Knox Video Matrix
Image courtesy of Knox Video

The hospitality industry is booming with technological advances that help create the right atmosphere in any venue and give guests something better than the entertainment experience they can get at home. These ideas often come from the minds of the audio visual consultant, working with the hospitality owner to determine exactly what will make their customers go “Wow!” But then it’s all up to the audio visual design consultant to determine the best technology to choose to achieve what the creative minds have dreamed up.

More and more, today, that equipment includes large scale video matrices capable of sending the content from any source to any screen. These systems are complex, and the planning prior to systems integration takes time and research.

What is Not a Video Matrix?

You might think of the video matrix as the actual display screens, configured in a grid and hung next to each other so that you can display one single image on multiple screens or an individual image on each screen. But that’s not typically what audio visual integrators mean when we talk about a video matrix.

You might also have heard the terms “active matrix” or “passive matrix” displays. These are two types of LCD video display technologies. Most commercial venues today employ active matrix displays for better picture quality from any viewing angle and more accurate color reproduction.

In essence, a video matrix, if you see it on an equipment spec sheet from your audio visual consultant, is NOT:

– a grid of display screens

– the type of technology used inside your LCD or LED display screen

A video matrix, sometimes called a video matrix switcher or router, is actually a processor that helps supply any video screens, whether they stand alone or are part of a video wall, with the source material they broadcast. A video matrix includes a variety of inputs and outputs of different types so that you can send feeds to your screen or screens from a cable box, DirecTV box, DVD or Blu-Ray player, a computer, a digital signage system and more.

Instead of having separate connections for each screen, whether it’s part of a video wall or a stand-alone LED or plasma, each TV receives a feed from the video matrix, which is getting information from a variety of sources.

The catchphrase to remember when it comes to a video matrix is: “Any source to any screen.” If your entertainment venue requires these capabilities, your audio visual consultant might recommend one of these products to get the job done.