Peer Review :Kramer VP-23 Presentation Switcher

Reviewed by: Mark Faye, Sales Manager, AVL Ireland based in Dublin Ireland. Systems integrators working the hotel and retail markets

What I like about it:

The main thing I like about the VP-23 is the range of inputs and outputs available. It’s more than sufficient for most conference or boardroom installations. Each of the video inputs / outputs also comes paired with an accompanying unbalanced audio channel.
Another great feature is the microphone input. This carries an auto mute mode that allows the microphone input signal to mute the other audio outputs once the microphone senses noise.
Ease of use is important in the markets we work in, especially in the conference rooms when you never know who is going to be operating the equipment. It could be a twenty year old IT wizard or a 60 year old technophobe. The front panel has large buttons for input and output selection, four each for audio and video outputs. The microphone also has a separate volume control to the audio level for simplicity.
The VP-23 also accepts RS-232 commands making integration with our other systems easy. We use a lot of Cue control, but you could also happily talk to AMX or Crestron over 232, whatever you need to do the job.
Generally I’ve found the product to be very hard working and reliable. We’ve had some installed with customers for two – three years in some venues and had no need for service or replacement.

What I would change:

For what it’s meant to do I don’t think there’s much wrong with it. HD compatibility has been added in a recent revision of the product, so that covers that base. You can always ask for more inputs and outputs, but for the market this is aimed at, and what we use it for, four in / out is ample especially with the matching audio channels.
One thing that it would benefit from would be some in built scaling functionality, but then you’d probably be looking at a far more expensive finished product. If scaling is required Kramer have plenty of other products.

I recently used it:

At a couple of new Days Inn installations in the Republic of Ireland. We used it in some conference facilities, which are rented out to corporate clients. The box forms the heart of the AV system providing source selection and control of a media system. Sources include laptop inputs and DVD playback, and the outputs are to a data / video projection system and some auxiliary plasma displays. The whole thing is tied together with Cue control, as with most of our systems, so we use the RS-232 serial port.
We’ve done other work for Days down the years, and used VP-23 on numerous occasions and as usual we’ve found it to be a reliable, comprehensive solution for the job.

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