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Author Topic: Video System Switcher  (Read 2879 times)

Lee Douglas

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Video System Switcher
« on: November 06, 2012, 07:14:23 pm »

I'm looking for a recomendation for a video switcher.

Inputs
VGA- Computer
Display Port/HDMI- Computer
HDMI- Blu Ray (Could easily be component)
HDMI- Cable Box (Could easily be component)
Spare- ???

Outputs
Projector 1- DVI/HDMI
Projector 2- DVI/HDMI

Some RS232 control would probably be present on most units, but not going to be used right away.  Simple front panel control for end user.  Output will be common screens and not likely to change, so the two outputs can be done through a DA after this piece if needed.

My biggest concern is the display port/HDMI off of a newer computer and HDMI from any other source.  I've read recently that Apple requires drms handshaking be present on all sources, and that all copy written digital material will need it regardless of the source.  If not for that, I'd probably keep it analog and go with a modern version of Extron's System 7SC.  I prefer another manufacturer, by the way, as I lost my Extron dealership.  Apparently they want you to buy stuff from them to keep it.... Who knew?   ;)

Any brilliant suggestions?  Thanks!
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Brad Weber

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Re: Video System Switcher
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 05:20:44 am »

Analog component may work for an existing Blu-Ray player but the Analog Sunset means any units manufactured in the last couple of years will be limited to SD analog outputs and in a year there will no longer be any analog outputs on Blu-Ray players.  If what you have supports HDMI I would at least plan on supporting that even if you initially use component video.
 
My biggest concern is the display port/HDMI off of a newer computer and HDMI from any other source.  I've read recently that Apple requires drms handshaking be present on all sources, and that all copy written digital material will need it regardless of the source.  If not for that, I'd probably keep it analog and go with a modern version of Extron's System 7SC.  I prefer another manufacturer, by the way, as I lost my Extron dealership.  Apparently they want you to buy stuff from them to keep it.... Who knew?   ;)
HDMI gets into the whole HDCP and EDID world and while HDCP is an issue many fear, I'm actually finding EDID to often be the more challenging.
 
The issue with some Apple products is that if they see they are connected to an HDCP device then they enable HDCP protection regardless of whether the content actually requires it.  Not really a problem if you are going direct to a display device but a potential issue if you are going through or feeding a mix of HDCP and non-HDCP devices.  For example, say your switcher was HDCP and your projectors were not, the Apple would see the switcher and enable HDCP even for non-protected content and the projectors would then not accept that.
 
Other than Extron, Crestron, AMX, Kramer Electronics, TV One and numerous others offer switchers that would accept those sources and provide an output that could then be DA'd to both projectors.  Some of those may offer boxes with multiple UTP/STP outputs.
 
Another option might be to convert the one VGA source to HDMI and then use a HDMI switcher.  All of the same manufacturers could then support that along with manufacturers like Key Digital and Just Add Power.
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Video System Switcher
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 12:21:47 pm »

Thanks for the reply , Brad.  Still mulling over how to best implement your advice.  I'd thought that HDMI would be the problematic format in this situation and hadn't considered going VGA to HDMI for the computer.
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Steve Ferreira

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Re: Video System Switcher
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 09:33:11 pm »

The Barco Image Pro 2 might be up your alley. You can also use it as a scaler for webcasts, records etc...

Inputs
DVI-I
VGA
Display Port
HDMI
SD-SDI

Outputs
SD-SDI
VGA
HDMI
Display Port
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Jason Phair

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Re: Video System Switcher
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 11:49:16 pm »

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Chuck Fudge

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Re: Video System Switcher
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 10:17:48 am »

 We really like analog way stuff.  Using a pulse for portable setup.  For installation/rs232 control ability we use Extron products
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Video System Switcher
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 10:24:40 am »

We really like analog way stuff.  Using a pulse for portable setup.
We also use the Pulse for portable setups.  My only gripe is that there are no loop outs on inputs.  The Preview output makes up for that in a way, but not completely.

I prefer to see my sources to know which ones to take or not…not a necessity with Powerpoint/Keynote presentations, but live feeds (cameras, broadcast feeds, etc.) make it very desirable.

So far it has been very reliable and trouble-free in interfacing with all kinds of old and new technology.

There IS a desktop controller for the unit, too, if that fits your fancy…I'd like to try it out for a future show - maybe someday... ;D
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Jordan Wolf
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"We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds... Cause there are so many sleeping people." - Jimi Hendrix

Joe Kipfer

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Re: Video System Switcher
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 03:59:28 pm »

We also use the Folsom ImagePro (Barco)...May be a little pricey compared to the others, but it's a great hassle free switcher/scaler.
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