In just seven quick steps, take our AV-over-IP video distribution system from a static video wall to a dynamic video wall with switching and control. No additional video wall processor required.
In Part 1, we covered how to set up a static video wall without a video processor. Now it’s time to turn it up a notch and learn how to set up a dynamic video wall with added control and switching.
Recall we started with the MediaCento IPX PoE Multicast 1 x 4 Kit. The kit includes a transmitter, four receivers, a PoE (Power over Ethernet) network switch, and five 2-meter (6.5-feet) locking HDMI cables. Everything you need to multicast HDMI video over an IP network and create static video walls.
In order to make the video wall dynamic, you’ll need to add to the existing system:
- Another source (e.g., digital signage player, PC, laptop, Blu-ray player, DVD player, etc.)
- One or more MediaCento IPX Transmitters
- MediaCento IPX Controller
The additional sources and transmitters enable additional content to display, and the controller enables you to take full control over the IP-based transmitters and receivers.
Let’s dive right in to the MediaCento multicasting system and get the controller up and running.
Step 1: Connect Additional Transmitters to the Switch and Source
In this scenario, we have one additional source, a laptop, so we will need one additional transmitter. Connect the second transmitter to the PoE network switch using a CATx cable. Then, using a locking HDMI cable, connect source – in this case, a laptop – to the transmitter unit.
Step 2: Connect the MediaCento IPX Controller
Connect the power supply to the controller and connect it to the network switch using a CATx cable.
Step 3: Access the Controller’s Web Interface
Use the Web interface to configure the controller. Open the Web browser, and type the IP address in the address field.
Note: For more details regarding IP addresses, see the user manual included with the controller.
Step 4: Detect Units
In the Web interface, go to the Hardware tab and:
- Click the “Detect Units” button. The controller automatically detects all receivers and transmitters on the network. In this case, the IP address of the transmitter connected to the laptop is 169.254.4.73 and the iCOMPEL media player is 169.254.2.58.
- Optionally, rename the receivers for easier setup. Click the “Show OSD” button to show the receiver’s IP names on the displays, and then click the “Rename Device” button to rename each of the receiver’s IP addresses to a findable name. For example, C1 R1 (for column 1, row 1), C1 R2, C2 R1, and C2 R2.
Step 5: Update Group Settings
In the Web interface, go to the Groups tab and:
- Name this group to “2×2 Video Wall” in the Title field.
- In the “Receivers not in Group” list, select the receivers that you want displayed in the video wall and click the > button to add them to the “Receivers in Group” list. The receivers will appear below the lists.
- Check the Video Wall This will open the video wall settings where you can specify the number or rows and columns in the video wall as well as monitor information (i.e., bezel width and monitor height and width). It also displays a video wall table.
- Enter 2 for the number of rows, and 2 for the number of columns. The table will change to show a 2×2 video wall table.
- Drag and drop the receivers where you would like them displayed in the video wall table. (This is where having the receivers renamed to something more meaningful helps with setup.)
- Click the “Save Group” button.
Step 6: Enable Full-Screen Video Wall
Still in the Web interface, go to the Custom Display tab and select which source you would like to connect to the grouping that was just created. To switch the iCOMPEL media player to show the video wall across all the screens, click the box in the 169.254.2.58 (the IP address associated with the transmitter connected to the media player) column, 2×2 Video Wall row. Then, click the “Switch” button.
Step 7: Switch Content to Dynamic Display
To switch the display from the video wall only to show the source from the laptop in column 1, row 1, click the box in the column with the second transmitter, 169.254.4.73, and click the “Switch” button.
The screen will change to show the content from the second source. In this case, it is pulling content from a Web page.
Still in the Custom Display tab, click the “Save as a New Preset” button to make the configuration available in your dashboard. The dashboard is available on the mobile application; therefore, with the preset defined you can switch and control the displays from your mobile device.
That’s it! In just seven steps we took the static 2×2 video wall and made it dynamic with switching and control. This is just a snippet of the system’s capabilities. The system can create up to 8×8 video walls with 64 screens.
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