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datapath x4 vs matrox triple head


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We are looking for an alternative to the matrox triple head units and have heard the datapath x4 is a good option with more advanced features.

Does anyone have much experience with these units who can share their opinions and inform of any any positives or negatives in comparison?

I am sure these must be considerably more expensive than the matrox but are they worth the premium?

These would be part of the general hire stock, primarily for multi screen blends but the x4 does like it could offer solutions to a number of additional challenges. (could the x4 split an image 3ways like the matrox and output the full image on the last channel for preview?)

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I use both and its a bit apples and oranges.


the matrox thtg takes a extreme wide image and divides it into equal thirds and is very timited in resolutions in and out. its got a history of overheating and can be troublesome to get the graphics card putting out the right thing. It does no more than that, but if thats what you need it does it well and pretty cheap.


the X4 is a box with dvi d in and 4 dvi I outs. it will work at any resolution up to 4K and you can scale any portion of the input to each output including overlaps and rotations. If you want you can have 4 completely different output settings. Its happy on the output of a scaler or bluray hdmi or similar and once its setup its solid. It does much more than the thtg but you pay for it.


neither unit does blending, but with the x4 you can generate the overlaps required to use any onboard blending , and the blend can live downstream of any switching. or even straight after a blue ray. you could for instance use 3 xga midrange projectors with onboard blending, with portrait deflector mirrors to do a triple blend using the x4 to rotate the outputs and scale and overlap. this would effectively give you a bright short throw hd unit that accepted a standard 1080p signal . the possibilities are endless....


The downside is that whilst the matrox is plug and playish, the x4 needs programmed and its not that straightforward in the paramaters for the outputs need set, the simple answer is to plug a display into output 1, capture the edid and copy the stettings to the other outputs, or dont fiddle with the output settings enless you understand what you are doing.


We have both in our hirestock, but neither are really stand alone dry hire items, normally going out as part of a system to people who know what they are doing.



finally in asnswer to the question, yes, ive used it numerous times like that .. 1080p in with only the centre used, split into 3 xgas with 20% overlaps with the 4th output @ 1080 for preview. also need to obviously point out that we sell datapath...














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Thank you very much for that very informative reply. Exactly the kind of stuff we need to know.


As you say, these are not really intended as stand alone dry hire items but would be available as part of systems.

I've not looked at the pricing of the x4 yet so that will be interesting. Obviously we expect them to be considerably more expensive than the thtg but hopefully a justifiable difference.

Part of the reason for considering the change is the high failure rate we have encountered with the matrox units. Glitches and even total failures have happened enough times now for there to be concern regarding their reliability.

Regarding the programming of the x4; how is it done? Can it be done directly on the x4 or does it require a control computer to reach the x4 settings? Personally I prefer kit which caters for both; the built-in interface often being clumsy yet handy and the computer interface offering much more detailed and usable control.


Interesting to hear you cover datapath products, not a problem at all. In fact, would you be the person to speak to if we wanted to try a demo? Ideally with a demo unit on a reasonably long term evaluation.

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