MOUNT VERNON, NY, August, 7 2023 – The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (RICE) in Atlanta, Georgia: part incubator, part accelerator, part innovation lab, and part Black entrepreneurship museum, RICE is the largest not-for-profit center in the Americas focused exclusively on helping Black entrepreneurs grow their early-stage businesses into economic mobility engines by offering access to place and space, mentorship, educational opportunities and additional resources to help them succeed. A recent update to the RICE AV infrastructure took place in the “Pitch Deck,” where the original design used a projector on the wall for video display. The previous setup “was underwhelming,” says Zebadiah Henry, one of the first stakeholders at RICE, where his company – AV, security and automation firm INEX Systems and Designs – is based and where he is in charge of the AV and tech technology. “They bring the venture capitalists back here to try to get funding as part of the business development process,” he explains. “We need to ‘Wow’ everybody. We were going try to do a full LED wall corner but that got pricey. What we went with to deliver that ‘Wow’ was four 86-inch LG TVs and the Key Digital® KD-VW4x4ProK video wall processor matrix.”
Henry has relied on gear from digital A/V connectivity and control solutions manufacturer Key Digital across his company’s decade-plus history, and Key Digital’s mark is evident throughout the RICE building in applications ranging from digital signage to conferencing to AV over IP content distribution. Based on his knowledge of the no-compromise performance, reliability and value of Key Digital gear, Henry outfitted the Pitch Deck with the 4K KD-VW4x4ProK, specially engineered to cost-effectively create high-impact video walls using consumer panels and monitors. It features four HDMI inputs with four outputs mirrored to HDMI outputs and to RJ45 jacks for CAT5e/6 extension transmission via UHDoTP (UHD over Twisted Pair). The four AV over IP extender receivers that come bundled with the KD-VW4x4ProK are powered over the CAT links and, in the Pitch Deck, located behind the screens where they feed HDMI to the monitors. The KD-VW4x4ProK additionally features seamless 4x4 matrix switching, two-channel analog and digital multichannel surround audio de-embedding and independent audio routing. 4K / UHD content up to 3840 x 2160p 4:2:0 at 60fps is supported.
When deploying consumer monitors for a video wall, Henry notes that manufacturers typically add a protrusion extending the lower bezel to accommodate IR receivers and other varied front-panel inputs and controls. These protrusions “make it ugly,” says Henry, when the monitors are arrayed in their standard orientation. Key Digital has incorporated a panel flip function in their AV over IP processors and the KD-VW4x4ProK that allows installers to mount the top monitors of a two-high array rotated 180° so that the thin, uniform bezels on the top and sides of the monitors are all cojoined. With the panel flip processor function engaged, images fed to the top monitors are electronically flipped 180°. The images can also be adjusted to compensate for the space taken by the bezels to avoid image break across the thin gap between the screens. “It made it simple to just flip the top TVs in the web UI interface,” Henry says. “I dialed in the IP addresses, flipped the two TVs, adjusted the bezels and it took me all of two minutes.”
The Pitch Deck system also incorporates two Key Digital KD-XWPS HDMI/USB-C wall plate switcher/extenders for source input and a KD-BYOD4K wireless presentation gateway that allows presenters to easily cast content into the system via WiFi from computers, tablets and smart phones. Demonstrating how Key Digital gear can integrate with various system control platforms, the Pitch Deck gear is interfaced with an IP-based URC Total Control system for touchscreen management of window shades, lighting and presentation setup preset toggling. The system communicates with the KD-VW4x4ProK to control the video wall for display of one overall image or simultaneous showing of multiple sources such as a video conference display alongside a presentation. Elsewhere in the building, Compass Control® Pro – Key Digital’s integrated iOS control system for its products and over 120 brands of third-party AV and facility infrastructure gear – is used for AV over IP distribution management.
Throughout INEX’s history in business, says Henry, “I stuck to the companies that work for me. And Key Digital’s definitely a company that reliably has. I always go to Key Digital whenever I need anything in the way of video transmission.”
KD-VW4x4ProK 4K video wall processor matrix
KD-XWPS single-gang wall plate switcher/extender transmitter with receiver kit
Compass Control Pro integrated iOS control system