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Although the vast majority of modern multiplexers are custom built stand alone units, there are a very limited number of specialist devices, which are based on standard PC type computers.
These are generally manufactured as a dedicated keyboard controlled desktop computer configuration, with some models offering the option of built in hard disc based digital video recording (in other words, they function as PC based DVR's).
Although they pretty much fulfil the same function as a normal 'boxed' multiplexer, the jury is still out as to whether this type, can offer any significant advantages or indeed disadvantages, over conventional models.
Sometimes jokingly referred to as Spleen Scritters , these analogue units are designed to allow two camera images to be displayed on a monitor at the same time.
Although now extremely difficult (if not impossible) to locate, the equipment can receive video pictures from two externally syncronised cameras, and allow a variable split, either horizontally or vertically in the displayed image.
Unlike a PIP unit which displays a small compressed full frame image in the main picture, the screen splitter works by allowing the operator to manually push away part of the main picture, to be replaced by the remainder of the second image.
This unit is generally useful for specialist applications, such as scientific research, where for example target position needs to be shown relatively on two axis at the same time.
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