Demonstrating TVs and soundbars in a retail setting is a challenge. Despite the availability of infrared (IR) remote codes, consumer electronics control (CEC) technology, and extended display identification data (EDID), controlling home entertainment products in the brick and mortar retail environment is very different than using electronics at home.
IR, CEC, and EDID were all designed to control one TV and one soundbar – when a retailer tasks your technology integration team to devise a system to demonstrate more than that, Black Diamond Solutions (BDS) has you covered. For more than a decade, our team’s combined retail industry experience of 40-plus years enables us to identify your client’s end goal, create a plan to meet that goal, and develop a prototype quickly that shows you exactly how the system will work.
And behind all our solutions is an extensive supply of items that we keep in stock which allows us to develop a system for you much faster than our competitors. Additionally, because much of our hardware is interchangeable, we have the versatility of mixing and matching items to produce a wide range of functionality for any given project.
CEC is the protocol for different components – such as TVs, DVD players, cable boxes, and speaker systems – to control each other. This protocol is transmitted through one wire in an HDMI cable to all components that are connected by HDMI. Major brands have also developed their own extended standards, which include Anynet+, Bravia Link, EasyLink, and SimpLink.
Because CEC was designed to work only in the home environment, a host of issues can crop up when using CEC for retail demonstrations – our solutions resolve these problems. We have created a control system that replaces the TV functions to enable using CEC to change the volume of a soundbar display without a TV attached.
Using BDS technology, our clients can implement a system that controls multiple TVs and multiple audio devices, set a default volume at a desired level, and send a CEC command to one specific component, without other components responding to the command.
EDID is the protocol that TVs and video sources use to simplify video resolution settings – Black Diamond has developed an EDID controller to resolve issues in the retail environment that standard EDID can’t accommodate. When establishing an HDMI connection via EDID, the source device communicates with the display to assess the display’s capabilities – the communication between these two devices is known as the “HDMI handshake”.
When a TV plays a small video in the screen’s center instead of the video filling the entire screen, this means there’s a problem with the EDID handshake – we have established proprietary technology that resolves handshaking-related issues.
Our technology creates an interface between the touchscreen and multiple soundbars, switches the audio instantly from one soundbar to the next, and turns LED shelf lighting on and off to signify which soundbar is being played.
For retail soundbar displays that are controlled using a touchscreen, BDS technology enables you to synch up a specific touchscreen’s video with multiple soundbars. Using this system, which is connected to an LED light on the shelf that each soundbar sits on, a shelf light will illuminate when the soundbar sitting on it is chosen – as a result, the retail display shows exactly which soundbar is playing audio.
We can also install additional features to these soundbar display systems, including a component that overrides a soundbar’s built-in sleep mode that will prevent delays in the demonstration when the touchscreen is being used to activate a soundbar to play audio.