Switching and intelligent routing are critical in any multi-room studio
environment, but switchers aren’t at all inexpensive. PESA Switching
Systems, however, has broken the price barrier for quality standard
definition switchers with its Premiere Matrix Switcher.
Users won’t want for inputs; this box provides 8, 12 and 16 inputs,
perfect for any small- to mid-level production team. If more inputs are
required, multiple devices may be linked together for additional
control. USB 2.0, RS-232, Ethernet, Y/C, RGB, four-channel audio and
stereo audio per channel round out the I/O of this box very nicely. The
Premiere switcher is compatible with NTSC, PAL and SECAM signals.
PESA hasn’t moved far away from the norm- switching is straightforward
and easy. Where this departs from other switchers in its class is its
simplicity, remote control capability and price point.
Laid out logically, with clear, removable button caps for easy
labeling, the system takes about five minutes to figure out without the
owner’s manual. The owner’s manual, which happens to be one of the best
I’ve seen, is only required to delve deeply into the macro settings of
the box, which allow users to set up fast switching for standard
setups. The macro settings allow for 192 possible combinations (16
sources plus 16 destinations x six levels). Macro settings are only
created via the software graphic user interface that you’ll need to
load onto your computer. However, macros may be executed at the device.
Matched to a remote touchscreen in a school, church or convention
facility, no matter the level of user comprehension, this is an easy
device to configure and use. If a studio with multiple sources and
destinations just glances quickly at the GUI, they will most likely not
use the remote software. But in truth, some aspects of the router are
much more precisely set up using the GUI. Larger event facilities will
appreciate the network/Ethernet capabilities of the system, allowing
units in various rooms to be controlled via a computer and network
switch or hub.
Video connections are BNC and audio connections are bare-wire
connectors, requiring field stripping of all audio connections. While
this is common, what’s missing here is a harness support, so you’ll
want to configure the rack to support a wiring harness independent of
Mixed sources may be accessed by selecting one of three input controls-
All, Video or Audio allows multiplexing. A useful feature is that the
system always remembers its last command. The backlit green indicator
buttons also make it easy to spot setups in a dark editing room.
The one area in which this device stumbles a bit is in the actual
construction. The middle sections of the metal enclosure aren’t
supported, and the sheet metal isn’t thick enough to support any weight
placed on the middle of the enclosure. Additionally, the middle segment
of the audio connectors does not feel as solid as equipment of this
caliber should. Perhaps a screw to hold the circuit board in the center
would be an improvement.
Signal Types: CV, Y/C, RGB, RGsB, RGBS, RGBHV,
Component HDTV, stereo or mono audio
Video: 8, 12, 16 inputs; 4, 8, 16 outputs; 75 Ohms; BNC connector; < -65dB (Vin =0.7V, 100 percent IRE) signal to noise ratio.
Audio: 8, 12, 16 inputs; 4,8, 16 outputs; 18K Ohms input impedance; 50 Ohms output impedance; balanced or unbalanced; < - 100dB (20 to 20kHz, Vin +20dBu) signal to noise ratio.