Unseen Technology - Part 2

Posted by Jami McGraw on Thu, Jan, 07, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

Technology to Keep You Protected and Synced

Often the most important ingredient in a recipe is naked to the eye, diligently working just beneath the surface; invisible yet essential all the same. In part 1 of Seneca’s “Unseen Technology” blog, we discussed the importance of HDCP compliance for the proper pass through/display of HDCP encrypted content. Now in part 2 of our blog series, we will discuss another hidden ingredient in the recipe for a smooth video wall installation; GPU sync in the video wall setting. 

Custom Parallel Sync Technology

The practice of syncing GPU’s can have multiple purposes and interpretations, ranging from syncing the clock cycles of the graphic card’s processor to syncing the output single of multiple graphics card to an external clock speed. Terms like frame-lock and gen-lock are most commonly used with the latter. With regard to visual media, we will also discuss the term ‘sync’ in reference to gen-locking or frame-locking. Think about it like this; you have four GPUs, each with four outputs, for a total of 16 outputs from your system. These 16 outputs are directed to 16 displays, arranged in a 4 x 4 screen topology. The content you are playing is intended to span all 16 of these displays in a single large viewing pane. Ultimately, the video you are intending to display needs to be chopped up into 16 little pieces, sent over your respective cabling, and come back together into a single cohesive viewing experience. What could possibly go wrong? (Rhetorical)

By using a sync card in conjunction with your graphic cards, the sync card functions like a traffic cop, orchestrating the synchronization of your playback down to the frame. In this case, the sync card instructs each of your 16 outputs to ‘synchronize watches’ ensuring that your content maintains its integrity as it travels from source (your system) to destination (your displays). As this content reassembles and plays across your 16 displays, issues like delays, latency and screen-tearing are prevented, and what you are left with is a smooth, pristine playback of your video.

Typically, a sync card will reside in a PCIe slot on your motherboard, with cables connecting to each GPU appropriately. The caveat being that sync cards do not fundamentally require PCIe lanes, and are really placed there as a means to prop the card up, and allow access to the rear I/O of your system. Through custom design, Seneca’s engineering team has developed a customization in the VWC-PLUS which allows your sync card to be removed from the PCIe slot, and installed parallel to the motherboard. Not only does this place your card in a more convenient location, allowing for better cooling between GPUs, it also gives way to additional PCIe real estate for additional expansion.


As an industry leader in all things Visual Media, Seneca delivers world-class solutions designed for the AV professional. Beyond features like parallel sync and HDCP, expertise in design and dedication to mission-critical performance are just a few of the many reasons the VWC-PLUS was recognized by Infocomm for the 2015 Best-in-Show award. In an ever-evolving landscape of AV technology Seneca believes in empowering its customers, not only with great products but with industry know-how as well.

  • 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7-5960X Processor Extreme Edition
  • 11 Channels of HDCP compliant pass-through
  • Custom Parallel Sync Technology
  • Up to 128GB of DDR4 memory
  • Up to 28 independent inputs and outputs
  • True 4K Outputs
  • Turnkey CMS installations

Contact Seneca today at 800.227.3432 to learn about the VWC-PLUS.

Please be sure to tune in for part two blog article for more AV insider tips, tricks, and spotlights.

Topics: video wall controllers

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