Last year while in Atlanta for Cedia & visiting friends I had the opportunity to truly walk around and explore the expo and visit every nook and cranny the show had to offer. I was amazed by how many different products that filled some sort of market in the electronics industry. One market that has been under fire is HDMI distribution & how to deploy it in the most effective manner. HDMI has long been plagued with sync issues, baluns that work in one job don’t work in another, HDCP issues, devices only supporting one display device, etc, etc. Enter Just Add Power & there HDMI over IP product. They had a small setup tucked away in the far back corner of one of the event halls but it sure did draw a crowd when word spread. They had developed a product that not only delivers HDMI on a more affordable scale but it actually works. The product takes a HDMI signal and encodes it to packets of data which are then able to be streamed through a network switch with up to 200 outputs (depending on the network switch used). The first version of the product had what I would define as decent picture quality which unless you were using a high end TV or a large screen (50+inch screen) the picture looked very close to the original with the exception of some noise in static images or very dark scenes. I would define it as completely watchable.
Now several months later they have listened to the dealers and have announced the version 2 of the product. The huge thing here is that they have upped the requirement from 10/100 to a gigabit in conjunction with now using the AVC codec (similar to what iTunes uses on there HD video content) to compress the stream and deliver near loss less performance. Sadly the first release of this version 2 product won’t support IR or serial in the direction needed for control of the TV’s remote location from the home automation system. The new versions are planned to ship in late June/early July with no price announced yet. I am excited to see this in person!