Switchers and Routers at the 2013 NAB Show

It dominated the headlines and nabbed prime spots right in front of seemingly every other booth on the show floor. All across product lines, this seemed to be the year of 4K and nowhere more dramatically than in production, where dozens of manufacturers announced 4K options within their production switcher lineups. But the stalwart workhorse of HD held steady, with many companies also offering new hybrid models.


Chuck Williamson (C) explains some of the features of the Broadcast Pix GraniteX 2000 live production system to Ray Lines (L) and Kevin Anthony from BYU Office of Information Technology. Blackmagic Design launched a 4K version of its ATEM switcher, the ATEM Production Studio 4K. It allows users to connect up to eight SD, HD or Ultra HD 4K video cameras, disk recorders and computers for live production, and features chromakey, transitions, media pool, downstream keyers, audio mixer, multiview and 6G-SDI and HDMI 4K video connections.

BHV Broadcast introduced Callisto Micro, a three-input SDI switcher designed for the smallest of spaces. The 270 Mbps Callisto can handle asynchronous SDI inputs and offers remote control and broadside bus switching.

Broadcast Pix introduced Flint, the company’s first integrated production system for the streaming market. Flint delivers up to seven simultaneous outputs, including live TV shows, streaming with Adobe Flash at HD resolution, and internal video recording. The company also added three new Granite X Series of live video production systems, each supporting 22 cameras and seven channels of files.

Evertz showed off the new 3025EMC, a 3G and HD/SD master control switcher and channel-branding solution.

Patrick Pfeiffer (L) from AV2P in France gets hands-on time with the For-A HVS-3920U switcher, under the guidance of Yudan Liu of For-A. For-A introduced two new switchers in its HVS Series. The HVS-XT100 comes with a separate main unit and control panel, while the HVS-XT110 features a compact, integrated design.

Grass Valley launched its GV Director Integrated Nonlinear Live Production Center targeting PEG and live production markets. The software-based Director features a unique touchscreen interface and runs on mostly common hardware components forming a scalable CPU and GPU platform with robust Grass Valley designed I/O technology, providing for virtually unlimited M/E buses, keyers, 2D/3D graphics, localized clip storage and the ability to handle baseband and file-based sources.

The company also showcased the latest versions of its Kayenne and Karrera video production centers.

NewTek has added seven new companies to its NewTek Developer Program, which promotes an extended set of products compatible with the company’s Tricaster production system. The new partners include AJA, Compix, Freeplay Music, Graphics Outfitters, Haivision, Ustream and Utah Scientific.

The BrandMaster family of branding switchers was a highlight for Pixel Power, which doubles as a master control switcher and broadcast graphics channel-branding hybrid solution.

Roland Systems Group showcased the V- 40HD multiformat live video switcher, with 12 inputs on four channels plus one background and two outputs buses with independent scalers.

David Sabine (R) of Grass Valley leads a presentation on the Grass Valley Director Production System. A busy NAB Show was had by Ross Video, which launched the Carbonite eXtreme, a new take on the company’s production system solution in that the device combines production switching with signal routing and distribution in the same chassis. The company also introduced new 1080p 3G processing capabilities within its Vision Octane series of production switchers, as well as new features for the MC1 compact switcher.

Rushworks introduced a three-tiered VDESK touchscreen product line that records both Program mix and “iso” feeds from integrated PTZ cameras, with “live” program streaming. The company also debuted REMO 22, a ruggedized portable configuration that hosts the same Integrated PTZ Production System software as VDESK.

With its eye on the growing 4K market, Snell showcased the Kahuna 360 multiformat switcher, which now supports a mix of SD, HD, 1080p and 4K formats. The company also announced that it will now offer 4K functionality at no additional charge to its product line.

Snell also introduced the Kahuna Flare, a midrange multiformat production switcher, with 1080p support.

Sony rebooted its Anycast streaming production system with a new touchscreen version. The Anycast Touch portable live production system features a tilt-screen touchscreen interface that includes video switcher, audio mixer, special effects generator and image still store, among other features. Sony also introduced three new multiformat switchers: the MVS3000 PAC, a one M/E HD/SD switcher; MVS620 PAC, a 2 M/E version; and the 3 M/E MVS630 PAC.


AJA Video Systems brought out the AJA KUMO 3232, a compact 2RU SDI router with 32 inputs and 32 outputs. Features in the standalone device include 3G SDI.

David Bingham (L) of Snell shows the finer points of the company’s Kahuna 360 switcher with 4K IP capability to Paul Remo of Atomic Television. The latest slate of RS-422 routing and switching solutions from DNF Controls include the one-input, eight-output SW1X8 as well as VTR/DDR control options like the ST60.

Ensemble Designs introduced the BrightEye NXT 430 Compact Router, with 11 BNC connectors that can be configured as either inputs or outputs. In addition, there are two SFP modules slots (small format pluggables), that may be populated for additional inputs or outputs, fiber optic or electrical.

Routing options from Evertz include enterprise video routers like the EMR Video, a high-density modular video router capable of handling 3G, HD/SD and ASI. The company also showed off mid-size and small routers including the EQT family of SD/ HD/3G routers.

Gefen showcased new routing matrix gear including the 32 x 32 Modular Matrix, which can route 32 mixed sources to 32 outputs at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200.

Harris showed off the Platinum IP3 integrated router, a mixed-format video and audio router with multiviewer functionality, mux/demux, and advanced I/O options.

IHSE USA expanded the Draco tera compact family of switchers with an 80-port 2RU model.

Miranda introduced new Nvision router options for its Nvision NV8500 hybrid router series, including a frame sync input card that can take wild feeds or interfacility signals of various video formats and sync them to a house standard. The NV8500 router now features the option of a new DEM/EMB output card, a hybrid disembedding and embedding card.

The company also announced that Chuck Meyer, former president and CEO of Nvision, which Miranda bought in 2008, is returning to Miranda as CTO of its Core Products division.

Jay Warner (L) of ensemble designs discusses the company’s BrightEye NXT compact router with Bob Pectelidis of Lockwood Broadcasting. Nverzion announced it has teamed with Ross Video and 360 Systems to offer a fully integrated automation, master control/routing, video server and graphics package.

PESA provided a technology demonstration showing how its latest Cheetah 4K 16 x 16 fiber-optic routing switcher provides data transport up to 600m over multimode cable.

Roland Systems Group introduced the V-4EX video mixer to the U.S. market, which includes the V-4 and V-8 lineup of live performance video mixers.

Ross showcased its family of NK Series of video, audio and machine control routing solutions, which provide 3G capabilities and range from 16 x 4 to 144 x 144.

Sierra Video showed a number of options from its routing lineup, including the Aspen line of HD/SDI routing switchers, Shasta HD routers, the Lassen family of mixed format routers and Ponderosa routing switchers.

The 4K revolution continued in the Snell booth, where the company showcased 4K functionality within its Sirius 800 routing switcher. The company also introduced the Luna series of 1RU router control panels.

With its eye also on the 4K market, Thinklogical demonstrated routing solutions including the VX and HDX series of routers, which offer up to 6.25 Gbps of bandwidth and can operate over multimode or single mode fiber-optic cable.

Thomson Video Networks showed its Amethyst III high-density redundancy switch, now with IP inputs and outputs in addition to ASI interfaces.

TV One was at the show with the C3-340 CORIO matrix switcher, a modular video matrix router, as well as the C2-8000 universal input switcher.

Utah Scientific introduced the UTAH-100/ UDS routing switcher, with 4K signal capabilities. Routers in this new series range from 32 x 32 to 144 x 144 and offer the same control options as the UDS routers.

Also new this year is the UTAH-400 Series 2 routing switcher in a 72 x 72 frame; and the UCP-LC3 control panel for the UTAH-400 series of routing switchers.

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.