document the functionality.
these new user requirements. equipment. In years past, this might 4. Deliver the expectations.
The iPad, and mobile devices in have required the inclusion of the odd
general, have altered the expectations DVD player or tower PC into the new And remember, ranking above all of
and perspective of all device users, not systems designs. Fast forward to 2012, these is setting the right expectations.
just the mobile ones. At one time, a and that owner-furnished equipment list Mobile devices are truly personal
mobile phone was nothing more than might include a variety of hand-carried devices, designed to satisfy the goals
a single-purpose device optimized for technologies. The new class of owner- of the person using them, and nobody
making phone calls on the go. Times furnished equipment is far more capable else. They are designed for the use
have certainly changed. than those of the past, while adding a of individuals and set up according to
The accessibility of personalized new layer of versatility for the designer their preferences. The individual decides
information, communications, and and user alike. how these will operate by customizing
entertainment is neatly bundled into an The BYOD movement presents a their appearance and performance. For
environment that is customized by an number of new challenges especially example: although all iPads may look the
individual. Prioritize the functions you for the control system designer, because same on the outside, the content they
want, download and install the software users are fast becoming the new experts contain will differ greatly based upon
features that you need. on the touchscreen. There are many items applications installed. In addition, these
If there was any hesitation in my to take into consideration when promoting personal devices require minimal set-up
mind that this change of expectations the use of iPhones, iPads, or Android as they are rarely shared, and are already
was starting to take place, it was quickly devices with your AV system installations. customized by the users.
reinforced during a recent trip to the First, we need to truly understand This is a big difference from what we
gas station. As I was pumping gas, I the user goals and the nature of the normally see and design for AV systems.
observed a young woman pull up to an devices they would like to incorporate. Mobile devices are often tailored to a

74 Design Forum AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


DESIGN FORUM

users preferences, while AV system between the persons home and includes Connection Manager, which
controls are designed to meet the needs work environments. permits control of up to nine different
of a larger pool of users. Touchpanels Design for user safety: Be certain the rooms from an easy drop-down menu.
or button panels are purpose-driven user knows what they can and cannot MediaLink for iPad does not require
machines. In their best form, they are control in any environment. Network any programming or custom graphic
designed for broad accessibility and accessible devices may be controlled work to create or operate. Simply enter
consistency among all potential users. from anywhere. Be sure the user the IP address and permissions for an
They are rarely set up to meet the needs interface identifies the room being Ethernet connected MediaLink controller
of a single user. controlled, and that the control system with Connection Manager and you are
Another way to compare mobile prevents access to unauthorized ready to provide a convenient, additional
devices with AV devices is by using a users. Furthermore, create user point of control from the iPad. Its a tool
simple radius comparison scenario. Most confidence by incorporating at least to satisfy the needs of technicians and
mobile devices are never more than a one permanently installed point of AV control system users alike.
few feet away from their owners, which control in your design that remains in
means they can be removed from the the physical room.
room at any time. In comparison, most Know the mobile device ecosystem
touchpanels never leave the room they the customers organization prefers:
were designed to control. If you design The ecosystem information is important,
for safety, you can ensure that a primary as it will help to determine device
control device always remains in the compatibility and project approach.
room, while also providing a method for Apple and Android devices each come
control from a mobile device. with their own unique operational
In a previous article, I wrote about requirements and it is important to
designing for edge cases. AV Control know who is using them and how. No
systems require that we design for the doubt that the IT organizations you will And best of all, the convenience of
most common required functionality be working with have already begun to iPad control for your MediaLink devices
as part of the objective to achieve adopt policies as they relate to mobile only costs $.99 USD. You can learn more
broad usability. Designers must also devices. Adding network access to by visiting www.extron.com/mltlipad.
study the edge case scenarios. This control systems, from this same pool iPad control of your AV systems
ensures that the system will be ready to of devices, adds an additional layer of can add value to many system designs.
accommodate critical functions. complexity and coordination for the Beyond the wow factor, design your
How does this begin to translate designer and the IT organization who systems and make certain the apps
to mobile devices? Here are some manage the network. you deploy truly serve a users goals.
design considerations: iPads, iPhones, and Android products
The truly great of thing about are multi-purpose devices first and AV
Identify if mobile device control use purpose-built AV control devices is that controls second. Just as you would never
will be limited to the edge case: Is they are designed with the AV system willingly abandon your mobile device in a
the system designed only to meet the user in mind. The same cannot be conference room, make sure you never
needs of one or two individuals, or is said about the iPad since it is clearly a willingly abandon control system users
widespread general use required? consumer-oriented device, and it is full by giving them a safe way to operate a
Will mobile devices be portable or of distractions for the user. room in your mobile devices absence.
remain in the rooms being controlled? Extron believes that user-facing Oh, and dont forget to disable Angry
Since mobile devices are portable, it controls should be as simple and clear Birds prior to your next service call.
is difficult to prevent their unintended as possible, and the same philosophy
transportation to other areas of the extends to our apps, like MediaLink for
customers facility without notice. And, Derek Joncas is Manager of Product Marketing at Extron
iPad. MediaLink for iPad is designed
Electronics for control systems hardware and software. He
a mobile device is generally operated to replicate the controls of an existing has worked in the AV Industry since 1988, holding senior
engineering and management positions with companies
by the person who owns it. The MediaLink MLC 226IP or MLC 104
focused on AV integration, managed services, broadcast,
implication is that it might be shared controller directly on the iPad. The app broadband data services, and software development.

www.avsystemsdesign.com Design Forum 75


TECH But the typical home AV system cable, connectors, termination, moldings

CORNER intended for entertainment is not the


same as a custom-designed, fully
integrated conference room, boardroom,
and strain reliefs, and how theyre all
put together, are equal contributors to
cable performance. And even if theyre
or classroom thats essential to the purchased from well-known, established
productivity or institutional mission of brands, low-cost or seemingly bargain
HDMI Cable Quality an organization. In these environments, cables are not immune from quality

Matters in Pro AV signal integrity and system reliability go issues. In practice, these cables may not
hand in hand. Saving a few dollars with save you any money at all.
By Ron Justice,
Director of Technical Services bargain cables, against a total AV system
cost of perhaps $25,000 to $50,000 Cables Can Damage Your Equipment
or more, is simply bad economics. In A few months ago, we began

T heres a popular belief, widely tossed


around on the Internet, that all HDMI
cables are the same. If theres a picture
commercial AV, you truly do get what
you pay for, and cables can be the
determining factor in whether or not
hearing about HDMI connector failures
on competitors products. About the
same time, calls starting coming in
at the end of the cable, its impossible the system works. on our technical support line about
to tell the difference between a cheap Theres more to an HDMI cable, for intermittent performance and damaged
cable and one that costs two or three or that matter any pre-terminated cable, HDMI input/output connectors on our
ten times as much. I suppose thats a than just the wire from which DXP HDMI and SMX HDMI Series digital
fair statement if one is connecting its constructed. matrix switchers. What was puzzling is
a $99 Blu-ray player to a $500 flat The quality that weve shipped thousands of these
panel purchased from the local of the raw switchers over the past couple of years
discount warehouse. In the typical, without any mechanical issues, and
simple home entertainment nothings changed on our bill of materials
system, the source in regard to the HDMI connectors that
and display are rarely we use. Connector damage is highly
more than a few feet unusual with Extron switchers, and
apart. If the signal is the number and frequency of these
occasionally intermittent, complaints merited a full investigation.
the system can usually be We take issues such as this to heart: we
fixed with a little judicious want to get the products repaired and
wiggling of cables. back into service as quickly as possible,
but we also need to determine the root
cause of the problem so that we can
advise our customers on preventative
actions. Further troubling, but hinting
toward an underlying cause, was the
fact that the repaired switchers were
exhibiting the same problems after they
were reinstalled by the customer.
As our technical support team began
digging into the issue, we found a
commonality among these failures in all
cases, the HDMI cables in use were from
one popular, on-line supplier of low-price
cables. When we put these cables under
the microscope, we discovered that
some cables had connectors that were
damaged in manufacturing, and others

76 Tech Corner AV SYSTEMS DESIGN Summer 2012


TECH CORNER

optimum conductivity and corrosion There is a cost to terminating cables in


resistance. We sell products worldwide this fashion, but we feel that its the best
for installations in virtually every type way to ensure signal integrity within a
of climate. We want to be confident complex AV system design.
that our cables will work equally well Next, wire gauge is an important
whether ambient conditions are dry contributor to signal integrity, particularly
or humid, or where theres a high salt as cables grow in length, although
content in the air as is typical in many advances in technology are helping to
coastal environments. increase performance with smaller gauge
How the connector and wires are wires. Rather than take a one AWG
terminated is absolutely critical to overall fits all approach, we offer a range of
HDMI connector, damaged by a faulty cable; pins cable performance, and this is an area in high quality, high performance cables
are lifted or pushed back, resulting in intermittent which many manufacturers take shortcuts that fit specific integration needs. For
or lost signals.
in order to meet cost targets. In the connections between devices within
Extron HDMI Pro Series cable, notice the rack, we have the MDC HDMI
had a particular HDMI connector design that all of the signal grounds are tied Series MicroDigital cables in 36 AWG,
that causes pins in the switcher I/O together, and then tied to the connector and the HDMI Ultra Flex Series cables
connectors to be lifted or pushed back, shell. This provides better grounding in 30 AWG. These lightweight, highly
resulting in intermittent or lost signals and better EMI immunity, helping to flexible cables are available in lengths
and fatal damage to the I/O ports. protect the HDMI signal from external from 1.5 to 15 feet, and were created
When repaired switchers are reinstalled interference. We use this same technique in response to integrator requests for
with Extron HDMI cables or those from in our other HDMI cable lines as well. high performance cables that could be
a different manufacturer, no additional
damage occurs and the switchers work
as expected.
Given our recent experience, I think Anatomy of High Quality HDMI Cable:
its safe to say at this point that all Extron HDMI Pro Series
HDMI cables are not the same. As I
mentioned earlier, a cable is more than
just wire. Extron HDMI cables are built to Solder Braid
Gold-plated contacts and
our specifications, starting with the bare Inner Mold
connector shell for
exceptional conductivity Foil Shield
wire. All attributes of the cable the wire
and corrosion resistance
gauge of the conductors, jacket material, Conductor wire gauge is optimized by
cable length for superior performance
construction, connectors, molding
and strain relief are made to Extron
specification. How the cable is designed
and manufactured has a huge effect on
Continuous connection between Connector Shell,
its performance in an AV system. Often, Solder Braid, and Foil Shield provides maximum
rejection of EMI/RFI interference to maintain signal
its the details that help to separate a integrity throughout the length of the cable
merely-functional cable from one that
you can rely upon for critical AV system
performance, day in and day out.

Its Whats Inside That Counts Molded Strain Relief provides 360
bend radius, reducing cable stress
Lets take a look inside an Extron for long-term reliability
HDMI Pro Series cable and Ill show TMDS signal grounds are tied together
you what I mean. First, we start with for improved grounding and additional
EMI immunity
a very high-quality HDMI connector,
with gold-plated contacts and shell for

www.avsystemsdesign.com Tech Corner 77


TECH CORNER

easily and neatly dressed within the rack. another time at which the meeting can alway