Apr 29, 2014 10:35 AM, By Christopher Maione
With the wide variety of signal types, both analog and digital, as well as the broad range of flatpanel and video projector displays and their respective resolutions, routing any given input to any given output or multiple outputs while preserving signal integrity can be a challenge. Matrix switchers, in configurations as simple as 2x2 or as complex as 64x64 and larger, have become essential in achieving fast and reliable signal delivery. Here’s a look at a gamut of matrix switchers for both large and small AV applications.
AMX combines a controller, AV matrix switcher, signal converter, twisted-pair signal transmitter and amp, scaler, audio processor, and control unit in its Enova DVX-3155HD offering. Intended for conference room and auditorium applications needing teleconferencing solutions, the 3RU switcher can map 10 input signals out to up to four video outputs, and supports composite video up through HDMI. Other features include 14x4 matrix audio switching with independent audio signal control, video resolutions up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz, and allows for manual setting or replication of EDIDs on any input. The unit is HDCP with control via hard keys and a front-facing LCD display. It features a programming port that supports RS-232 communication.
Analog Way’s SmartMatriX Ultra-SMX12x4 is a ruggedly designed switcher with 42 input jacks to serve its 12 inputs. Of the 42 jacks, there are six HDMI ports, nine DVI-I, three DisplayPort, 12 3G/HD/SDI, six 15-pin analog, and six DVI-A. The SMX can output 2560x1600 and 4096x2160 (4K) resolutions. Marketed for large-auditorium-based presentations, the SMX offers advanced screen layer management and can be used alone, or linked together with others, for showing images on differently configured hard and/or soft display surfaces. In addition to the four primary outputs, presentation monitoring has been allocated a dedicated preview output. There are preset views for an operator to have greater control over how shows are executed.
Atlona’s 4x4 AT-PRO3HD44M matrix switcher is capable of transmitting control, audio, and video signals over Ethernet. It features EDID learning for up to four displays and is HDCP compliant. Input ports include four HDMI for sources, five 3.5mm IR ports for use with a third-party controller, five 3.5mm IR outputs for passing IR codes to sources, four Ethernet ports to extend signals via Cat-5e/6/7 cables, an RS-232 for control with a PC or connection to a control processor, and a USB port for updating firmware. Audio distribution is simplified through use of the coaxial loop-out. It is compatible with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio formats. Compatible video resolutions include 1080p or 1920x1200. The front panel houses a LCD screen, IR receiver, and power, function, enter, cancel, and number buttons to choose input and output signal paths and change matrix settings.
Aurora Multimedia’s DXM-3232-G2 is Aurora’s second-generation digital matrix switcher, featuring HDBaseT hot-swappable plug-in cards for 1080p signals to be transported up to 600ft. The 3232’s EDID learning and management feature make for simplified system setup. Display control is possible through passing of RS-232 signals. It is HDCP compliant. Connection types are card dependent, and include options for VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, DVI, and 3G/HD/SD/SDI. Status and operation can be managed via front-panel buttons and a backlit LCD display. Control may be managed over the main RS-232 port.
The AVSW-DVI by Black Box is a 4x1 DVI switcher suitable for applications where quick switching of both video and audio from various DVI sources to a single display is needed. Capable of routing video and audio from four sources to a display in full HD 1080p/1920x1200 resolutions, it is HDCP compliant and Blu-ray ready. It includes EDID copy function for optimal screen resolutions and provides full, transparent DDC support. Switching can be done using front-panel buttons, its IR remote controller, or through an RS-232 connection. The built-in serial interface enables control of the switcher via a PC, serial controller device, or a third-party control system.
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