• Published , by Tom Devine

18Gbps Video and AVRs: Match made in Heaven, Or Hell?

If you are using a source that distributes the best of the best - Apple TV 4K, Roku Ultra, PlayStation 4 Pro, XBOX One X, Kaleidescape, UHD Blu-ray - you are getting an 18Gbps signal that can include audio versions 5.1, 7.1 or even Bitstream like Dolby Atmos or DTS-X. To distribute all those audio channels we utilize an Audio Video Receiver (AVR). The signal is distributed through the AVR, the audio then goes to the speakers, and the video goes to the display; this has been a flawless concept for years.

Introduction of 4K and HDR content

With the introduction of 4K and HDR the size of the video signal quadrupled. While the audio signal isn’t using very much of the bandwidth, the video signal is. When the AVR is receiving 1080p signals, the bandwidth is only around 4.5 Gbps at the most. A very manageable signal. The microchips that AVR manufactures are using to distribute the audio and video signals can have trouble when trying to pass 18Gbps because most were not built for this very high data rate. The audio remains in tact, but many times the AVR will not be able to output the 18Gbps 4K with HDR video signal and the consumer will have no picture on their screen.

What we know

In today's fast moving, high-bandwidth, video market there is often a need to send high bit-rate, bit stream audio into AVRs to take advantage of audio advances like Dolby Atmos or DTS-X.  The problem is the AVRs, while especially well suited for audio, lack the robust ability to manage high-bandwidth HDR video. 

How do we Fix This?

AVPro has designed a low cost switch that allows you to side step this problem with the AC-MX42-AUHD. A 4 input, 2 out matrix switcher built to handle 4K and HDR. This simple little switch will allow you bypass full, un-scaled, uncompressed video on to displays or projectors and simultaneously down-scale one output to lower bandwidth video while maintaining the original untouched audio codecs, making it ideal for sending this second HDMI signal into an AVR. 

Take a look at this diagram:

Using this method you can send your AVR a 1080p signal with unimpeded audio, and a 4K signal directly to the display without have to go through the AVR.

This solution is already being used by hundreds of integrators around the world, if you need more info on AVR solutions or getting yourself a AC-MX42-AUHD don’t hesitate to give us a call at 877-886-5112!


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