Runco | REFLECTION CL-510 | The Power and Flexibility of IP Link™ Global

Issue 14.3
Fall 2003
The Power and Flexibility of
IP Link™ Global Viewer
On the cover…
The IP Link
The Power of Web-based
Control and Management
Unique Techniques
Centers for Disease Control
Receives A/V Booster in Battle
Against Diseases and Threats
10 Featured Products
MVC 121 and RAC 104
Audio Control for
Integrated A/V Systems
The Global Viewer is the Web-based management and control application supplied with every
IP Link™-enabled product.
11 The Extron Hotline
Product Labels Offer a
Unique and Valuable Resource
12 Technically Speaking
VTG 300 Video and Audio Test
Signals — As Good as It Gets
18 Tech Corner
Optimizing Your Image
with Auto-Image™
he key to effectively integrating A/V systems into a network is
the right software. You need a feature set robust enough to
accommodate large, complex installations, yet the software should be
simple to install and configure. That’s why we developed Global Viewer,
a powerful, flexible, easy to use application for monitoring and
managing A/V systems.
16 New Products
23 New News
24 Tweeker Use
The IP Link™ Global Viewer software is
the Web-based management and control
application supplied at no charge with every
IP Link-enabled product. We developed it
to support existing open Internet standards
such as HTML, XML, and JavaScript. The
Global Viewer Web pages are completely
customizable using any off-the-shelf Web
development software. Together with IP Link
Technology, the Global Viewer provides a
flexible and simple control interface for
Extron and third party products.
continued on page 2
The Power and Flexibility of IP Link™ Global Viewer
The Control Screen allows you to remotely control many functions,
including volume, power, input source, and more.
Power Control
Input Source
Connection Status
Power Status
Auto Image
Aspect Ratio Select
Video Mute
Configuring the Global Viewer
ports, and defining management options.
The configuration utility automatically
generates HTML-based Web pages and
loads device drivers based on device
information provided and management
options selected. Web pages are stored on
the IP Link control interface and can be
viewed from any computer with access to
the network.
Creating Global Viewer pages is simple
and intuitive. Once all system hardware is
installed and connected, the Extron Global
Viewer Configuration Utility can be run on
any PC on the network. The Global Viewer
Configuration Utility contains several
intuitive screens for adding devices, setting
IP address information, configuring serial
Web pages produced by the configuration
utility are fully customizable once created.
Using standard HTML editing tools, you
can add images and logos, and modify
text and background colors, creating a user
interface that reflects your brand or your
user’s requests.
A key advantage of our approach is that
the Global Viewer operates in a standard
Web browser and is not based on an Extron
proprietary application that requires users
to learn a new programming language in
order to use it, nor is there any lengthy
certification process to master.
ExtroNews 14.3
Fall 2003
So, why implement a Web-based control
and management system with IP Link and
Global Viewer? The most compelling benefits
can be illustrated using the three key
functions of the Global Viewer: control,
monitor, and schedule.
The Global Viewer turns any standard
Web browser into a universal remote. With
IP Link technology, any device in the room
currently controlled by a handheld remote
or a control panel on the wall can be
networked together and controlled from
a single interface. These can include devices
such as projectors, VCRs, switchers,
screens, lights, and thermostats. Thanks to
The Monitor Screen allows you to enable and disable trigger events
and their corresponding actions.
View by
or by
This sample shows how the Global Viewer can be set up to send an e-mail alert if an LCD projector is physically
disconnected from the network.
the wide availability of wired and wireless
network access, that single control point
can be a computer, a laptop, a PDA — even
a Web-enabled cell phone.
Centralized room control is powerful
enough, but the Global Viewer extends
the idea to include the ability to control
devices in multiple rooms from a single
view. The interface allows you to view
connected devices in two ways: by location
or device type.
Organizations have used the corporate
network for management of their computer
assets for years. With the Global Viewer,
you don’t have to be an IT expert to enjoy
powerful, proactive asset management
capability for your audio/ video system. The
Global Viewer can display information like
serial numbers, owner identification, maintenance history, usage data, and installed
firmware versions. This centralized data can
be collected via e-mail messaging and used to
reduce maintenance costs and guide future
purchasing decisions. Why purchase another
set of expensive document cameras for newly
constructed classrooms, for example, when
your asset management data shows that only
50% of those you have are being used?
Technicians can troubleshoot remotely
by viewing real-time device status such as
power on or off and current input selection.
With IP Link’s e-mail functionality, accessed
via the Global Viewer, devices can be configured to proactively manage themselves. For
instance, a projector can be polled routinely
to track lamp usage and total life time.
When lamp usage reaches a predetermined
number of hours, the IP Link interface can
send an e-mail. E-mail messaging can also be
used to notify security personnel if a device is
Fall 2003
continued on page 4
ExtroNews 14.3
The Power and Flexibility of IP Link™ Global Viewer
At the Schedule Screen, you can view and modify scheduled
events and associated e-mail alerts.
In this sample, an IP Tools interface is scheduled to power off an attached LCD projector each weekday at
7 pm local time.
physically disconnected from an IP Link
interface that is monitoring its status.
The Global Viewer uses the real-time clock
and calendar in IP Link-enabled devices to
maximum value. User-defined tasks are easy
to configure and schedule with the Global
Viewer. Would you like your system to turn
themselves off all projectors at a time you
specify, and raise the screen if it was left
down? No problem. How about instructing
ExtroNews 14.3
a single room to turn specific equipment
on, and set its thermostat to a predetermined
temperature just before a scheduled
presentation? Easy. Scheduling tasks and
e-mail reminders is simple and straightforward and doesn’t require high-level
programming skills.
I hope you’re beginning to catch a
glimpse of the possibilities that Web-based
management affords using the IP Link Global
Viewer. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to
Fall 2003
control, manage, and automate your entire
A/V system via the Internet — from inside the
room or across the globe.
Centers For Disease Control Receives A/V Booster in Battle Against
Diseases and Threats
he Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
(CDC) is the preeminent federal
agency in the US for protecting
the health and safety of people
in the US and abroad. It provides
credible data and information
to combat and contain deadly
diseases and viruses, while promoting health around the world.
Founded in 1946 as the Communicable
Disease Center, the CDC has worked
assiduously throughout the years to alert
and suppress outbreaks of malaria, polio,
smallpox, and Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome (AIDS). More recently, the CDC has
been besieged with the peril of anthrax, as
well as contagious diseases like Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and monkeypox.
The demands placed on the CDC have
surpassed all expectations. However, their
makeshift base of operations — a hodgepodge of phones, pagers, computers, and
random pieces of A/V equipment in a converted auditorium — wasn’t properly set up
to handle the workload and overflow in a
timely and efficient manner. The need for a
large, modern, permanent facility was
apparent, but obtaining federal funds
through the proper channels would take time
— something the CDC simply didn’t have.
In April 2002, Bernard Marcus, co-founder
of Home Depot, stepped up to the plate and
pledged $3.9 million to begin production of
a new CDC facility. With additional funding
and donations of time and equipment from
various corporate and philanthropic entities,
construction of the CDC’s new Marcus
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in
Atlanta, GA, began in the fall of 2002 and
was completed in April 2003.
“CDC’s new state-of-the-art facility enables
us to employ an integrated response to any
public health emergency and better protect
the American public,” Tommy G. Thompson,
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary,
said during the dedication of the EOC.
“The emergency operations center allows
us to more efficiently track and respond to
disease outbreaks.”
Willis, Operations Manager for Sytex Inc.,
Advanced Presentation Systems Division,
a Virginia-based system integrator that
led the design and installation of all the
A/V equipment. “The system we put in has
allowed the CDC to accomplish far more
than they ever imagined.”
Main Operations Floor
Much of the CDC’s work takes place on
the main operations floor of the EOC. Here,
the center’s staff of scientists, doctors, and
researchers gather and organize data from all
The EOC is a 7,000 square foot, 24/7
mission-critical building designed to monitor
the spread of diseases and possible bioterrorism threats worldwide. At its core is a
professional A/V system with two video walls,
several plasma displays, a sophisticated touch
panel control system, and a variety of Extron
products to tie it all together.
“After 9/11, there became a need to have
a centralized location for all of the groups
in the CDC to conduct operations,” said Ron
Two CDC staff members confer on the EOC’s main
operations floor.
Fall 2003
continued on page 6
ExtroNews 14.3
Centers For Disease Control Receives A/V Booster in Battle Against Diseases and Threats
over the world. According to Willis, images of
real-time events, statuses, alerts, news, and
maps are transmitted via cable, satellite, and
computer feeds and displayed onto eight
50-inch DLP projection cubes with their own
multimedia wall controllers. The projection
cubes are set up in 2x2 arrays, creating two
video walls that enable the CDC staff, sitting
before theater-style workstations, to easily
access, decipher, and prioritize all incoming
The Marcus Emergency Operations Center
Finance and Budget
Tech Support
Main Operations
To route the signals on the main operations
floor and throughout the facility, the Sytex
team chose the Extron Matrix 6400 Series.
Designed for large scale routing applications
that require up to 64 inputs and 64 outputs,
the Matrix 6400 provides customizable
and modular switching of composite video,
S-video, component video, RGsB, RGBS,
RGBHV, and one or two channel audio.
The EOC control room houses the entire
infrastructure for the main floor. There
are 12 racks in the control room including
two filled with multiple Matrix 6400 Basic
Module Enclosures (BMEs) to accommodate
all incoming feeds and outgoing signals.
“We have a Matrix 6400 wideband and a
Matrix 6400 video,” Willis said.
Both switchers were originally configured
for 48x32, but Sytex is in the process of
upgrading them to 64x64. This flexibility to
accommodate growing systems is one of the
main reasons the Matrix 6400 series was
chosen. “Eventually, we will need to expand
to different rooms, and the 6400 offers the
capability to do that easily,” Willis said.
Another key element to the Matrix 6400
is the “rooming” feature. The switcher can
be programmed to group multiple outputs to
specific “rooms,” allowing them to have their
own presets. Each matrix can support up to
10 rooms and can consist of up to 16 signals.
Because there are a total of 100 room presets
available, the switcher is future-ready.
ExtroNews 14.3
The CDC’s two 6400 switchers are
equipped with optional FPC 1000 Front Panel
Controllers, intuitive interfaces with large
LCD windows that allow direct access and
control over all presets and switching. Thirdparty, networked touch panel screens are
installed for monitoring and controlling the
entire A/V system.
Team Rooms
There are six team rooms in the EOC that
operate independently from the rest of the
facility. All of the team rooms include six
desktop computers, each with its own Extron
RGB 190FV universal, analog computer-video
interface. The RGB 190FV features horizontal
Fall 2003
shift control, simultaneous output of
composite and separate H&V sync, sync on
green output and serration pulse removal,
and Digital Display Sync Processing (DDSP),
which allows sync to be output in its original
state and ensures compatibility with LCD,
DLP, and plasma digital display devices.
The team rooms also feature a 42-inch
plasma display with external speakers and a
rack populated with a CATV tuner, a VCR,
and an Extron CrossPoint 128HVA, a 12x8
Marcus Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Equipment
Equipment Room
Extron Matrix 6400
Extron FPC 1000
Extron CrossPoint 1616HVA
Extron MAV 1616 AV
Extron USP 405
Executive Briefing /
Video Conference Room
Team Room
Touch panel controller
6 computers
6 Extron RGB 190FV Interfaces
42" plasma display
Equipment rack containing:
Extron CrossPoint 128HVA
CATV tuner
Each video conference room
contains the following equipment:
• Extron MAV 1616 AV
• Extron CrossPoint 1616HVA
• Extron RGB 190FV
• Extron RGB 464xi
• Extron USP 405
• Computers
• 61" plasma display
• Interactive digital white board
• Document camera
• VCR players
• DVD players
All of the sources in the team rooms can be
displayed locally, while an additional output is
connected to the Matrix 6400 switchers for
presentations that need to be funneled onto
the main floor and/or to other rooms. The
team rooms, like the Main Operations Floor,
utilize a third-party touch panel screen to
monitor and control the A/V system.
Videoconference Rooms
analog RGBHV wideband matrix switcher.
CrossPoint HVA models switch RGBHV signals
and two-channel audio (balanced and
unbalanced). Housed in a rack-mountable,
19-inch wide enclosure, the CrossPoint
128HVA is the perfect single box solution for
the team rooms. Each input and output is
individually isolated and buffered, and any
input(s) can be switched to any one or all
outputs with virtually no crosstalk or signal
noise between channels.
The EOC is rounded out by two large,
executive-style videoconference (VC) rooms.
These rooms are essential to the CDC’s
objective of coordinating and maintaining
communications with outside officials
regarding health and safety issues. When the
Columbia Space shuttle catastrophe occurred
in early 2003, temporary VC communications
were set up with local and state public health
agencies to discuss hazards from falling
debris. More recently, with the VC rooms
fully operational, communications were
established with health organizations in
Geneva and Hong Kong to discuss the
SARS epidemic.
Fall 2003
continued on page 8
ExtroNews 14.3
Centers For Disease Control Receives A/V Booster in Battle Against Diseases and Threats
The CrossPoint 1616HVA is an analog
RGBHV matrix switcher for switching
RGBHV signals and two-channel audio
(balanced and unbalanced). Offering 200
MHz (-3dB) of RGB video bandwidth, fully
loaded, the CrossPoint 1616HVA includes
adjustable input audio gain and attenuation
so users can set levels without any noticeable
volume differences between sources.
In the VC rooms, the MAV 1616 AV is used
to handle all standard definition composite
signals, while the CrossPoint 1616HVA routes
the high resolution RGBHV signals.
The Executive Briefing room (which doubles as a VC room) of the Emergency Operations Center.
Both VC rooms are equipped to the nines
with A/V components. At the display end,
each VC room features a 61-inch plasma
and an interactive whiteboard. There are
also a variety of sources. “We have several
RGB inputs and several video inputs,” Willis
said. To handle the broad spectrum of
sources (VCRs, DVD players, document
cameras, and computers) and signal types,
there are two racks in the control room
dedicated to the VC rooms. Each rack is
populated with two matrix switchers: an
Extron MAV 1616 AV and an Extron
CrossPoint 1616HVA.
The MAV 1616 AV is a composite video
and stereo audio matrix switcher designed
for applications that require routing of
composite video with stereo audio
(balanced/unbalanced) signals. With 16
inputs and 16 outputs, the MAV 1616
includes a preset feature that allows up to
16 I/O configurations to be stored in
memory for future use. It also provides audio
follow so any audio signal can be selected
with any video signal simultaneously, as
well as audio breakaway, which allows
signals to break away from corresponding
video signals and be routed separately.
Extron Matrix 6400 Basic Module Enclosures fill two
of the 12 racks inside the Center’s equipment room.
This videoconference room is equipped with a
61-inch plasma and touch panel control system.
ExtroNews 14.3
Fall 2003
In addition, the VC rooms are hooked up
with a number of RGB 190FV interfaces, as
well as several Extron RGB 464xi universal,
analog computer-video interfaces that can
be mounted in a three-gang wall box. The
RGB 464xi includes a 15-150 kHz horizontal
f re q u e n c y r a n g e , 3 0 0 M H z ( - 3 d B ) o f
bandwidth, and Extron’s Advanced Digital
Sync Processing (ADSP ™ ), which provides
all-digital processing of sync signals,
avoiding the tearing and other image
distortions encountered when using poor
sync processing methods with digital display
devices (DLP, LCD, D-ILA™/LCoS, plasma,
etc.). Willis mentioned that the RGB 464xi
also has “a nice clean appearance that meets
our requirements.”
To top it off, an Extron USP 405 Universal
Signal Processor is included in each
VC room to supplement any video signal
conversion requirements. As an all-in-one
box solution, the USP 405 is able to perform
as a high performance scaler, scan converter,
trans-converter, format converter, switcher,
and transcoder. It accepts a wide range of
video signal formats, processes them, and
outputs them all in one format directly to a
digital display, projector, or editing device.
There’s virtually no limit to what the USP
405 can accomplish within an environment
like the CDC.
Centers For Disease Control Receives A/V Booster in Battle Against Diseases and Threats
On the main operations floor, staff members assess
all incoming public health alerts.
The EOC’s main operations floor features eight
50-inch DLP projection cubes set up in 2x2 arrays.
The CDC staff views the latest health alerts via LED reader boards.
To maximize the quality of the output
image, the USP 405 features several Extron
proprietary video processing technologies:
Dynamic Motion Interpolation (DMI ™ ), 3:2
(NTSC) and 2:2 (PAL) pulldown detection,
and the patented Accu-RATE Frame Lock
(AFL™). DMI technology is an advanced
motion detection and compensation method
used to deliver the best aspects of still and
motion algorithms, resulting in a superior
image; 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown detection is an
advanced film mode that helps maximize
image detail and sharpness for NTSC or PAL
sources that originated from film; and AFL
solves frame rate conversion issues such as
glitches by locking the output frame rate to
the input frame rate.
manufactures the type of equipment
effective in this type of environment.”
Willis also said the reaction to the A/V
system has been nothing short of spectacular.
To put it all in perspective, Charles Stokes,
president and CEO of the CDC Foundation,
stated: “The technologies available to the
scientists working in the operations center are
truly cutting edge.”
For more information on the Web:
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC Foundation
Sytex Inc.
In short, the variety of Extron products in
the CDC not only aid in keeping the A/V
system technically up to speed and easy to
use, they also play a key role in making sure
the world’s health issues are monitored and
attended to as expediently as possible.
Mission Critical
Because the CDC’s goals are of a highly
critical, fast-response nature, it was crucial
that all equipment be dependable and
simple to use. “This is a 24/7 facility,” Willis
confirmed. “It’s a known fact that Extron
Fall 2003
ExtroNews 14.3
The MVC 121 and RAC 104 Audio Control for Integrated A/V Systems
xtron has been making a little noise in the audio world. We now offer more switchers with key audio features
such as preamp line level audio for fixed and variable outputs and integrated audio amplifiers. We have
developed specialized audio products that enable additional processing control for program and distributed audio
systems. At InfoComm 2003, three new audio summing amplifiers were introduced for converting two-channel
stereo audio signals to balanced/unbalanced one-channel mono audio signals. Now, we have added two more
products designed for the integration A/V market: the MVC 121 audio mixer and the RAC 104 remote volume tone
and tone controller.
The Extron MVC 121 is a high performance
microphone and line level mixer with volume
control. It includes two microphone/line level
inputs and a third line level only input — each
with its own volume control. The MVC 121
also features:
The MVC 121 and RAC 104 can accommodate
up to four audio channels while optimizing
sound reinforcement in integrated A/V
environments. Figure 1 is an example of a
two-channel application with two front
program speakers and two podiums, each with
its own microphone. With the MVC 121, the
user is able to provide a stereo input for an
audio source and inputs for two dynamic
or condenser microphones. Volume can
b e c o n t ro l l e d f o r e a c h
Ch 1
individual input and the
mixed program output.
fourth channel, another external audio source
could play background music on both channels
in stereo.
Figure 4 is another example of a fourchannel application. The difference here is that
channels three and four are now assigned to
zones. The user can control the tone and
volume in various parts of the room, often
resulting in an even distribution of sound
throughout the entire area.
Ch 2
Ch 1
Program Speakers
• RS-232 control and contact closure muting
• Line level outputs
• 48V microphone phantom power
• Front panel LEDS
• Two modes of front panel security lockout
The Extron RAC 104 is a four channel remote
volume and tone controller. It provides up to
four channels for controlling volume, bass, and
treble. The RAC 104 features:
• RS-232 control and three presets per channel
• Compatibility with any audio amplifier
• Professional and consumer audio levels
Both the MVC 121 and RAC 104 include
external power supplies and are housed in 1U,
quarter rack width metal enclosures for flexible
mounting under or through a desk or in a rack.
ExtroNews 14.3
Ch 2
Program Speakers
Ch 3
In Figure 2, a threechannel application
comprises two channels
for program speakers
and a third channel for
distributed ceiling speakers.
The RAC 104 allows the
user to define the channels
as mono or stereo. The line
level selection DIP switch
also enables the user to
choose between consumer
or professional level inputs
and outputs. The RAC 104
can control the volume,
bass, and treble of program
speakers. It can also control
the volume and tone of a
t h i rd c h a n n e l f o r t h e
distributed speakers placed
on the ceiling. A similar
scenario would apply to
Figure 3 with the addition
of a fourth channel. In this
instance, however, instead
of indirectly inputting a
microphone into the third or
Fall 2003
Figure 1
Class Room Top View
Figure 2
Class Room Top View
Two-Channel Application
(Two front program speakers)
Three-Channel Application
(Two front program speakers
and one channel distributed
ceiling speakers)
Ch 1
Ch 2
Ch 1
Program Speakers
Program Speakers
Ch 3
Ch 4
Ch 3
(Lower volume)
Figure 3
Meeting Room Top View
Ch 2
Ch 4
(Higher volume)
Four-Channel Application
(Two front program speakers
and two channel distributed
ceiling speakers)
Figure 4
Ballroom Top View
Four-Channel Application
(Two front program speakers
and two zone distributed
ceiling speakers)
by Jeff Gibson, Vice President of Sales
Product Labels Offer a Unique and Valuable Resource
fter a new product is removed from the box and installed, the manual,
as most A/V technicians know, is usually the first thing to go.
However, with Extron products, critical operating information is always
at your fingertips.
One of the often overlooked benefits of Extron
use the product. The information listed varies de-
Contact phone numbers and addresses are also
products is quietly hiding on the bottom of most
pending on the product, but usually a description,
included, so if any questions arise, the user can
units. Our production staff conveniently affixes
installation data, and connectivity diagrams are
reach an Extron Customer Support Representative
detailed product labels to most products, so when
provided. Other information can include audio
to answer those questions.
the manual is long gone, installers and end users
diagrams, pinout tables, and troubleshooting
have the facts they need to identify, set up, and
guides as shown in the RGB 203 Rxi label below.
RGB 203 Rxi / RGB 203 Rxi VTG Universal Interface with Audio
RGB 203 Rxi / RGB 203 Rxi VTG
50/60 Hz
Turn all equipment off and disconnect the power cords from the power source.
Install rubber feet, or install appropriate brackets and furniture or rack mount the interface.
Attach the computer, output (display, local monitor, audio), and remote control cables.
Set the rear panel DIP switches.
• Connect power cords and turn on all the devices.
Sun Workstation
RS-232 Control
System or
Stereo Audio
RS-232 pinout table
Video output connections
7, 8, 9
RS-232 Contact closure
Input 1
Input 2
Input 3
Select input #1
Transmit data
Receive data
Select input #2
Signal ground
Select input #3
Not used
Balanced audio output
Sleeve (s)
Unbalanced audio input
Tip (L)
Sleeve (GND)
Ring (R)
Tip (L)
Extron Electronics, USA Extron Electronics, Europe Extron Electronics, Asia Extron Electronics, Japan
Level/boost – This alters video output voltage (0.5V–1.45V p-p) to affect brightness. Select a
setting in the boost range, indicated by the red line, for use with long cables. Select 100%
(maximum level) for cable lengths over 500 feet for computer signals of 15–135 kHz.
Peaking (Peak) – Peaking compensates for detail loss and increases sharpness. Minimum setting (counterclockwise limit) = no peaking. Maximum setting (clockwise limit) = 100% peaking.
Vertical centering and Horizontal Centering
– These controls move the image up or
down and left and right. The LCD displays V-SHIFT or H-SHIFT when the control is adjusted
and MIN or MAX when the centering limit has been reached.
NOTE DDSP disables the vertical and horizontal centering controls. To use the display’s
centering controls instead of the interface’s, set the DDSP DIP switch to On.
NOTE The centering controls have no mechanical limits to rotation.
VTG operation (RGB 203xi VTG only) – Set the 203/VTG switch to VTG. Select a combination
of display resolution and one of four video test patterns using the 16-position rotary switch.
1230 South Lewis Street
Anaheim, CA 92805
Fax 714.491.1517
local monitor output and ID bit termination.
On – Local monitor follows input selection
and ID bits 4 & 11 are tied to ground.
Off – Local monitor is tied to input 1 and ID
bits 4 & 11 are unterminated.
6 – Mono Audio Left
On – Mono audio is output in the left
channel only.
Off – Normal stereo output.
7 – Auto switch
On – Automatically switches to highest
numbered input with sync present.
Off – Manual switch mode.
8 – No Backlight
On – The LCD backlight is on for 3 seconds
only at power-up.
Off – LCD backlight is on when a signal is
present on the selected input.
L or
1 – DDSP (Digital Display Sync Processing)
On – DDSP (no sync processing).
NOTE Disables H & V controls.
Off – ADSP (sync is processed during
operations such as H & V centering).
2 – SOG (sync on green)
On – The interface outputs composite sync
on the green video plane.
Off – The interface outputs both separate
H & V sync and composite sync.
3 – SERR (serration pulse) – Use if flagging or
bending occurs at the top of the image.
On – The interface outputs serration pulses.
Off – Serration pulses are not output.
4 – V SYNC Width (vertical sync pulse width)
On – The vertical sync pulse is narrow.
Off – The vertical sync pulse is wide.
5 – Monitor Follows – Controls input assigned to
The Extron RGB 203 Rxi is an analog computer-video interface with 300 MHz (-3dB) video bandwidth and Advanced Digital Sync Processing (ADSP™). It accepts 3 computer-video inputs and 2
unbalanced stereo audio inputs. It outputs RGBHV/RGBS/RGsB video and balanced, line level,
stereo or mono audio. The RGB 203 Rxi VTG also includes a mini video test generator.
Beeldschermweg 6C
3821 AH Amersfoort
The Netherlands
Fax +31.33.453.4050
135 Joo Seng Road, #04-01
PM Industrial Building
Singapore 368363
Fax +65.6383.4664
Daisan DMJ Building 6F
3-9-1 Kudan Minami
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074 Japan
Fax +81.3.3511.7656
No response to and
centering controls:
• DDSP is in use. Set DIP switch 1 (DDSP) on
the rear panel to Off (down).
• Executive mode disables centering. Turn off
executive mode.
• RGB 203 Rxi VTG does not respond to
centering controls while in VTG mode. Set
the front panel 203/VTG switch to 203.
No response to switching controls:
• Executive mode disables front panel
switching. Turn off executive mode.
• RGB 203 Rxi VTG does not respond to
switching controls while in VTG mode. Set
the front panel 203/VTG switch to 203.
33-726-01 A
01 03
Printed in the USA
Actual label from the RGB 203 Rxi Computer-Video Interface.
Fall 2003
ExtroNews 14.3
T E C H N I C A L LY S P E A K I N G . . .
by Steve Somers, Vice President of Engineering
VTG 300 Video and Audio Test Signals — As Good As It Gets
here’s something about crisp, bright, clean color bars and the wonderment of a flat multiburst response that just makes the hair stand up on my arms. Yet, a chance encounter with
perfect black level and gray scale near extreme white…is as infrequent as a full solar eclipse.
And, ultimately, witnessing a perfect, undistorted scope response of a square wave as it passes
through an audio system…well, that’s about as good as it gets. Test patterns driving systems…
scopes tracing waveforms, one after the other…all is as engineers intended it to be…somehow
establishing the order of all things electronic.
Don’t you agree? If you’re a “dyed-in-the-wool”
32 x 24
A/V techie, you are now envisioning those rare
experiences. If you aren’t an A/V techie, you’re
undoubtedly thinking that this author should
SMPTE Bars EBU Bars Color Bars
32 x 18
H Pattern
16-Level Split
White Field
Grayscale Multiburst
“get a life”.
It’s been some time since we’ve talked about
video test signals and their uses. The exciting
launch of the Extron VTG 300 extends the VTG
product heritage and brings along with it support
for audio testing as well. Today, we’re here to
480p and
576p only
talk test signals. For some, my discourse will be
review. For others, it will be new. If you will now
Except 480p
and 576p
16:9 HR
push the Power On button of your VTG 300,
I’ll get started.
Table 1: Video/Graphics test pattern groups.
Creating Your Own Video Memories
First, take a look at Table 1 below to see the
uniformity depends on accurate convergence
On the electrical side, this pattern represents
application of the 10 unique visual test patterns.
of three electron beams (direct view) or three
full video excursion. On a scope, the video level
Available pattern types are grouped around
light beams (projection), the white field pattern
will be full reference (0.7 volt p-p). This facilitates
specific operating formats: computer graphics,
will exhibit nonlinear color variations where
a quick check of balance between R, G, and B
NTSC/PAL television, high definition television,
beam landing is not accurate. It is routinely
outputs with a scope. Comparing one channel
or 16:9 widescreen graphics. I’ll start discussion
used to measure light fall-off and efficiency of
to the other in the invert-and-add mode allows
on all patterns appropriate for computer graphics,
the optics.
very accurate evaluation of video level and
channel balance.
high definition, and 16:9 widescreen graphics.
This pattern is still useful for digital
Then we’ll look at patterns tailored for NTSC
projectors since optical performance is still
and PAL.
Alternating Pixel Pattern
an issue. For projectors using reflective liquid
This pattern is a full-field alternation of 100%
The Graphics Group
crystal technology, it displays the quality of
white and 0% black levels at the primary
White Field
white uniformity most often called “shading”.
operating clock rate (pixel rate) of the selected
The white field pattern historically demon-
White uniformity is still a challenging
graphics line rate. This pattern is commonly
strated the uniformity of a white raster
performance characteristic regardless of the
used to evaluate the speed of a graphics source
generated by a CRT display. Since CRT display
display technology.
because the pattern exercises the system at its
ExtroNews 14.3
Fall 2003
T E C H N I C A L LY S P E A K I N G . . .
V T G 3 0 0 V i d e o a n d A u d i o Te s t S i g n a l s — A s G o o d A s I t G e t s
maximum rate, which visually demonstrates its
order to maintain brightness level between
trade off optical path quality, comprising several
high frequency response.
the vertical legs (high frequency content) versus
components including the projection lens.
the horizontal connecting bar (low frequency
Though the lens resolving capability may exceed
The vertical lines should be crisp and distinct.
content). As high frequency performance
the resolution of the imaging device, what about
As system bandwidth declines, the definition of
diminishes, the vertical legs become dimmer than
image distortion? Short focal length (wide angle)
the alternating lines becomes less distinct until
the bar. On the scope presentation, the vertical
lenses, in particular, must have better optical
the pattern blends to middle gray. At full level,
legs represent single pixel events which can be
design specs for color correction and other
the “modulation depth”, or peak transition be-
used to measure system rise and fall time
aberrations than its longer focal length
tween black and white, of the image is 100%.
effectively. On the display screen, the white ‘H’
counterpart. Use the crosshatch to evaluate
Modulation depth decreases (whether display or
provides an effective means to evaluate image
corner color separation and elliptical distortion
entire display system) with declining system
center focus versus corner focus. For digital pro-
that easily occurs with cheaper lenses. With
bandwidth. On a scope, the peaks between
jectors, the black surround can be used to
short throw distance, the peripheral resolution
white and black begin to descend toward one
subjectively evaluate black level performance
and correction quality of the lens is very
another until they meet half-way; thus present-
against the peak level excursions of the text. This
ing a screen seen as middle gray. In display
also provides more of a real-world perception of
devices, the pixel rate where the modulation
usable contrast ratio.
Do you have concerns about finding raster
depth reaches only 10% of the full level char-
edges during setup with some patterns? In the
acterizes its usable resolution.
Crosshatch 32x24 and 32x18
One of the oldest and most used test patterns
“turn on” a raster border. This one-pixel border
Split Gray-Scale
for convergence alignment of CRT displays, the
will outline the active image area extremes to
Gray-scale patterns tell us about the linearity of
crosshatch, in its many variations, still provides
ensure proper image positioning.
the visual presentation. Each intensity step of the
significant support for visual evaluations and
16-level scale is a distinct, equal-size change in
testing. Two versions are provided in the VTG 300.
luminance value. Dividing a 0.70 volt video signal by
The 32x24 version supports tests in the 4:3
The split-field color bars are enabled when the
15 (note that one level of the 16 is black) provides
aspect ratio (32 divided by 24 = 1.333…) while
VTG 300 is in one of the 31 computer graphics scan
47 millivolts per step (about 7%). Viewing both
the 32x18 version (32 divided by 18 = 1.777…)
rates. Color bars support display system testing
excursions of the split gray-scale yields a bisected
supports the widescreen aspect ratio and, very
with the primary colors (red, green, and blue) as
stairstep pattern (see Figure 1). This feature enhances
importantly, sets the absolute outside boundary of
well as the secondary colors (cyan, magenta, and
evaluation of system linearity performance.
the display’s active region with a white line border.
yellow) plus a white and black reference. This
Video Setup Menu, a selection may be made to
Split-Field Color Bars
pattern exercises fully saturated colors which can
Why use a crosshatch for digital projectors?
be measured with appropriate colorimetric
Several reasons. If you are feeding an analog
equipment to determine color gamut of the display
signal to a digital projector, there is still analog
system, among other aspects. The split field
video processing which may affect frequency
arrangement allows viewing of each primary and
response. Like the ‘H’ pattern, the vertical lines
secondary color against its complement (see
represent high frequency one pixel events and
Figure 2).
should be as bright as the horizontal lines. The
squares created by the intersecting lines, as well
as the overall rectilinear presentation of the
pattern, tell us about geometric distortion such
as keystone, the most common distortion for
Figure 1: Graphics/PC split gray-scale waveform.
H Pattern
digital projectors.
But, here are a couple surprise uses for the old
The full field H pattern provides several pieces
crosshatch pattern. Those technicians working
of useful information about a display system. The
with video over CAT 5 wiring will find it perfect
letter ‘H’ is relatively simple to construct electron-
for evaluating and adjusting time delay among
ically and provides a serious test of system high
the cable pairs. Time delay error created by these
frequency versus low frequency performance.
UTP cable transmission schemes appears as a
The white character on a black surround requires
misconvergence effect on the screen. But, that’s
the display system response to be optimum in
not all. Today, low-cost digital projectors may
Figure 2: Monitor screen shot of graphics
color bars.
Fall 2003
continued on page 14
ExtroNews 14.3
T E C H N I C A L LY S P E A K I N G . . .
V T G 3 0 0 V i d e o a n d A u d i o Te s t S i g n a l s — A s G o o d A s I t G e t s
Figure 3: Graphics/PC color bar waveform presentation of individual RGB components.
Since, in an RGB output from a graphics system,
them at the proper setting. Next, the color phase
and PAL systems. It provides a quick, visual test
the white reference bar contains equal amounts of
(tint) control is adjusted until the two inside bars
of the television display, or system, frequency
red, green, and blue, full voltage excursion should
closely match the intensity of the patch below each.
bandwidth. Looking at the waveform monitor
be seen on each color channel when using a
Some alternating adjustment between color level
presentation of Figure 8, we can see that a series
scope (see Figure 3). In addition, any primary
and phase is normal since the effect is interactive.
of equal-amplitude sine wave bursts of 0.5, 1.5,
2.0, 3.0, 3.58, and 4.2 MHz respectively (for NTSC)
color should be 100% level where it contributes
For correct black levels, adjust the brightness
are imposed on a 40 IRE level. Note that the
(black level) control so that the black area of the
signal extends to only 70 IRE. This is designed
pattern just matches the “blacker-than-black”
to avoid intermodulation effects in NTSC
stripe in the PLUGE area. The brighter-than-black
transmitters; although for laboratory use, 100 IRE
stripe should just be visible.
signal amplitude may be used. When system
to any color recreation.
NTSC/PAL Television Group
The following patterns are designed for
television performance testing and are enabled
bandwidth is such that any one or more of the
only when “video” is selected.
Viewing the color bar pattern on a waveform
frequency bursts is attenuated significantly, the
monitor or oscilloscope yields the waveform seen
brightness of the burst’s transitions tend to dim
With full conformance to SMPTE 170M and
in Figure 4. Figure 5 shows the correct decoding
toward middle gray. This attribute makes visual
when generated using a fully digital encoder, the
on a vectorscope of the color bar signal in the
assessment of the system’s performance quite easy.
75% SMPTE color bars standardize adjustment of
display system. Note, in the vectorscope photo,
For PAL, the frequency components around the
color gain, phase, and display black level controls
that the phase is very stable and the peak
subcarrier frequency and band limit are changed
(ref: SMPTE EG 1-1990). SMPTE 170M specifically
excursions each fall within the +/-2% box, an
to match the required values of that standard.
defines the composite analog video color signal for
indication of a broadcast-quality generated signal.
SMPTE Color Bars
Television decoders notoriously attenuate the
professional studio applications. The light gray
reference bar is followed by the primary and
EBU Color Bars
upper frequencies around, and including, the 3.58
secondary colors in order of decreasing luminosity.
EBU color bars are designed for setup and
subcarrier. Color burst is included with this pattern
The SMPTE version modified previous EIA bars in
testing of PAL television signals and displays. The
so as to ensure the chroma processing system is on
two ways. The small color boxes were added in
test pattern lacks the patches for color level setup;
and operating. The decoder’s ability to separate
between the color patches to provide easier, more
however, due to the construction of the PAL
the luminance information (which utilizes the
accurate adjustment of color level and color phase.
system, the tint control is not required. Refer to
entire system bandwidth) from the chrominance
The “PLUGE” stripes were added in the black region
Figure 6 for a scope or waveform monitor
information (which is centered about the 3.58
on the lower right to facilitate black level setup.
presentation and Figure 7 to see the vectorscope
subcarrier frequency) is of paramount importance
presentation. The alternating sets of vector signals
for quality imaging of television signals. The visual
With only the blue bars viewable (either by
are decoded by the display to mostly cancel
integrity of this pattern on a display provides direct
turning OFF the red and green outputs or viewing
variations in color phase errors. This is why PAL
insight into the quality of that process.
through a blue filter), the color level control is
displays do not have a phase, or tint, control.
Putting the ‘A’ in A/V
adjusted until the two outside blue bars match the
intensity of the outside small blue patches. There
Multiburst Pattern
should be minimal difference in intensity between
ExtroNews 14.3
Fall 2003
The multiburst pattern may be used for NTSC
A/V techs will find that the VTG 300 provides a
suite of audio test signals capable of satisfying
T E C H N I C A L LY S P E A K I N G . . .
Figure 4: Waveform monitor presentation of
75% SMPTE color bars.
Figure 5: Vectorscope presentation of
NTSC 75% color bars.
Figure 7: Vectorscope presentation of
PAL-EBU color bars.
most of their needs. The complement includes
white noise, pink noise, sine wave, square wave,
swept sine wave, and a unique polarity test.
Figure 6: Waveform monitor presentation of
PAL-EBU color bars.
Figure 8: Waveform monitor presentation of
the multiburst pattern.
Using Waves
What’s Your Sign?
The more common tests in audio systems
Sometimes, newly installed audio wiring is
evaluate linearity, distortion, gain, etc. The
passed over during the labeling routine and the
VTG 300 sine wave source is adjustable in
polarity from/to the amplifier is unknown. At any
Why have “noise” as a test source? White noise
one-third octave steps from 20 Hz to 20 kHz
rate, phasing speakers or testing amplifier output
is known as a broadband noise, which means it is
with specific stops at the most commonly used
polarity is a common occurrence. The Polarity Test
composed of all frequency components at equal
values, such as 400 Hz and 1000 Hz. A swept
in the VTG 300 is a unique test signal comprised
energy level in random order. This characteristic
sine wave function may be invoked which
of a 1 Hz pulse having a duty cycle of 0.1%
of wideband noise makes it invaluable when
covers the same range, but continuously. A
(about 1 millisecond). When connected to the
evaluating the frequency bandpass characteristics
swept sine wave is useful for evaluating
audio system input, it may be used along with
of audio systems. White noise gets its name from
systems for resonances such as rattles and other
polarity receivers such as the Galaxy Audio Cricket
the connotation with white light wherein white
unwanted vibrations. The sweep-time interval is
or the Rolls PT102 for a rapid verification of
light is said to be composed of an infinite number
selectable from 1.5 seconds in seven increments
cabling connectivity.
of wavelengths of visible energy.
to 150 seconds.
Shouldn’t every A/V techie be using video
The pink noise source in the VTG is intended as
The square wave is used in amplitude and
and audio test signals? Having them in the
the standard signal source when evaluating the
phase versus frequency measurements. The
palm of your hand certainly enhances the
acoustic performance of a sound system with a
frequency may be set among 25 steps from 20
convenience. With each passing year, the
real-time analyzer. Humans perceive twice the
Hz to 5 kHz. This time-domain test, when viewed
benefit-to-dollar ratio in electronic systems rises.
power level for each octave increase in audible
on an oscilloscope, tells the technician about the
The trend includes most measurement tools, like
frequency, so white noise “sounds” as though the
quality of rise time, overshoot, ringing, tilt, and
the venerable oscilloscope. Take it from me:
power is rising at 3dB per octave. Pink noise is
slew rate of the system under test. The first four
Learning to use basic, but necessary, audio/video
lowpass-filtered white noise (at -3dB per octave)
of these attributes are indicative of the system’s
test signals in an A/V system installation is the
such that, on a real-time analyzer, it appears to
response in the frequency domain (i.e. low
only way you’re going to create those rare
be flat over the entire audible frequency band.
frequency and high frequency characteristics).
electronic memories for yourself.
Fall 2003
ExtroNews 14.3
T h e E x t ro n M T P T AV A A P a n d
M T P T S VA A A P M i n i Tw i s t e d P a i r
Mini Twisted Pair Transmitters
Transmitters are economical, compact
products designed for easy integration
into any Extron product that has openings
for double space Architectural Adapter
Plates (AAPs).
The MTP T AV AAP is a double space AAP for
composite video and unbalanced stereo
audio; video input is on a female BNC con-
Part Numbers
70-361-01 (gray)
70-361-02 (black)
70-361-03 (white)
Part Numbers
70-362-01 (gray)
70-362-02 (black)
70-362-03 (white)
nector. The MTP T SVA AAP is a double space
AAP with S-video and unbalanced stereo
*Prices listed in US Dollars, valid for US sales only.
audio; video input is on a 4-pin mini DIN
connector. Audio for both models is on female
RCA connectors, while the analog twisted
pair output utilizes a female RJ-45 connector.
MTPs can be used with Extron Skew-Free™
A/V UTP cable or any CAT 5, 5e, or 6 twisted
pair cable for point-to-point cable runs of up
to 1,000 feet. All MTP transmitters are powered products and provide active balanced
transmissions for both video and audio.
AAP 102
P 10
Media Presentation Switcher
ExtroNews 14.3
The Extron MPS 112CS is a media presentation switcher that merges three independent
switchers in a single enclosure: a four input, one
output VGA with stereo audio switcher, a four
input, one output S-video with stereo audio
switcher; and a four input, one output composite
video with stereo audio switcher. The easy-tointegrate MPS 112 switcher is a cost-effective
solution to signal routing applications that
usually require three separate switchers,
such as small conference rooms, boardrooms,
classrooms, and rental and staging environments. Recently introduced, the MPS 112CS
differs from the MPS 112 in that it includes
a balanced/unbalanced microphone input
on captive screw connectors, 48V microphone
phantom power for condenser microphones, and
a balanced/unbalanced program audio output on
captive screw connectors.
Fall 2003
List Price
MPS 112cs
Part Number
List Price*
*Prices listed in US Dollars, valid for US sales only.
List Price
MMX Series
Video with Audio and VGA
with Audio Mini Matrix Switchers
The Extron MMX Series of VGA and video
mini matrix switchers combine full-size matrix
capabilities with a compact, 1U, half rack
width VersaTools™ enclosure, providing economical, simple to use routing and switching
solutions for composite video, S-video, or VGA
with stereo audio (balanced/unbalanced).
MMX Series
Part Number
List Price*
*Prices listed in US Dollars, valid for US sales only.
ASA 101, ASA 204,
and ASA 304
Audio Summing Amplifiers
ASA 101
Single passive version
ASA 204
Quad active unbalanced audio version
The Extron ASA 101, ASA 204, and
ASA 304 high performance audio summing
amplifiers convert two-channel stereo audio
signals to balanced/unbalanced one-channel
mono audio signals. Designed to be inserted
between a stereo audio source output and a
mixer or pre-amplifier input, the ASA Series
models are ideal for use with source point and
distributed audio systems in churches, halls,
arenas, stadiums, and other environments
that have a mono system.
The Extron ASA models of high performance
audio summing amplifiers convert twochannel stereo audio signals to balanced
or unbalanced one-channel mono audio. The
ASA 101 Audio Summing Amplifier includes
two two-foot long pigtails with male RCA
connectors for stereo input signals and
captive screw connectors for balanced/unbalanced mono audio output.
ASA 101
Part Number
List Price*
ASA 204
Part Number
List Price*
ASA 304
Part Number
List Price*
*Prices listed in US Dollars, valid for US sales only.
The ASA 204 and ASA 304 can convert
the stereo audio signals from four different
sources to mono audio signals. The ASA 204
accepts unbalanced stereo input signals on
RCA connectors, while the ASA 304 accepts
balanced/unbalanced stereo input signals on
captive screw connectors.
ASA 304
Quad active balanced audio version
Fall 2003
ExtroNews 14.3
by Ian Foresman, Applications Technology Manager
Optimizing Your Image with Auto-Image™
Setting up a scaler for optimum size, position, clock, and phase adjustments
he art or science of calibrating and adjusting video equipment has changed over the years. The number of
items to calibrate has grown from settings such as brightness and tint to adjustments including aspect
ratio, sizing, and pixel phase as sources, displays, and signal processing equipment have increased in variety
and complexity. Scalers, or devices that take in a video image at one resolution and output the same image
at another resolution, add to the settings that a video professional must adjust when calibrating a video system
for optimum image quality.
Unless, perhaps, you have a scaler that
can “Auto-Image.” The Auto-Image feature
available on Extron’s newest scalers and scan
converters was designed to minimize the
work in calibrating many scaler adjustments.
After all, why adjust something manually that
can be set automatically? But new features
always bring new questions. What is AutoImage? How much can it do? Where and
when should it be used?
This article will answer those questions
and more by discussing the four settings
affected by Auto-Image: size, position, clock,
and phase. It will define them and how they
should be set to achieve maximum image
quality. Then, we’ll cover the “Auto-Image”
feature, how it works, and its advantages
and limitations.
If you’re experienced in calibrating digital
displays, you’ll find many of the concepts
familiar. See the sidebar on projector setup
(page 22) to clarify the similarities.
Size and Position
Left-right, up-down, bigger-smaller. The idea
is to fill the whole screen with the image in
the right place. The adjustments seem simple
enough, they are intuitively obvious, and
anyone can see and understand their effects.
But does everyone comprehend what must
happen to a video signal to change where,
and how large, an image is?
ExtroNews 14.3
To d e m o n s t r a t e
how a scaler adjusts an
image’s size or position,
let us consider an example of how a scaler
works. Figure 1 shows
a typical scaler
application with a DVD
player, an Extron ISS 408,
and an LCD projector.
The scaler’s job is to
take the NTSC signal
in and deliver the
signal that the projector
works best with, in
this case 1024 x 768,
R G B H V. F i g u r e 2
demonstrates what
happens at the signal
level, line by line.
Seamless Switcher
ISS 408
TS 5
240 MAX.
100- 1.2A
RGB 109xi
A standard NTSC
Figure 1: A typical scaler application.
signal in the Y, Pr, Pb
format is input to the
scaler. To capture the incoming information,
Those pixels must be clocked evenly
the scaler samples active video and stores the
throughout the active horizontal time
active video information digitally.
envelope of the output resolution.
Next, the scaler must scale the line of
digital video information captured into a
line of digital video information consistent
with the output format. The line of digitized
information must be reclocked with the
correct number of pixels, in this case 1024.
Fall 2003
Once lines of active video are horizontally
reclocked to their new format, they are mathematically processed to create new frames of
video with the correct number of lines, 768 in
this example, for the output format. This
number of lines will be clocked out evenly
O p t i m i z i n g Yo u r I m a g e w i t h A u t o - I m a g e
Y, Pr, Pb
lines that hold the active video information
that was originally sampled changes the
size of the image (Figure 4). Increasing or
decreasing the time between the start of
those lines and the vertical sync pulse moves
the image up or down.
Extron ISS 408
1024 x 768
Figure 2: Transmission of an NTSC signal.
throughout the active vertical time frame for
the new output rate. The digital video information is then converted back to analog and
output as RGB to the display.
The sync signals are sampled and reclocked
as well, but it is the analog portion of the
video that will be used when resizing and positioning the signal within the scaler.
Now the video has been scaled to what
should be the correct format for the projector,
and what should be the correct size and
position. However, a 1024 x 768 image
that is perfectly sized on one display may
appear too large or too small on another,
or in the wrong place.
If an image appears too wide (Figure 3-1),
the lines of video can be altered to clock the
pixels into a shorter line of active video, to
correct the image size (Figure 3-2). If the image is too narrow, the active video time can
be increased. If the image is shifted too far to
the left or right, the start of the active video
timing can be delayed or started earlier relative to the H sync, to shift the image to the
right or left, respectively.
A similar process takes place when making
adjustments in vertical size or position. Size is
determined by the number of active lines
output by the scaler, and position by when
those lines start relative to the vertical sync
pulse. Increasing or decreasing the number of
Pixels in
too wide a line
Pixels in
shorter line
It is important to note that features have
limitations. At some point when increasing
the size of an image, the active video time
frame will reach its maximum, and increasing
the size further will result in cropping the
edges of the image. Similarly, if an image is
shifted too far left or right, up or down, the
edges of the image will fall out of the active
portion of the video and vanish from the
screen, one line or pixel at a time.
A good scaler will allow the image to be
adjusted so the image fills the raster of the
display, thus getting the full potential out of
the display device. However, the size adjustment may not be finished; the clock adjustment must be considered.
Adjusting the clock of a scaler is often done
without much consideration for, well, adjusting the clock. This is not necessarily bad, and
it occurs for a number of reasons. The most
pertinent is that in many scalers the clock adjustment is made by adjusting the horizontal
size of an image.
The clock adjustment of a scaler adjusts
the number of samples taken across a line
of active video input to the scaler. Sampling
is an important concept in analog to digital
conversion and is the subject of many theorems, rules, and principals which serve to
demonstrate, amongst other things, that
when sampling a video signal, it is best to
sample at a rate of, at least, one sample per
incoming pixel.
of Video
Figure 3-1: Image too wide
1024 pixels with too wide horizontal time frame
Figure 3-2: Correct image size
1024 pixels with correct horizontal time frame
continued on page 20
Figure 3: How a scaler corrects horizontal image size.
Fall 2003
ExtroNews 14.3
O p t i m i z i n g Yo u r I m a g e w i t h A u t o - I m a g e
different ways. In the ISS 408, adjusting the
horizontal size is done by changing the
number of samples taken across a given time
of active video, as shown in Figure 5. If the
number is increased the image gets smaller,
and vice-versa. By adjusting the size in this
way, the scaler is also adjusting the clock, or
the number of samples per pixel.
768 lines in too wide
a vertical time frame
768 lines in correct
vertical time frame
of Video
Figure 4-1: Image too tall
768 lines with too wide a vertical time frame
Figure 4-2: Correct image size
768 lines with correct vertical time frame
Figure 4: How a scaler corrects vertical image size.
Consider Figure 5, which shows the
second source from Figure 1 being scaled. In
this example the signal of a PC is delivered
at 1024 x 768 to an Extron ISS 408, then
to a projector at 1024 x 768. This example
represents one of the greatest challenges that
a scaler can meet head on, delivering one
pixel out for one pixel in, or as many pixels out
as in. It is accomplished by the scaler in this
example by sampling one pixel on the input
for each pixel output.
Clock, or pixel clock as it is sometimes
called, can be adjusted in a number of
Pixel on
Pixel off
1 sample / pixel
Figure 5-1: Sampling
ExtroNews 14.3
Too few samples / pixel
Figure 5-2: Under sampling
Fall 2003
Current technology allows for clock speeds
that sample at a rate of one sample per pixel.
Over sampling, or taking many more samples
than there are pixels, would be preferred,
however IC performance and cost currently
limit most scaler technology to 1:1 sampling
Pixel on
Pixel off
Figure 5: Examples of correctly clocked, under clocked, and over clocked signals.
Figure 5 also demonstrates an additional
impact of adjusting the size in this way. The
lower image in each section of Figure 5
shows an oscilloscope readout of the number
of pixels sampled on the input versus the
number generated on the output. The top
image in each section shows the resulting
image, and in some cases the artifacts that
occur as a result of the clock speed. The test
pattern is a pixel on, pixel off pattern, where
every other pixel is turned on, and then off,
and can be generated in many ways with
computers or test generators.
Too many samples / pixel
Figure 5-3: Over sampling
O p t i m i z i n g Yo u r I m a g e w i t h A u t o - I m a g e
at best. Setting a scaler’s clock to sample pixels 1:1 in challenging applications is crucial to
generating good image quality. Figure 5-2
shows the artifacts that will occur with under
sampling an image. Over sampling [Figure 53], can cause artifacts as well, especially when
sampling at a rate close to 1:1. Sampling at a
rate of 1:1 [see Figure 5-1] will generate the
best image.
It is important to note that adjusting the
vertical size also adjusts whether or not
certain artifacts will be present. Since a vertical
size adjustment manipulates the number of
lines of active video present on the output,
artifacts such as horizontal line loss, or lack of
consistent horizontal line brightness, can be
present if the vertical size setting is not set to
scan one line out for every line sampled in.
The phase adjustment of a scaler is
used to manipulate where on a pixel a
scaler takes a sample. Where the clock setting
adjusts how many pixels will be sampled,
the phase adjusts what part of the pixel the
sample will be taken from. Consider Figure 6.
By changing the phase adjustment of the
ISS 408, adjusting the point at which pixels
are sampled, the image can be sampled
at the perfect place upon the pixel, which
gives the clearest, sharpest image [see
Figure 6-1]. Sampling at the wrong point
on the pixel will result in an image that
“shimmers” with noise. Sampling on the
leading or falling edges of the pixels, [Figure
6-2], results in an image gray with noise.
So now to the Auto-Image feature, where
again one might ask, “Why would I adjust
manually what the scaler can do automatically?” The answer to that question would be
that you wouldn’t, or you would just check to
see if the scaler did it right. But that leads to
another question: will the scaler do it right?
Most of the time it will, though sometimes minor adjustments may be necessary
to perfect an image. To clarify, let’s discuss
how Auto-Image works.
When a scaler such as the ISS 408 “sees”
an image, it must identify the signal to decide what to do with it. This can be done
after the scaler has digitized the video and
sync information by measuring parameters
of the signal. Then, the scaler can:
• Pull up a memory saved for that
incoming signal’s parameters to dictate
size, position, clock, and phase.
• Load default settings for signals
not previously saved.
• Auto-Image, or generate a new set
of parameters, to dictate the size,
position, clock, and phase.
When the scaler performs the Auto-Image
function, it looks at video parameters mathematically, such as active video timing, sync
timing, and blanking interval, and uses these
parameters in an algorithm that calculates
the settings. But when is it appropriate to use
the Auto-Image feature, as apposed to recalling settings or applying factory defaults?
Pixel on / Pixel off
To answer this question, let’s look at why
Auto-Image is a useful feature:
• Auto-Image dials in 90% of all images
close to perfect the first time.
Pixel on / Pixel off
Samples aligned on
stable portion of pixels
Figure 6-1: Sample phase set correctly
Samples aligned on
rising and falling edges
• Auto-Image works with video signals new
to the scaler and with signals that have
been encountered by the scaler before.
Figure 6-2: Sample phase set incorrectly
continued on page 22
Figure 6: Examples of correctly and incorrectly phased signals.
Fall 2003
ExtroNews 14.3
O p t i m i z i n g Yo u r I m a g e w i t h A u t o - I m a g e
• Auto-Image uses parameters calculated
from the actual video information present,
not arbitrary values set for signals that are
new to the scaler.
• Auto-Image is fast, easy, and requires
almost no training to use.
These facts make Auto-Image a useful
feature in a number of different scenarios.
During initial setup, Auto-Image can be used
to set up a scaler or scan converter. The settings can then be tweaked if necessary and
saved to memory. During live events, AutoImage can be used to configure a scaler for a
new source on the fly. And, it can be used any
time a scaler or scan converter is used with
sources that are new to the device, and where
no trained personnel is available to calibrate,
such as in a classroom environment where
different laptops are used every day.
To use Auto-Image to its best advantage, it
is important to know when other features,
such as recalling auto presets, will produce
better results. To understand why, let’s consider some of the limitations of Auto-Image:
• When Auto-Image gets different
information, it delivers different results for
size, position, clock, and phase. This
happens because video information
changes with the image on the screen.
• Auto-Image is a feature limited by the
programming and processing power
of the machine that drives it. Despite
advances in processor speed and memory
storage, a scaler or scan converter is
still a machine.
• It can be thorough but not creative,
and it lacks the power to deal with the
unexpected, or to improvise. The human
eye and brain are unlikely to be matched
in this regard, and a trained A/V
technician will probably be able to
improve on most settings.
After reading “Optimizing Your Image with
Auto-Image”, you have probably noticed a startling
similarity between projector and scaler setup.
The two processes are closely related, because digital
displays such as LCDs, DLPs, and plasmas work in
much the same way as a scaler.
Because of these limitations, it is best in
most permanent installations to turn the
Auto-Image off after initial setup. Once an
image has been set, Auto Presets can be used
to recall those same settings. This will ensure
the right settings are called up every time the
device sees that signal. Auto Presets will
typically pull up an image faster, too.
At the front end of a digital display, analog video
is sampled and stored digitally. The digital display also
reclocks the incoming signal to the native resolution
of its internal raster. These two steps are the same for
a scaler and a display device. Then, the process differs
as the scaler prepares to deliver a video signal and the
display prepares to convert its data to projected light.
Until that point, the two devices perform many of the
same functions.
The Auto-Image feature can still be used in
products such as the ISS 408 even after the
Auto-Image feature has been turned off by
forcing Auto-Image on a particular input. This
allows users to Auto-Image new sources even
when using saved auto presets.
As such, setting up size, position, clock, and phase
on a digital display is much the same process as
setting these parameters on a scaler. There will be
differences, however.
The Bottom Line
Auto-Image is a useful calibration feature.
It delivers calibration of size, position, clock,
and phase adjustments at the touch of a button. While Auto-Image doesn’t deliver a perfectly calibrated image every time, it always
gets pretty close. This can save a technician a
little time and effort. It can also save an executive from uncomfortable moments in front
of a live audience.
That’s because Auto-Image does its job well
and fast, and it’s as easy as pressing a button.
So the next time you need to set up your scaler
or scan converter, try Auto-Image.
ExtroNews Survey Winner
Congratulations to Jim Murphy of Sound Concepts, LLC in Mason, OH. He’s won a free
VTG 300 Handheld Battery Powered Video and Audio Test Generator. Jim entered the
drawing by filling out and returning his ExtroNews survey card, and was chosen randomly
from an overwhelming number of submissions.
Thanks to all of you who provided feedback. Your comments help us continually refine
ExtroNews to bring you more useful information. Look for the next survey (and your chance
to win free product!) in the next issue of ExtroNews in early 2004.
ExtroNews 14.3
Fall 2003
The Next Step: Projector Setup
Some differences will come in the form of
nomenclature. What Extron calls “clock” another
manufacturer might call “tracking.” What Extron
describes as “adjusting vertical sizing” might be
designated by another manufacturer as “setting
the number of vertical lines.” Many manufacturers
have different names for the same thing.
One goal of “Optimizing Your Image with
Auto-Image” is to teach the concept of the feature
being adjusted. Once you understand the concept,
the different nomenclature should fall into place
by playing with the settings, seeing the effects on
the image, and thereby viewing what you are
adjusting, whatever you want to call it.
Other differences will be apparent in the way a
device makes adjustments. Take, for instance, the fact
that the Extron ISS 408 adjusts the horizontal size and
the clock using the horizontal size adjustment. Some
display manufacturers will adjust these parameters
with a single setting, others will have separate
adjustments: one for clock, another for horizontal
size. Again, understanding the concept will help you
make sense of how to configure the parameter.
Finally, it is important to note that setting up one
device does not eliminate the need to set up the other.
In the case of the ISS 408, set up the display device
first using the internal test patterns of the ISS 408.
Once that is completed, you can set up the ISS 408,
typically without having to set up the display again.
ExtroNews publishes information about new products that are relative to the Extron product line in the New News section. If you would
like a new product to be reviewed for New News, please send a press release, literature, contact name, and a color slide or photo to:
New News c/o Lee Dodson, Extron Electronics, 1230 South Lewis Street, Anaheim, CA 92805, phone: (714) 491-1500, ext. 6394, or send
e-mail to
Reflection CL-510
NEC has introduced the WT600, which uses
NEC’s patented lensless mirror design to attain
the shortest throw distance of any available
front projector. The new projector can project a
40 inch image from only 2.5 inches (6.4cm)
from the screen and a 100 inch image from
only 26 inches (65.9cm). The DLP-based, 1,500
ANSI lumen WT600 features a 3000:1 contrast
ratio and XGA resolution with NEC’s Advanced
Accublend technology for display of nonnative sources up to UXGA. Additional features
include a lamp life of up to 3,000 hours, wired
and wireless (Wi-Fi) networking capabilities, and
an extended suite of anti-theft security measures.
It has a suggested USD list price of $6,995.
Sharp recently announced the XV-Z10000U
high definition DLP front projector for the home
theater market. Utilizing the New Mustang/HD2
DLP chip set from Texas Instruments and Sharp’s
second-generation video scaler circuitry, the
XV-Z10000U has a native resolution of 1280 x
720 pixels. Features include a switchable contrast/brightness function that allows a contrast
ratio of 2600:1. The DVI input is also Home
Theater PC (HTPC) compatible and is capable
of High Definition Content Protection (HDCP)
protocol. Additional features include a sixsegment, 5x-speed color wheel, 1:1.35 manual
zoom and a lens shift function. It has a suggested USD list price of $11,995.
Runco’s Reflection CL-510 and CL-510LT
are new high-definition DLP projectors featuring
integrated video processing that incorporates
3:2 pulldown compensation. The CL-510 offers
a variable throw distance of 1.75:1 to 2.0:1
while the CL-510LT provides a longer variable
throw distance of 2.3:1 to 3.0:1. Both models
include electronic keystone correction, discrete
IR and RS-232 control, a 1700:1 contrast ratio,
900 ANSI lumens, and five input channels.
Suggested USD list prices are $5,995 for the
CL-510 and $6,995 for the CL-510LT.
Notevision XG-C55X
ScreenPlay 5700
LC-X5 Powerhouse
The Sharp Notevision XG-C55X
Multimedia LCD Projector weighs 11.3
The new InFocus ScreenPlay 5700 is a
home theater projector that includes the
Matterhor n DLP technology from Texas
Instruments. The projector has 1,000 ANSI
lumens, a 1400:1 contrast ratio, and native
16:9 resolution (1024 x 576). There are eight
selectable video sources and three control
and communication options, including
RS-232, USB, and infrared. The ScreenPlay 5700
includes the Emmy ® award winning DCDi
technology from Faroudja, which provides
additional color and sharpness, noise reducers,
and a videophile-grade scaler. It has a suggested
USD list price of $4,999.
The new EIKI LC-X5 Powerhouse projector
lives up to its name with 6,500 ANSI lumens
at 90% uniformity. The LC-X5 uses a 1.8”
PolySilicon active matrix TFT LCD panel and has a
native resolution of 1024 x 768 (XGA). It projects
images up to 40 feet wide (600” diagonal) and
offers a wide choice of lenses with EIKI’s
new Quick Change Lens Installation System.
Additional features include power zoom, power
focus, three input channels, and multiple control
options including RS-232, USB, and mouse
control. Optional input and control modules
allow for extensive reconfiguration. The LC-X5
has a suggested USD list price of $19,995.
lbs and includes two separate RGB inputs,
including loop out as well as separate S-video
and composite video inputs. It features a native
XGA (1024 x 768) resolution with a maximum
resolution of up to UXGA with ImageACE
resizing. Control options include RS-232 and
an IR remote. Along with a low power mode
for extended lamp life, the XG-C55X offers
variable audio output, 3,000 ANSI lumens,
picture-in-picture, color management, and
a slate of theft deterrent features. It has a
suggested USD list price of $5,695.
Fall 2003
ExtroNews 14.3
Trickle Tester
Tweeker Use #68
Gil Gauthier, an A/V specialist at Advance Professional Division in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, uses his Extron Tweeker to perform preflight
fuel tests on his Cessna 156 airplane. “Under each wing, there is a drain
valve that I use to test the fuel for contaminants prior to each flight,” Gil
says. “The cold weather here in Canada often causes the plastic of my
testers to become brittle and break. One day I put my Extron Tweeker in the
tester’s beaker and pressed the free end into the valve to get the fuel going.
I’ve modified my ‘Tweeker tester’ with a piece of wire to keep the Tweeker
centered in the beaker, but it’s essentially the same.”
If it does all that for Gil, who knows what the Wright brothers could have
done with an Extron Tweeker?
Send us a photograph and brief explanation of how you use the Tweeker.
If we publish it in a future issue of ExtroNews, we’ll send you a free VTG 300.
Please send entries with contact information to:
Extron Tweeker Contest, 1230 South Lewis St., Anaheim, CA 92805.
Or e-mail a high resolution photo and explanation to
Extron Institute
January 15-16 . . . . . . . . Anaheim, CA
January 19-20 . . . . . . . . . Atlanta, GA
January 19-20 . . . . . . The Netherlands
January 21 . . . . . . . . . . . . Atlanta, GA
January 22-23 . . . . . . . . . Atlanta, GA
February 5-6 . . . . . . . . . Anaheim, CA
February 9-11 . . . . . . . . . Seoul, Korea
February 16-17 . . . . . . . . . Denver, CO
February 16-17 . . . . . The Netherlands
February 18 . . . . . . . . . . . Denver, CO
February 19-20 . . . . . . . . . Denver, CO
March 8-9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . India
March 8-10 . . . . . . . . . . . Boston, MA
March 15-16 . . . . . . . The Netherlands
March 25-26 . . . . . . . . . Anaheim, CA
March 29-April 2 . . . . . . . . Detroit, MI
April 7-8 . . . . . . . . . . Sidney, Australia
April 19-20 . . . . . . . . The Netherlands
April 29-30 . . . . . . . . . . Anaheim, CA
April 29-30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Singapore
Feb. 3-5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Integrated Systems Europe . . . . Geneva, Switzerland
March 19-21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NSCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Las Vegas, NV
April 19-22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Las Vegas, NV
May 12-14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Integrated Systems China . . . . . . . Shanghai, China
June 9-11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . InfoComm US . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atlanta, GA
Extron Electronics
1230 South Lewis Street
Anaheim, CA 92805
ExtroNews is published by Extron Electronics/RGB
Systems Inc. No portion of this newsletter may
be reproduced in any form without written
permission from Extron Electronics. Every effort
has been made to ensure accuracy in content;
however, Extron assumes no responsibility for
errors and omissions in the information provided
herein. ExtroNews is sent free of charge to
communication industry professionals and end
users. Printed in the United States of America.
We welcome your comments and contributions!
Please submit ideas to:
Extron Electronics, USA
1230 South Lewis Street
Anaheim, CA 92805
Phone: 714.491.1500 or 800.633.9876
Fax: 714.491.1517
Extron Electronics, Europe
Beeldschermweg, 6C
3821 AH Amersfoort
The Netherlands
Phone: +31.33.453.4040 or +800.3987.6673
Fax: +31.33.453.4050
Extron Electronics, Asia
135 Joo Seng Road #04-01
PM Industrial Building
Singapore 368363
Phone: +65.6383.4400 or +800.s3.extron (+800.7339.8766)
Fax: +65.6383.4664
Extron Electronics, Japan
Daisan DMJ Bldg. 6F, 3-9-1 Kudan Minami
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074
Phone: +81.3.3511.7655
Fax: +81.3.3511.7656
© 2003 Extron Electronics. All rights reserved. All trademarks
mentioned are the property of their respective owners.
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