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The rise of clean switches

Installation Staff 12 February 2015

Simple switches accept various sources with identical or different AV formats, which are switched to a single output. Although usually inexpensive, they have two drawbacks. First, the signal flow is disrupted when switching sources, which causes video/audio disturbance/noise on the output. Secondly, input signals with different video resolutions are switched unchanged to the output, therefore the monitor needs to support all resolutions.

Advanced switchers/mixers allow seamless switching and transitioning of AV sources with different formats. They have advanced features such as PIPs, complex transitions and keying capabilities, and are generally used for sophisticated presentations jobs. They are powerful, yet expensive.

Clean switches are cost-effective switches with some advanced switcher/mixer features, including:
• Internal up/down conversion capability: Regardless of the input signal resolution/frequency, the signal is up/down converted to the user defined output resolution/frequency and aspect ratio.
• Input frame sync capability: Regardless of the timing of input signals, they are time aligned for perfect video and audio ‘clean switches’.
• Advanced features such as PIP and audio delay control.

For example, the Apantac HDMI Clean Switch (CLN-SW-6×1-H) offers all of the above. The Apantac Multi-Format Clean Switch (CLN-SW-6×1-M) does not include PIP or audio delay, yet allows a mix of fixed HDMI inputs and slots accepting input modules handling different formats: VGA+AA, DVI+AA, YPbPr+AA, SDI or HDMI with embedded audio.

Clean switches are used for many purposes including classroom and corporate presentations, to drive web TV encoders, feed live ingest recorders, and more.
A new Clean Switch module is also available for the Apantac modular matrix. It accepts HDMI, HDMI over HDBaseT, SDI, and outputs HDMI, HDMI over HDBaseT or fibre, and clean HDMI.

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