By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Several accessories companies have announced their newest HDMI products, most which will be shown at International CES.
Belkin's new HDMI 2-to-1 video switch links two high-definition devices, such as an HD-DVD player and a videogame console to an HDTV through a single HDMI or DVI connection. A user can easily toggle between the connected devices.
The switch supports 480i, 480p, 720i, 720p, 1080i and 1080p resolutions and works with HDCP-compliant devices. It includes an IR remote control and has a suggested retail of $49.99.
It is currently available in the United States and Canada and will ship in March to Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Three new matrix switchers from Gefen enable plug-and-play connections among multiple HDMI sources and displays.
The 8x8 matrix for HDMI v1.3 is a rack-mountable solution that links up to eight HDMI sources to eight HDMI displays or projectors. Each display can access any source using the 16-key IR remote control that comes with the unit or the RS-232 connection for smart devices. A 4x4 version is also available.
Also from Gefen is a 4x4 HDMI CAT-5 matrix switcher connects four HDMI sources to four HDMI displays, each of which can be extended up to 330-feet over CAT-5 cable using receiver units that allow remote source selection by sending IR commands back to the matrix.
In addition, Gefen will show products that can send an HDMI signal over coax cable, RGB cables and over IP in addition to a wireless version that needs no cables.
The HDMI over coax extender is a plug-and-play solution that extends any HDMI source up to 300 feet using a single coax cable that links Gefen's sender/receiver system. It supports high-definition resolutions up to 1080p with full HDCP compliance and IR remote pass through capability.
The HDMI over RGB extender is designed to be a "dongle" replacement to existing component solutions where the standard RGBH&V cable terminated in BNC is used between source and display. It allows HDMI to be transmitted to any destination where projectors or displays are using RGBH&V cable with BNC.
Gefen's Ethernet over PLC extender is used to deliver high-definition resolutions to 1080p with audio in the HDMI format using a sender/receiver system. Distances up to 150 feet can bere achieved while retaining top video quality, according to the company. It works in conjunction with the HD over IP extender that transmits 1080p HDMI through any Ethernet connection. It employs a sender/receiver system connected through a home network connection, enabling computer networks to be easily integrated with HDTV systems.
Atlona Technologies is showing a variety of HDMI products at International CES.
The company's series of composite and S-Video converters and scalers are engineered to ease the transition to HDTV displays. The trio of units enables older analog audio video devices to be integrated into a modern digital system via component, DVI or HDMI outputs. Along with conversion, these units pack a scaler that will up-convert analog signals toward the HDTV realm of 1080i and 720p. Pricing starts at $199.
Analog audio can even be integrated with video through one wire with the HDMI unit. For consumers looking for an all-in-one solution, the redesigned Line Pro 2 by Atlona is a scaler that will allow almost any video source to be viewed on a HDTV display. The device works by doubling the lines in interlaced video, taking a standard-definition picture with a native resolution of 480p, and up-scaling the video to 720p or 1080i. The redesign includes the adding of a VGA port to the unit, which already boast connections for composite video, component, S-Video and HDMI. With the addition of the VGA users, users will able to connect a computer to a plasma TV.
Other features include PAL/NTSC conversion, switching and up-/down-scaling. It has a suggested retail of $579.
Finally, available in two by two, two by four, four by two, and four by for versions, matrix switches from the company are designed for digital signage, or for those who don't want to purchase multiple HD DVD players. Prices start at $499 (model AT-HDMI-22M).
On the extreme high end of the market, RTcom USA will show its HS-66M HDMI matrix router at International CES. The router can receive and send high-definition audio and video signals to as many as six displays. It also features full HDCP compliance. The company said this router "alleviates the problem of HDCP encoding, which previously blocked signals from being transmitted from audio/visual products to multiple displays."
The product's other notable features include multiple switching modes; multiple control options including RS-232C, LAN (TCP/IP), infrared or front-panel keys; HDTV resolution support of a signal up to 1080p at 60Hz with 36-bit color depth; HDCP compliance at all output channels; HDMI V1.3 compliance; increased single-link bandwidth to 225 MHz; and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams.
It also offers a built-in Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) read function, with Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM), to save display EDID data while supporting any HDTV with maximum resolutions. The unit also supports non-Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) resolution, including projectors with unique resolutions.
Finally, it has built-in noise protection circuits in each input and output port and an exhibition video display system.
The HS-66M matrix router is available now at a suggested $4,999.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.