Extron Takes Aim at Vaddio and ClearOne With New MediaPort 200 AV to USB Box

extron-mediaport-0715Extron is launching into a completely new market category with their new MediaPort 200, an HDMI (and audio) to USB bridge for integrating pro AV sources or systems with software codec conferencing applications. The cool thing about this product is it will give integrators a way to make money integrating consumer videoconferencing products and apps (e.g., Skype, Skype for business, Microsoft Lync, etc.) into ProAV systems.

The MediaPort 200 works seamlessly with a computers using generic USB video and audio drivers and it features an HDMI input (with HDCP-compliant loop through) and accepts signals up to 1920 x 1200, and scales video to a USB 2.0 output. Audio features include program and mic inputs, HDMI audio de-embedding, and USB bidirectional audio, plus AEC reference and line level outputs. The MediaPort 200 also includes DSP with EQ, filters, mixing, dynamics, and ducking. This allows the MediaPort 200 to serve as a complete soft codec bridge, with the added flexibility of integrating into larger hardware codec or DSP systems. The MediaPort 200 enables versatile integration of conferencing PCs into pro AV system designs.

As we all know, customers have been asking, for years, to integrate consumer VTC applications into ProAV systems and there’s been very little incentive to do that as the margins to do it were slim and, in most cases, it was just set as an input to the system. But, with the MediaPort 200, there’s margin and you can actually increase the quality of the video (as it includes Extron’s scaling engine) and audio (as it also has their DSP).

The MediaPort 200 puts the power (and decision making ability) into the hands of the integrator to specify alternative higher-end web-cameras and mics by adding support for professional-grade equipment such as videoconferencing PTZ cameras, boundary microphones, and sound reinforcement systems. In boardrooms and large conference rooms, the MediaPort 200 easily integrates a conferencing PC into a fully equipped AV system with a hardware codec, video distribution and processing, control, DSP, microphones and full sound reinforcement.

Extron says to ensure an HDMI source is presented with the highest possible image quality to a soft codec, the MediaPort 200 incorporates Extron patented video processing technology (scaling), specifically engineered for high performance image scaling and frame rate conversion that preserves detail and legibility of source content. The DSP in the MediaPort 200 is ideal for optimizing mic and program source signals, as well as outgoing signals bound for the PC, sound reinforcement systems, or outboard DSPs. The MediaPort 200 can also deliver far-end audio as a dedicated AEC reference output to an AEC-equipped DSP, to provide distributed AEC processing for several microphones.

Inputs incude HDMI, line audio and mic audio so you can simultaneously connect audio from the video source as well as a room mic for voice-over in VTC applications — this is an example of a feature that is integrator-friendly that allows the dealer to make money upgrading the integration of the system from using an off-the-shelf USB web-cam. It’s housed in a 1U, half-rack enclosure and includes I/O ports for mic tally and status for audio group conferencing applications.

Here are all the technical specs on the $3,390 MediaPort 200.