AMX Enova DVX 4K — AV.technology
New product, new look, new life for AMX.
Review:/ Christopher Holder
At one point in the not too distant past, news of a new Enova DVX switcher would have been nested in among a dozen or more other new AMX product releases — more I/O, more features, yadda yadda.
Now? Well, now an addition to the DVX range is a big deal. Not only is it the first ground-up new product release from AMX in some time, it foreshadows something of what Harman has planned for not only AMX but a number of other AV stablemates, including BSS, Crown and dbx.
In other words, if you squint hard enough you can see something of the Harman Pro future in this product.
But before we start reading the tea leaves, let’s take a look at the product itself.
Actually, there are two new products, the 8×4+2 DVX-3266-4K and 6×2+1 DVX-2265-4K. They combine full 4K60 4:4:4 video support with a Crown DriveCore amplifier and BSS Audio signal processing, as well as Dante and AES67 support. Both all-in-one presentation switchers work with DXLink transmitters and receivers for the distribution of full 4K60 4:4:4 over longer distances (up to 100m over standard category cable). Legacy DXLink transmitters and receivers will also play nicely with the new DVX, albeit for the transport of HD signal.
Around the back, the six microphone inputs are joined by the DXLink ports which support video, USB 2.0, audio, network, power and control over a single cable. It’s worth noting that the DXLink inputs and outputs on the new DVX models are compatible with standard HDBaseT devices such as cameras and projectors allowing direct connections without additional equipment.
“if you squint hard enough you can see something of the Harman Pro future in this product.”
The DVX front panel is designed for some basic set up and system interrogation tasks but the work of the integrator will be done on the refreshed HTML5 web interface. The GUI combined with the ICSLan private network and auto-binding DXLink endpoints, makes setup easier.
AUDIO LEADS WAY
Bringing 4K/60 4:4:4 capabilities into the DVX family is significant but hardly surprising. The HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 support is most welcome and means all those millions of UHD pixels will now be more easily addressed.
But I’d argue it’s the audio features that make the new DVX product generationally important.
For starters, there’s that onboard 120W Crown DriveCore amplifier capable of driving 8 Ohm or 70/100V speakers. The DSP processing comes courtesy of BSS, while dbx’s Advanced Feedback Suppression also makes an appearance. Want more audio versatility? With Dante and AES67 support, users can easily integrate with a whole world of product for additional processing and routing capabilities.
There’s no AEC onboard. Echo cancellation does place a big load on the DSP overhead, and the thinking is probably that the VC platforms the DVX encounters — multi source, multi display environments that combines hard or soft codec conference systems and a bunch of microphones — will already have advanced echo cancellation. That said, there will certainly be some demand for onboard AEC and one suspects there’s room for a more powerful (and expensive) DVX addition to the range in the future.
All up, it’s a formidable audio armoury.
NEW LOOK. NEW LIFE
Cosmetically, the new DVX product is smart and adheres to a different AMX aesthetic. Harman marketing tells me that we should get accustomed to the colour — this is the new AMX charcoal for all new product releases.
Overall, the package represents a tantalising glimpse of the future for familiar brands such as BSS and dbx. One version of the Harman future might see these brands appearing as bit-part players in other devices; footnotes on a spec sheet that subliminally provide reassurance (‘BSS processing’ sounds more impressive than just ‘processing’, after all).
The other version of the Harman Pro future — the one many of us would prefer to see — is for a device like this to reinvigorate the likes of BSS and dbx — suggesting that BSS engineers are indeed working on new product rather than Harman milking the last drop of credibility from the name. For BSS and dbx to produce new standalone product would be a red letter day, just as it is a red letter day to see this new AMX product.
All up, it’s a good day for the AMX tribe.
WHERE’S THE SVSI?
With network audio (Dante) as standard on the new DVX box, why not AMX’s own network AV protocol? We asked Graham Barrett (Manager, Strategic Partnerships for Harman Professional Solutions) just that.
Graham Barrett: It’s definitely a question we get asked. But let’s take a look at what the new DVX boxes are rather than what they aren’t. They’re a hugely powerful all-in-one 2U presentation switcher that if you had to put together using network AV and external devices would fill a big chunk of your rack. So, to me, DVX demonstrates that there’s still a significant place for an in-room device such as this.
The big benefits of networked AV — asymmetrical matrix situations and running long distances — aren’t such an issue in a boardroom or lecture theatre, which is the heartland of the DVX. In fact, when you look at most boardrooms and lecture theatres, DVX is the more efficient and economical approach.
Is SVSI and networked AV the future? Yes, and Harman is committed to it. But this new product shows Harman is also committed to the more ‘traditional’ AV of HDMI transport. The problems DVX solves aren’t going away, which is why this is an important new product release.