DVI Switchers grant multiple source signals to be transmitted to compatible displays. When DVI first came out, the intention was to create an industry standard for transmitting digital video content. Since then, HDMI and HDBaseT have also been developed; however DVI is still widely used. DVI supports multiple modes including digital only (DVI-D), analog only (DVI-A) and digital/analog (DVI-I). Keep in mind these formats when selecting a DVI Switcher for your application.
Let’s also cover Single Link and Dual Link cables and devices including DVI Switchers. Why? Knowing Single Link and Dual Link capabilities will allow knowledge of resolution compatibility. The main difference with dual link versus single link is the refresh rate. Let us use WUXGA, with a single link can output 1920 x 1200 at 60Hz versus WUXGA with a dual link outputting 1920 x 1200 at 120Hz. These numbers translate to a better resolution, higher refresh rate and better quality with dual link in this scenario. Keep in mind that there are very few devices that use dual link. Using dual link cables and devices for single link units offers no advantage.
Getting back to DVI Switchers, let’s cover the different classifications they are made in. The most basic is a simple DVI switcher compromised with 4 DVI inputs and 1 DVI output. This unit comes in as a single link unless otherwise indicated. Another type is a fixed input/output DVI matrix switch, which may come in a chassis for a 4x4, 8x8, 16x16 and 32x32 or more. A modular DVI matrix switcher allows the end-user to customize the chassis with how many inputs or outputs is installed. This type allows flexibility to start small and add on to the chassis as needed. Lastly, Seamless DVI matrix switchers with PIP(picture in picture) feature. These units are advanced and provide high performance scaling of standard definition, HDTV, as well as computer-video sources to high resolutions, including HDTV. With true seamless switching between inputs and selectable transition effects, professional presentations are viewed as high quality.
Manufacturers today have been ambitious in designing and developing high quality DVI switchers. Many of these units have a standardized EDID management system equipped friendly to integrators. EDID communication between connected devices is a staple many great brands are featuring with their DVI switchers. Control is as simple as the front panel buttons, IR, IP or RS232 for these products. We carry DVI switchers from Industry leading manufacturers such as Atlona, Gefen, Kramer Electronics, Avenview, Shinybow, Matrox Video, Smart AVI, Vanco, TVOne and Hall Research. One of our knowledgeable representatives can answer any questions regarding choosing the right DVI Switcher for your application.