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4K/60 HDMI Annotation Processor with USB Extension




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Available May 2021

The Extron Annotator 401 is a high performance, hardware-based annotation processor that enables users to draw, point, or type over live presentations. Presenters can annotate using any combination of a touch display, keyboard, or mouse. An intuitive on-screen menu allows for quick and easy annotation. Annotated images may be captured and saved to internal memory, a removable USB flash drive, or a network location. The unit is HDCP 2.3 compliant and supports HDMI signals from 480i up to 4K/60 @ 4:4:4. Signal processing is performed by the Extron Vector™ 4K scaling engine. Dual HDMI outputs provide selectable annotation, menu, and cursor visibility. Compatible with the Extron USB Extender Plus Series, the Annotator 401 enables annotation with USB devices through a Gigabit Ethernet network or point-to-point over one CATx cable.

Create Real-Time Annotations with a User-Friendly Interface

User-friendly graphical icons and intuitive menus provide quick access to essential annotation tools. These include freehand or straight lines, rectangular or elliptical shapes, text, highlighting an area of the presentation, and pointing to objects on the screen, with various customization tools. A presenter can also isolate a specific area of the presentation for emphasis by creating a spotlight with the image darkened around it.

Enhance Presentations Using Advanced Tools

Additional presentation options include the ability to use a touch display as a whiteboard, zoom and pan within the image, and freeze a live image. Annotated images may be captured and saved to internal memory, a removable USB flash drive, or a network location. The images can also be printed using a network printer.

For a professional touch, the Annotator 401 can automatically apply a seamless fade or cut when a new source is detected, providing users and their audience with clean transitions between content. Dual HDMI outputs may also be configured as main and confidence monitors simultaneously, giving presenters the ability to mute video or hide menus and annotations on either output.

USB Extension and Compatibility with Popular Touch Displays

An integrated USB Extender Plus transmitter enables remote use of annotation peripherals. Paired with a USB Extender Plus receiver, signals can be sent up to 1,980 feet (600 meters) through a Gigabit Ethernet network or up to 330 feet (100 meters) point-to-point over a CATx cable. This allows users to annotate presentations from distant locations, increasing design flexibility while reducing overall equipment requirements.

Annotating over live video or presentations is easy using common touch displays, graphics tablets, as well as any standard keyboard and mouse. A total of 32 devices can be connected via USB hubs. The Annotator 401 is ideal for collaboration applications requiring on-screen annotation from multiple users.

Advanced Vector 4K Scaling

The Annotator 401 incorporates the Extron-exclusive Vector 4K scaling engine, developed in?house and engineered to deliver best-in-class image upscaling and downscaling. Vector 4K embodies several Extron-patented scaling technologies, plus a new set of image processing algorithms that deliver uncompromising scaling performance. This enables sharp, accurate 4:4:4 processing and scaling of video and computer video signals up to 4K, as well as downscaling of 4K source signals without losing critical image detail. It provides high performance, motion-adaptive deinterlacing of all interlaced signals up to 1080i, and Deep Color processing to deliver optimal image quality. Automatic 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown detection maximizes image quality for content sources originating from film.

The Annotator 401 accepts HDMI signals up to 4K/60 @ 4:4:4, and the output can be set for various resolutions up to 4K/60 @ 4:4:4.

Selectable FILL and FOLLOW modes are available to set the preferred aspect ratio of the output. FILL mode provides full screen output, while FOLLOW mode preserves the original aspect ratio of the input signal.

Built for Streamlined Integration and Simple Control

To simplify integration of HDMI sources and displays, and to help ensure optimal system performance and dependability, the Annotator 401 features Extron-exclusive technologies, including EDID Minder® and Key Minder®. When HDCP-encrypted content is transmitted to a non-HDCP compliant display, a full-screen green signal or user supplied image can be sent to the display for immediate visual confirmation that protected content cannot be viewed on that display.

The Annotator 401 features front panel controls and intuitive on-screen menus for quick access to functions. Remote configuration and control are available via USB, RS-232, and Ethernet. They can also be configured using Extron's PCS software, a user-friendly application which expedites setup and commissioning, real-time operation and monitoring, and provides the ability to configure multiple Extron products in the same session.


  • Inputs: One female HDMI Type A connector
  • Outputs: Two female HDMI Type A connectors
  • 4K/60 4:4:4 hardware annotation processor with high-performance scaling — The Annotator 401 allows a presenter to draw, point, or add text in real-time over live video and graphics presentations.
  • Dual HDMI outputs with selectable annotation, menu, and cursor visibility — Two HDMI outputs are available to drive the main display and a confidence monitor.
  • Intuitive, graphical, and customizable annotation user interface — A user-friendly on?screen display facilitates quick and easy annotation. Essential annotation tools enable drawing freehand or lines, adding rectangular or elliptical shapes, typing text, highlighting an area of an image, pointing to an object, and using the screen as a whiteboard. Customization options are available for text and graphics, including point or font size and color.
  • Capture and store images to a USB flash drive, internal memory, or a network location — An image can be captured as a snapshot of the live video output, including annotations, and saved to internal memory, a removable USB flash drive, or archived in a network location.
  • Directly print captured images using a network printer — The Annotator 401 supports direct connection to a printer on the network, enabling captured images to be sent directly to the printer without requiring a PC.
  • Integrated USB Extender Plus transmitter — Enables remote use of annotation peripherals. Paired with a USB Extender Plus receiver, signals can be sent up to 1,980 feet (600 meters) through a Gigabit Ethernet network or up to 330 feet (100 meters) point-to-point over a CATx cable.
  • Compatible with third-party touch displays — Supports a wide variety of touch displays and graphics tablets from third-party manufacturers and can also be used with standard HID interfaces, including keyboards and mice.
  • Input and output support for resolutions up to 4K/60 @ 4:4:4 with selectable output data rate
  • Accepts HDMI signals from 480i up to 4K/60 @ 4:4:4
  • Selectable output rates from 640x480 to 4096x2160 @ 4:4:4
  • Supported HDMI specification features include data rates up to 18 Gbps and HD lossless audio formats
  • Advanced Extron Vector™ 4K scaling engine — The Vector 4K scaling engine is specifically designed for critical-quality 4K imagery, with best-in-class image upscaling and downscaling.
  • Supports 32 total device connections and annotation for multiple users — Allows up to 32 pointing device connections via USB hubs. It is ideal for collaboration applications requiring on-screen annotation from multiple users.
  • Supports IP network connectivity to multiple Extron USB Extender Plus Series receivers — Using a Gigabit Ethernet switch, the Annotator 401 can support up to four receivers via an IP network.
  • Supports data rates up to 480 Mbps at USB 3.0 and previous standards
  • Seamless presentation of signals sourced from upstream devices — Signals sourced from an upstream switcher can be transitioned using cut to black, fade to black, seamless cut, or seamless fade for clean, professional-looking presentations.
  • 30-bit signal processing — Vector 4K video processing is performed at 30 bits per pixel to maximize grayscale and color accuracy. This maintains color fidelity and detail present in native 30?bit source content, and is a minimum requirement for supporting the BT.2020 color standard for 4K.
  • High performance, motion-adaptive deinterlacing for signals up to 1080i — The Extron exclusive scaling engine features highly accurate, motion-adaptive deinterlacing for all interlaced signals up to 1080i, delivering optimized image quality. It ensures absolute detail and fidelity in the reconstructed progressive video frames, such as 1080p/24 content.
  • HDCP 2.3 compliant — Ensures display of content-protected media and interoperability with other HDCP-compliant devices.
  • User-selectable HDCP authorization — Allows individual inputs to appear HDCP compliant or non-HDCP compliant to the connected source, which is beneficial if the source automatically encrypts all content when connected to an HDCP-compliant device. Protected material is not passed in non?HDCP mode.
  • Key Minder® continuously verifies HDCP compliance for quick, reliable switching - Key Minder authenticates and maintains continuous HDCP encryption between input and output devices to ensure quick and reliable switching in professional AV environments, while enabling simultaneous distribution of a single source signal to one or more displays.
  • EDID Minder® automatically manages EDID communication between connected devices — EDID Minder ensures that all sources power up properly and reliably output content for display.
  • Supports custom EDID and output resolutions — User-defined output resolutions up to 600 MHZ pixel clock can be supported by uploading custom EDID files or capturing EDID from a display or other destination device.
  • Aspect ratio control — The aspect ratio of the video output can be controlled by selecting a FILL mode, which provides a full screen output, or a FOLLOW mode, which preserves the original aspect ratio of the input signal.
  • HDCP Visual Confirmation — When HDCP?encrypted content is transmitted to a non?HDCP compliant display, a full?screen green signal is sent to the display for immediate visual confirmation that protected content cannot be viewed on that display.
  • HDMI to DVI Interface Format Correction — Automatically enables or disables embedded audio and InfoFrames, and sets the correct color space for proper connection to HDMI and DVI displays.
  • Auto Input Memory — When activated, the unit automatically stores size, position, and picture settings based on the incoming signal. When the same signal is detected again, these image settings are automatically recalled from memory.
  • Output Standby Mode — Can be set to automatically mute video and sync output to the display device when no active input signal is detected. This allows the projector or flat panel display to automatically enter into standby mode to save energy and enhance lamp or panel life.
  • Power Save Mode — Can be placed in a low power standby state to conserve energy when not in use.
  • AFL™ - Accu-RATE Frame Lock — A patented technology exclusive to Extron that locks the output frame rate to a designated input to eliminate stuttering caused by frame rate conversion.
  • Image freeze control — A live image can be frozen using RS?232 serial control, USB, Ethernet control, or the annotation GUI.
  • Picture controls for horizontal and vertical positioning and sizing
  • User presets — Memory presets are available for each input to store and recall optimized image settings.
  • Automatic 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown detection — Advanced film mode processing techniques that help maximize image quality for content sources that originated from film.
  • Internal video test patterns for calibration and setup — Provides video test patterns and audio pink noise to facilitate proper system setup and calibration of display devices.
  • Integrated audio delay — Embedded audio is passed through to all outputs, and it is automatically delayed to compensate for latency introduced by the video processing.
  • Front panel security lockout — Locks out all front panel functions except for input selection; however, all functions are available through Ethernet, USB, or RS-232 control.
  • Ethernet monitoring and control — Enables control and proactive monitoring over a LAN, WAN, or the Internet.
  • Built-in Web pages — Allows the use of a standard browser for monitoring over an intuitive Web interface.
  • RS-232 control port — Enables the use of serial commands for integration into a control system. Extron products use the SIS™ - Simple Instruction Set command protocol, a set of basic ASCII commands that allow for quick and easy programming.
  • Front panel controls with LCD display — Front panel buttons and an LCD menu system with navigation controls ensure simplified operation and provide quick access to configuration settings.
  • Front panel USB configuration ports — Enables easy configuration without having to access the rear panel.
  • Easy setup and commissioning with Extron's PCS - Product Configuration Software — Conveniently configure multiple products using a single software application.
  • Rack-mountable 1U, half rack width metal enclosure
  • Includes LockIt® HDMI cable lacing brackets
  • Internal Extron Everlast™ power supply — Provides worldwide power compatibility, with high?demonstrated reliability and low power consumption for reduced operating cost.
  • Extron Everlast Power Supply is covered by a 7-year parts and labor warranty