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Recently, one of my customers asked me if we have something to display an idle image when none of the video sources are selected. “I’d like to create my own image or a video, connect a player to one of the inputs on the switcher and play it when all inputs are deselected. This way, when a client deselects his source, they do not end up with a blank screen that displays No Signal.”


Let’s look at the components necessary for this type of application. We will start with the video player that can automatically play video upon power up. I selected the VP500-103 USB media player.

Figure 1: Portable media player for Idle screen display

This player can store multiple files and will play a selected file on power up. You can set up a fixed image that is continuously displayed or a video file that plays on loop. The USB drive can be easily replaced if you need to update the idle image. The next component depends on the system configuration and intended system operation. If the large screen display has multiple HDMI inputs, a built-in switcher can be used to display an idle image.


Blog 11092015 - Figure 2 - Multiple display inputs can be used for idle image

Figure 2: Multiple display inputs can be used for idle image

If a display has a single input or the system design incorporates an HDMI video switcher, then the VP500-103 can be connected to one of the switcher’s inputs. The final portion of this application would be the control of the switcher or a display. There are many options available for this setup. I selected the CP500-110 controller that enables me to use IR control to select the display input, as it has several RS-232 ports that can be used to control an HDMI switcher.


Blog 11092015 - Figure 3 - IR and RS232 controller with IP port

Figure 3: IR and RS-232 controller with IP port

There are many different control panels available on the market, from iPads to dedicate control panels. All of them will work with an IP controller. I selected the CP450-007, a 7-inch touch panel with an IP control port. I will be using AVSnap to program the control application.


Blog 11092015 - Figure 4 - CP450007 control panel with AVSnap software

Figure 4: CP450-007 control panel with AVSnap software

Now that we have all of the components, let’s do a system diagram to see how everything will be connected together. Note that the main purpose of this application is to enable display of an idle image when none of the sources are selected. All additional equipment is listed for reference only.


Blog 11092015 - Figure 5 - System diagram for Media Player

Figure 5: System diagram for Media Player

In addition to the idle image display, the VP500-103 Media Player can also be used for trade shows, point-of-sale displays, and the welcome screens in front lobbies.