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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, AV Boxes/Wall plates for Smartboards in Technical; Hi All, First post on the forum, but been browsing for years! I'm currently looking into some sort of new ...
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    AV Boxes/Wall plates for Smartboards

    Hi All,

    First post on the forum, but been browsing for years!

    I'm currently looking into some sort of new AV Box/Wall Plate solution for classrooms.

    What do you all use for your AV, to split the signal for Projector and LCD, sound etc? I want a neat solution, as currently they just have powered VGA splitters in place.

    Thanks,

    Mark

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    DAZZD88's Avatar
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    I've always preferred powered splitters that are built into the face plate. Why? Because it generally looks neater.

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Do you have any links to such things at all please?

    They currently don't have them built into the faceplates, just loose on the desk, or floor as most are now!

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    DAZZD88's Avatar
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    Apologies, I was talking guff about having the splitter built-in. What you could do is use the projector to split your VGA signal and send it back to the face plate on the wall, so one VGA connection on the faceplate would be a computer in (to the projector) and one would be computer out (to the monitor). You would use something like this and obviously the correct cables to connect everything up. As for audio, you could wire the audio inputs on the faceplate to go to your speakers and then using an aplifier like this one here, take the inputs from your computer and dvd player (we have the odd one in a classroom, don't ask) and plug them into the amp, then output to the faceplate and Bob's your uncle.

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    BlueBuoy (17th June 2011)

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    Thanks for the info and links, that's really helpful.

    Do you, or anyone else, know of any other ways? The company i used to work for fabricated their own AV boxes, which in theory were good, but IMO looked ugly - wondered if there was a non-ugly version?

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    DAZZD88's Avatar
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    Short of getting the connectors and fabricating your own faceplate the way you want it then no.

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    You could simply use a Y cable which would split your VGA signal from your PC to monitor and projector. You may lose a small amount of image quality but it will get rid of the powered box for you.

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    BlueBuoy (22nd June 2011)

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    Thanks Darren.

    They were using Y cables before, but due to the resolution of new LCD screens, they were getting fuzzy images on the native resolution, whereas sticking a powered splitter in solved this.

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    We use the tech connect range of modules and faceplates for all of our av installs and if using the projector to return the signal you just have 2 vga modules in the faceplate, we normally have 2 anyway as it would be used for a desktop pc and laptop input to the projector you just have to configure the projector to be an output.

    Ben

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    Vanti's Avatar
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    AV Wallplate Options

    Hi

    There are several different ways of getting round this:

    A Passive VGA Splitter - these are cheap @ ~£5 and work quite well with shorter distance VGA projector cabling

    Where the VGA cabling is longer you may require an active splitter as you have already mentioned, there are however USB powered splitters on the market.
    These work quite well and do not need a power socket, something like this: USB-Powered VGA Splitter - 2-Port | StarTech.com United Kingdom

    Another option would be to make use of the 'monitor out' port on your projector (if it has one), run a second vga cable and present a second VGA port in the AV plate dedicated for the workstation monitor
    We find these have been very popular: Sahara Presentation Systems > Sahara Cable Kit 5m
    They are reasonably priced and quick to install

    There are also some AV Input plates on the market which integrate this technology in a AV input plate.
    Something like: Product Details - ABtUS Singapore - Total AV solutions Programmable Integrated Projector Controller Switcher#page=page-1
    These units are good in that they integrate an audio amplifier, projector controller, video switcher (could also have a visualiser, etc) and a usb port for connectivity of a interactive whiteboard
    They are more expensive but you have total control of all your classroom AV components in one unit

    Hope this helps!

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    BlueBuoy (22nd June 2011)

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    My intense hatred of VGA splitters means that I've been slowly replacing all our desktop machines that are hooked up to projectors with ones that have a second monitor output for the projector, like most laptops have.

    When you're buying a new machine anyway it doesn't add too much to the price, and it's been well received by teachers as they can switch between duplicate and extended desktop for when they want something up on the board for the kids to crack on with but have their reports open on the main screen.

    If you're not up for replacing the machine you could always crack the case and stick something like this in it.

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    BlueBuoy (22nd June 2011)

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    Thanks for all the replies!

    Very useful to get other peoples views and solutions for these things.

    I'm going to take a look at each solution more in-depth and go from there.


    Thanks again to all that replied.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    I am with @AngryTechnician... the majority of projectors here are used exclusively with laptops so a signal splitter isn't required. In the rooms with desktops, I have used dual-head graphics cards.

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    john's Avatar
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    Dual Head cards are becomeing the defacto standard here, although the costs does add up when swapping old rooms, I think a trip to ICT Direct for some VGA Cards is in order.

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    We currently us the tech connect range for our face plates/modules and use power splitters on the floor like you mentioned. However after reading over some posts i thought if you buy 2 Female VGA modules for the face plate and have one wired to the projector and the other one looped off the first module which in theory should work for the monitor but is not tried and tested. You then can add your audio inot this range as well

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