The What: Key Digital has announced the KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G HDMI distribution amplifiers designed for digital signage applications.
The What Else: Featuring two HDMI inputs to four or eight respective HDBaseT outputs, the KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G allows signage players, computers, DVD players, or specialized content from two HDMI sources to be distributed to all four or eight connected displays. Displays only require a single Cat-5e/6 cable to each display from the distribution amplifier, and the included receiver is connected to the HDMI input of the monitor/display.
Content is supported up to Ultra HD/4K resolution at 4096x2160 or 3840x2160 24/25/30/60Hz at 4:4:4 (signals up to 18Gbps bandwidth). Long range signal extension of 4K/UHD signals achieves up to 76m (250ft) using Cat-5e/Cat-6, and 1080p content is extended up to 100m (328ft).
Key Digital offers a front-end switching selection on the KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G, which enables the distribution of identical content to all four or eight respective screens. All monitors connect via the included receive units. The receivers are powered by the KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G, and that power is carried over the HDBaseT run, a popular feature for AV integrators that sometimes do not have power outlets available behind displays.
Emphasized within the KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G are several designed to aid integrators and enhance the end-user experience. Auto switching automatically switches to or from a newly detected or disconnected source when enabled. Audio de-embedding enables the audio of the video content to also be fed into connected audio systems. Control pass-through enables IR or RS-232 signals from a professional control system to control connected monitors or be collected from the receiver unit and sent to the main equipment rack location for control of a selected source.
These products join a suite of Key Digital IP enabled products that are now app ready. Using the KD-App downloadable from the App Store, installers and users have a free way to switch inputs of the video distribution system using any iOS device. The KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G also support the Key Digital Management Pro Software (KDMS Pro), are Compass Control Pro ready, and are fully controllable by all IR, RS-232, and TCP/IP supported control systems via open API.
The KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G feature EDID Control with a built-in internal library of 15 EDID handshakes in addition to the ability to copy the EDID data from the display connected to output/display one. The Full Buffer System manages TMDS re-clocking / signal re-generation, HDCP source and display authentication, Hot Plug Management, and EDID Control handshake. Supported lossless compressed digital audio formats include Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Dolby Atmos.
“HDBaseT technology is the go-to for reliable HDMI content extension without utilizing a network, and Key Digital leverages the power and reliability of HDBaseT to deliver it in a package designed with digital signage applications in mind on these splitter models,” said Jonathon Ferry, national training manger for Key Digital. “As opposed to signage systems that require a player or computer located at each and every display, we achieve cost-effective and uniform content distribution with exceptional distance performance using KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G. With a user-friendly focus, these products are KD-App ready, so the facilities manager can easily switch from content A to B from their iPhone or iPad using Key Digital’s free switching app.”
The Bottom Line: Designed for versatility, the KD-DA2x4G and KD-DA2x8G are well suited for digital signage applications in retail environments, transit hubs, public addressing, and large venues.