Form Factors, Specifications, and More
Before we discuss tje performance issues, we need to look at what each side is actually offering. After all, a high level of performance is a bit of a moot point if a device lacks the capability for which you're looking. The Crestron shootout compared Extron's DXP with a Crestron DMPS and AMX Enova. It's a fair comparison on the Crestron/AMX side; each is an "all-in-one" unit comprised of a digital video switcher, audio mixer, and control system, each has HDBaseT (Crestron's DM 8G+ and AMX's DXLink) inputs and outputs, local HDMI inputs and outputs, and a variety of analog video inputs.
The Extron device, on the other hand, is a simple HDMI matrix. It lacks the audio breakaway, integrated control processor, and integrated amplifier of the other products. Reviewing the devices for actual design into a system, I'd completely ignore Extron on this one. They have their places, but this sadly isn't one of them.
So far as Crestron and AMX are concerned, in form-factor and capabilities it's very close. AMX has an edge in that they have an onboard scaler for each local output as well as scalers integrated into all of their DXLink receivers. Crestron has a scaling receiver option, but you'd need to add an external scaler if you want to scale your local output. Crestron does have an option with built-in acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) for conferencing applications. I've not had the opportunity to test this, but it's an intriguing option for small conference rooms and might sometimes save the need for a full DSP.
AMX also claims one more advantage; energy use. The DGX and DVX are presented as being more energy efficient than competitors. They have their own comparison tool, the DVX Energy Calculator which compares a DVX to a conventional system and a "non-AMX Presentation Switcher". It's pretty much an open secret that the non-AMX PS is a Crestron DMPS. AMX claims about a 4:1 power savings in active mode and over 10:1 in standby mode - a big issue considering that these units will usually be always on. (Why are they always on? Because the control processor is built in. If you power it down, there's no way for the system to power itself back up!) With today's increased emphasis on sustainable technology this should be an issue, the lack of an Energy Star of similar certification or the ability to earn LEED points makes it a harder case to make, even though it is a real advantage.
|A test set-up at Crestron's training facility|
About those Videos
I'm not getting into Extron's accusations of outright cheating; I'm not a forensic video analyst, I am disinterested in engaging in a frame-by-frame analysis, and as I said, it's an apples to oranges comparison.
|The innards of an AMX Enova DVX|
I don't have one as of yet. We have, at the very least, two great products from two great companies. Performance between Crestron DM and AMX Enova is close enough that "one switches faster" is most likely not going to be the deciding factor, but simply one factor amongst many. The videos should be taken as what they are: marketing. Would there be value in an independent "shootout"? Perhaps, but as stated before, that ignores real difference in form, capabilities, power consumption, and other factors. Going farther, in a larger install these systems would be part of a larger infrastructure, including control programming, remote asset management, and other factors.
Is it ironic that the discussion of Extron's video lead to a discussion of everyone but Extron?