The Annotator

Extron Electronics new Annotator is a unique device which promises to solve the problems of the conference room. Enterprises put a lot of value on the conference rooms as this is a place where collaboration takes place. The Extron’s newly released Annotator takes this collaboration to a new level.

Please see the following literature taken from Extron Electronics website

The Extron Annotator is a high performance, hardware-based annotation processor for video and computer-video sources. It allows the presenter to draw, point, or add text to electronic presentation materials using a touchscreen and/or a keyboard and mouse. The Annotator supports all common analog and digital video and data formats, from composite video to high resolution DVI, RGBHV and optional SDI/HD-SDI. Input video is scaled and made available in a variety of output formats, including analog RGBHV and Extron MTP Twisted Pair, as well as optional DVI, HD-SDI, or scan-converted video. The Annotator is ideal for applications that require the overlay of graphics and text within A/V presentations, including schools, law enforcement, medicine, telepresence, and live events.

Create Real Time Annotations with a User Friendly Interface

An intuitive graphical user interface enables real-time annotations with ease. The user friendly on-screen display provides quick access to essential annotation tools for drawing freehand or lines, adding rectangular or elliptical shapes, typing in text, and highlighting any area of the presentation. An enlarged arrow cursor is also available for pointing to objects on-screen. Additionally, a presenter can isolate a specific area of the presentation by creating a "spotlight" with the image darkened around it. Various customization tools are available, including sizing and coloring for text and graphics. Additional annotation options include the capability to zoom and pan within the image, freeze a live image, and save an image with annotation to a file.

Compatible with Popular Touchscreen Displays

Annotating over motion video or still images is easy using common touchscreen monitors, as well as any standard keyboard and/or mouse. Two USB ports are provided and multiple touchscreens can be used simultaneously with the Annotator via USB hubs.

High Performance Video Processing

The Annotator employs hardware-based graphics and video processing that delivers the performance and operational reliability demanded in mission-critical applications. It features a high performance 30-bit scaling engine with the ability to scale standard definition video, high definition video, and computer-video signals up or down in resolution. It outputs RGB or component video at 81 selectable output rates from 640x480 to 1920x1200 resolution, as well as HDTV up to 1080p/60.

Seven Input Presentation Switcher

To accommodate a variety of sources, the Annotator features a seven input switcher that accepts composite video or S-video, component video, HDTV, high resolution computer-video, DVI, and optional SDI/HD-SDI. For increased system flexibility, the Annotator offers up to four simultaneous outputs, including two RGBHV or component video outputs, Extron MTP Twisted Pair output, and an optional output that can be ordered as DVI, HD-SDI, or scan-converted standard definition video.

Configurable Preview and Program Outputs

One of the outputs from the Annotator can be a dedicated output for the presenter or system operator, with the remaining serving as outputs for the audience. The Preview output can be configured so that only the presenter or system operator can view the annotation GUI. The system operator can also use the Preview output to review annotations before sending them live through the Program outputs.

Create Professional Quality Presentations

For more effective, professional presentations, the Annotator includes glitch-free switching between video and RGB inputs with selectable cut or fade to black transitions. The Annotator also features a PIP picture-in-picture mode that allows a video source and an RGB source to be shown on one display. The PIP window can be dynamically positioned anywhere in the image.

Multiple Options for Control and Operation

The Annotator features front panel controls for quick access to functions. Remote configuration and control are available via RS-232 serial control, and IP Link® Ethernet Control. It is housed in a 1U, full rack width enclosure and can easily be integrated into many environments.


  • The Annotator allows a presenter to draw, point, or add text in real time over live video and computer-video presentations.
  • Inputs: Two RGB or HD component video on 15-pin HD; configurable input on BNCs for RGB, HD component video, S-video, or composite video; component video, S-video, or composite video on BNCs; S-video or composite video on BNCs; DVI-D; and optional SDI/HD-SDI
  • Outputs: Simultaneous scaled outputs as RGB or HD component video on BNCs, 15-pin HD, and Extron MTP Twisted Pair output; optional fourth output for DVI-D, HD-SDI, or scan-converted component video, S-video, or composite video
  • Configurable Preview and Program outputs  — The outputs can be configured as separate Preview and Program outputs. The Preview output can allow only a presenter or system operator to view the annotation GUI, while the audience sees the video and annotation through the Program outputs. The Preview output can also be used by the system operator to preview annotations before making them live.
  • Hardware-based graphics and video processing  — The Annotator features a fully hardware-based system architecture designed to deliver the performance and operational reliability essential for mission-critical applications.
  • Intuitive graphical user interface  — A user friendly on-screen display enables quick and easy annotation. Essential annotation tools are available for drawing freehand or lines, adding rectangular or elliptical shapes, typing in text, highlighting an area of an image, and pointing to an object on-screen. Customization options are available for text and graphics including point size and color.
  • Integrated seven-input presentation switcher  — The Annotator allows for switching between DVI, RGBHV, component video, and S-video or composite video sources. An input for SDI/HD-SDI is available as an option.
  • Auto Input Format Detection  — For each input, the Annotator can be set to detect the incoming signal format, automatically reconfiguring itself to provide the appropriate decoding and signal processing. This feature can reduce the number of required outputs for a matrix switcher, lowering system cost while improving manageability.
  • RGB, HDTV, and video scaling  — RGB computer-video, high definition video, and standard definition video sources can all be scaled to the desired output resolution.
  • RGB upscaling and downscaling  — The Annotator features an advanced scaling engine with high quality upscaling and downscaling of high resolution computer-video signals.
  • Compatible with popular touchscreen displays  — The Annotator supports touchscreen displays from third-party manufacturers, and also can be used with a standard keyboard and mouse.
  • Optional SDI/HD-SDI input — SDI or HD-SDI signals from cameras or other professional video equipment can easily be integrated into presentations with the optional SDI/HD-SDI input board.
  • Four simultaneous annotated video outputs  — Two high resolution RGB or component video outputs are available, as well as Extron MTP Twisted Pair and an optional output that can be configured as DVI, HD-SDI, or scan-converted video.
  • RGB or component video output
  • Extron MTP Twisted Pair output  — The Annotator provides built-in transmission of RGB or component video signals over twisted pair cables for long distance transmission to a remote display. A compatible Extron MTP Series Twisted Pair Receiver is required.
  • Optional DVI, HD-SDI, or scan-converted output  — In addition to the RGBHV and twisted pair outputs, a flexible output expansion port can be populated to support optional DVI, HD-SDI, or scan converter output boards. When populated, these boards serve as a third Program output and offer additional system capabilities, such as recording or digital signal transmission.
  • 81 output rates from 640x480 to 1920x1200, including HDTV 1080p/60  — A total of 81 output rates are available, including computer-video rates up to 1920x1200, and HDTV rates up to 1080p/60.
  • Image freeze control  — A live image can be frozen using the annotation GUI, the freeze button on the front panel, or through RS-232 serial control and IP Link Ethernet control.
  • Image capture  — An image can be captured as a snapshot of the live video output, including annotations, and stored as a BMP file on the Annotator or downloaded to a PC for archiving.
  • Auto-Image™  — A press of a button on the annotation GUI or the front panel automatically adjusts the sizing, centering, and filtering to optimize the output image. This can save time and effort in fine tuning displayed images.
  • Auto Input Memory  — When activated, the Annotator 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.
  • EDID emulation  — The Annotator provides a means for specifying the rate of the incoming DVI or VGA signal through the RS-232 serial port. EDID emulation allows proper communication with the video source.
  • Glitch-free switching  — Switching is glitch-free between RGB and video inputs with selectable cut or fade to black transitions. Presentations can be enhanced by eliminating distracting visual jumps, glitches, and distortion commonly seen when switching between computer and video sources.
  • PIP - picture-in-picture  — Allows a video source to be displayed within an RGB image, or vice versa, with dynamic, fully adjustable window positioning for the PIP window. PIP mode is available through RS-232 serial control or IP Link Ethernet control.
  • Picture controls for brightness, contrast, color, tint, detail, and horizontal and vertical positioning, sizing, and zoom  — 16 memory presets are available for each input to store all image settings.
  • Aspect ratio conversion  — Any video input can be adjusted horizontally and vertically to meet a specific aspect ratio requirement. Alternatively, the input aspect ratio may be specified as 4:3 or 16:9 and fixed.
  • Front panel security lockout  — This feature locks out all front panel functions except for input selection; all functions however, are available through RS-232 control.
  • Automatic 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown detection  — The Annotator offers advanced film mode processing techniques that help maximize image detail and sharpness for NTSC, PAL, and HDTV 1080i sources that originated from film.
  • Motion adaptive 1080i to 1080p deinterlacing  — The Annotator provides high performance deinterlacing for 1080i signals from HD sources including broadcasts and Blu-ray Disc, delivering optimized image quality through advanced motion compensation.
  • Quad standard video decoding  — The Annotator uses a digital, four-line adaptive comb filter to decode NTSC 3.58, NTSC 4.43, PAL, and SECAM for integration into systems worldwide.
  • IP Link® Ethernet monitoring and control  — An IP integration technology developed by Extron. IP Link enables the Annotator to be controlled and proactively monitored over a LAN, WAN, or the Internet.
  • RS-232 serial control port  — Using serial commands, the Annotator can be controlled and configured via the Extron Windows®-based control program, or integrated into third-party control systems. Extron products use the SIS™ - Simple Instruction Set command protocol, a set of basic ASCII code commands that allow for quick and easy programming.
  • Rack-mountable 1U, full rack width metal enclosure
  • Internal universal power supply — The 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz, international power supply provides worldwide power compatibility.

Application Diagram


Download the Annotator’s brochure