Routers and Switchers Technology Showcase
Oct 4, 2011 2:50 PM, By Bennett Liles
The convergence of technologies and the new range of applications have called on routing and switching to evolve with demand. The analog sunset and integration of serial, IR, Ethernet, and other means of control is requiring switcher manufacturers to keep a close eye on the changes in the AV industry as its hardware merges with that of IT and broadcasting. The models sampled here include a wide assortment of the ways in which the hardware has integrated form and function to produce switching solutions to increasingly complex environments. All this has been accomplished while using creative approaches in maintaining user-friendly setup and control.
Demonstrated at Infocomm 2011, an AMX product, the Enova DGX 32 Digital Generation matrix switcher has an integrated NetLinx controller and an embedded Ethernet switch to enable users to manage, monitor, and control signal switching across multiple rooms from a central location. Additional features include analog-to-digital signal conversion and video scaling along with high-speed digital switching. AMX InstaGate Pro technology works to eliminate HDCP issues and allows key limited sources to be switched to HDCP-compliant displays without the usual complications. To easily change configuration, the input/output boards are hot-swappable.
The AT-HD-V1616M HDMI matrix switcher from Atlona provides 16 HDCP-compliant inputs and 16 outputs with support for resolutions up to 1920x1200 or 1080p and 3D in a 3RU rackmount frame. For sound, the switcher supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Recall for often-used settings is simplified with nine programmable memory presets. Control is done through the front-panel buttons, RS-232, TCP/IP along with IR. The unit is also CEC capable. The HDMI ports are equalized to support cable runs up to 50ft., and a desktop power supply can take over if the main power supply fails. There are two EDID settings: default and learning. Default saves 1080p and two-channel audio to all outputs while the learning setting allows copying of the settings from an output to specific inputs.
One of the more powerful features of the DXM3232 matrix switcher from Aurora Multimedia is the wide variety of input/output cards available including HDMI, DVI, HDSDI, VGA, Cat, and fiber. The card frame is controllable via the front-panel buttons and LCD screen, RS-232, or LAN and among the options is a redundant power supply for mission-critical applications. The basic cage can accommodate up to eight input and output cards, each containing four ports. The whole unit takes a 6RU rack space and consumes 80W power. The DXM3232 provides 12.75Gbps backplane bandwidth per channel.
Barco designed all of the MatrixPro-II analog wideband matrix switchers with a genlock input to synchronize the unit with house sync and a user-selectable RGB delay mode from 0.1 to 10 seconds provides time for downstream gear to lock before video is visible. Controllable from Barco's Encore and ScreenPRO-II presentation systems, the switchers can store up to 32 presets and provide I/O grouping along with split-mode switching. All models have an audio option. Control capabilities include the front panel, RS-232, and LAN. All connections are made on female BNC.
For videowalls, trade shows, schedule displays, and training, the a href="http://www.blackbox.com/Store/Detail.aspx/DVI-D-Matrix-Switch-8-x-8/XPT%C4%82DVI8X8" target="_blank">XPT-DVI8X8 matrix switch from Black Box Network Services can support video resolution from 640x480 up to 1920x1200 at 60Hz including 1080p displays in linking to DVI sources up to 114.8ft. away using built-in equalization. The inputs support EDID emulation and HDCP feed-through in point-to-point applications. The unit can be locally controlled using the two-line, vacuum-fluorescent display along with its 16 front-panel buttons. Other control capabilities include RS-232 serial and 10/100Mbps Ethernet with an internal web server.
The smaller version of the Fiberlink matrix switcher from Communications Specialties, the OM-16 supports single-mode and multimode fiber simultaneously in the same system. Preset store, recall, review, and edit operations can all be done on the front panel by means of dual color-illuminated buttons. Available with ST or LC connectors, the unit can be controlled by RS-232 or LAN through an Ethernet-based GUI with the front-panel controls eliminated. A USB port can be used for GUI and firmware upgrades. The switcher has redundant power supplies, and it is compatible with third-party controllers.
Crestron conceived the DM series switchers as an expandable solution for low-latency switching and low-loss distribution of HDMI and other video formats augmented with integrated Ethernet networking and USB HID distribution. The DM-MD32x32 is the top of the line. Expansion capability can reach up to 160 outputs using multiple units. Available input cards include a wide variety of formats including HDMI, DVI DisplayPort Multimode, SDI, analog video and RGB, SPDIF and analog audio and digital media. For EDID management, Crestron Toolbox software enables the format and resolution capabilities of each display device to be assessed, allowing configuration of EDID signals.
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