SAS Uses Extron FOX Fiber Optic Series for Executive Briefing Center

SAS, a global provider of business analytics software and services in a wide variety of vertical markets, wanted its Cary, North Carolina corporate headquarters to be a world-class facility that showcased the company as a leader in technology. The company’s new LEED platinum-certified Building C is a prime example of this technological leadership. In addition to the six-story Office Tower, it features a state-of-the-art Executive Briefing Center – EBC. In collaboration with the architect for the building and and Thorburn Associates, the SAS team designed an AV switching and distribution system that fulfilled all immediate needs, but also anticipated future requirements.

We’ve used Extron for years at SAS. They’ve always provided reliable and cost-effective products, and have been there with the support we expect.

David Feldman, Manager, AV Engineering and Support SAS

Steve Thorburn, Principal at Thorburn Associates, says, "The large open spaces, long cable runs, and performance needs inherent with an application of this scale made a fiber solution the best choice." The extensive AV system for Building C has the Extron FOX Matrix 14400 modular fiber optic 144x144 matrix switcher at its core.

High Performance AV Routing Throughout Building C

The FOX Matrix 14400 is central to routing high resolution content to key spaces within Building C. Sources include a vast array of both digital and analog installed devices and connectivity for a wide range of portable and personal devices. The matrix switcher can provide very high-speed, all digital switching of pixel-perfect HDMI, DVI, multi-rate SDI, high resolution computer-video, and standard definition video. It also has the capability to switch audio and RS-232 control along with the video. The space-efficient design enables up to 144 inputs and 144 outputs within an 8U enclosure, conserving valuable rack space.

The control system connects to the matrix switcher’s Ethernet port for remote selection of input and output ties and system monitoring, including advanced system diagnostics. With its hot-swappable and redundant components plus real-time system monitoring, the FOX Matrix 14400 provides dependable routing of AV signals in this high‑use facility. “Extron fiber switching allows digital AV signals to be sent throughout the EBC space as well as to the videowalls in the office tower, and all from a central master control room,” Thorburn says.

In the summer of 2011, while the building was still under construction, a local integrator was brought in to begin installing the high performance fiber optic AV switching and distribution system.

EBC Technology Showcase

SAS’ Building C opened with an extensive selection of 103" Panasonic ® flat panels and Christie ® MicroTiles™ to display content for meetings, conferences, and corporate events. At the time, this was a record number of 103” flat panels and MicroTiles used in a single structure. The fiber optic system ensures reliable content delivery to the building’s most distant destinations.

Seven hot-swappable FOX I/O 1616 MM 16x16 Multimode Fiber Optic I/O Boards in the modular matrix switcher provide maximum flexibility for AV transmissions. High resolution signals are sent to multiple destinations in the main lobby, café and dining rooms, and the pre-function area, enabling content sharing across the fiber optic infrastructure and delivery of digital signal content to each location. The switcher’s unoccupied board slots allow for future system expansion.

To support local sources and destinations within the master control room, 15 Extron PowerCage ® 1600 Modular Power Enclosures are loaded with a selection of PowerCage FOX Tx DVI Plus and PowerCage FOX Tx VGA transmitter boards and PowerCage FOX Rx DVI Plus receiver boards. "The PowerCage enclosures helped consolidate fiber optic extenders in an easily accessible chassis, instead of populating the equipment racks with individual boxes and numerous power supplies that would have taken more of the limited rack space," Thorburn says.

To support remote endpoints and additional signal formats, the AV system incorporates a variety of Extron fiber optic extenders. In this application, FOXBOX DVI Plus transmitters and receivers extend DVI and audio, and the FOX 3G HD-SDI extenders provide transmission of SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI signals for data rates up to 2.97 Gbps. FOX AV extenders are utilized for analog stereo audio signals only since they have the capability to transmit audio without requiring a video signal. They can also provide transmission of RS-232 control and standard definition video signals, including component video, S-video, and composite video.

The fiber optic products use Extron all-digital technology to ensure that high quality pixel-perfect presentations are delivered to display devices positioned throughout the showcase SAS executive building.

End-to-End Reliability

Installation of the extensive system designed by Thorburn Associates was accomplished in only 18 months. At the completion of this successful project, Steve Thorburn summarized, "Extron provided great front end support during the design process as we worked with the client to determine the best fiber switch configuration to use for the Executive Briefing Center. They were a great help in resolving any issues that came up as the system was installed as well."

The AV switching and distribution system in Building C has exceeded expectations. David Feldman, Manager, AV Engineering and Support at SAS, says, "We’ve used Extron for years at SAS. They’ve always provided reliable and cost-effective products, and have been there with the support we expect."

With its full complement of high performance AV products from Extron, Building C exemplifies the technological leadership of SAS now and well into the future.

Partial list of installed Extron products:

  • FOX Matrix 14400

    Modular Fiber Optic Matrix Switcher from 16x16 to 144x144

  • FOX I/O 1616 MM

    16x16 Fiber Optic I/O Board - Multimode

  • PowerCage 1600

    Modular Power Enclosure for Fiber Optic and Twisted Pair Extenders

  • PowerCage FOX Tx DVI Plus MM

    Fiber Optic Transmitter for DVI, Audio, and RS-232 - Multimode

  • PowerCage FOX Rx DVI Plus MM

    Fiber Optic Receiver for DVI, Audio, and RS-232 - Multimode

  • PowerCage FOX Tx VGA MM

    Fiber Optic Transmitter for VGA, Audio, and RS-232 - Multimode


    Fiber Optic Transmitter for DVI, Audio, and RS-232 - Multimode


    Fiber Optic Receiver for DVI, Audio, and RS-232 -Multimode


    Fiber Optic Extender for Multi-rate SDI - Multimode

  • FOX Tx AV MM

    Fiber Optic Transmitter for Video, Audio, and RS-232 - Multimode

  • FOX Rx AV MM

    Fiber Optic Receiver for Video, Audio, and RS-232 - Multimode

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