The MediaMaster System supports many different types of display devices. There are two classes of Network Certified display types: Supported and Partially-Supported. Those in the Supported class generally have better-designed control protocols, are more reliable, etc. We strongly recommend choosing displays on the Supported list over those on the Partially-Supported list.
Supported Display Types
Boxlight projectors manufactured in 2013 or earlier may require a firmware update to work with MediaMaster.
BrightLink 450Wi, 475Wi, 575Wi, 585Wi, 595Wi
SIS panels; tested with the MLC 104 Plus and the MLC 226
The LG model number scheme is xxYYzzzzC, where xx is the display size in inches, and YY is one of the two-letter series codes below.
Supported series are:
OLED: B8, C8
LCD: LB, LC, LD, LF, LG, LH, LN, LS, LT, LU, LW, LY
Plasma: PB, PC, PG, PJ, PK, PQ, PS, PX
If the model number includes a "C" at the end, it denotes a commercial-class display, as opposed to a consumer display. These typically ship with better firmware that makes a material difference in controllability. Given the choice, we recommend that you use commercial LG displays.
Mitsubishi (projectors only)
As with the LG and Sharp model numbering schemes, the key element of the model number is the two-letter series code in the middle. Currently, the only tested and supported series is the NU series, specifically the NU7100 series.
6000, 7000, and MX series IFPs
Lightraise 40wi and 60wi
UF65, UF75, UF85
Partially-Supported Display Types
BenQ projectors manufactured in 2012 or earlier may require a firmware update to work with MediaMaster.
Requires custom development on the Crestron side.
NEC (flat panels)
We cannot recommend using any model not specifically named above. In past testing, we have found NEC flat panel display models that are essentially un-controllable by the MediaMaster system. Contact ETR to arrange evaluation of a specific model not on this list.
This control protocol has only been tested with an OEM-rebranded projector manufactured by Sanyo. It may also work with Sanyo-branded LCDs and projectors, but we have not yet tested this with actual hardware.
The Sharp Aquos model number scheme is LC-xxYYzzzU for LCD displays, where xx is the display size in inches, and YY is one of the two-letter series codes below. In our experience, only the series code matters when it comes to controllability. Supported series are:
EQ, LE, and UQ series
Westinghouse Digital Electronics
What Does "Certification" Mean?
When ETR tests a given display type for compatibility with the MediaMaster System (MMS), we are looking for a small set of useful attributes. For example, we want it to offer all of the display status read-back commands the system needs in order to maintain a proper model of the display's status.
We are also looking out for pitfalls. We have developed a catalog of common design errors that cause problems when you attempt to use certain displays with the MediaMaster System. Sometimes a design error is severe enough to prevent the use of that display type with MMS entirely, while in other cases, it merely requires that we place that display in the Partially-Supported list.
Certification implies the proper setup of certain configurable display modes:
Display features such as automatic power-off or source hunting should be disabled, since they interfere with centralized control. MMS can usually recover from that sort of interference, but the system works better if it doesn't have to spend time doing so.
Displays with configurable serial bit rates may only be supported in MMS at one or two particular bit rates, rather than the several choices you may be given. As a rule, MMS supports only the default serial data rate in such cases.
The control port must be enabled at all times. There are a number of cases we see:
Controllable displays often ship from the factory with the control ports disabled; one must be enabled in the OSD during installation.
A display with both serial and network control ports may allow remote control on only one of them at a time, not both. The installer must enable the correct one in the display's OSD menus.
In the name of energy savings, the control port on many displays is partially or fully disabled while the display is "off." At minimum, MMS requires that the display always accept a power-on command while off. A display cannot be on the Supported list if it does not also at least answer power status queries while off, since that means we must blindly send "power on" commands whenever we are not sure of the power state, which has a number of bad side effects.
The MediaMaster System works best when it has sole control over the displays. Many of the display types listed above behave badly when someone uses an IR remote control to change the state of the display while MMS is trying to control it at the same time. The MMS display control software does its best to recover from such confusions, but due to control protocol weaknesses, it can't always do so. An option with some displays is to lock out IR remote control in order to prevent this. This option is enabled by default where available, but it can be turned off at the school's request. Many display types do not offer this option; in such cases, ETR recommends that the IR remote controls be stored away from the displays.
A related case is a display that allows control via both serial and Ethernet. Some customers have asked if they can attach MMS to one of these ports and a different control system (e.g. an Extron wall panel) to the other. As with an IR remote control, this creates a situation where multiple control systems can fight over the state of the display, potentially creating confusion. The Extron example is a particularly egregious case, since MediaMaster includes Extron control. The superior option, therefore, is to let the Extron panel control the display and configure MediaMaster to control the Extron. This ensures that both MediaMaster and the Extron wall panel remain in sync with each other, avoiding the confusion.
Unsupported Display Types
There are several possible reasons that a given display type is not already supported:
There is no RS-232 serial, USB-to-serial, or network port on the display.
There is such a port, but the protocol is undocumented, as with a factory service port.
There is a network port, but there is no display control via that port. This is common on "smart" TVs, where the network is only there for running cloud apps and such. Projectors with network ports are more likely to be network-controllable than flat panel smart TVs, as a rule.
There is a remote control protocol, but it has design or implementation weaknesses that make it unsuitable for use in a MediaMaster System.
None of the above is true, but ETR has simply not yet evaluated the display you want to use.
Before specifying a display not on any of the lists above, please contact ETR for a technical evaluation of the display model you propose to use.
IR Remote Control
ETR has the technical ability to control most displays via IR commands. Before the widespread availability of serially- and network-controlled displays, that was the primary way MediaMaster systems controlled displays. We have removed support for such systems as of MediaMaster v11 for a couple of reasons:
Most IR controllers suitable for this purpose cannot detect the power state of the display. That prevents the use of such IR controllers with displays that have only a power toggle IR command, as opposed to the much rarer discrete on/off command, since the display power state can end up in an inverted condition, with power-on commands turning the display off and power-off commands turning it on.
Given a method for returning power status to the MediaMaster Server, as with the MM-1200 Addressable Classroom Interface, you still have a problem in that IR is inherently a one-way control protocol, with commands sent blind to the display, Even in the ideal condition, where an IR emitter is pasted over the display's IR receiver and outside IR is masked off, you have problems whenever the user in the classroom can change the display state directly, as with the front panel controls.
While it would be possible to bring back support for display control via IR, it would require custom software development. We strongly recommend using a display that allows full two-way control instead.
Samsung has two entirely different serial control protocols. MediaMaster currently only supports the EX-LINK protocol used on their mainstream models, not the MDC protocol on their high-end models. Beware also that many low-end Samsung displays don’t offer EX-LINK support, and of those that do, many have protocol weaknesses that prevent their use in a MediaMaster system. Models manufactured before 2017 are likely to either be considered unsupported or partially-supported.
Sharp has two entirely different serial control schemes, with the one used for consumer-grade Aquos displays being materially less controllable than Sharp Professional displays. These partially-supported Aquos displays can still be used with MediaMaster, but are best limited to applications where the front panel controls are out of reach and the IR remote is hidden away, such as in digital signage for displays mounted up out of reach or in an enclosure that blocks access to the front panel controls. Some Sharp displays marketed as "professional" displays are in fact rebadged Aquos models, so they have the same protocol weaknesses that lead us to put Sharp Aquos displays in the "Partially-Supported" category.