We have a number of meeting rooms that were equipped with an AV cabinet and projector each. There's a local PC and input for mobile devces at the meeting table. All of the cable runs are HDMI (those longer than ~10m are supported by active Kramer Cat6 Baluns). We've standardised on 1080p for our displays. Locally, everything works well.
We've upgraded two of these rooms for conferencing. This includes: A second, wall mounted TV and a LifeSize Express 220. Input are handled by a Kramer VS-84 (or VS-44) matrix switcher, such that the image to the Projector is mirrored to the DVI-I Input of the LifeSize unit, making it possible to present to remote participants from any of the input devices with ease.
Now, the LifeSize 220 series doesn't support 1080p input for presentations. This wasn't regarded as a significant issue, since a compressed, downscaled input was judged sufficient for passive observers.
To rectify this, we installed a Kramer VP-424 scaler in-line between the switch and the LifeSize. (HDMI in and out). This would give us a clean 720p feed to the LifeSize while all the local displays stay at 1080p.
Here's where the problems come in: At both sites, output from the scaler was being corrupted or not displayed. The pattern of this varied depending on the input device and the scaler used:
- Kramer VP-424: Macbooks and iOS devices Display, but are subject to very regular (1/s) single-frame flashes of noise with audible popping sound. Windows laptops display cleanly
- CYP SY298H: Similar to the Kramer, with audible poppping, but the image would drop to flat blue and 'No Input', or appear squashed up into the top 1/6 of the screen.
- Extron DCS 301: A clean display from Windows laptops, but a no output whatsoever from any Apple devices.
We've also tried:
- Many (many) cables.
- Direct device input to the Lifesize (Everything works, as the device will downscale to 720p on connection, but it requires manual connection wrangling prior to meetings, which isn't sustainable)
- Discussing with our installer. (They're being brilliant about this, but they're as stumped as we are)
- Discussing with LifeSize support (Also very helpful, but there are too many variables and 3rd party products for them to suggest anything concrete)
- Not having the scaler: All inputs are corrupted as the switch tries to feed 1080p into the LifeSize.
We can't enforce input device type, as support for everything is required in our environment. We can't really mandate 720p across the board as, although it's sufficient for passive viewing, the presenter still needs 1080p (lots of small text and Wireframe 3D in some cases).
I'd love a one-shot solution to this, but if anyone can give me some pointers in how to further debug the problem, I'll be in their debt. (I can provide diagrams of the setup, if it'll help)
At AJ's Suggestion, I removed the switch from the equation. (Mackbook 1080p@60 -> Scaler-> Lifesize). To start with, the issue was just as apparent. Then I tried something we'd eliminated previously, and switched off the
HDCP on Input option. Suddenly I'm looking at a clean, scaled 720p image!
So I put the switch back in line and now all I see is what we saw with earlier tests: A blank screen. Still, this means that without the switch in place, HDCP isn't needed. If I can disable it in the entire chain, then we might be sorted. I'll report back when I've done some further testing.
Something I didn't point out previously: If I take the codec out of the equation (Mac -> Scaler -> TV), then I don’t see any problems at all, regardless of the HDCP setting.
So we have HDCP being agreed from device to switch to (if it's enabled) scaler. It looks like the scaler -> Lifesize negotiation is where it's failing. Both agree on HDCP support, but then something goes wrong that causes this regular popping.