There are many challenges facing the audio/video contractor today. One such challenge is the distribution of audio and video signals over long distances. And with the advent of the DVD player, the awareness of video quality has been heightened. No longer will users have patience with ghosting, grainy pictures and other anomalies caused by poor or improper signal management. The BVD-10 ($250) and BVR-10 ($250) A/V distribution system by AudioControl is a solution that can help.
Product PointsApplications: Installation, A/V presentation
Key Features: CAT 5-cable system; two video and one audio channel; up to a quarter- mile range; locally or remotely powered
Price: $250 each
Contact: AudioControl at 425-775-8461, Web Site.
Utilizing CAT-5 cable as its distribution method, the BVR/BVD system actively balances and distributes video and stereo audio signals over a distance of up to a quarter of a mile. The system is comprised of a driver and a receiver, each powered by a local 24V wallwart power supply. The power supply connects via a Phoenix connector. The manual states that for remote installations, the units will operate on 12V while only slightly affecting the audio headroom. The driver/receiver modules are housed in black, painted steel cases with punched wall mounting tracks, making them easy and quick to mount to any surface. The driver module provides connections for stereo audio on phono jacks, two composite video inputs on phono jacks and one S Video jack.
The units are connected using Category 5 data cable through the modular CAT-5 jack located on both units. It is important to observe all typical CAT-5 wiring practices and avoid any noise-generating sources such as lighting power supplies, florescent lights, motors and the like. You can use any standard network wiring as long as it does not run through any routers or hubs. The wiring must be connected directly from the driver to the receiver. If you need to extend the signal over 1,000 feet, you can extend it by using a second set of drivers and receivers. The system is capable of extending two composite video signals or one S Video signal. In applications where you need to extend a component video signal, you can use AudioControl’s new similar product, the BVD-20 and BVR-20.
It is possible to connect a composite video signal on one end to an S Video output on the other as well. Adjustments to audio and video signals are made using trim pots located on the face of the units. The driver has an audio gain trim ranging from unity to +20 dB and a cable compensation trim ranging from 0 to 1,000 feet. The receiver has an audio gain trim ranging from min to 0 dB and video gain trim ranging from min to +6 dB. A power indicating LED is provided on both units.
Out of the box, it was very apparent how the system gets connected. I plugged in the wallwarts and connected them to the driver and receiver modules. I then connected a Sony DVD player to the driver module via the S Video and stereo audio connectors and the receiver module to a Panasonic 32-inch TV monitor via the composite video and stereo audio connectors. I then connected the driver and receiver modules through 1,000 feet of CAT-5 cable. I put in a DVD (Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas) and, voila! Instant video and sound. The image seemed to be very crisp.
As a test I connected the composite video output of my DVD player to the Video 2 input on the monitor. I then switched back and forth between inputs. I noticed that the BVR/BVD system using the S Video was crisper than the direct composite video connection to the monitor. There were no signs of noise or signal degradation whatsoever. The audio was clean and even the surround channels decoded properly. I messed with the attenuators for the audio and video signal and could find no discernable artifacts in either the video or audio, except for overdriving the video signal a bit. It appears that I had more gain than I needed, which led me to believe that increasing the distance was quite possible.
With its ease of use and quality audio and video performance, the AudioControl balanced audio/video receiver/driver CAT-5 system is an excellent choice for any long-distance A/V distribution solution.
Sony DVP-NS25 DVD player; Technics SAGX330 AV receiver; Panasonic 32-inch flat screen TV monitor; JBL surround speaker system.