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Downmixing In A Luxury Oceanside Residence

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Downmixing In A Luxury Oceanside Residence
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Downmixing In A Luxury Oceanside Residence
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AVPro Edge's latest case study follows AVC Technologies as they install an 8x8 Matrix Switch delivering 4K video and audio downmixing technology to an oceanside home.


Distributing audiovisual signals in Florida, the lightning capital of the United States, has unique challenges. For example, the primary building material of this residence is concrete, and there are outdoor zones that are susceptible to a power surge from lightning. In addition, there are general installation challenges, such as the need to downmix audio for a distributed audio system. 

OCEANSIDE CHALLENGE

Distributing audiovisual signals in Florida, the lightning capital of the United States, has unique challenges. For example, the primary building material of this residence is concrete, and there are outdoor zones that are susceptible to a power surge from lightning. In addition, there are general installation challenges, such as the need to downmix audio for a distributed audio system.

INSTALLATION

This installation is a brand new residential estate property on the intercoastal waterway in Largo, Florida. It’s a sprawling installation made primarily of concrete with a pool pavilion. There is a centralized rack with eight indoor displays around the residence from various manufacturers, one large-format screen and projector in the theater room, and four outdoor displays. Most of the TVs receive audio and video from an AVPro Edge 8x8 matrix switcher with audio downmixing at the rack. The rest of the TVs don’t need distribution as they’re only using local streaming applications.

Karl Nickel, the Director of Sales at C&E Marketing, works with many integrators around the Tampa Bay area to help them find superior technology solutions. AVC Technologies is one of these integration companies. The designers and the engineers at AVC Technologies needed an excellent solution for this installation, and they contacted C&E Marketing to help them achieve that. Robert Lewis, a Sales Manager from AVC Technologies, explains the distribution solution they came up with and the importance of downmixing audio for audio distribution. “Here, we use the eight-by-eight video switch with HDBaseT and downmixing that allows us to run our Cat6 shielded wire to each of the video displays and get that long-range HDMI distribution. We also have downmixing so that our sources run directly into the video switch. Then all the audio comes off the video switch and goes into our audio distribution that's particularly useful with sources like an Apple TV that don't have a separate audio output and we need a way to get that into our audio distribution without adding more separate little black boxes to achieve that.”

AUDIO DOWNMIXING

Audio downmixing technology combines multi-channel audio, such as surround sound, into stereo audio or two-channel audio for distributing audio in areas that can’t handle more than two audio channels. For example, suppose you want to listen to surround sound audio from a home theater in another room. In that case, the audio needs to be downmixed first before playing correctly on a stereo speaker system. 

SOLUTION

The pool pavilion is over 400 feet away from the central rack, and because it’s outdoors, the equipment needs surge protection in case of lightning strikes. Because the structure is so far away, HDMI extension via HDBaseT can’t reach it without signal loss. Fiber cable HDMI extenders go the extra distance to get to the outdoor displays and the extremely long-distance pool pavilion. Additionally, fiber optics are made of glass and don’t conduct electricity, preventing a power surge from lightning by removing copper cables entirely.

The AVPro Edge 8x8 matrix switcher with audio downmixing is the ideal solution for this application. It has eight HDMI inputs and eight uncompressed HDMI outputs for shorter cable runs. For more extended signal runs up to 100 meters (330 feet), the matrix comes equipped with eight HDMI extension via HDBaseT outputs. Each of the TVs in entertaining spaces, both indoors and outdoors, can share the eight sources from the central rack and switch between them at any time. The residence also has a distributed stereo audio system that receives downmixed audio from the matrix switcher. Downmixing the audio from 7.1 channels down to 2 channels allows the matrix switcher to distribute surround sound audio from the theater to any stereo speakers or displays. Karl Nickel said it best, “At some point or another, every AV integrator has had challenges with audio or video distribution, whether it be handshake issues or EDID issues. What’s great about partnering with AVPro Edge is that they check all those boxes. They don’t have to worry about installing a service call and whether or not this will be a profitable experience for them because the technology just simply works. We can overcome a lot of our challenges with our partnership with AVPro Edge.”