Selecting the Right Switcher

What are Switchers?

Switchers enable multiple signals to be selected and sent to one or two displays. For example, to view the outputs of two computers, with separate presentations, on a single display, a switcher is used to physically connect both of the computers to the display device. The switcher then provides selection between the two presentations, allowing the user to alternate between them.

Extron offers a broad selection of digital and analog switchers covering all common signal types. Their flexible mounting and control options allow easy integration into new or existing AV systems.

To choose the right switcher for a specific environment, identify the following:

  • What are the signal types?
  • What are the connector types?
  • How many inputs and outputs are needed?
  • Will there be switching between both video and audio sources?

How are they used?

Switchers can be used in a wide range of applications where multiple video and audio signals need to be routed to a display. These include environments such as classrooms, lecture halls, and conference rooms.

In the example below, digital and analog source devices are connected to the MPS 409 multi-format presentation switcher. Video signals from each signal type are routed to the appropriate inputs on a projector. The user can select content for display from any source device using the front panel buttons or through the Extron TouchLink® Control System. Audio from the selected source device is distributed via the Extron XPA 1002 Power Amplifier and SI 28 Surface-mount Speakers through the program audio output.

Extron MPS 409 - Media Presentation Switcher Diagram
Click to enlarge


After determining the input and presentation display devices, a switcher can be selected for the intended application. Extron switchers are organized in the following categories:

Fiber Optic Switchers

Extron Fiber Optic Switchers enable switching and long haul transmission of AV and RS-232 control signals over fiber optic cable. They provide optical inputs and an optical output for long distance connectivity to FOX Series fiber optic transmitters, receivers, distribution amplifiers, or matrix switchers. Extron Fiber Optic Switchers support rates up to 4.25 Gbps for switching of DVI-D, multi-rate SDI, RGB, HD component, and standard definition video. View Fiber Optic Switchers

HDMI, DVI, & DisplayPort Switchers

Extron HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort switchers allow multiple source signals to be sent to a compatible display device. Designed for today’s high performance requirements, these switchers offer many integrator-friendly features to simplify integration and operation. View HDMI, DVI, & DisplayPort Switchers

SDI & HD-SDI Switchers

Extron SDI & HD-SDI switchers meet the requirements of serial digital switching applications up to 2.97 Gbps 3G-SDI and conform with all SMPTE and ITU digital video standards, including SMPTE 259M, SMPTE 292M, and SMPTE 424M. View SDI & HD-SDI Switchers

VGA & RGB Switchers

VGA & RGB switchers are designed for routing computer-video, high-resolution RGBHV, and HDTV component bi-level and tri-level sync signals. They are available in dedicated models that feature VGA style 15-pin HD or BNC input and output connectors. View VGA & RGB Switchers

AV Switchers

AV switchers are available for composite video, S-video, and stereo audio with several input sizes to choose from. With the ability to accept NTSC, PAL, and SECAM video formats, these switchers provide worldwide compatibility. View AV Switchers

USB Switchers

Extron USB switchers are specifically designed with the integrator in mind. Features including multiple control points, port status indication, and RS-232 pass-through accomodate seamless integration into a wide range of applications. View USB Switchers

System Switchers

Extron system switchers are compatible with all types of digitally controlled projectors and accept a variety of signal formats. With system switchers, it's easy to switch between computers, AV components, and audio sources. System switchers communicate with and are recognized by the display as if the switcher were the same brand. View System Switchers

Scaling Presentation Switchers

Scaling presentation switchers accept and scale a wide range of video signals to a common, high resolution output rate. They include essential features that make them ideal for various presentation environments including audio switching, seamless switching, and PIP - picture-in-picture. View Scaling Presentation Switchers

Media Presentation Switchers

Extron media presentation switchers merge independent digital and analog video formats and stereo audio switchers into a single enclosure. View Media Presentation Switchers

MLS Switchers

Extron MLS switchers are simple-to-use, multi-format switchers for computer-video through composite video and stereo audio switching. Each switcher features a line level mono audio auxiliary/mix input, and two preamp balanced or unbalanced audio outputs, one fixed and one variable. Select MLS switcher models also provide power amplification. View MLS Switchers

Switcher Accessories

Extron Switcher Accessories comprise a variety of control options, including IR handheld remote control devices and mountable control panels. Additional accessory products available include mounting hardware, control kits, cables, and labels. View Switcher Accessories

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