New Leightronix

Well, what can I say? We finally replaced our aging Mini-T Pro Leightronix with a new Mini-T Net at work today. So, what is this and how is it Information Technology related? Well, the leightronix is a device that switches between different broadcast outputs. For instance, most of the time I use a digital signage program called Scala to broadcast a bulletin board to the public. Think of this almost like a Power point presentation. So what about the times that I need to broadcast something else? Let’s say, I want to broadcast a city council meeting or a re-broadcast of the meeting. How can I easily switch between broadcast sources? The answer is by using a leightronix switcher.

It’s really a simple setup, the model we had/have has one video and audio output and 8 video and audio inputs. It’s fairly simple. We currently have 2 VCR’s, 2 DVD players and 1 computer hooked up to the leightronix device. We also have port used for live broadcasting. With a simple press of a button we can switch between video/audio sources. But wait! There’s more!

The leightronix also allows for scheduled switching. This is great when you want to replay a video without having to be present to switch the device manually. You just have to remember to have the media (VHS or DVD) in the player ahead of time. So, why did we need a new one?

There are 2 reasons really. The first is that the new device can be accessed through our network. I can now manage schedules without having to physically go to the device. Even better than that, if there was a reason that I needed to remote into the broadcast machine, I could set the leightronix to an inactive port to display a blank screen until I’m done with my remote session into the broadcast machine. The second reason is that the old leightronix did not really support DVD pplayback functions. Essentially to put DVD’s on a schedule for lets say a month, I had to just let the DVD play constantly, and set the broadcast for long enough to make sure the if it started in the middle of the video that the whole things could be played on air several times.

So, I figured I would share my experience of “upgrading” this device. Basically it took all of 5 minutes to replace the old one and install the new one. I then installed WinNet on my computer, the software which came with the new device. I configured the IP address to talk to our network and that was all working fine! The only other thing that I had to do was install the IR devices. Basically it’s a small cable that covers the IR sensor on the DVD/VCR players. The cable is connected to a small device that has some dip switches to configure, and these devices are connected via an RJ11 cable back to the Leightronix. Basically the leightronix will send the correct IR signal to the DVD/VCR devices to give them the commands that you program in your schedule. Cool huh? OK, so it’s cool in a geeky kinda way. All in all, not a difficult install, but a fun one!

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