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
- P3 X32N
- P5 X32N
- PowerLite 83+
- BrightLink 450Wi, 475Wi, 575Wi, 585Wi, 595Wi
- SIS panels; tested with the MLC 104 Plus
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. In our experience, only the series code matters when it comes to controllability, so we list only that here:
- LB, LC, LD, LF, LG, LH, LN, LS, LT, LU, and LY series
- PB, PC, PG, PJ, PK, PQ, PS, and PX series
- Lightraise 60wi
- Lightraise 40wi
- UF65, UF75, UF85
Partially-Supported Display Types
Requires custom development on the Crestron side.
NEC (flat panels)⁶
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, so we list only that here:
- EQ, LE, and UQ series
Westinghouse Digital Electronics
IR Remote Control
ETR can control most displays via IR, using either GlobalCaché's iTach products, our own Addressable Classroom Interface (MM-1200), or Dukane's CCM.
Doing so has several problems, which is why we cannot consider such a combination Certified:
- Custom software development may be required, which introduces code that is inherently less well tested.
- The ACI and CCM options can only return power status to the central server. The server cannot maintain an accurate model of other display states unless manual control is in some way prevented. (IR remote controls hidden away, buttons locked out in the display settings or physically blocked, etc.)
- The GlobalCaché option has all the limitations of the ACI, plus a lack of power status feedback. When paired with a display that offers only a power toggle command rather than discrete on/off commands, the display can end up in an inverted state, where the display turns off when you want it to turn on, and vice versa.
Unsupported Display Types
There are several possible reasons that a given display type is not already supported:
- There is no RS-232 serial or network port on the display.
- There is a serial port, but the protocol is undocumented, as with a factory service port.
- There is a network port, but the service set provided does not include a remote control protocol.
- There is a remote control protocol, but it has design weaknesses or implementation errors that make it unsuitable for use in a MediaMaster System. (This happens more often than you might guess.)
It may instead be that none of these are the case, but that we have simply not yet evaluated at 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.
What Does "Certification" Mean?
When ETR tests a given display type for compatibility with the MediaMaster System, we are looking for certain 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. In addition to those listed above, 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 pushes the display from the Supported list to 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 it works better if it doesn't have to spend time recovering from it.)
- Displays with configurable serial bit rates typically need to be set to the value that MMS uses; we usually only support multiple bit rate options for a given display type when there are two or more models with the same protocol but different hard-coded serial bit rates.
- 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 answer 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.
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.
- Boxlight projectors manufactured in 2013 or earlier may require a firmware update to work properly with MMS.
- LG often uses the same basic display in both their commercial and consumer lineups, with very little difference except that only the commercial model answers power status queries while off. Thus, you have two displays with the same model code but the consumer version is effectively Partially Supported due to the protocol difference. Where LG gives you a choice, use the commercial model.
- We currently only support Mitsubishi projectors, because Mitsubishi flat panels speak an entirely different protocol, which may or may not be usable with MMS. Contact ETR for technical evaluation of a specific model.
- Sharp has split their display offerings into professional and consumer (Aquos) lines, with different control protocols. The professional models' control protocol is far superior. The weaknesses in the Aquos line's control protocol makes it unsuitable for use anywhere that the front panel controls or IR remote could be used.
- BenQ projectors manufactured in 2012 or earlier may require a firmware update to work properly with MMS.
- We currently only support a select set of NEC flat panel displays, and that only with partial support due to protocol weaknesses. Contact ETR for technical evaluation of a specific model.