The What: Hall Research has launched the HD-AUD-IO, an all-in-one HDMI audio manager capable of extracting audio from (de-embedding) and/or inserting audio into (embedding) an HDMI video signal. Features include advanced EDID management and ability to create audio-only HDMI output.
The What Else: The HD-AUD-IO provides one HDMI input with a corresponding output. The audio embedded in the HDMI input is extracted and available as both stereo analog or multichannel digital SPDIF (TOSLINK). The product provides two audio inputs (analog and digital). Users can select which audio to embed in the HDMI output. It can be the same as the original HDMI audio (pass-thru), SPDIF digital, or 3.5mm L/R analog.
The audio in the HDMI output can be muted using discrete (contact closure) input or RS-232 commands. The HD-AUD-IO is capable of generating an HDMI output even with no HDMI input. This can be used to distribute HDMI with only audio (black screen) to TVs.
Advanced EDID management allows users to control the video portion as well as the audio part of the EDID. The EDID presented to the video source can pass from the downstream device or emulated from internal memory. The device can also learn the EDID connected to its HDMI output.
The product has a video bandwidth of 18Gbps and supports resolutions up to 4K60, 4:4:4, with HDR. It supports HDCP 2.2 as well as HDCP 1.4.
The Bottom Line: The HD-AUD-IO is well suited for environments where the audio needs to follow a different path than the video—places such as sports bars, houses of worship, retail stores, and the like. Since the product can extract and embed audio at the same time, with the use of an external mixer, users are able to mix auxiliary audio (e.g. from microphone) with the original HDMI program audio.