Advances in AV technology have made better quality and more functionality available at lower prices. As a result, all kinds of operations, from high school athletic departments to houses of worship to high-end home theaters, can now reap the advantages of tools previously available only to broadcasters with big bucks. The flash and dash of HD cameras, TVs, and surround-sound systems are well-known, but there’s another more modest piece of technology that makes a media system of any size work more reliably, inexpensively, and simply, while it also aids delivery of optimal images and sound. This paragon is the routing switcher.
To ensure that a router delivers as promised, the buyer should take several factors into consideration. First, a problem some routers stumble over is the diversity of signal formats that may be present in an existing set-up. Depending on what devices are in place, their age, and function, these might include any combination of analog, SD, HD, and even 3G HD signals. Some routers handle only a single signal format or a limited number of them, and endeavoring to use one of these in a mixed format set-up essentially defeats the purpose of having a router at all.
A second consideration for buyers or installers is finding a router that is easy and intuitive to use. Because most of us by this time are familiar with a computer interface, a router that can be linked to a PC via an ethernet connection is desirable, enabling monitoring, control, and even diagnosis to take place from a desktop. Computer connectivity has the additional benefit of making it possible to check in on the router and control it remotely via a web browser. This capacity may also reduce installation costs by making it unnecessary to locate control panels throughout a building.
Utah Scientific’s recently launched UTAH-100 Professional Series is a line of compact, mixed-format routers and distribution amplifiers.
A third factor for the buyer or installer to consider when purchasing a router is size. Traditionally routing devices were huge and cumbersome, fit for an industrial setting only. Again, the same advances in technology that put all those bells and whistles in your tiny little cell phone have put an astonishing amount of power in a much shrunken router, one that takes up as little as a single rack unit of space. The simple fact that the routing switcher is so much smaller means it may be useful in many settings where it wouldn’t have been considered before: home theaters, board rooms, conference rooms, and classrooms.
A related consideration is planning for growth. In a dynamic setting, it’s worth considering a router that has been designed modularly so that it can be expanded easily and cost-effectively. Likewise, a router with a web-based interface supports cost-effective expansion because it reduces the need for additional control panels.
Finally, as with any technology purchase, it’s important to consider the likelihood that the device will work reliably as advertised. That means, in part, assessing the reputation of the manufacturer.
Utah Scientific is a leading provider of routers to broadcasters with products known for their reliability. The recently launched UTAH- 100 Professional Series is a line of compact, mixed-format routers and distribution amplifiers for the professional AV market. Every one of the devices in this line was built with the distinctive needs of the AV market in mind and also to deliver broadcastquality dependability.
As technology marches on, it has revolutionized and democratized delivery of high-quality sound and images. The routing switcher is part of this revolution. When assessing a device’s suitability for an operation, it’s important to consider its flexibility, ease of use, size, and scalability as well as the reputation of the manufacturer and the warranty backing the device. Doing so will ensure that the routing switcher delivers its full potential, making your AV system work better, more simply, and more cost-effectively.