New Black Box IP multicast extender greatly reduces the cost of digital video distribution and includes optional video wall functionality

Aug. 6, 2012

This new, attractively priced IP streaming solution from Black Box multicasts HDMI® video and audio to up to 256 screens on a network. Even better, it can optionally be used to output source video on video walls, so you can easily project video content on a larger scale to create visually stunning video displays. 

The MediaCento™ IPX Multicast extension system is ideal for AV installers and end users looking for an economical way to distribute and scale 1080p video content across a wall of tiled screens, including those used for digital signage in public venues or for command and control room applications. 

Because its multicast transmitter and receivers install directly into your existing LAN infrastructure, integration is easy. “There’s no need to run expensive dedicated video links from a back room to displays in lobbies,” says Erik Indresøvde, Global Video & Multimedia Product Manager at Black Box. “A single transmitter can deliver multimedia to hundreds of displays.” 

The system uses visually lossless compression technology, packetizing signals so source content can be delivered anywhere you have Ethernet wiring. Simply plug in as many receivers as you need for your remote screens, and use a standard Gigabit network switch with IGMP to control the multicast traffic. 

The MediaCento IPX Multicast system transmits up to 328 feet (100 m) per link, but goes even longer with additional network switches added to the mix, and because it is based on standardized Ethernet protocols, you can even use media converters and run several miles over fiber optic cabling. Plus, it transmits signals digitally from end to end, so digital content is never compromised, and is HDCP compliant for streaming Blu-ray content. What’s more, the system supports bidirectional serial connections for use with interactive touchscreens. 

Black Box offers three different versions depending on the application: MediaCento IPX Multicast Video Wall Transmitters and Receivers (VX-HDMI-IP-VTX, VX-HDMI-TP-VRX), MediaCento IPX Multicast Transmitters and Receivers (VX-HDMI-IP-MTX, VX-HDMI-IP-MRX) and MediaCento IPX Unicast Transmitters and Receivers for point-to-point IP streaming (VX-HDMI-IP-UTX, VX-HDMI-IP-URX). 

The video wall version of the multicast extender supports 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 4 x 4, and 8 x 8 screen arrays. In addition, it offers easy video wall image configuration using a Web browser interface, enabling users to assign source video to any screen in the video matrix. 

“Just plug in your HDMI source and begin configuring your matrix of screens,” Indresøvde says. “Also, there’s no need to manually configure any IP settings. Simply use rotary switches to set the transmitter and receivers to the same channel and all IP and multicasting settings are automatically configured.” 

In addition to digital signage, the system can be used to distribute high-quality medical imaging video across a hospital campus to a matrix of screens, as well as to stream video to banks of displays in training or simulation rooms. 

For more information on any Black Box’s MediaCento IPX systems, visit

Companies: Black Box

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