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Technology Showcase: Matrix Switchers

Sep 1, 2009 2:14 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Scalability is just one feature in a long list.

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Altinex V-Matrix

Altinex V-Matrix

The V-Matrix from Altinex is a versatile matrix switcher capable of routing I/O matrices of 8x8 up to 128x128 (in increments of eight) and handling signals ranging in complexity from audio to composite video and high-bandwidth RGBHV. Based on a unique new design, the V-Matrix matrix switcher provides flexible modularity thanks to the use of independent elements for its housing enclosure, matrix router, input cards, and output cards. All input and output cards, as well as the basic enclosure, can be virtually stripped down to their bare metal essentials and rebuilt with user-friendly pluggable pieces—including the Matrix Engine and dual A/C power supply—without removing them from the rack.

For larger markets, the MultiTasker product line from Altinex lets you configure any size of matrix switchers as small as 4x4 and as large as 64x64. Various signal formats are also available through the MultiTasker matrix switchers, including composite video, S-Video, HDTV/component video, VGA, twisted pairs, andmono and stereo audio.



The AT-PROHD88M-SR from Atlona Technologies is a true 8x8:2 HDMI matrix switcher featuring eight HDMI 1.3 inputs and eight independently switchable HDMI plus twisted-pair outputs to feed eight separate displays simultaneously. Each output features one HDMI and two twisted-pair connections where both are active at the same time. The transmission distance of the AT-PROHD88M-SR’s twisted-pair (Cat-5/6) outputs can reach up to 100ft. at 1080p with infrared control signal. The system also has the ability to equalize, amplify, and reclock the signal to ensure accurate HDMI signal transmission through long cables without quality loss. Atlona Technologies’ extended display identification data (EDID) management function stores 100 of the most common EDID recordings, and the user can program new EDID recordings.

The Epica DGX 32 customizable fiber-based matrix switchers from AMX break conventional distance barriers by sending video resolutions up to 1920x1200 over 6000ft. The Epica DGX 32 is available in input/output configurations from 4x4 to 32x32 and is customizable with any combination of DGX fiber input boards, local DVI input boards, DGX fiber output boards, or local DVI output boards. With this system, AMX lets you transmit signals 3000ft. to the Epica DGX 32 and 3000ft. after the Epica DGX 32 for a possible total signal path of 6000ft.

AMX also has its Epica DGX 144 large-scale single-strand multimode fiber matrix switcher in a compact 16RU enclosure. It can hold a selection of DGX fiber input boards, DGX fiber output boards, local DVI input boards, local HD-15 input boards, and local HD-SDI input boards. The AMX Epica DGX 144 converts, switches, and transports any input to any DGX fiber output regardless of signal style.

As part of its Aspyre series series of matrices and extenders, just this month Aurora Multimedia will be bringing out a new 8x8 matrix switcher called the ASP-88—the first of this kind of product produced under its own name. The ASP-88 is 1RU and fully HDMI 1.3c-compliant, and it has EDID learning from connected devices built in. It also has independent high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) handling so any number of outputs can be provided with digital copy projection in a one in, many out fashion, while still allowing other inputs to direct HDCP to other outputs. The 16 buttons on the front panel can be used to select inputs and outputs or as profile presets, enabling the operator to store up to 16 user-defined configurations.

The most popular line of matrix switchers from AVocation Systems is its Peak series. (The company is from Colorado, deep in the Rocky mountains. Get it?) For easy field operation and programming for controllers, the AVocation Systems matrix in its Peak series uses simple ASCII commands for both configuration and control. All video and audio signals on a single input can be routed using a single command in the Peak series routers. It also features a Salvo mode in which a single input can be routed to up to eight outputs with just one command. All routing, volume control, and preset functions are available through IR control. All models in the AVocation Systems Peak series are equipped with internationally rated auto switching power supplies and are capable of passing NTSC, PAL, SECAM video, allowing the matrix to be used worldwide.

For crosspoint switching of PC or HD (VGA or YPbPr) video signals, Black Box Network Services recommends its AC1120A matrix switcher, which outputs PC resolutions up to 1900x1200 and HD video up to 1080p under two independent serial RS-232 interfaces, a screw terminal, and an RJ-45 port. The AC1120A matrix switcher can also be programmed to switch between preset patterns at certain times of the day—great for automating video distribution to digital signage—and it interfaces with Black Box Mini Cat-5 extenders for transmitting VGA signals over Cat-5 cable. The AC1123A is a VGA and audio matrix switcher with IP and serial control and 16x16 cross­point switching. It offers IP control of matrix switching provided through its 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX port using Telnet or a virtual serial port driver.

Blackmagic Design has extended its Videohub line of routers with its new Enterprise Videohub, a massive 144x288 model, and Studio Videohub, a compact 16x32 model. The Enterprise Videohub features a single-circuit board design, which reduces degradation of high-speed data signals such as 3Gbps SDI. The Studio Videohub replaces the original Workgroup Videohub. However, it features larger 16x32 SDI routing and is physically smaller at only 2RU tall. Enterprise Videohub provides redundant power connections, SDI re­clocking, and 3Gbps SDI technology all in a compact rack chassis less than 3in. deep. Studio Videohub includes the same great SDI reclocking and 3Gbps SDI technology all in a compact rack chassis less than 1in. deep.

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