COVID-19 Update

Matrox Video on its ConvertIP Transmitters and Receivers

We chat with Matrox Video’s Ron Berty about standards-driven technology and how it helps facilitate evolutionary systems development.

Leave a Comment

CI: Can you give a high-level overview of Matrox Video’s ConvertIP transmitters and receivers? 

Ron Berty: This is a new family of IPMX-ready AV-over-IP transmitters and receivers from Matrox. There are six models we launched at the start, and they come with a whole lot of flexibility with different baseband connections: HDMI, SDI, HDBaseT. Zero latency to almost no latency — so, less than a frame. And it supports both compressed and uncompressed solutions or transmission. So, all of this is also built on standards. That’s something we really believe in at Matrox — building on top of the standards. And they start with SMPTE 2110, NMOS and then finally IPMX. So, IPMX, while it’s not ratified, it will be shortly (or, at least, we certainly hope so). And we’re building with that in mind. So, it gives you a flexibility with the product line to be able to address multiple workflows with a single product or with the different products in the product line itself. So, that’s really what the core product line is all about — the core, high-level features. 

CI: Can you offer more detail on how ConvertIP transmitters and receivers remove limitations and address pain points? 

Berty: Well, that’s the whole idea here. That flexibility that we give with the product helps to remove the choices that the customer has to make. Because, with these products, we can do several different things — for example, uncompressed and compressed. We have JPEG XS and Calibri as compressed solutions at 1Gb and up to, say, 2.5Gb for JPEG XS. And then we have fully uncompressed. So, we give all that flexibility that solves customer problems with one product line. It really makes it a lot easier for them to do something where they don’t have to mix different products, from different manufacturers, to solve all the workflows, even in a given application. So, we do all of that together. 

And on top of that, because we’re building on standards, the idea is that you can get our products to potentially work with other products in the market, as well. So, you don’t just have to choose something from one manufacturer. You can hopefully, as the standards evolve and grow over time, get them to interoperate with each other, potentially under a single platform of software control. So, it gives you all the flexibility we spoke of before, but it gives you that additional opportunity to use best of breed from one manufacturer or from another. So, it really does give you a lot of options. And those are some of the pain points we’re hearing from customers today. They’re mentioning that they’re looking for something that works a little more flexibly and that’s a little more open with other products on the market. 

CI: How will ConvertIP transmitters and receivers help integrators and their clients extend system life over time? 

Berty: What we just spoke about leads well into this idea. In my mind, what we’ve been doing to date is working on generational installations. So, you know, you build an installation and it’s a generation and it sits and does what it does for a generation. And, yes, there are slight improvements here or there that get fixed by a given manufacturer that usually are working on that, as well — like, adding feature sets or whatever. But the same core principle lives in that infrastructure. So, at a certain point, that generation is removed, and we apply a new generation. So, you wipe everything out and put in a new installation. 

What’s different with ConvertIP is that standards approach. It’s a standard that’s going to grow over time — it’s going to be evolutionary instead of generational. So, as we build out the solution today, within maybe two years from now, maybe something needs to be added that’s not quite covered in it. So, the standard may introduce that, or maybe another manufacturer introduces a specific feature that meets your workflow. And now, you can build on top and bolt on that additional piece to your workflow…your installation…without removing the old generation and applying an entire new generation. 

So, it’s more much evolutionary than it is generational, and I think that’s really a big point of standards — being standards-based and growing over time. And I think that solves a lot of questions for integrators, systems installers and so on that are trying to build out solutions that aren’t just going to be good for today or tomorrow but actually can grow in much the same way the network did when it went from 1Gb, to 10Gb, to even 40Gb and 100Gb at this stage.