TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE: Routers and Switchers

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The Altinex Digital MultiTasker is a highly customizable unit that can fit into and run any type of AV routing and switching role. The selection of individual cards can configure it to perform the specific job required. These include the control card, 8×4 HDMI matrix switcher, HDMI Over Anywire Transmit Card to take advantage of a range of conveyance hardware, the HDMI Over Fiber Optic Transmit Card, the MT317-102 HDMI Over Fiber Optic Receive Card, and the 16×16 Stereo Audio Matrix Switcher. Additional basic customization parts are the Enclosure Rack-Mount Bracket Kit and the 5-Piece Multitasker Card Slot Blanks.

AMX developed the Enova DGX800-ENC to be at the heart of a multi-faceted media center with its capability to handle analog and digital audio and video including HDMI/HDCP, control and Ethernet with plug-and-play simplicity. Signals can be sent over twisted pair or fiber using DXLink and DGX transmitters and receivers. SmartScale technology on every output transmits video signals that are scaled to be compatible with each connected display and the embedded NetLinx NX Integrated Control Processor provides control and monitoring for any connected device.

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Among the ten inputs on the SmartMatrix2-H (SMX250-H) from Analog Way are four HDBaseT inputs and the switcher features two mirrored HDMI/ HDBaseT outputs. The 10x2 scaled matrix control includes advanced audio management and a user friendly graphical interface. There are also DVI-D, HDMI, universal analog and 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs. Front panel control is handled through the panel display and the adjacent menu scroll knob. The unit can store up to 8 frames in the non-volatile memory with the Quick Frame function and there are rear panel connections for LAN and RS232 control.

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Small HDMI matrix switchers are the perfect fit for a wide range of applications with no more complexity and size than are necessary for the job. Atlona has such a solution in the AT HDR-H2H-44M 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher. The switcher is HDCP 2.2 compliant and each output has independent CEC display control and HDMI audio de-embedding. With TCP/IP, RS-232, and IR control, it supports HDMI data rates up to 18 Gbps and it can pass metadata for HDR content. Paired with each HDMI output is a TOSLINK digital audio output to send de-embedded HDMI audio to an AV receiver or soundbar.

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The Aurora Multimedia DXM-1616-G3 is for rack based environments where customization is paramount and must include HDMI, HDBaseT, and/or SDI interfaces. This matrix switcher features a variety of control interfaces. In addition to the integrated 7-inch touch screen on the front panel it can also be operated and monitored through its web server and the RS-232 and LAN interfaces. It incorporates a PoH/Ethernet switch for HDBaseT and there is audio de-embedding on all inputs and outputs. Each frame can be configured with four channel input and output cards to configure the system to perfectly suit the application and evolve with the facility tech needs.

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For modular switching on eight channels, Black Box Network Services has the AVS800 8x8 matrix switcher with a variety of I/O cards that can operate with digital and legacy analog equipment including HDMI, DVI, VGA, analog video and it offers HDBaseT for signal extension. All of this is configured with four-channel multi-format input cards and output cards and it is controlled through front panel, RS232 or LAN interfaces. The AVS800 can be controlled on the front panel, on RS232, IR, the Web interface and with third party control systems using TCP/IP.

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The MultiView 16 from Blackmagic Design can switch up to 16 SD, HD, and Ultra HD input sources and display each in a full screen view or in groups of sources in a 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4 grid. This is a perfect feature for small control rooms with space too tight for multiple separate monitors. On the front panel are an LCD screen and a spin knob to adjust settings, route sources to different views and turn on overlays. Full frame synchronization allows independent monitoring of sources in any video format and frame rate and display on a wide range of projectors, flat screens and other devices.

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ClearOne provided the CONVERGE MATRIX with up to 512 audio source and destination capability, so that it can handle the needs of even the largest audio facilities and fit right in using Dante audio networking. Available in models with 512x512, 256x256, 128x128, 64x64 channels, the unit is field upgradable with expansion cards as the facility’s needs change. Users can show full matrix view and filtered matrix view based on groups/zones and send sources over primary and secondary networks using Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 connectors on the rear panel. There are also serial and USB ports.

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Large scale mission critical 4K ultra HD switching is reliably handled by the Crestron DM-MD128x128 modular matrix switcher. It is a scalable blade-based system that supports HDMI, HDBaseT, analog audio, and all types of DigitalMedia 8G signals. The input and output blades are hot-swappable and their signals can be conveyed throughout any sized facility on the various DM 8G transmitters and receivers. There is built-in Crestron control system compatibility using its Ethernet networking and USB distribution capabilities. For greater versatility, DigitalMedia systems can use the CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) signal embedded in HDMI.

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The DVI-3580a from DVIGear is a versatile presentation switching solution with 4K multiviewing and scaling. Designed to fit into virtually any environment, the system’s seven inputs provide switching for HDMI/DVI, DisplayPort and RGB/YPbPr Analog (VGA). Its seamless switching then sends these signals to output resolutions up to 3840x2160 /30p and makes each of these available on both HDMI and HDBaseT connections. Capable of displaying up to four video signals at resolutions up to 4K, the unit can arrange these in Single, Double, Triple, Quad 1, Quad 2, Quad 3, or Quad 4 modes. These and a variety of audio formats can be controlled on Telnet or a builtin Web GUI, RS232, IR, or the front panel.

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Extron has designed the Fox Matrix 7200 modular fiber optic matrix switcher to be custom configured for 8x8 to 72x72 applications and to convey the switched AV sources through compatibility with all Extron FOX Series transmitters and receivers. Fitted with hot swappable power supplies and I/O boards, the system can route DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, 3GSDI, RGB, HD component, and standard definition video. Each frame slot accepts a FOX I/O 88 board having eight ports with LC-type fiber optic connectors. The FOX I/O 88 MM board works for 850nm fiber while the FOX I/O 88 SM uses 1310nm signals.

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FSR offers the DV-MFSW-94XT hybrid matrix switcher for routing to four digital displays. The 3RU frame will accept up to nine sources in VGA, HDMI, DVI, YPbPr, S-Video, and CVBS video formats and HDCP is supported from all digital sources to all outputs. It also provides complete EDID management including more than 25 pre-programmed combinations and it can learn new and non-standard EDID data sets. As many as 20 switch program presets can be used and controllability is utilized through the front panel, RS232, TCP/IP, and its Web server.

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For switching eight 4K sources to as many as nine 4K displays, Gefen has a 2RU solution in the GEF-UHD-89-HBT2 Matrix for HDMI with HDCP 2.2, HDBaseT 2.0, and PoH. The small, surface mountable receiver units can connect with locking HDMI cables. HDMI, 2-way IR, RS-232, and Ethernet can be carried over the same CAT5 to the receivers along with their power. Stereo and multichannel audio are supported in formats including 7.1 channels of LPCM in addition to High Bit Rate (HBR) digital audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Initial setup is kept simple through the use of the Gefen Syner-G software’s Discovery and Show-Me features.

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The IHSE Draco tera enterprise is a matrix switching system based on a hybrid fiber/ cat-x design for large scale KVM operation. It features flex-port technology that makes each port function as a transmitter or receiver depending on the equipment connected to it. The system can function in all fiber, all cat-x or hybrid operating environments. The Draco Tera Enterprise switching can be operated through on-screen display as well as browser-based JAVA applications or RS-232 control. Additionally, its operation can be handled through third party control systems.

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Equally attractive in a rack mount or free standing mode, the MX-HDBASE8X8-4K matrix switcher from KanexPro has an Ethernet port for control through the Web-based GUI. Audio capabilities include 8 auxiliary audio inputs for stereo and 8 stereo outputs for HDMI audio de-embedding and 8 IR inputs. In addition to the Web-based GUI, control can also be handled through the front panel, bidirectional IR and RS232. When used with the optional PoE receivers, the HDBaseT outputs can provide extension to 70m at 1080p and 40m at 4Kx2K on a single CAT5e/6 connection.

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The VP−774AMP high performance presentation switcher and scaler from Kramer Electronics can input one DisplayPort (DP), one composite video, two computer graphics, one 3G HD−SDI and four HDMI signals while delivering these to outputs in HDMI and HDBaseT along with one 3G HD−SDI output. There are S/PDIF and balanced stereo audio outputs and unlike many matrix switcher products, this one includes an audio amplifier and speaker terminals. It also features picture–in–picture, picture–and–picture, and split screen capability. Any video source can be put into or displayed next to any other.

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Lightware USA has smaller matrix switching environments covered with the UMX4x4- Pro2 matrix switcher with breakaway audio and analog audio/video A/D conversion. The HDCP compliant unit supports VGA, YUV, digital DVI, HDMI 1.3, stereo analog, and S/ PDIF digital audio sources with an individual EDID manager on every port. The A/V sync can be automatic or it can be manually tweaked using the frame detector and graphical signal analyzer. Embedded audio can be input and sound from a different source can be embedded with the video. The UMX4x4-Pro2 has an extensive software suite and it can be remotely controlled via RS-232 and IP.

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For versatile video handling in the 3G/ HD/SD-SDI format, the Marshall Electronics VSW-2000 4x1 switcher can be surface mounted in very small spaces to operate on its own or to augment another video system by adding more inputs. Capable of remote operation by RS-232 and IR or front panel source selection, the unit can run in auto or manual switching mode and its output features re-clocking and equalization.

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The OMM-2500 modular matrix switcher from Opticis can use Hyperlink terminal, telnet, or a web browser to configure up to 32 I/O ports for DVI, HDMI, SDI, and DisplayPort sources and deliver this video to as many as 32 digital displays. Controllable on the front panel, a command line interface and RS232 as well as TCP/IP, the switcher’s maximum physical configuration is set up by installation of 8 input and output cards and each card has 4 ports of input and output.

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Pesa has a solution for larger and somewhat more complex multi-format routing and switching environments with the Cheetah 128 NE, a 128x128 port system that supports 3G-SDI, HD-SDI, SD-SDI, ASI, embedded audio, and CWDM signals. On the way to filling the 7RU main frame, I/O modules in groups of 16 can be added as needed and each of these includes slots for redundant control and power along with hot swappable components. Either or both coax and fiber output cards may be part of the configuration. Control options include the Pesa PERC2000 and PERC3000 System Control Software.

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The PureLink HX-4400-U is a prominent member in the company’s recent line of HX Series Ultra HD/4K HDMI Matrix Switchers providing dependable Ultra HD video and audio switching. While offering controllability on front panel and LED screen, RS232, LAN, and third party systems, the unit’s extensive EDID management system assures display compatibility and fast switching. The HX-4400-U supports PC resolution up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz and HDTV Resolution up to Ultra HD 4K 4096 x 2160 @24/25/30Hz. It also has an instantaneous noise protection circuit in input and output ports along with easy firmware updates.

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To get single-link DVI video from and to anywhere in a facility, the Rose Electronics UltraMatrix AV DVI 16 matrix switch allows up to 16 input and output pathways. Very simple two-button-push operations switch the video while the front screen reveals the current routing configuration. Another control option is the Rose Control software with which a single crosspoint mouse click can connect that computer’s video to any selected DVI-D display. Available in 4 x 4, 8 x 8, or 16 x 16 models, the unit supports video resolution up to 1920 x 1200 and offers the usual range of serial and LAN control methods.

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The Binary 520 Series HDBaseT 4x4 Matrix Switcher from SnapAV can operate with six HDBaseT receivers and this complete system can convey video up to 1080p and support Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio. The HDBaseT video is carried up to 230 feet and the receivers include POC so that they are powered from the switcher over the STP copper cable. IR control is also conveyed and serial/LAN control is available on rear mounted DB9 and RJ45 ports.

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The TL-4X2-HD HDMI matrix switcher from TechLogix Networx represents a very small footprint solution for routing up to four sources to two displays. The operation is extremely simple through an IR remote or input/output buttons on the front panel. The system supports video resolutions up to 4K@30Hz and 1080p@60Hz as well as providing automatic EDID management, with Copy/Fixed EDID options. The switcher operates on 12VDC 1A power and it can fit almost anywhere.

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Tekvox takes customization to a high level with their Tekflex 12 matrix switcher. Its arrangement of input and output cards can be fitted to suit any facility’s needs using the adjustable resolutions and adjustable scalers for each output. The modular cards enable HDMI/ DVI/SDI/VGA and HDBaseT compatibility and once inserted, the cards are automatically recognized and ready to work. The switcher has a variety of control methods including an extensive Web-based GUI and firmware updates are made through a USB port.

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The C3-340 CORIOmatrix 4K universal I/O scaling matrix router from tvONE touts its ability to up-scale, down-scale, and format cross convert between a wide variety of analog and digital video formats through the sixteen modular AV slots on the 4U chassis C3-340. Audio routing features embedding/de-embedding and an optional Audio Module allows AES and analog or digital I/O breakout capabilities when linked to the A2-7300 range of audio break-out units. The design also features an optional redundant hot swappable internal PSU and power inlet.

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Utah Scientific has a mid-sized router in the modular UTAH-100 UDS-288, a versatile tool that is expandable in groups of 16 ports up to a maximum of 288. The cards are front removable to allow greater versatility of installation. The external power supply has a redundancy option and the unit is connected to the router control system through the router’s MX-Bus. The FlexIO features of the UDS router line are fully supported to provide a variety of video formats.

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Customization continues with the MX-0808-HDBT-H2C 8x8 modular HDBaseT matrix switching system from Wyrestorm. A 6 or 8-way matrix chassis can be fitted with a selection of 4K HDR transmission cards to create a variety of multi-zone 4K UHD HDBaseT distribution scenarios. Additional features include SmartEDID for flawless mixing of 4K and 1080p displays along with the embedded Web user interface for configuration and switching operations. There are control drivers for setup using Crestron, AMX, RTI, Control4, and Elan control systems.

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