What Business Opportunities Will Boost Sales of Video Extenders in 2013?

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Designed and installed by SAVE Electronics, this San Antonio entertainment complex features 35 big screen TVs, as well as 11 WXGA projectors, powered by Kramer Electronics CORE products. Bowlers in the 22-lane bowling alley enjoy programming on 11 screens that span two lanes each. Music videos, advertising and programming are transmitted from six digital satellite receivers, six digital signage PCs, and five laptop connections.Jack Gershfeld
President, Altinex

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Currently, Cat-5/6 extenders are the norm for digital signal extenders. Some vendors use single coaxial cable to achieve the same results. One of the more exciting technologies that is gaining foothold is robust wireless connectivity between displays and sources.

With wireless transmission distance exceeding 150 feet and the ability to have up to eight wireless devices in close proximity, this is opening up new commercial business opportunities. Focusing on boardroom installations, commercial wireless solutions provide extreme ease of plug-and-play installations.

One of the untapped markets for video extenders is landscaping. With the increased availability of lower cost monitors, many homeowners want to outfit their backyards with an HD display. Again, a wireless solution provides a simple and effective way of achieving this goal.

Clint Hoffman
VP of Marketing, Kramer Electronics

One way we know that the market for digital range extenders will increase in 2013 and beyond is because we still sell so many analog range extenders. That trend will change soon and all that business will eventually turn into digital range extenders as the “digital sunrise” continues.

Erik Indresøvde
Global Video & Multimedia
Product Manager, Black Box

We will likely see opportunities open up for the use of new IP-based extenders running over an existing local area network (LAN). End users will continue to take video to areas where it’s not easily possible or cost effective to install new video cable runs. Using a standard ethernet network for video distribution greatly improves flexibility and makes it possible to deploy HD video distribution over a greater distance at a lower cost instead of having to install separate cabling for video. These types of extenders are a great way to leverage existing infrastructure and provide system integrators with the ease and economies of running video over a LAN.

Hagai Gefen
President, Gefen

Ultra HD video, also known as 4Kx2K, is using HDMI to boost very high resolutions up to 4K just as the 4K displays are coming out. It is making big strides these days, and it will lead to increased sales of HDMIbased extenders for the early ultra HD adopters and where the bigger commercial integrators will be installing the 4K displays. This ultra HD quality is a stunning new technology and will become a catalyst that creates new business opportunities for those who invested in Gefen ELR (extra long range) technology based on HDBaseT and Gefen fiber optic technology, which both supports 4Kx2K . Those who have already invested in these extension technologies will benefit immediately by creating new business opportunities.

This video wall/digital signage installation from the Orlando Florida Hospital for Children’s Walt Disney Pavilion, is a themed lobby sold by BTX to integrator Sound Stage Inc., featuring Gefen products.Ilya Khayn
President and CEO, Atlona

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Video extenders are some of the most commonly used accessories in today’s custom installation world. Whether it’s a residential or commercial project, video extenders are being used almost every time an AV system is put together. We see more and more projects utilizing digital connectivity infrastructures. Extenders allow much longer cable runs, daisy chaining, higher resolution support, future proofing, and high performance. More integrators continue to see the convenience and flexibility of running a single UTP cable from point A to point B while supporting multiple signals such as digital video, audio, control, ethernet, and power, instead of multiple coaxial cables.

Tony McAhren
Product Manager, TV One

The video wall and digital signage market segments are continuing to drive growth in the video extender product segment. The products available today give users more choices and opportunities, but also creative signal management of not only traditional video but now [they] include new levels of control and data. Wired and wireless enable video to reach the final destination.

Video equipment manufacturers are continuing to include extenderfriendly capability on the outputs, helping to lower the overall extender cost when it is built in to the product itself, allowing for better system designs.

Video walls along with digital signage have become very creative, and now integrators and users have more creative and flexible extender options available when designing systems to meet customer needs.

Garry Dukes
Director of Product Management, C2G and Joe Cornwall
Technology Evangelist, C2G

As more and more devices and displays are outfitted with only digital connections, [the analog sunset] trend is expected to grow, providing opportunities for both digital extension products that replace, as well as integrate with, analog products, allowing users to incorporate new devices while continuing to leverage their investment in existing devices or infrastructure. Some of the applications where the replacement of older equipment is helping to drive this trend are classrooms in K-12 and higher education, conference and meeting rooms, as well as digital signage.

Among [other trends] is the rapid growth of videoconferencing systems. Once isolated to only very large organizations, these systems are becoming commonplace in organizations of all sizes.

Healthcare also provides a rapidly growing area for the use of digital extension products in a wide variety of applications that range from high definition video in operating rooms to electronic displays being used for scheduling in nurses stations to patient entertainment in waiting areas and hospital rooms. The explosive growth of mobility provides yet another opportunity for the extension of both wired and wireless high definition signals to displays, allowing users to easily connect and share content from their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Doug Engstrom
Communications/Technical Support, Contemporary Research

Another pathway for extending HD video is by adding in-house HDTV channels over the RF coax system. This works especially well for distributing HD-SDI and digital signage. An RF system can carry HD channels over long distances, and any HDTV set can tune in, so there’s no expensive interfaces needed to receive the channel. One signage player can be viewed by any number of HDTVs, eliminating the cost of extra servers, players, and licenses needed for IP distribution.

Chaz Porter
Region Sales Manager, FSR

FSR is anticipating a significant increase in digital video extenders in 2013. Computer manufacturers have moved away from the common HD-15 connector to digital formats, such as Mini DisplayPort and HDMI. This transition will make digital video required in every AV installation. Digital video’s low transmission distances, along with the low cost of running twisted pair wiring, will drive the use of extenders. For those systems that still require an analog signal, FSR now has switching wall plate extenders that have inputs for both analog and digital connections. The analog signal is converted analog to digital so the users system can be entirely digital.

Dan O’Donnell
National Sales Manager, Commercial and Residential AV, Key Digital Systems

The old days of using cheap sources or even a simple switcher just to get by may have worked in the analog world, but in the digital world, it could cause you to spend hours troubleshooting why your baluns aren’t working. Some of the new baluns on the market, like the KD-CATHD500 or KD-CATHD300 baluns, have an “HDMI fixer” built in that enable the balun to take responsibility for communicating EDID, HDCP, and TMDS. Having a “smartbalun” can solve many issues in the field when entry-level sources or switchers are out of your control. When you do have the full design build option, make sure to use switchers and sources that can deliver what the marketing on the box says it can do.

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