Routing switchers

One might think that nothing new in routing can be created, but manufacturers have been hard at work creating new and powerful products for infrastructure routing. For instance, Quartz introduced the Xenon routing switcher family. It incorporates submodules that allow users to add functions, such as initial graphics overlay with up to eight keys, internally. You might use this as a minimaster control with no external wiring. The company plans to offer modules that shuffle embedded audio and perform other functions. This approach to building complex systems inside an integrated box may signal new directions for the industry.

Some routers represent a single point of failure, but Utah Scientific has added redundant automatic failover crosspoint cards to its Utah-400. This unique feature allows users to replace failed cards without disrupting a single signal path. The routers also include signal-presence detection, which can be used to set up signal-restoration paths when an input signal has failed.

Thomson Grass Valley has introduced a new small-scale router family, Acappella, which offers up to two levels of 16×4 routing in a single rack unit. An abridged version of the company's Encore control system, Prelude, is embedded in Acappella, offering sophisticated features in a small router. Prelude can control routers up to 128×128. Acappella marks the company's return to small routers after the demise of the TEN-X series some time back, though Acappella has more power than many small routers. The company continues to provide large routers in the Trinix series (narrow- and wideband video up to 512×512 in one frame) and Apex series (TDM audio router up to 256×256 in one frame), under the control of Jupiter, Encore and Concerto control systems, which all support SNMP monitoring. The Trinix line now includes analog-to-digital converters on input modules as well as digital-to-analog converters on outputs. Thomson Grass Valley also announced optical output modules for Trinix.

NVISION introduced its highly expandable NV7512 large-scale TDM audio router, which handles both AES and MADI inputs. The product can be expanded to 4096 by extending the TDM bus between frames. The company also showed an HDTV version of its NV5128 router with integral MCR switcher modules.

PESA introduced Premier, a small-scale router that ranges in size from 8×4 to 16×16. It can accommodate multiple signal formats, including composite, Y/C, RGB, RGBHV and stereo audio. (Future releases will include SDI, HD-SDI and AES/EBU.) The company also showed Clikcontrol, a Web-based routing-switcher control extension, and the UCI-2000 protocol conversion unit, which can interface to other manufacturers' products.

Leitch continued to show its Panacea, Integrator and Integrator Gold routing products in a variety of sizes, but offered no new routing products. Sony showed its established SDI routing switchers, which included the HDSX5800 wideband system.

Pro-Bel showed a new ATM-based audio-routing product, Sirius Fusion, which uses the AES 47 standard and also can route MADI as AES. The product line includes A/D- and D/A-converting I/O interfaces and up to 128×128 in a single 7U frame. Pro-Bel had one of the most entertaining booth presentations, employing a contortionist to symbolize its products' flexibility.

John Luff is senior vice president of business development for AZCAR.



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