Technology Showcase: Matrix Switchers
Sep 1, 2009 2:14 PM, By Jay Ankeney
Scalability is just one feature in a long list.
The VP-4x4K from Kramer Electronics is a high-performance analog matrix switcher designed for computer-graphic video signals thanks to its 15-pin VGA connector, with resolutions including VGA, UXGA, and higher. Along with the video, the VP-4x4K can also route balanced stereo audio signals to any or all outputs simultaneously. With Kramer Electronics’ KR-ISP advanced sync processing, the VP-4x4K ensures compatibility with a wide range of computers (even if the sync level is too low) by restoring the sync signal waveform, and the unit can store multiple switches as presets to be recalled and executed when needed.
For digital video, Kramer Electronics offers its VS-42HDMI, VS-44HDMI, and VS-66HDMI matrix switchers for HDMI signals. Each reclocks and equalizes the HDMI signal and can route any input to any or all outputs simultaneously. They also benefit from Kramer’s Smart EDID technology whose dedicated memory for each input captures an EDID setting from a device connected to the output and stores it in nonvolatile memory.
Building on the success of its Mondo Matrix II, Magenta Research’s Mondo Matrix III improves UTP switching and extension by adding optional addressable duplex capability that enables digital signage applications to collect individual display data and metrics in addition to independent control over each display. It allows the addition of inputs and outputs in increments of 16, and it can support an impressive maximum configuration of 256x512. Compatibility with all of Magenta’s MultiView products enables the Mondo Matrix III to extend 1920x1200 video, stereo audio, and serial signals over 2000ft. (609 meters) thanks to patented, proprietary technology that includes a 9-band equalizer system.
In addition, Magenta’s latest offering, its new Infinea Opto Matryx, combines HDMI, DVI, RS-232, audio, and USB into a simple, scalable platform. The Infinea Opto Matryx’s unique USB switching and extension capability on every input and outputan industry firstenables a new level of interactive digital signage applications by supporting human input devices (HID) such as keyboards, mice, and touchscreens.
MultiDyne calls its EOS-4000 an electro-optical matrix routing switcher capable of switching digital signals up to 10Gbps from a system that is fully scalable from 2x2 all the way up to 288x288 matrix sizes. The EOS-4000 is designed to accept up to eight modular port cards with up to 36 small form-factor pluggable (SFP) transceiver modules per port card. This routing system supports full matrix, nonblocking switching, and point-to-multipoint or multicast with one wavelength in one direction. The EOS-4000 boasts fully hot-swappable modules including I/O blades, power supplies, network management module, and SFP and XFP transceivers. Optional redundant power supplies are also available. The whole EOS-4000 family of switches is fully scalable, and additional I/O port cards can be added at any time. Since the optics are the pluggable SFP or XFP type, the scalability is on a port-by-port basis.
Nevion, the inventor of the ultracompact, ultralow power routing switcher that changed its name from Network Electronics just before April’s NAB convention, says its VikinX Sublime offers the most extensive range of matrix sizes available (8x8 to 64x64 and 16x2 to 128x2). The VikinX Sublime covers signal formats from analog video/audio to HDTV, with its SMPTE-292 HD products providing support for the 3Gbps dual-link standard. The flexible control options on the VikinX Sublimesuch as serial control RS-232, Ethernet, and network control businclude support for local and remote panels equipped with professional broadcast-quality programmable buttons.
Pesa’s Cheetah 144NE routing system is a high-performance, modular fiber-optic switching system featuring four input and four output slots for pro AV installations that need broadcast-quality HD-SDI and 3G-SDI performance. Each I/O supports up to 36 fiber-optic connections using standard LC-type fiber SFP modules based on 1310nm single-mode lasers. It is expandable in size from 36x36 up to 144x144 in the same 4RU frame, and it is fully compatible with the new QuadBox QFX series of fiber media extenders for dual-link DVI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI. The I/O cards in Pesa’s Cheetah 144NE routing system allow easy expansion in groups of 36 inputs and 36 outputs per card, which simplifies future expansion without the need to replace cards or frames. Its frame supports redundant power, and control, and it also provides for a hot-swappable 144x144 crosspoint matrix.
Snell’s new Sirius 800 series SD/HD/3Gbps router is the only matrix switcher to provide 1152x1152 inputs and outputsand redundancy and multiviewer outputs. This router also uniquely enables input signals to be looped into external video processing devices, such as format converters, before they reach the router’s crosspoint architecture. This means that inputs can be processed as required by inhouse standards without burning a router crosspoint in the process. Sharing the 3Gbps power of its popular Pyxis, Sirius, and Cygnus stable mates, the 800 series router consists of a range of different frames and card configurations all based on a 576x576 matrix common card format, enabling capacity to be swiftly expanded to 1152x1152 even while the system is in use. An easy-to-use graphical touchscreen shows status and diagnostic information for the entire system, which can be accessed remotely with MCM (Multimedia Conference Manager), while simple LED indicators clearly show which crosspoint cards are actively routing signals at all times.
The VX 160 is a 6.25Gbps router from Thinklogical, a subsidiary of Logical Solutions, designed for mission-critical applications with the ability to route and switch up to 160x160 signals. Its 6.25Gbps signal capability supports SD-SDI, HD-SDI, SMPTE digital video formats, as well as optical formats and other high-data-rate signals. The VX 160 is controlled via a dedicated external Linux CPU module with an advanced GUI allowing for control and administration with access provided via a network connection (browser) or a serial port for third-party controller integration such as Crestron, AMX, or home-spun interfaces.
Utah Scientific has launched a new line of compact routing switchers this year: the Utah-100 family of 8x8 and 16x16 routers in 1RU frame, priced to appeal to system integrators, for signal types ranging all the way from analog to the new 3G HD format. The new Utah-100 series also includes a full-featured sync and test-signal generator with options to suit all professional video applications.
Adding to the company’s successful Utah-400 routing switcher product family, its largest member, the Utah-400/XL, is the first router in the industry to offer a 1056x1056 matrix in a single equipment rack while using industry-standard BNC connectors. Thanks to an innovative matrix architecture, the Utah-400/XL is readily scalable from 288x288 to 1056x1056 and beyond using a single family of matrix building blocks.
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