2011 NAB Show Product Review: Routers & Switchers

Broadcast Pix's Paul Lara leads a presentation on the Granite 2000 production switcher. Photo by Dawley/Kovacs
The newest generation of routers and switchers are touting integrated multiviewer monitoring capabilities, compact and hybrid control panels, and touchscreen technology—with a number of switchers looking to the horizon to handle 3D productions.


Blackmagic Design showcased the ATEM production switcher available in a 1 M/E model with eight total inputs of SDI, HDMI and component video; and a 2 ME model with two separate ME rows, a total of 16 video inputs, six aux outputs and redundant power. Also new was the ATEM Television Studio, a full broadcast quality production switcher with real time H.264 encoding so customers can capture live events directly to files for Internet distribution.

Introductions from Broadcast Pix included the new live video production systems, Granite 500 and Slate 500, with a new compact control panel. New features include new playlists, ProRes clips and QuickTime Animation playback, and enhanced Harris CG and Chyron CG features.

Datavideo demo-ed several switchers, including the SE-3000 video switcher, a 16-input HD/SD production switcher; the SE-2000 five-input switcher; and the SE-2000 switcher kit with rack-mounted hard drive.

FOR-A debuted four compact multiformat routing switchers, designed for small- and medium-scale systems, called the MFR-3232, MFR-3216, MFR-1616R and MFR-1616. All four support EG-SDI, HD-SDI, SD-SDI and ASI signals.

V2.0 software for Grass Valley's Kayenne Video Production Center introduces a ClipStore option based on the company's K2 Summit and K2 Solo server technology.

Hi Tech Systems debuted the AVITA production control system, a hybrid control system that uses touchscreen technology and modular hardware panels to capture, edit and playout media from multiple sources.

Michael Laverdiere (L) of Dome Productions in Canada listens as David Hammerton of Blackmagic Design explains the Blackmagic ATEM 2 M/E Production Switcher. Photo by Dawley/KovacsNewTek introduced the TriCaster 850 EXTREME, a live production system that allows users to record up to eight channels of video, handle transitions, mix audio and handle timecode.

Panasonic showcased its switcher and mixer solutions, including the subcompact AW-HS50 and new software for the AV-HS450N switcher that allows it to handle 3D productions.

Roland Systems Group highlighted its M-480 48-channel live digital mixing console. Part of the V-Mixing System, the next-generation mixer allows for 48 mixing channels plus six stereo returns, or 96 channels of mixing when connected to a second unit.

Ross Video debuted the new Carbonite production switcher, which features back-lit buttons, panel glow for operator accuracy and intuitive panel ergonomics. Features include dual 10-input multiviewers, four channels of 2D DVEs, and four Media-Stores for animations and stills. The company also showcased the Vision QMD and Octane SD/HD production switchers, which now offer internal multiviewer capability. From the compact switcher family, Ross showed the CrossOver Solo digital production switcher, a 1 M/E switcher.

Snell introduced two new features for the Kahuna 360 production switcher: Source Safe technology, which automatically senses a signal and sets up the correct processing without operator intervention; and Galaxy Event List, which enables the switcher to drive third-party devices.

Sony's compact DFS-900M multiformat production switcher can now expand up to 24 inputs and 12 outputs. Also new was the MCS-8M multiformat compact switcher, an eight-input, 1M/E video switcher with a six-channel audio mixer. The company also unveiled the latest addition to its MVS series of production switcher: the MVS-7000X, a native 3G switcher that can be configured from 1 to 6 M/Es and scale up to 8 keyers per M/E.

Renan Lucchin (L) with Projecao Audio E Video LTDA gets a demo of the TriCaster 850 EXTREME portable live production system from Kim Henderson at NewTek. Photo by Dawley/KovacsROUTING OPTIONS

Analog Way showcased its Eikos multilayer high-resolution mixer and switcher as well as the Pulse mixer/scaler/switcher.

Switchers were on display in the Burst Electronics booth, including the company’s DSR4x1and DSR8x1 switchers, as well as the VS8x8 Crosspoint Matrix switcher.

Switch and router solutions from DNF Controls included the company's RS-422 switchers and port switchers.

Gefen introduced the GefenPRO 32x32 DVI Matrix, which offers cross-point switching among 32 displays. The company also showed four new switchers: the 4x1 DisplayPort KVM switcher, 8x1 DisplayPort KVM switcher, 4x1 DisplayPort switcher and 8x1 DisplayPort switcher.

With its Trinix NXT routing switcher, Grass Valley has introduced integrated multiviewer monitoring capabilities and new I/O boards. The company also showcased enhancements to the Jupiter and Encore router control systems.

Harris showed its family of Magellan router control panels, available as a series of 10 programmable hardware panel types in both 1 and 2RU versions, and offer intuitive template-driven panels and Web-based configuration for straightforward setup.

Logitek showed off its lineup of consoles and routers, including its Artisan digital broadcast console surface for the Logitek Digital Audio Engine modular router.

Rolling into NAB for the first time as a newly merged company with Omnibus Systems, Miranda showcased the NVision 8500 Hybrid router, which combines video routing, audio routing, audio mux/demux and audio processing in a single system.

Scott Bosen (L) of Utah Scientific explains the back panel connections on the Flex-I/O router to Robert Blazewicz of Rovi Corp. Photo by Dawley/KovacsMultidyne introduced attendees to the EOS Series routing switcher, ideal for switching DVI single and dual link, HDMI, RGB-HV, Digital Video, SDI as well as HD, and offers a scalable chassis up to 288x288.

Routing options from Nevion included the VikingX Sublime series of compact routers.

PESA introduced the Cougar VAC compact studio system for SD/HD/3G video and audio routing. Each Cougar can support up to 32x32 video and 64x64 mono audio in a 2RU package.

Ross entered the router market with its new line of NK Series of fully modular and redundant routing systems, available in sizes ranging from 16x4 1RU routers to 320x320 19RU utility routers.

Sierra Video showed off the Shasta 3232HD, a 3G HD-SDI routing switcher with 32x32 HD-SDI video capability as well as the SierraView MADI-xx converter and routing switcher.

Snell introduced attendees to the Sirius 830, a large-scale, multiformat, expandable router featuring a 576x576 expandable frame up to 96 multiviewer outputs in 34U.

Utah Scientific announced new features for its UTAH-400 family of routers, namely the introduction of embedded-audio signal processing and a new virtual control panel.

Julie Mulvihill gives a demo of the new Ross Carbonite 2M Switcher. Photo by Dawley/Kovacs

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.