3 Questions for Extron on 4K Product Transparency

Casey Hall of Extron Electronics speaks with CI about its True4K Specification.>

On the heels of NAB 2015 where Extron launched an array of solutions and touted its True4K Specification, VP of sales and marketing Casey Hall discusses the company’s hope for 4K product transparency and how pulling out of InfoComm‘s North America show three years ago impacted its research and development strategies.

What is Extron trying to accomplish with its True4K Specification?

Extron’s True4K Specification is a standardized way of providing product specification for products that pass or process 4K or UHD signals.

Really it’s the information that we at Extron believe that the systems designers in the industry, the integrators out there deserve to have at their disposal … When you talk about 4K there are really four critical parameters that need to be defined in order to be speaking the same language and be on the same page.

And those four factors are resolution, frame rate, chroma sampling or color sampling, and color bit depth … Extron is not saying that one is really 4K and the other is not [but] what we are saying is that customers deserve to have all the information about a product and how the product performs and they deserve to have that infor-mation presented in a clear way … Certainly we would like to see other manufacturers adopt it.

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When launching the XTP II Crosspoint you claim “the world’s first 50-gigabit digital back-plane.” Why is that such a big deal?

At NAB we introduced XTP II, which is the world’s first modular switching platform with 50 gigabit backplane, and that’s huge. To be clear, that’s 50 gig per port, so every input/output route through the switcher will support 50-gig data throughput.

That allows an integrator to design a system around an AV infrastructure that’s really future-proof to a level that is or was unheard of until now in our industry … A leap frog of anything else that’s out there in terms of switching performance.

It’s been almost three years since Extron’s decision no longer to exhibit at InfoComm’s North America tradeshow. What are some pros and cons of that decision? 

The decision to take the resources, time and energy spent preparing for the show and building prototypes and demonstration products, and to put all that energy and effort into engineering into actual working products, that’s been one of huge benefits.

We introduce over 100 products a year at Extron so there is a lot of development that goes on, and the InfoComm show, honestly, intended or not, it became a time and place where about 80 to 90 percent of our products were introduced … [now] we’re able to introduce [products] and focus on delivering them to the market when they’re ready.

Extron really is not taking a position against InfoComm. We have a tremendous amount of support that we provide InfoComm; our trainers still teach at their academies; we participate in a number of shows worldwide for InfoComm; but all in all this has been a good decision for Extron.