Walk through any business and you’ll likely see messaging in many different formats, including digital displays – an application that is quickly gaining popularity. And for good reason: these “flat screens” provide creative flexibility for messages that can be tailored to the business, customers, or event. Videos, photos, and graphics of any kind may be used to engage with the audience, and elevate communications to a powerful new level.
Thanks to advances in technology, today’s digital, ultra high-def, 4K displays convey take-notice messaging, and allow for content management in real time. Now, communications can be streamed to specific displays at specific times, and easily changed when needed. Of course, all this is possible because of the incredibly fast Cat6 or Cat6A network that was installed to prepare for this day.
You’ve got the display units, you’ve got the cable… what do you need to join the two together? There are many versions of HDMI adapters available, and choosing the right one is critical. Here are some important factors to consider for a Point-to-Point (1 source/1 display) installation:
>> A basic and effective solution is an HDMI cable – simply connect the source to the display and you’re done. If you don’t want to see (or trip over) the cable and you have a large enough conduit, you can pull the HDMI cable through that component.
>> Another option is an HDMI amplifier. While these devices allow Category cables to connect with HDMI devices, they are not compliant to the HDBaseT standard. Some use 2 x 4pr cables, others use 1 x 4pr cables – and the good news is that cable is much easier to install into a conduit. It is cut to the length you need, not pre-ordered with connectors… plus, these extenders are also cheap to buy. A few notes of caution, however:
- Output is typically limited to standard 1080p definition, as the amplifiers don’t support 4K or ultra high-definition.
- These extenders only support a limited distance, which could cause problems.
- Unfortunately, they are rarely compatible with other video equipment, like video conference bridges.
>> The most robust option is the latest HDBaseT 2.0 HDMI extender. These units work in pairs (transmitter/receiver) to support ultra high-def 4K and HDR signals on one category cable. They also support RS232, IR (infrared) and USB control signals. Great for interactive white boards, projectors, HDTVs, and flat screen displays, these extenders are HDBaseT 2.0 compliant, so they interface with video conference bridges as well – and, they support 100-meter connection lengths.
Here are two excellent resources for building your state-of-the-art communications platform:
- Hubbell Premise Wiring manufactures a solution that mounts flush into a standard electrical box with a standard faceplate. Call us to discuss the many options available to you.
- For content management, call the folks at Pixel Hangers in Milwaukee. They offer safe, secure, budget-friendly digital signage for any business and industry.
When the time comes to install your displays, contact us. We have the knowledge and resources needed to match specific options to your targeted communication needs.