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Chase Systems Lights Up Basement Project with Beautiful Faux Window

Basements are often large, untapped spaces that are a natural fit for home theaters, entertainment and recreation areas, man caves, and other living spaces. However, since they’re underground, natural light is limited, so they can be dark, uninviting areas.

One homeowner in the Rockville, Maryland area wanted to tackle this problem while redoing his basement and create a space for gaming and playing pool that felt more inviting and warmer than an ordinary basement. Again, doing so without large windows and natural light is difficult.

Local integration firm Chase Systems suggested the idea of a video wall as a faux window to the outside, and that’s what was installed, thanks to a combination of Just Add Power AV-over-IP systems, Samsung displays and a Cisco switch.

DIY, Retail Products Don’t Get it Done

To look like a window, the content had to be of the highest quality, so the project required a video distribution system capable of transmitting UHD-quality content with minimal equipment.

According to Matt Collazo, owner and operator of Chase Systems, the homeowner attempted to do it himself with products he got off Amazon and off the shelf.

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“Even though the video wall controller he bought said it supported 4K, it was obvious it didn’t,” Collazo says. “The final straw came when he couldn’t get answers from their tech support.”

For AV-over-IP distribution, Collazo chose Just Add Power’s MaxColor 4K60 family of products, including the MaxColor 4K60 family of products, such as the MaxColor 4K60 transmitter and receiver that natively supports 4K60 in and out. It allows users to play Ultra HD video from any 4K source or devices.

With MaxColor 4K60, video at 12-bit color and 4:4:4 chroma can be distributed over Cat5/Cat6 cable, allowing integrators to forego the expense of upgrading to fiber. In addition, the transmitter and receiver support MPEG downstreaming for connected devices, such as a laptop or tablet.

Courtesy/Chase Systems

Just Add Power Helps Drive the Realism in Faux Window Solution

Just Add Power’s MaxColor series is designed to deliver instant, seamless switching, 4K up- and downscaling, and HDR management, while supporting all lossless audio formats and Dolby Vision for the best viewing experience. Additional features include image pop, push, and pull; 90-degree image rotation for landscape and portrait modes; and integrated control and support for KVM.

To create the video wall window, Collazo worked with local carpenter Karkour Builder to build a faux window into the basement wall. Three 86-inch Samsung QN85QN95BAFXZA Black QN95B Neo QLED 4K Smart TVs were mounted vertically behind the faux windowpane, each installed with a MaxColor receiver.

Because Just Add Power offers image rotation and content scaling, it didn’t take any other equipment to orient or scale the image to the wall size. Likewise, video sources only take a Just Add Power transmitter, eliminating the need for a source per display as well as a video wall controller and additional switches.

The entire system is supported by a single Cisco switch.

Collazo also comments on Just Add Power’s reliability and support, saying the company offers dealers the best warranty and support services.

“Every time you call them, you get someone who will help you figure out anything you need,” Collazo says. “They go the extra mile, and that goes a long way when you’re creating something that’s unique and where the quality of the content matters.”

A Unique UDH Viewing Experience

The project resulted in a basement becoming an exciting space with a unique UDH visual experience that, according to Collazo, really makes viewers think they’re looking out of a window.

“When the video window was up and running with Just Add Power, [the homeowner] was blown away by how real it looked compared to the off the shelf video wall controller he tried,” Collazo says. “You feel like you’re on vacation, but really, you’re just at home — in your basement, no less. If it’s beach scene, it really looks like you’re at the beach. There’s a view of Paris that really makes you think you’re there.”

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