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Power Over CAT6? Now We’re Getting Somewhere

Power Over CAT6? Now We’re Getting Somewhere

Q&A with Grant Cossey about the new Altinex Muse.

AV Technology Editors: How is the Altinex Muse actually different from competitor products?

Grant Cossey, Altinex VP of Sales: There has been HDMI over CAT5/6 for many years, but Muse is a totally different product in the world of HDMI extenders. In fact, you really can’t even consider it an HDMI extender—the HDMI signal is almost a bonus. Muse offers power over CAT6, and that’s a game changer. I mean real power. A regular 110v NEMA 5-15 socket that you just plug your display into and you have an instant working display—300 feet from the source. No electrician required. Now, we don’t deliver 110v over the CAT6—that’d be dangerous and illegal. We use a proprietary AC-DC-AC conversion process and algorithm that ensures safe operation. Thankfully, HDBaseT unified HDMI over CAT5/6 into a common standard, but the thing that has always been missing (and mostly still is) is a way to power the display. Some display manufacturers are starting to offer an HDBaseT input that will also power the display—but there are only a few to choose and at comparably high prices. Muse offers the ability to select your own display and incorporates the regular HDBaseT feature pack (HDMI, IR, and RS232). But the defining point here is that we also added that 110v, 150 watt AC socket so that you can just plug your display in.

Why does this matter for AV and IT tech managers and end-users across the wide bow of commercial verticals?

Grant Cossey: We had a narrow focus when we created Muse: Make HDMI & Power (that real 110v power) go 300 feet—then add in IR and RS232. What verticals and end-users use it? We envision AV installations such as sports bars, residential, and digital signage applications as just the start. The concept was to make hanging and powering a display easy. The installer is going to be running a signal cable anyway, so why not make it so that the same cable provides power as well? That way, you have an “all-in-one” solution. We also had to make certain it was safety standard compliant (UL60950) and required no set up. After all, we wanted SIMPLE installations… Since releasing Muse, we have had people create some fantastic applications: reconfigurable dynamic signage, landscapers utilizing it for outdoor displays, tradeshow companies for simplified booth layouts. Government and military applications are coming in by the dozen. No need for base electricians. The application list is mind-boggling. Imagine being able to mount a display on a glass wall with just a CAT6 line connecting it, or a finished plenum ceiling where you simply can’t get electrical in without major reconstruction. A heritage building where you can’t remove or reconstruct. A shopping mall where you can’t use bulky, ugly conduit. A single CAT6 line is easy to install and conceal. The overall concept for Muse means we make installations easier, and more cost effective. Installations on your schedule, not someone else’s—with no permits to pull either.

How does this new product fits into the larger corporate mission/narrative?

Grant Cossey: Muse is a true reflection of where Altinex is going. For the past 20 years, Altinex has been coming up with firsts: Wall boxes, table boxes, modular systems, configurable systems—all industry firsts. Today, Muse (and the extended Muse range that will be released over the next 12 months) is continuing this tradition by being another world first that the whole industry is embracing and asking why it hadn’t been done before. The bottom line is that the concept for Muse is incredibly simple. The execution of the technology behind it is incredibly complex. But it reflects our core mission and values of creating unique and innovative solutions that the AV industry actually needs. You’ll see our product range focus change from being a “Me too” company to being laser focused on solutions that don’t exist anywhere else. Let’s face it—there are dozens of companies out there offering virtually the same thing when it comes to DA’s, switchers, and matrix’s. But there are very few companies that are creating truly new and innovative products that are really making the AV world better for both the end-user and the installer. Altinex still is...for more than 20 years.



A disruptive product for AV installs, digital signage, & more.

The Altinex Muse HDMI+Power+RS-232+IR Transmitter and Receiver are fully compliant with HDMI and HDCP standards and is pending safety approval. Muse is now shipping. Suggested MSRP for the MU400-111 transmitter and the MU500-112 receiver (one pair): $1,495. Tiered pricing is available.

The staff at AVNetwork is comprised of story-tellers focused on the professional audiovisual industry. With expertise in digital signage, audio innovations, and emerging trends, AVNetwork staff is here to keep readers up-to-date with the latest pro AV news.