Matrox MicroQuad multiviewer
Thinking about products that made an impression on me in 2013, I must mention multiviewers. Multiviewers have been around for a few years, and have been quickly accepted in television broadcasting and production. With their ability to place multiple clear images on a single large-screen display, multiviewers have made designing control rooms simpler. The use of multiviewers also reduces power consumption and makes rooms simply look better.
So multiviewers are not new and have been popular in some parts of the television industry for some time. However, dropping prices now makes multiviewers and their benefits within reach of the most modest government operations. In addition, multiviewers are now growing in popularity for security monitoring systems. (Wait until you see the photo on the cover of the Jan. 2014 issue of Government Video magazine -- lots of multiviewer action there!)
Before multiviewers found their way into security system monitoring, control rooms were built the old-fashioned way using many small (and power-hungry) CRT displays. It is increasingly hard to find CRT displays, so the switch to LCD and other flatpanel technologies is coinciding with the increased use of multiviewers.
Maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake, but to me 2013 was a watershed year in the growth of multiviewers.
As always, feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. And happy new year!