For this month's spotlight I am going to focus on a truly unique solution product that deserves more attention than it often gets, the AC-SC1-AUHD scaler. Like it's big brother the AC-SC2-AUHD-GEN2, calling it a scaler is selling it short. In fact, it checks so many boxes I'm not really sure what we should call it other than amazing. It is indeed a scaler, capable of taking a 4K signal and downscaling it to 1080p as well as upscaling a 1080 signal to 4K. It's also an EDID manager, which means that in addition to solving common EDID communication issues it can also be used to downscale a 4K signal to 1080p for a non-4K display while fooling a distributed system into thinking that the display is 4K, eliminating the lowest-common-denominator problem that exists with many 4K switching devices. When scaling a signal from a 1080p legacy source up to 4K there are three selectable levels of video enhancement to maximize older sources. It re-clocks, re-equalizes and amplifies the HDMI signal helping to correct for deficiencies in the source's output signal. It is also an audio extractor, taking 2ch PCM audio signals and extracting them to an analog output, in fact it comes in at such a low cost that you could justify using it just for that!
But scaling, EDID management, signal correction and audio extraction are only part of the SC-1's magic. What really sets it apart are these two very unique capabilities;
HDBT-C Mode - The SC-1 can reduce the bandwidth of 9.1gbps to 18gbps signals (including 4K60 HDR) to 9g, automatically using the least destructive method based on the input signal. This will allow you to transmit a stripped-down version of a 4K source's output over legacy pipelines.
HDBT-C Mode 2 - This incredibly valuable feature requires two SC-1's, one at the source and one at the display. With this arrangement you can take a full 18gbps 4K HDR source and, using our ICT technology, compress the signal to 9gbps for transmission over legacy infrastructure (existing cable, extender, switch etc). Once the signal reaches the display the second SC-1 will expand the signal to its original specifications. This means that you can upgrade your customer's display to 4K and be confident that you will be able to deliver maximum signal quality, even if the path is a 10.2 gbps cable that is permanently installed in a non-accessible area. This ability can be the determining factor when it comes to whether or not your customer is going to invest in that new 4K projector.
This is another one of those flexible solution items that deserves a spot on your shelf or in your install vehicles. For a very small investment it can help solve a variety of issues as well as allow you to avoid some common pitfalls in system design. Don't let legacy equipment or designs be a roadblock, the AC-SC1-AUHD can help!
Steve Baker, CTS
Regional Sales Manager