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These Two Products are My Get Out of Jail Free Cards on AV Installations

With school vacation last week and the bitter cold in the New York area, there were a lot of board games being played in our house. Of course, one of those games was Monopoly. I got a few Get Out of Jail Free cards and used them well! That got me to thinking about how there are several Get Out of Jail Free products that we use in our business and either keep on hand (if they are affordable) or are ready to order at a moments notice (if they are more expensive). Two weeks ago we found another GOOJF (Get Out of Jail Free) product. Below are our two recent finds for which we just can’t speak highly enough.

Wolf Cinema ProScaler

We had an install for a celebrity client who recently purchased a pied-à-terre in NYC (they are LA-based). The living room is very long and was already wired by the prior owner for surround sound and had a recessed motorized screen installed. The location for the projector was sub-optimal at best. It was in the top left corner at the back of room (above the top of the screen and off to the left side of it.) The client had already purchased an Optoma projector, which had vertical and horizontal lens shift and keystone adjustments, but the zoom just wasn’t enough to fit the screen. The image was about twice the size of the screen.

We did a lot of research into more expensive projectors, lenses, and other solutions, but all were prohibitively expensive, or would not correct for the zoom and still allow for the poor positioning of the projector. We then called our friends at Wolf Cinema to talk to them about their ProScaler line. We ended up with the ProScaler MK III (the 1080p scaler) as the projector the client bought was not 4K. When the scaler arrived, we connected it up and gave tech support at Wolf a call.

The handholding and expertise that Wolf provided was excellent. We were walked through how to change the settings on the scaler to best achieve the image shrink that we needed, and the scaler adjusted the image to prevent any stretching or distortion. The end result was a perfectly sized picture from a very imperfect projector positioning. The scaler also offers an array of calibration tools, but in my opinion, the main GOOJF feature is the image shrink. Kudos to the product team at Wolf as well as Guillermo who walked us through everything with patience and ease. The scaler costs thousands of dollars, so while we aren’t stocking one in the truck, knowing we have this in our arsenal is priceless.

Key Digital KD-HDFIX22

HDMI is just a beast, and 4K is even worse. I cannot begin to describe all of the handshake issues that we have suffered through and struggled with. Then at a recent event we met with the leadership at Key Digital, and they told us about this little gem. You just plug the HDFix inline between the source and sink. No more handshake issues. No more EDID issues. No more issues.

We’ve used it half a dozen times now and every time it has solved whatever problem we were having. In fact, we used it in the job above. When we first connected the Wolf ProScaler, there was no picture to the projector because there was an EDID issue between the Marantz AVR, ProScaler, and projector. Putting the HDFix in between the Marantz and the ProScaler got us up and running. These are always in our inventory and ready at a moment’s notice.

What products do you consider your Get Out of Jail Free cards?