Crestron® DM® Switchers provide the foundation for a complete DigitalMedia™ system, delivering an advanced 4K ultra high-definition AV signal routing solution that's extremely flexible and installer-friendly. The DM-MD8X8 affords ultra fast switching and pure, lossless distribution of HDMI® and other signals to support all the digital media players, HDTV receivers, computers, cameras, and display devices that fill any modern home or commercial facility. DigitalMedia thoughtfully manages all of the disparate AV signals and devices to deliver a transparent user experience, and to ensure an optimum video image and audio signal at every location.
The DM-MD8X8 is field-configurable to handle up to eight AV sources of virtually any type. The outputs are also field-configurable to provide up to eight DM, HDBaseT®, and/or HDMI outputs, or up to four H.264 streaming outputs, in a single chassis. A full selection of DM switcher input and output cards, DM transmitters, and DM receivers provides extensive connectivity throughout a residence or commercial facility, supporting a complete range of analog and digital signal types — all through one switcher!
Integrated Ethernet networking and USB distribution provide a complete connectivity solution combined with built-in Crestron control  for managing the displays and other room devices without necessitating any additional wiring. User-friendly operation, setup, and troubleshooting tools are provided through the DM-MD8X8 front panel, or via Crestron Toolbox™ software, to make setting up a complete multiroom 4K video distribution system easy.
4K Ultra HD
Crestron DigitalMedia continues to advance the standard for digital AV signal distribution, delivering the world’s first end-to-end 4K system solution. From day one, the DM-MD8X8 was designed to meet the extreme bandwidth requirements for handling 4K and Ultra HD video signals. Support for 4K video also ensures support for the latest generation of computers and monitors with native resolutions beyond 1080p and WUXGA.
To configure a DM switcher complete with input and output cards, cables, and other peripherals, please use the DigitalMedia Switcher Configuration Tool.
As the leader in HDMI and control system technologies, Crestron developed DigitalMedia (DM) to deliver the first complete HD AV distribution system to take HDMI to a higher level. DigitalMedia allows virtually any mix of HDMI and other AV sources to be distributed throughout a room, building, or campus. The latest generation of DM is called DigitalMedia 8G (DM 8G®). Engineered for ultra high-bandwidth and ultimate scalability, DM 8G provides a true one-wire lossless transport for moving high-definition video, audio, Ethernet, and control signals over a choice of twisted pair or fiber optic cable.
DM 8G handles uncompressed Full HD 1080p, Ultra HD, 2K, and 4K video signals with support for 3D, Deep Color, and HDCP 2.2M. Audio capabilities include the simultaneous distribution of stereo and multichannel surround sound signals, with support for high-bitrate 7.1 audio formats like Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby Atmos®, and DTS-HD Master Audio™ as well as uncompressed linear PCM. All signals are transported over one CAT type twisted pair cable or one strand of multimode or single-mode fiber. DM 8G enables wire distances up to 330 feet (100 m) via DM 8G+® (DM 8G over twisted pair copper wire) [4,9], 1000 feet (300 m) via DM 8G Fiber (DM 8G over multimode fiber) [5,9], or 7.5 miles (12 km) via DM 8G SM Fiber (DM 8G over single-mode fiber) [6,9].
The DM-MD8X8 provides full support for Crestron DM 8G devices as well as all first-generation DM CAT [7,9] and DM Fiber [8,9] products, letting you take advantage of the latest Crestron DM 8G technology without compromising your existing investment.
Crestron DigitalMedia 8G+® technology is designed using HDBaseT Alliance specifications, ensuring interoperability with other HDBaseT certified products. Via DM 8G+, the DM-MD8X8 can be connected directly to an HDBaseT compliant device without requiring a DM transmitter or receiver.
High-performance H.264 streaming capability enables enterprise-wide distribution of HD content over an IP network. Streaming expands the capabilities of DM to remove all distance limitations and allow distribution to virtually any device — anywhere in the world. Streaming is an essential component of any complete DM system, allowing for high-definition signal routing to Crestron touch screens, digital signage displays, remote buildings, and global offices without requiring any new or dedicated wiring. Large-scale streaming to computers and mobile devices can be facilitated through integration with a streaming media system such as Wowza® or Kaltura®.
DigitalMedia with streaming affords the ability to distribute any combination of sources to virtually any device anywhere. Each streaming output supports resolutions up to HD 1080p at bitrates up to 25 Mbps. Built-in scaling enables fast, trouble-free switching between sources of any type or resolution up to 1080p or WUXGA. Audio support includes stereo signals, as well as multichannel audio signals downmixed to stereo via any "DSP" type input card. High-quality video and audio is maintained using high-performance H.264 video and AAC audio compression. The encoded video and audio can be output as independent RTP streams or encapsulated in an MPEG-TS (MPEG-2 Transport Stream) container. HDCP management ensures that protected content cannot be distributed via streaming.
Each streaming output is actually fed internally by two separate switcher outputs, allowing any two input sources to appear picture-in-picture or side-by-side in a single stream. Instant, single-frame switching between two full screen images is also possible. The audio signals from both input sources can also be mixed, allowing both signals to be heard simultaneously.
The DM-MD8X8 can receive streaming signals as well as transmit them. Streaming input capability enables IP cameras and other H.264 encoded sources to be distributed via DigitalMedia alongside HDMI and other non-streaming sources. It also allows DM switchers to be bridged together across a campus or around the world, enabling simplified routing of HD content between buildings and global offices.
DigitalMedia provides many deployment options to address a wide range of streaming applications and accommodate each organization's specific IT requirements. DM with streaming supports both unicast and multicast, with or without RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol). Streaming connections can be configured to stream directly to one or more specific IP addresses, or to use RTSP to manage the configuration of numerous connections automatically. Any streaming input or output may be configured to stream via the DM switcher's LAN port or via a dedicated "CONTENT LAN" port, allowing the option to combine control and content on a single network or isolate them onto separate networks.
The DM-MD8X8 features a modular architecture with 8 input card slots, and 4 dual output card slots. Each card slot on the DM-MD8X8 is field-installable, allowing for easy and flexible system configuration with the ability to make changes to the system as needs change. A wide selection of input cards is offered to support a complete range of digital and analog AV signal types including HDMI, DVI, Dual-Mode DisplayPort , SDI, RGB/VGA and analog video, SPDIF and analog audio, HDBaseT, H.264 streaming, and all types of DigitalMedia. Available outputs include all types of DigitalMedia, as well as HDBaseT, HDMI, analog audio, and H.264 streaming.
An HDMI "pass-through" output is provided on every input card to allow the inputs of up to 5 DM switchers to be daisy-chained, enabling the configuration of very large distribution systems with many outputs. Using five DM-MD8X8 switchers, it is possible to support up to 40 separate outputs.
Handling high-definition digital media means handling HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), the encryption scheme that content providers use to protect their DVDs, Blu-ray™ discs, and broadcast signals against unauthorized copying. Viewing HDCP encrypted content requires a source device to "authenticate" each display and signal processor in the system and issue it a "key" before the content can be viewed. Ordinarily this causes a complete loss of signal for up to 15 seconds each time a new source or display is selected anywhere in the system. To make matters worse, every source device has a limited number of keys available, so connect too many displays and the source will simply stop outputting a signal without warning.
Not to worry — Crestron QuickSwitch HD manages the keys for every HDCP-compliant device in the system, maintaining continuous authentication for each device to ensure fast, reliable routing of any source to any number of display devices.
Crestron Auto-Locking Technology enables super fast signal switching by instantaneously configuring every device in the signal path as soon as the signal hits the first device. Whether switching between sources or TV channels, Auto-Locking significantly reduces the time it takes each device to sense the new signal and configure itself to handle the changes, virtually eliminating any noticeable gap while switching.
EDID Format Management
With all of today's varied AV sources comes a multitude of confusing video and audio formats to keep track of, and chances are not every device in your system supports all of the same formats. Such conflicts can wreak havoc any time you route one source to more than one display or audio component. The media source feeding your 1080p or Ultra HD projector in the theater may restrict itself to a lower resolution, or even shut off completely, if someone decides to view the same signal on a smaller TV in another room. And, instead of enjoying your theater's incredible 7.1 surround sound, you may find yourself limited to 5.1 or even plain old stereo.
DigitalMedia eliminates such conflicts by managing the EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) that modern digital devices use to communicate their capabilities. Via Crestron Toolbox software, the format and resolution capabilities of each device can be assessed, allowing the installer to configure EDID signals appropriately for the most desirable and predictable behavior.
A Scaler for Every Display
High-performance scaling capability can be added to any DM system using select output cards and DM receivers with built in HD and 4K scalers. By placing an independent scaler at every display device, DigitalMedia truly delivers the most flexible and user-friendly solution for routing multiple disparate sources to many different display devices. This "Distributed Scaler Approach" ensures an optimal image on every screen no matter what sources are selected. Distributed scaling allows a high-res computer source to be viewed on any display in the building. It also allows an SD, HD, or Ultra HD video source to be viewed simultaneously on the 4K display in your theater and on lower-resolution displays throughout the house.
Versatile Audio Routing
HDMI is the key to handling 7.1 surround sound formats like Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, and DTS-HD Master Audio. Great for your high-end home theater, but how do you share that same source with other audio zones in the house?
DigitalMedia provides the answer, allowing for the simultaneous distribution of multichannel surround sound and two-channel stereo signals from the same HDMI source. Using a choice of "DSP" type input cards, the DM-MD8X8 employs onboard digital processing to derive a stereo downmix from the original multichannel signal. Both signals can be routed separately or simultaneously from any of the switcher's DM outputs, allowing either signal to be selected for output at each DM receiver location.
Back at the switcher, the digital stereo signal is also converted to analog to enable sharing with every other room in the house via a Sonnex® Multiroom Audio System or any other audio distribution system. The DM-MD8X8 also allows surround sound processors and amplifiers to be located centrally instead of at the display location via optional local HDMI outputs.
Built-in Ethernet Switch
In addition to transporting digital video and audio, DigitalMedia can also extend 10/100 Ethernet out to each display and source device via select DM receivers and transmitters, providing high-speed connectivity for any room device that requires a LAN connection. Ethernet is also utilized internally by the Crestron control bus to manage the DM devices in the system and provide display control in each room.
Private Network Mode
To streamline its implementation on a corporate or university LAN, the DM-MD8X8 employs Private Network Mode to provide a single-point connection for the complete system. Using Private Network Mode, the DM-MD8X8 requires just one IP address for the complete DM network including all connected DM receivers and transmitters.
USB Signal Routing
Along with video, audio, and Ethernet, DigitalMedia also provides for the routing of USB HID (Human Interface Device) signals, allowing a USB HID compliant keyboard and/or mouse at one location to control a computer or media server at another location. USB HID connectivity is provided through select DM receivers, transmitters, and input cards.
Crestron also offers USB extenders to enable the routing of virtually any type of USB peripheral to any host device, all managed through the DigitalMedia system. Connect a USB over Ethernet Extender host module (USB-EXT-DM-LOCAL ) to each computer, media server, game system, annotator, and any other host that you want to control or communicate with. Then, install a device module (USB-EXT-DM-REMOTE ) at every display location to connect keyboards, mice, game controllers, whiteboards, flash drives, Web cameras, and mobile devices. Every module communicates with the DM switcher over the local Ethernet network or via a direct connection to the LAN port of a DM transmitter or receiver.CEC
Embedded Device Control
The primary objective of every Crestron system is to enable precisely the control desired for a seamless user experience. DigitalMedia provides an alternative to conventional IR and RS-232 device control by harnessing the CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) signal embedded in HDMI. Through its connection to the control system, the DM-MD8X8 provides a gateway for controlling many devices right through their HDMI or HDBaseT connections, potentially eliminating the need for any dedicated control wires or IR emitters.
Via the front panel or using Crestron Toolbox software, every step of the DM-MD8X8's setup process is designed to be quick and easy, configuring inputs and outputs automatically while letting the installer make intelligent design decisions along the way. The switcher even tests and measures the length of each DM cable, automatically making the appropriate calibrations for optimal signal transmission to every room. With DigitalMedia, an entire 8x8 system can be commissioned in under an hour.
To configure a DM switcher complete with input and output cards, cables, and other peripherals, please use the DigitalMedia Switcher Configuration Tool.
Are you upgrading an existing DM switcher that has older “multi-gang” DMCO-series output cards? Use the online Output Card Additions and Upgrades Tool to update your existing output cards and switcher to the new “single-gang” output card format.
Please refer to the DigitalMedia Resources Webpage at http://www.crestron.com/dmresources/ for additional design tools and reference documents.