Lab: Implementing a Pair of Vanco Problem Solvers

Vanco is a well-known supplier to the custom integration trades that offers a wide range of residential and commercial products, including cabling, speakers, amplifiers, black box solutions, and more.

I worked with a few models for this review, the Vanco CAPT4K1 and PA-ADS1, from its PulseAudio brand.

Vanco CAPT4K1 4K HDMI to USB Video Capture Device with Audio Embedding/Deembedding

The CAPT4K1 is a unidirectional device that receives an HDMI signal and outputs a USB signal through a USB-A port. It works with an assortment of video resolutions, from 576i, 480p, 720p, 1080p up to 4K at 60Hz, supporting HDR10 High Dynamic Range.

The Vanco The device is about the size of a deck of cards and is powered by the USB port.

The unit has HDMI in and out ports, so the source can be permanently plugged into it and sent to the USB recording device as well as any HDMI-equipped display you wish to deploy.

Additionally, the unit has a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack that disintegrates the stereo audio signal from the HDMI; an added bonus is a 3.5mm microphone jack for inserting audio over the signal as it is sent to the USB device.

Applications would include someone who wants an inexpensive way to take a video camera that outputs an HDMI signal and insert it into any video conferencing platform like Zoom, Go to Reunion, Blue Jeans or others. Being able to insert a microphone over the signal would improve the sound quality of the transmission for people on the other end of the conference.

Offices, churches, funeral homes and meetings could all benefit from this device. Video gamers can also use it, although I haven’t tested this app.

This would also allow users to save to the connected computer; the manual specifically talks about the OBS software, which is compatible with Linux, IOS and Windows operating systems. Again, having the ability to insert an audio track over the video enhances the family memory videos you make for grandma, as well as other apps. HDCP, which is encrypted on some consumer video products, would prevent the user from recording Hollywood movies, for example.

At a suggested retail price of $359, this device presents a viable way to increase an organization’s reach with easy, hassle-free setup.

Vanco PulseAudio PA-ADS1 audio delay device

The second item I tested was the PulseAudio PA-ADS1. This device is a simple box that allows the user to set a delay on an analog audio signal.

By using the Vanco PulseAudio PA-ADS1 audio delay device, installers can avoid lip-sync issues.

The unit measures approximately 3 x 3 by ¾ inches (L x W x H) and has two pairs of RCA connections, one for input and one for output. It has a 5V DC power jack and a small user adjustable knob to set the delay between 20 and 340 milliseconds in 16 different increments.

Installers who work with digital video signal sources, such as satellites, Blu-ray players, modulators, etc. will find this tool extremely useful. Essentially, a digital video signal goes through more processing than an analog audio signal, and by using it you can avoid lip-sync issues.

Older AVRs that were equipped with dual-zone playback capability had this problem; the installer would plug an HDMI signal into zone 1 of the AVR and could not hear it through zone 2. 2 was enabled for provenance. In homes with open floor plans, this was a nuisance.

Another application for this was high definition modulation.

Typically deployed in sports bar applications, the installer would take an analog video source and run it through the modulator for picture playback, and bring the audio connections from the device into the home audio system. The image went through digital encryption for distribution purposes, and the images appeared late enough for customers to be annoyed.

Bar owners might try to appease their customers by using the TV speakers, leading them to wonder why they spent all that money on the AV system again? By inserting it between the source and the audio system, the problem is solved.

The Vanco CAPT4K1 and PulseAudio PA-ADS1 are the kind of black box solutions that will save installers time, money and frustration. Vanco manufactures a wide range of devices that can solve a problem you face at the next residence or commercial project.

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