NAB Show Product Review: Switchers & Routers

It’s a juggling act for the newest generation of switchers, routers and integrated production systems, as these sophisticated hybrid systems continue to tackle myriad capabilities—from juggling 4K to managing HD to handling SDI — and adding a growing list of companion capabilities on the side, from the ability to handle real-time data feeds to addressing high-end graphics on the fly.


BLACKMAGIC DESIGN introduced the ATEM 2 M/E production studio 4K switcher, which includes 20 inputs, six aux outputs and two independent mix effects rows.

Lee Griffin (standing) gives a demo of the Broadcast Pix Granite 6000X large scale Integrated production switcher. BROADCAST PIX showed Clear- Key, its next generation chromakey, a dual-channel clip server and several other upgrades in v4.0 software for Granite and Mica integrated production switchers. The company also announced v3.0 software for its Flint production switchers, with most of the same upgrades. Both upgrades add new device controls for Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio and Studio Pro video recorders, as well as all AJA Ki Pro recorders, over a TCP/IP connection.

FOR-A introduced the HVS-390HS video switcher, as well as portable models, including the Hanabi HVS-XT100 and XT110 switchers.

Grass Valley’s Bob Crites (pointing) answers questions about the GV Director nonlinear production switcher.GRASS VALLEY updated its GV Director Integrated Nonlinear Live Production System, now with enhanced real-time streaming to reach a broader audience, second operator assist for an improved workflow, and enhanced real-time data feeds and graphics support, which allows operators to add new and changing content at increased speeds during live productions. The company also showed the Kayenne and Karrera production switchers, which now include a K-Frame modular video processing engine with the ability to handle 4K.

LIVESTREAM showcased a number of switching solutions, including the Livestream Studio Control Surface, Livestream Studio HD510, Livestream Studio HD1710 and Livestream Studio.

NEWTEK introduced the new family of 3Play sports production solutions, which includes enhancements to the 3Play 4800, the introduction of a new 3Play 440 model, and the 3Play 425 model.

PANASONIC introduced the AV-HS6000, a 2 M/E switcher with 32 HD-SDI plus two DVI-D inputs, 16 HD-SDI outputs, 16 keyers, four independent multiviewers and expandable clip storage.

ROSS VIDEO introduced Acuity, the first of a new generation of large production switcher platforms that accommodates current production formats as well as full 3G 1080P and quad link 4K. Other updates include support for 3G, 4K and 2.5 ME operation within the Carbonite production switcher. Ross also debuted the Vision Tritium 3 M/E production switcher package.

RUSHWORKS introduced its Integrated PTZ Production System. It offers four inputs that can be configured for analog or SDI sources, and supports SD and HD production switching, encoding and streaming.

SNELL marked the NAB debut of its Kahuna Maverick, which allows fast configuration and set-up time for a quick studio turnaround between shows and offers 4K support. It also mirrors the studio’s operation and has a compact footprint. Snell also demo-ed new 4K options for its Kahuna 360 production switcher.

SONY debuted the newest versions of its MVS-7000X and MVS-8000X production switchers, both of which have real-time 4K processing capabilities.


AJA VIDEO SYSTEMS showed the latest version of the Kumo family of compact SDI routers, including a new update that enables Dual Link, 4K and Ultra HD support.

BLACKMAGIC DESIGN introduced new Smart Videohub routers, including 12x12 and 20x20 versions. The control panel includes buttons to direct select a crosspoint, a spin knob for scrolling router cross points as well as LCD screen.

Bob Zuelsdorf (L) with Ensemble Designs talks to KAET’s Karl Voss about the BrightEye NXT 2.0 routerENSEMBLE DESIGNS launched the Bright- Eye NXT 410-H Clean HDMI + HDCP router, which supports clean and quiet switching of HDCP-encrypted content to the HDMI output alongside SDI and non-encrypted HDMI sources. The company also released v2.0 software for the Bright- Eye NXT line of compact routers.

Rachel Pool with Evertz shows off what’s behind the glass doors… the EXE 46 Tb/sec video service router.EVERTZ introduced a host of routing solutions including the EQT-602-3G-CS 16 x 2 SD/HD/3G video router and the EXE Video Service Routing Platform, which provides more than 46 Tbps of switching capacity (23 Tbps full duplex, supporting 2,304 10GE ports or 192 100GE ports) per single chassis.

GRASS VALLEY introduced two new routers in its Nvision CR6400 compact router series, which offers a 3 Gbps HD-SDI 64x64 matrix with high density DIN connections in 2RU.

PESA debuted the Smart32 remote control panel, which features 32 dynamically reprogrammable LCD buttons arranged in a 2x16 configuration. Designed for live production, it allows single keystroke switching for fast on-air selection. The company also launched the RCP Panel Server, a 1RU peripheral that allows existing serial control panels to work with Pesa’s network-based PERC3000 router control system and Pesa’s line of network panels.

SNELL announced a partnership with Cisco to enable real-time IP-based signal routing via integration between Snell’s broadcast infrastructure and imaging expertise and Cisco’s IP and MPLS networking platform. The company also demo-ed its Sirius 800 hybrid routing platform, which includes frame and line synchronization, independent routing and processing of audio and video signals, and the ability to expand to 2034 x 2034.

UTAH SCIENTIFIC showed the newest family of four-channel add-on modules within the UTAH-400 Series, additions to the UDS router family, upgrades to the UDS-4K router family and a new 3 RU control panel with Ethernet interface called the UCP-LC3. The company also introduced a new router control app for the iPad.

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.