Datapath – X4 Display Controller
Datapath Ltd, the UK based professional graphics and imaging specialist, has announced the availability of its new stand alone Video Wall Controller and Multi Display adapter, the Datapath x4.
The Datapath x4 accepts a standard single or dual-link DVI video signal up to 4k x 4k resolution and provides four display outputs. Each output can arbitrarily view any part of the input image and apply frame rate conversion, up scaling, cropping and optional rotation for portrait display formats.
The Datapath x4 offers a flexible low cost way of building video walls. The Datapath x4 enables complex display wall arrangements for any mixture of landscape and portrait display formats. For larger video walls, multiple units can be combined together or used with Datapath’s Image4 graphics card to support up to 160 displays.
For digital signage applications the Datapath x4 provides ease of installation and setup with no need for on location programming.
Each of the four outputs can be driven as DVI or analog RGB, and can represent an arbitrary crop region of the origianl input image. The output resolution and frame rate does not need to be related of that of the input as the Datapath x4 will optionally upscale and convert frame rates, each cropped region independently. However, if the Datapath x4 detects that frame rates identically match, it will automatically genlock. Additionally, each output can be independently mirrored or rotated through 90°, 180° or 270° to support creative mixes of landscape and portrait monitors. The unit also supports bezel correction and overlap for edge blending.
At high resolution, DVI signals cannot normally be guaranteed beyond 5m cable interconnects due to the nature of the signal losses inherent in the DVI cables and connectors. Datapath have added active equalization hardware on the input to the x4 which is able to compensate for these losses and support cable lengths of up to 20m even at full dual-link resolutions (330MHz pixel clocks). Lower resolutions will allow even longer cable lengths.
Additionally, because different manufacturers cables can differ greatly in terms of losses, the Datapath x4 control application allows user configuration of the equalization levels to guarantee that any combination of input cable length and cable type can be adjusted for optimum quality.
This design improvement will allow more flexible positioning of the x4 controller relative to the source computer and the displays. With 5m output cables from the x4 to the monitors, it is possible to achieve a 25m span from the source to the display without the need for costly DVI extender hardware.
“With Datapath’ x4 you can use your imagination to create stunning display solutions for both video wall and signage applications, ” says Steve De’Ath, Research Director at Datapath. “You can build any combination of portrait and landscape display formats with overlap or bezel correction. The x4 is totally programmable, totally flexible.”