The Best Router...

Routing switchers, which transport signals from one device to another, continue to be like the turbines in a power plant: When they’re working well, you don’t even know they’re there; when they aren’t working well, you definitely know it. This year’s NAB will include a number of new routers that combine HD and SD switching—and even an innovative approach to routing from Pro-Bel. Here are some of the options.


Leitch will introduce a new video/audio router. The Panacea Clean Switch is a “clean” routing switcher that provides simulcast of SD and HD, switch transitions, and auxiliary outputs. A smaller version, Panacea Lite, is a 12x1 router for utility-routing applications. The 1RU (rack unit) frame is available as a dual-format router (analog video and audio, SD video and AES, HD video and AES router) or in standalone formats (analog video, analog audio, SD video, HD). (An RU is 19 inches wide and about 3 inches high.)


New Nvision routing products include the NV7512 expandable digital-audio router, a 14RU 512x512 system that is linearly expandable to 2048x2048 and can handle AES, MADI and analog audio. Also new is the NV5256, an expandable machine-control router featuring up to 256 bidirectional ports in only eight rack units. It is linearly expandable to 512 ports in only 16RU.


Pesa’s latest is the Premiere routing switcher, a small, expandable system available in matrix sizes based on 8x4, 12x8, 16x8 and 16x16. It can handle a variety of signal types, including composite, Y/C, RGB, RGsB, RGBHV and stereo audio (future releases will include SDI, HD-SDI and AES/EBU). Included in Premiere are RS232, USB, Ethernet and PESA PRC connectivity, along with PESA Windows setup software and a local control panel.


Broadcasters facing the dilemma of tying video/audio routers with data routers will have a new option to explore at NAB: A new Pro-Bel item called Fusion will be displayed (shipping and pricing are to be determined). What makes it different is that it uses codecs to translate video signals into files and back again as content moves from the regular router to the data router. Says Graham Pitman, Pro-Bel group chief executive, “The router can now be a gateway between the traditional signal environment and the new file environment.”

Sierra Video Systems

Look for the new Sierra NLE multi-format routing switcher designed specifically for nonlinear editing suites and facilities. It has an 8x8 matrix switcher in a 3RU frame and is capable of routing SDI in a number of different types of audio and video signals. The switcher can be purchased with up to three levels of video, one level of SDI video, one level of digital stereo audio and two levels of balanced-analog audio for a total of seven possible levels. With all levels installed, the facility gets multiformat, multilevel switching.