2016 Product Review: Switchers & Routers

Switching and routing technology took a big leap at NAB Show this year as systems continued to evolve to offer cloud technology networking, IP workflow management options, and expanded format capabilities including HD, 3G and 4K.

Blackmagic Design
introduced v6.8 software for ATEM, which now allows users to control HyperDeck Studio SSD recorders via an ATEM switcher. Users can deploy HyperDecks as a fully controllable source into their switcher workflow for live production.

Broadcast Pix BPCommandBroadcast Pix debuted BPNet, a cloud-based IP workflow management system for Broadcast Pix integrated production switchers, which allows users to share, convert, distribute and archive media files. The company also unveiled new BP-Command control interfaces as part of its integrated production switchers and demonstrated how certain switchers, like the Broadcast Pix Flint, are now integrated with significant new IP functionality.

For-A introduced a 3M/E version of the HVS-2000 switcher. The company also demonstrated the new ability of its HVS-100/110 portable video switcher to accept HVS-100TB2 Thunderbolt 2 expansion cards to create a CG and virtual studio option.

Grass Valley GV KoronaGrass Valley launched GV Korona, a smaller production switcher available in 1 and 2 M/E panels. Based on the same platform as Kayenne and Karrera, GV Korona supports multiple HD formats, and can be upgraded to 3G/4K. The GV Korona 2 stripe panel supports 20 assignable buttons on each M/E row as well a touchscreen in the transition area.

NewTek introduced TalkShow VS4000, a professional, multichannel video calling production system for both SDI and IP workflows.

Ross Carbonite Black SoloRoss Video introduced v4.0 software for Acuity, now offering Split M/E, DVE Warps, Lighting Engine, and support for the new MultiProcessing Input card option. The company also launched Carbonite Black Plus, a 36-input switcher; and Carbonite Black Solo, a compact production switcher with nine inputs and six outputs.

SAM introduced the Kula multiformat production switcher, a model available in a range of 1M/E and 2M/E panels that can support SD/HD and 4K. The switcher offers expandable control panels, up to five key layers per M/E, and up to 36 inputs and 18 outputs.

Sony introduced three new models to its XVS series of switchers, including the XVS- 7000, which offers 6M/E operation with 112 inputs in HD, and 3M/E operations with 28 inputs in 4K; and the XVS-6000, which supports 4M/E operation with 48 inputs in HD, and 2M/E operation with 12 inputs in 4K. Both—along with the XVS-8000—feature enhanced frame memory, format conversion, multiviewer capabilities, a range of input and output video formats, and HDR support. Sony also announced it is enhancing its interoperable IP Live Production system with a networked media interface.

ETL Systems
introduced the Hurricane Matrix router, a 64 x 64 model in a 4RU chassis and featuring fibre inputs, variable gain and variable slope.

For-A debuted the MFR-4000 routing switcher, a unit that features a 72x72 matrix and offers 1.5G, 3G, 6G, and 12G-SDI automatic recognition and input/output. The company also showed the MFR-3232 and how these routing switcher units use the take advantage of the company’s integrated control system, as well as its MFR-3000 routing model.

Imagine Communications showcased the new Platinum IP3 router, designed to support UHD signals and suited for mobile and broadcast production environments.

PESA showed off its Cheetah routers, which range from 64 x 64 in 4RU up to 1024 x 1024, as well as Jaguar, Cougar and Ocelot enterprise class routers. The company also highlighted its PESA XSTREAM R3232 router, which can integrate with the NewTek TriCaster to offer 32 3G SDI I/O to expand TriCaster’s video sources.

Utah Scientific UHD-12G digital routing switcherSAM showed new options to its router lineup, including the Enterprise-level Sirius 800, the asymetric Vega router, and the family of Pyxis routers, which now offer 4K support.

Utah Scientific introduced the enterprise-class UHD-12G digital routing switcher, with distribution of a full range of SDI video signals, from SD data rates up to 2160p60 data rates, in a single-link interconnect. The company also unveiled the UTAH-400 IP Gateway, a new family of IP gateway I/O cards designed for use with UTAH-400 Series 2 enterprise routers. The company also launched the new Foundation Series, a family of hybrid digital routing systems.

unveiled the AdderLink XD150FX, a high-performance point-to-point fibre extender with USB2.0 that can transmit high quality video—up to 2560x1600—and analog audio over a duplex fiber-optic cable. The company also introduced the fully UL-approved Adder RED-PSU, a 19-inch rack-mountable power distribution unit that features 16 lockable power outputs, two hot-swappable power modules, web interface and intelligent load balancing. There were also two new A/D converters, the VGA CAM, a VGA computer access module (CAM), for the Adderview DDX matrix, and Adder DVA, a professional grade VGA to DVI converter.

Black Box debuted the DKM KVM Switching and Extension System, which can be used to process and route DisplayPort, HDMI, and HD-SDI signals, with resolutions up to 4K.

G&D introduced the DP1.2-VisionXG for transparent KVM transmission up to 4K@60 Hz, totally lossless and without any latency. The company also launched the DisplayPort extender, offering two DisplayPort connectors at the input and output, allowing users to choose one single video channel at full video bandwidth or distribute the bandwidth on two dual-head channels at Full HD.

IHSE showcased the 576 Port Draco Tera enterprise matrix switch, a KVM and video matrix switch that supports a range of video formats; the Draco U-Switch, which enables parallel management of USB 2.0 and USBHID signals to multi-monitor workstations via a single keyboard, mouse or push button panel; and the Draco tera compact UNI port matrix switch, which allows for switching of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and 3G-SDI.

Thinklogical highlighted the TLX, an uncompressed 4K KVM and video extension and switching system that offers uncompressed 4K video extension over two fibers or CATx cables. TLX signal management solutions include the TLX DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 extenders and the TLX640 switch.

Susan Ashworth

Susan Ashworth is the former editor of TV Technology. In addition to her work covering the broadcast television industry, she has served as editor of two housing finance magazines and written about topics as varied as education, radio, chess, music and sports. Outside of her life as a writer, she recently served as president of a local nonprofit organization supporting girls in baseball.