A complete introspective look into digital video distribution systems is now possible with Crestron DM® Tools. As part of the Crestron Toolbox™ suite, DM Tools offers the value of what only extremely expensive test hardware can provide—and its completely free. From advanced source and display information, to simple source-select functions and system topology views, the power of DM Tools is an invaluable resource for deploying and troubleshooting DigitalMedia™ systems.
Complete DM System Overview
When DM Tools first connects to a DigitalMedia switcher via Ethernet or USB, it shows a graphical representation of the hardware that is connected. Inputs are shown on the left, and outputs on the right. Square areas containing the card model and selection buttons graphically represent each input and output card. DM transmitters, repeaters and roomboxes are connected via colored lines with text stating resolution, connection and HDCP status. ToolTips, which explain functions or provide greater signal detail, are displayed by simply hovering over different parts of the switcher.
Each output card graphic includes a dropdown box used for selecting the input to be routed. This quick-route tool aids in testing sources during system commissioning. Setup buttons on each input and output card brings you to additional menus that are organized in a convenient tabbed format. Input card menus provide EDID setup, HDCP testing, test signal generation and other advanced features; output card menus provide a means to adjust cable type and enable Deep Color support. Transmitters also have their own setup screens allowing adjustments to incoming source signals. Roombox views present resolution, cable length, HDCP and routing data.
Why do I Need This?
Today’s digital video systems are inherently very complex. Unlike analog signals, digital signals carry 2-way information—EDID (video and audio resolution data) and HDCP (content protection). This extra information must be properly shared, or a system will simply not work. The days of analog are quickly being replaced by digital, and DM Tools is the only way to successfully and expeditiously deploy complex digital video systems.
DM Tools Destroys Digital Drama
The drama of dealing with HDMI® distribution and HDCP is over. DM Tools is your best installation tool to date. Questions like, “why is that display blanking?” or “why aren’t we getting 7.1 audio?” are easily answered. Via the extremely intuitive user interface, technicians can quickly identify signal behaviors and take action to remedy unwanted results.
Supports HDMI® Switchers Too!
Not only does DM Tools offer insight into larger distribution systems (DM-MD8X8, DM-MD16X16, DM-MD32X32), but the same power also comes standard with Crestron HDMI solutions. Take full advantage of digital assurance when integrating the affordable HD-MD8X1 and HD-MD8X2 switchers. View and set source and display EDID, test and manage HDCP keys, and label and route HDMI sources.
HDCP Source Testing
DM Tools allows integrators to run HDCP key tests to determine a source’s capabilities. High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is used to protect content from unauthorized reproduction. Any source device is only capable of content playback to a finite number of displays based on the number of “keys” it supports. With a simple click, DM Tools runs an HDCP test, informing integrators of a specific source’s key capacity. Knowing a device’s limitation allows integrators to select which sources can be routed to certain displays without reaching HDCP limits. A window within DM Tools enables checkbox selection of allowed outputs. In some cases, system designers may choose to use an alternate source device that better suits system requirements.
EDID Management and Control
Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) is a crucial part of digital AV signals—and DM Tools provides the ability to view, manage or manually edit EDID. In addition to video resolution, refresh rate, and format information, DM Tools supplies audio information including number of channels, resolution, and format. When a source is distributed, every downstream device (displays, surround processors, etc.) must support the signal being sent. Choose “Auto-Select Outputs” to let the DM system determine the optimal signal type for the devices connected. For more granular control, use the simple set of checkboxes to manually select which resolutions can be transmitted.
Other management features allow EDID copying from a display so that it can be applied to a set group of sources. An advanced button for Deep Color exposes compatible resolutions that work within the Deep Color guidelines. Audio selections for “Best Common” automatically selects the audio format that is compatible with all selected displays while “Best Overall” give integrators the choice of audio format regardless of downstream device support.