Hands-On: Implementing a Pair of Vanco Problem Solvers

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

I’ve been working with a couple of models for this review, the Vanco CAPT4K1 and the PA-ADS1, from its PulseAudio brand.

Vanco CAPT4K1 4K HDMI to USB Video Capture Device with Audio Embedding/De-embedding

The CAPT4K1 is a single-direction device that takes an HDMI signal in 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 device is about the size of a deck of cards and receives power from the USB port.

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

Measuring Supply Chain Impacts on Home Entertainment

The home entertainment category is especially susceptible to the supply chain crisis because there are so many individual components required. Despite that ongoing problem, the once-forgotten “home theater” category continued its strong comeback in 2021 likely driven by the ongoing house-bound public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Download your copy today!

Additionally, the unit features a 3.5mm stereo earphone jack that de-embeds the stereo audio signal from the HDMI; an extra bonus is a 3.5mm microphone jack to insert sound onto 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 onto any video conferencing platform like Zoom, Go to Meeting, Blue Jeans, or others. Being able to insert a microphone onto the signal would improve the sound quality of the transmission for those at the other end of the conference.

Offices, churches, funeral homes, and meetings could all benefit from this device. Video gamers can use this as well, although I did not test that application.

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

At a suggested retail of $359, this device presents a viable way to increase the reach of an organization with a no-fuss, easy 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 time delay onto an analog audio signal.  

By using the Vanco PulseAudio PA-ADS1 Audio Delay Device, installers can avoid lip-sync issues.

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

Installers who are working with digital-based video signal sources, like satellite, Blu-ray players, modulators, and the like will find this tool extremely useful. Essentially, a digital video signal goes through more processing than an analog audio signal, and by using this, you can avoid lip-sync issues.

Older AVRs that were equipped with dual-zone playback capability used to have that problem; the installer would plug an HDMI signal into zone 1 on the AVR and not be able to hear it through zone 2. The installer would plug in an analog connection to an unused input, and the sound would arrive a bit sooner when zone 2 was activated for the source. 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 into the modulator for picture playback, and take the device’s audio connections into the house audio system. The picture was going through digital encryption for purposes of distribution, and images would show up late enough that patrons would be annoyed.

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

The Vanco CAPT4K1 and PulseAudio PA-ADS1 are the sorts of black-box solutions that will save installers time, money, and frustration. Vanco makes a wide range of devices that may solve a problem you’re facing on the next residential or resimercial project.

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