Semtech has just returned from InfoComm 2019, professional AV’s most anticipated event of the year, which hosted more than 40,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibiting companies. Once again, the SDVoE Alliance™ booth was abuzz with interested visitors eager to learn more about Pro AV’s next step beyond the matrix switch. Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE™) solutions, enabled by Semtech’s BlueRiver® technology, were on full display with visitors being treated to many educational sessions from SDVoE Alliance representatives, as well as a head-to-head demonstration of the SDVoE-based solution versus the traditional matrix switch.
The demo was a major highlight, showing the audience firsthand that SDVoE can not only meet, but exceed the performance of a traditional AV matrix switch and dramatically reduce the overall system cost. Additionally, the SDVoE demo system was comprised of solutions from nine member companies, proving the SDVoE Alliance’s commitment to interoperability. As a representative of Semtech and the SDVoE Alliance, I found it was very rewarding watching visitor after visitor experience the demo and finally have the concept of SDVoE “click” for them. Many visitors told me “now I get it” and “SDVoE is a no-brainer.” A few even returned with skeptical colleagues to prove to them that SDVoE is the real deal.
BlueRiver-enabled SDVoE: Enhanced Switching without Compromise
The demonstration was set up with the two solutions enabling a small 2x2 video wall side by side. Both systems were configured with four inputs and four outputs. A single set of four sources, a mix of 1080p and 4K, was split via 1:2 HDMI splitters to drive both systems, showing the same content on both video walls in real-time. Controlling the two systems was a custom control system and touch panel to operate the two in sync – any changes made to one system would be made to the other simultaneously.
With a quick look at the two video wall displays side by side, the differences become clear:
- Switching is instantaneous and perfect on SDVoE. The matrix switch tries to keep up by utilizing freeze frame, but lags, and this is difficult to ignore.
- Video walls synchronize perfectly with SDVoE. The matrix’s video wall can be up to two frames out of sync. This creates tearing and motion artifacts.
- SDVoE allows multiview image compositing. This is not possible on the matrix architecture without adding extra output cards to drive costly windowing processors.
Perhaps most importantly of all, the SDVoE system does more and costs less! The list price for the SDVoE-based system can be as low as half the cost of the demonstrated matrix system. System size is also a prevalent issue. The matrix switch has a max configuration of 8×8, but takes up four rack units. The NETGEAR system used in our demo takes up one half-rack and could expand to 21 video ports without changing this configuration.
Semtech’s New AVX Chipset Makes Waves
On June 6, 2019, Semtech announced the release of its new AVX chipset for AV extension, switching and processing. The AVX series includes two interoperable chipsets, the copper-only AVX100 and the AVX200T. These provide the industry’s first bidirectional video transmission capabilities over a single Cat-x or fiber cable, and feature a built-in processing engine for broadcast quality, scaling and video wall processing. The chipset series enables AV extension of uncompressed-quality 4K-video, multi-channel audio, Gigabit Ethernet, USB, and other control signals.
The response to this announcement at the show was tremendous, with many of Semtech’s customers excited to learn more. From the overwhelmingly positive reaction of visitors to the Semtech meeting room, it is clear that the Pro AV market is eager to have a new technology option available for AV extension and is keen to make use of the advantages AVX will offer. At a time when the industry is looking for a new solution to support extension of formats like 4K60 RGB 4:4:4, HDR, and 3D and broadcast friendly 4K60 10-bit 4:2:2, the announcement of the AVX chipsets was clearly well timed.
Semtech’s Pro AV solutions, such as BlueRiver and AVX, are changing the way we communicate, broadcast, interact, collaborate, and advertise in commercial environments. Visit the Pro AV page of our website to learn more about these innovative solutions.
BlueRiver is a registered trademark of Semtech Corporation or its affiliates, and SDVoE is a trademark or service mark of the SDVoE Alliance.