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MPX 866 A

The MPX 866 A Media Presentation Matrix Switcher

Whether in a single-room environment or acting as a shared switcher between two rooms, the Extron MPX 866 A stands alone as an ideal, one box solution. The MPX 866 A is three matrix switchers in one — an 8x6 VGA switcher, a 6x6 composite video and S-video switcher, and a 14x6 audio switcher. Add features such as built-in composite video and S-video transcoding, and audio output volume control into the same rack-mountable, compact 2U enclosure, and you end up with a powerful and versatile presentation matrix switcher. It is perfect for use in moderately-sized presentation systems, classrooms and training facilities, and divisible-room applications.


Centralized Presentation Switching

There are many options for switching and controlling AV in single-room applications. Some of these involve complex installations and a substantial equipment investment. With the MPX 866 A, Extron offers a powerful option to economically combine several common AV presentation system components in a single enclosure. This integrator-friendly system speeds installation, centralizes system components, and minimizes cable runs. End users, especially those who don't have time to learn multiple systems functions and controls, will appreciate the single system advantage as well as the intuitive front panel design which groups inputs and outputs by signal type for easy reference and recall.


Many modern lecture halls and small auditoriums have multiple sources that need to be routed to multiple displays. One of the primary advantages of the MPX 866 A is that it can route different sources to several different displays or the same source to two or more displays simultaneously. And with built-in video transcoding for composite video and S-video signals, the MPX 866 A simplifies system design, integration, and use. For a single-room environment, the MPX 866 A provides all the switching, transcoding, and control options to help keep the attention focused on the presentation instead of on AV operation.


The MPX 866 A in Divisible Rooms

Now let's say you're in an educational, corporate or conference center environment, and have two rooms that need to be combined into one large room for a presentation. Wouldn't it be great if all the switching and audio control could be managed from one location with one familiar interface? Wouldn't it also be nice if the system was cost-effective and easy to configure? And finally, wouldn't it be convenient if the system switched modes automatically when it detected the collapsible partition was retracted?


The MPX 866 A can be at the hub of such a system, providing active switching for both rooms as they exist separately, and for the single, large room that's created when the dividing airwall is removed. With the wall removed, the divisible room is ready for a large audience presentation. As Diagram 1 illustrates, multiple sources provide signals to the MPX 866 A, including DVD/VCR combo units and two laptop computers. Each of these sources can provide different content, and each can be controlled via a MediaLink Controller, the Extron MLC 226 IP DV+. If necessary, control can be easily switched to the MLC 226 IP DV+ located on the other side of the combined room. This control flexibility is accomplished by the dual RS-232 control ports on the MPX 866 A. These two ports allow divisible room control by accommodating two independent points of control. When divided, the rooms can share the MPX 866 A in "divided mode" which provides two sets of four independent inputs and two sets of three independent outputs. When the rooms are combined, the MPX 866 A can be used in "combined" mode, utilizing its full complement of inputs and outputs.

Diagram 1 - MPX 866A shown in divisible room scenario.


Flexible Control Options

We touched on system control earlier when we mentioned the dual, independent RS-232 serial control ports on the MPX 866 A. We generally talk about the Extron MediaLink family in single-room environments; but now, with the power of IP Link and the Extron MLC 226 IP DV+, you have the ability to control two presentation systems in a divisible room application from one controller. This new functionality takes the MediaLink controller effectively and practically beyond singleroom capability. In a divisible room scenario, where the partition has been removed, one simply has to use the divisible room switch to designate which side of the combined room will provide control. Once control location is established, the MLC 226 IP DV+ on the 'Master' side of the room can provide presentation control and switching via the MPX 866 A. Want even more automation? An optional switch located along the partition path can detect whether the room is divided or combined and send a signal to the MLC 226 IP DV+ to change operation modes based on room status.


MLC 226 IP DV+

In an environment such as a school where many MediaLink controllers are utilized, it may make sense from an integration and ease-ofuse point of view to use MediaLink controllers for the divisible room. Maintaining a common control interface will aid integration and setup, and minimize user compatibility issues. Plus, if the school already uses IP Link, Extron's Ethernet-based, centralized monitoring and control protocol, you can use the Extron GlobalViewer application for all Extron products on your campus. GlobalViewer® is free, Web-based AV resource management software that enables users to access a variety of AV products connected to a network.


At Home

In the past few years, home theaters have grown in popularity and often in complexity as well. Today, it's not uncommon to find multiple displays within a residence, each showing different media from a variety of sources. In addition to a dedicated home theater room, one might also have displays located in a game room, family room, and a pool-side bar area. The MPX 866 A allows one to centralize sources such as the DVD player, cable or satellite receiver, and audio receiver or CD jukebox, and distribute the signals throughout the property. The need to route multiple lines of audio and video signals to multiple locations has made it necessary for consumers to seek professional solutions. The MPX 866 A is a cost-effective, one-box system for cutting-edge home theaters which have outgrown common, point-to-point consumer-grade switching options.



Audio Switching Made Simple

The MPX 866 A also includes a 14x6 audio switcher which allows audio switching independently from any video group. The system supports both audio follow video and audio breakaway modes. Full adjustment of both audio input gain and attenuation and audio output volume and muting is available via the front panel, RS-232, or IP Link. All audio adjustments are saved when the unit is shut down. When the system is powered back up, the MPX 866 A recalls the last configuration and the saved audio settings are restored. The advanced audio capabilities of the MPX 866 A facilitate system integration by eliminating the need for separate audio preamplifiers which, in turn, contributes to an overall savings in equipment expense.



Just the Right Combination

The MPX 866 A provides integration flexibility while reducing system complexity and cost. With video and audio matrix switching and signal processing capabilities in one 2U enclosure, system configuration and set-up can be accomplished from a single location. Offering versatility and a powerful feature set, the MPX 866A is well-suited for many presentation systems or divisible-room applications which must support multiple displays or a variety of room configurations.


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