Technology Showcase: Fiber Routers and Matrix Switchers
Mar 1, 2008 12:00 PM, Bennett Liles
Fiber takes signal switching further.
The EpicaDG's (Digital Generation) from AMX two primary roles are signal conversion and fiber transmission. By converting the incoming signals into a unified digital platform, the system converts analog and digital video in RGBHV, DVI, HD-SDI, and SD-SDI formats for anything-in, anything-out operation. Typically, such equipment can be found in an environment in which both local and long-distance signals need to be intermixed with complete versatility. The EpicaDG accomplishes this by providing configurability including DVI and other native-local-format connections with ports for 12-fiber, multimode MTP cable in 50um/125um or 62.5um/125um sizes. These provide fiber line lengths up to 3000ft. for input and output signals supporting LCD display resolutions up to 1920×1200 and CRT resolutions up to 1600×1200. The rack chassis is also equipped with cable-management bars for secure tie-down. The fiber ports may be custom-configured along with DVI-D modules for local sources with bit rates up to 2.65Gbps and cable equalization up to 50ft. Each of the DVI boards allows up to 16 signal interfaces, and the fiber boards each contain a local-signal DVI connector. The EpicaDG also offers RS-232 control, standard redundant hot-swappable power supplies, advanced system diagnostics, programmable macro functions, TCP/IP control, and free APControl software.
Evertz offers the X-3232-EO electro-optical router in a 2RU frame for switching digital signals up to 3Gbps on 16 electrical and 16 optical inputs and outputs. The optical wavelengths of 1310nm or CWDM are available on the outputs while the inputs will accept any wavelength from 1270nm to 1610nm. The fiber signals attach on SC/PC, ST/PC, and FC/PC connectors. The electrical connections use BNC connectors carrying video, audio, datacom, or telecom signals. In broadcast mode, the unit can send any input to any number of outputs with internal optical-to-electrical and electrical-to-optical conversion. The X-3232-EO is compatible with single-mode and multimode fiber-optic cable, and SNMP remote router control and monitoring is available with the Evertz X-NCP2 control panel or via the Evertz VistaLink software application. VistaLink offers remote terminal-equipment configuration, fiber-module health status and link monitoring, discrete signal monitoring, multiwall-display monitoring, hardware-fault alarms, and configuration change notices. The application also features fault-alarm logging, visual status, and audible alarms to complement email and pager notification, contact closures, and secure access control. The Alarm-event Notification Client allows users to define alarms and set various severities and conditional filters for critical alarms.
The Extron Electronics Fiber Matrix 6400, introduced at InfoComm 07, has brought a new level of versatility to the switching-system market for complete end-to-end digital AV-signal transmission and routing over fiber-optic cable. Expandable from 8×8 up to 64×64, the system is compatible with the Extron Fox 500-series and HD-SDI fiber-optic transmitters and receivers. The Fiber Matrix 6400 supports data rates up to 4.25Gbps for computer-video resolutions up to 1600×1200, DVI-D, and multirate SDI. System monitoring, hot-swappable I/O boards, and redundant hot-swappable power supplies are among the primary features the switchers offer. Built on a rack frame that provides eight card slots, the unit interfaces using LC-style connectors on each eight-port card. The cards come in two versions: The Fiber Matrix I/O Board-MM supports 850nm multimode connections, and the Fiber Matrix I/O Board-SM takes single-mode or multimode fiber at 1310nm. The boards may be used in any combination. Each board's fiber ports exist as a separate input and output, but they can be configured as a linked input/output supporting bidirectional capabilities for a Fox 500-series product. The monitoring system provides self-diagnostics for the I/O boards, fiber links, power supplies, internal fans, and general functions of the switcher. Front-panel LED indicators provide quick verification of signal presence and status.
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