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Matrix Switchers

Matrix Switchers provide a solution for distribution and control of multiple A/V sources to multiple A/V devices.  The defining function is that ability to control any input from any output individually, ideal for sophisticated home A/V distribution as well as commercial applications for bars/ restaurants and professional video environments.  

Currently, there are analog models for VGA and Component as well as digital DVI (HDCP compliant) that can be used for DVI/HDMI equipment.  

 

  List of Matrix Switchers  

Common Features and Options

Switchers can be the ideal solution when automation is integrated into your entertainment system.  There are several control system interfaces as listed below.   Companion audio switching is another popular feature for learning remote use.  Below are list of features to look for in your choice of switchers.  

Auto-Switching - Auto-sensing switches poll for active signal which triggers the switching function.  To optimize how this works, a priority sequence is also used to allow two devices to be powered up in a controlled manner.  

Remote Controlled - An IR port present with or without remote can be the lowest common denominator in the automation system, better combined with hard wired front panel push button.

RS-232 - The preferred interface for high level control, RS-232 is used for complex automation commands that control macro laden programming.  Whole house systems such as AMX, Crestron, as well as a whole new legion of automation pioneers appearing on the market ushers in more competitive pricing in the control arena.

Audio Switching - Companion audio switching helps to ease the automation programming allowing both to be done simultaneously.  Sometimes overlooked, and one of the more useful features is the presence of both analog and digital audio options, especially in a home with children or casual users that should be kept away from high end media systems.  Analog audio allows the use of speakers in a TV for casual watching or kids gaming.   

Video Distribution- Few switchers, often a multiple output matrix units offer amplification for distribution of A/V signals that require long cable runs.  

Video Scaling - Video processing or scaling is often done in the display, but many enthusiasts add external scalers that often improve the image quality, especially in digital panels that require more precise resolution controls for non-standard native pixel grids.  Many scalers function as switchers as more manufacturers introduce products that accept multiple digital sources (DVI or HDMI).

To ensure that a product delivers as advertised, we at Digital Connection make it a mission to test and rate products sold on our site.  Products that perform at the maximum test frequencies are labeled with 1080P-Ready symbol for the highest compatibility.  

Quick High-Definition Video Primer

Fast overview of the video glossary gets you up to the task.  Be familiar with the terms  and connection types used for high-definition video.  Listed below are input types found on back of most TV sets.

Component Video (Analog Green/Blue/Red 3x RCA) - NTSC SD 480i and ATSC HD 480p/720p/1080i/1080p
*Some PC connectivity.


VGA (Analog 15-Pin D-Sub or R/G/B/H/V 5x BNC) - ATSC HD 480p/720p/1080i /1080p
Some high-band component video/analog audio switchers allow hookup as RGBHV using the left+right audio channels as H+V inputs using RCA connections.
*Some PC connectivity.    
DVI (Digital Single or Dual Link) - ATSC HD 480p/720p/1080i/1080p
*Some PC connectivity
HDMI (Digital) - ATSC HD 480p/720p/1080i with audio 
*Some PC connectivity

*Refer to TV manual for compatibility and range

 

 
Video Switching Have multiple video players and games but only limited inputs on your TV?  What you need is a video switcher.
Distribution Amps
Need to send video out to several displays at the same time?  Video distribution basics.
Matrix Switchers
A little more complex, sending multiple sources to multiple displays and control each input/output separately requires a matrix switch. 
      
 

 

 

 
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