Get Your Fix: 9 New Solutions and Tools to Fix Pesky AV/IT Problems

Get Your Fix: 9 New Solutions and Tools to Fix Pesky AV/IT Problems

In the immortal words of Vanilla Ice, “If you’ve got a problem, yo, I'll solve it.” More than ever before, end users and in-house tech directors are being asked to fix tech problems large and small. From managing power problems to confirming correct bandwidth, proper HDCP, resolution, and timing, consider these new tools for your organization’s team of fixers.

Hall Research Pattern Generator and Signal Analyzer

Hall Research latest battery-operated Video Pattern Generator and Signal Analyzer provides both analog VGA and the latest HDMI video outputs and also has an HDMI input. The PGA-VHD features a 4K UHD touch screen for user operation that also acts as a TV/monitor for the HDMI input. The HDMI input and output support resolutions to 4K UHD at 60Hz 4:4:4 and are compatible with HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 and HDR standards. Virtually all PC (VGA or DVI) and HDTV resolutions are available. The device is capable of performing video loop, HDCP and EDID tests. It is also equipped with an Ethernet port and most of its functions can be controlled using Telnet protocol.

Murideo Fox & Hound: A/V Testing and Troubleshooting Kit

Murideo is offering its new Fox & Hound: A/V Testing and Troubleshooting Kit, a 18Gbps generator and analyzer set. The kit, which is now available for purchase on, is equipped to test for 18Gbps distribution, HDR metadata, and more making it a necessity for the new wave of 4K60 (4:4:4) sources and content. Murideo says that The Fox & Hound Testing and Troubleshooting Kit was built as the ideal troubleshooting solution for all custom and commercial A/V field integrators. With an innovative design and advanced functionality which allows the confirmation of correct bandwidth (up to 18Gbps), HDCP, resolution, timing, HDR metadata and more, the Fox & Hound can assist on the most basic to the most complex of system issues.

Murideo is responsible for the Fresco Series SIX-A Analyzer and DPL Labs certified SIX-G Generator Field Test Suite. Popular among the world’s top integrators and calibrators, the success of these products paved the way for the development of the Fox & Hound. Designed with features like HDCP 2.2 compatibility, 18Gbps cable testing, advanced EDID analysis, audio confidence testing, 4K 10 and 12-bit support and so much more, the Fox & Hound is set apart from other testing/troubleshooting devices in terms of usefulness and on-board functionality. Using the generator in place of the source, and the analyzer in place of the sink allows these units to read data being sent throughout the system to easily pin point system issues and diminish support calls and the need for replacement products.

ATEN USB Console Adapter

Gain instant access to perform data maintenance and local operations for quick troubleshooting, updating, service, and repair with ATEN’s diminutive USB console adapter. The tiny, lightweight, USB-powered ATEN CV211 packs a serious punch in time-saving for IT engineers and administrators in a mobile age, especially in situations where no Internet access is available or permitted. The CV211 enables bi-directional file transfers, hotkeys, macros, video recording and screenshot captures of the remote computer through a USB 2.0 and VGA cable, without requiring the user to connect additional storage devices between the laptop and server. What’s more, the unique back-clip design helps with cable management when the CV211 is connected to a server, allowing all equipment to remain safe and tidy.

Just Add Power Tiling Transmitter

Just Add Power’s 4K network video tiler, the 3G+4+ Tiling Transmitter, allows any four 4K-source devices to be displayed on a single screen instantly. The flexible device can be applied to any commercial installation requiring multiview functionality, providing video support for resolutions up to full 4K HDR compatibility. Once tiled, the video feed can be distributed to an unlimited number of screens in commercial spaces or any video-wall configuration. The Tiling Transmitter provides the capability to create up to four customizable windows with easy presets, and adjust the transparency of images for multi-layered, dynamic display. Multiple tiling transmitters can be stacked together to add more sources and allow an infinite number of windows within windows. The transmitter also provides instant switching and can fade between sources in each window or preset. Furthermore, the tiler offers unlimited customizable presets for custom-sized tiles placed anywhere on the screen.

SurgeX Large-Format UPS Systems

Provide comprehensive protection and carry-over for mission critical systems with SurgeX’s newest large-format UPS systems, which are available in three new sizes: 10,000 volt-amps (10kVA), 15,000 volt-amps (15kVA), and 20,000 volt-amps (20kVA). The new models feature online double-conversion technology in addition to an integrated isolation transformer. This helps to ensure that if power from the utility or generator is dirty, unstable or lost, connected systems will continue to receive isolated and regenerated power for system availability and peak performance. Once installed, the units are always on and ready at a moment’s notice to carry over until an alternative power source is engaged, until safe shutdown is completed or until a load shed is completed by safely powering down high-consumption components and leaving only the critical systems online thereby expanding run time. Once the UPS system is engaged, information on the load, runtime, system health and other metrics is instantly available via IP, closures, and RS-232 supported methods.

DVI Gear Power Distribution Unit

Contain those wall warts once and for all. DVIGear's DVI-7520-PDU Power Distribution Unit is engineered from the ground up for 24/7 mission critical applications, with features that allow system designers and facility managers to optimize power management through more efficient use of rack space. Rated with an MTBF of greater than 220,000 hours, the reliable, 1U half-rack mountable DVI-7520-PDU provides +12 VDC power on 8x outputs, each rated for 24 watts. The unit has an overall power reserve of 200 watts, and it accepts AC line voltages auto-ranging from 88-264 VAC and AC line frequencies from 47-63 Hz. All outputs include extensive protection against overload, over-voltage and over-temperature. Phoenix connectors allow for universal connections to various products that require +12 VDC power.

C2G RapidRun HDMI Decorative Wall Plate Receiver

  • Tidy up your in-wall HDMI installs and extend 4K HDMI video and audio signal up to 1,000 feet with C2G’s RapidRun HDMI Decorative Wall Plate Receiver. RapidRun Optical is designed to be the standard for in-wall HDMI audio/video installations, delivering full 4K 4096x2160 resolution from a transmitting source through an optical runner cable to allow for a clean termination. The RapidRun HDMI wall plate receiver can be installed in a new or existing AV gang box, giving it a clean and professional appearance.
  • C2G includes a USB cable that must be used for supplying power, utilizing either a USB AC adapter to an available wall outlet, or an available USB port on the display.

Middle Atlantic Products L5 Series Lectern — Customize To Your Needs

It’s not a traditional AV "tool," but Middle Atlantic Products (MAP) is now offering a customization process that will save integrators and tech managers valuable time. MAP has added the L5 Series Lectern to the solutions available within its design experience at Users can customize the L5 and streamline the ordering process through the website, addressing any system requirements with the products and accessories available for the series — including new storage, shelving, and cable management options. If a simpler solution is needed, customers can choose from a selection of easy-to-order, pre-configured lecterns that incorporate current design trends.

“Our online design experience allows our customers to build intuitive, personalized systems that match the exact design and installation needs of today's demanding AV environments,” said Megan Knedler, director of product management, furniture for Middle Atlantic. “The selection and configuration process within our design solution builds upon that assurance, providing our customers with an improved, tailored ordering experience. We are also reaffirming our commitment to customers who need expedited quotes and ordering time with our new lineup of pre-configured models.”

Automated Captioning With the Link Electronics ACE-2000

Closed captioning is not only a common request, it’s an ADA requirement. If you need to augment your captioning, Link Electronics is offering the ACE-2000 Automated Captioning Engine for converting speech into captioning data to be sent to a closed captioning encoder. Using a cutting-edge computational linguistics program, the ACE-2000 converts speech to text and sends that text out with captioning data, either by RS-232 (Serial) or TCP/IP. Designed for two through four-line roll-up captions, it is compatible with most closed captioning encoders or devices.

The ACE-2000 can accept audio by de-embedding the first two channels of audio from a SDI or a HDMI video input or through balanced AES or analog audio. Additionally, the unit can accept audio using http, tcp, udp, mmsh, and most types of rstp and rtmp, including most commonly used codecs. For remote controlling of the device, the ACE-2000 has a web-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) that contains an event scheduler, allowing the user to use different audio inputs and caption outputs on demand, with selectable caption location. The unit comes preset with standard audio and caption data outputs for Link Electronics encoders, making setup for the device quick and efficient.

Field Tech Survival Guide

For AV field techs, Brett Cohen, a Cisco CNNA and CTS-certified AV project coordinator, has some recommendations.

"Got one of those Atlona HD800 signal generators, the ones without a readout?" Cohen asked. "Obviously, you can’t determine which resolution your monitor won’t pass if you don’t know what you are sending to it. Get yourself a 1 x 2 HDMI splitter so you can use your AT-DIS7-PROHD portable monitor to decipher what you are sending to the monitor in question."

2 RU Kidding Me?

One of a field techs worst nightmares: a 2 RU ceiling box. "These things are populated in the shop with all the necessary gear and cabling to run a whole room," Cohen added. "The last time I encountered one of these, the cabling was so tight across both shelves that there was not one component I could safely access to test or service. Hey rack builders, remember that us field techs are working on a ladder against gravity, not at a workbench. Show some love and think of us when you assemble these. Make them serviceable."

Stay tuned for a "DIY Survival Guide for AV Technicians," coming soon from AV Technology magazine. We will share more tips and techniques from Brett Cohen and other AV pros in the field.

Kirsten Nelson is a freelance content producer who translates the expertise and passion of technologists into the vernacular of an audience curious about their creations. Nelson has written about audio and video technology in all its permutations for almost 20 years; she was the editor of SCN for 17 years. Her experience in the commercial AV and acoustics design and integration market has also led her to develop presentation programs and events for AVIXA and SCN, deliver keynote speeches, and moderate and participate in panel discussions. In addition to technology, she also writes about motorcycles—she is a MotoGP super fan.