Enttec DMX USB Open Source Interface Overview

If you have questions regarding Enttec’s DMX to USB Interface enclosures, you’re not alone. We are frequently asked about the differences between the Enttec DMX USB Pro and Enttec Open and what new features the Enttec Pro MK2 has to offer.

The first difference between the two products is the price point. The Enttec USB Pro is generally priced about $100 higher than the Enttec, which is a fairly big difference for most of us.The features that are offered in the Pro version may or may not be worth the extra money depending on your application. Following is a summary of the main features for each product:

The Enttec USB Pro offers both a DMX input and output connector; the Enttec Open has just has the DMX output only. The DMX output will be all you need in most cases, but for larger applications that require more than 512 DMX channels then you will have to link up another DMX interface.

Another feature that the Enttec Pro has to offer is an integrated microprocessor installed within your interface. TheEnttec Open does not come with a microprocessor and will solely depend on your computers performance while it is operating the software. If the computer being used to operate your show is slow, or has multiple programs running at one time, then it may compromise the stability of your DMX output. If your computer performance is slow, you’ll see flickering and instability in your light show.

A personal favorite, the Enttec Pro has built in voltage isolation and the Enttec Open does not. The reason I like this feature is because it protects my computer, which cost a whole lot more than the interface. If there is a problem in your DMX line such as a short circuit or a power surge in your fixtures then your computer will not be affected.

The voltage that gets kicked back into the interface will be completely isolated saving your computer from damage. If that were to happen with the Enttec Open then chances are that your computer will not survive the power surge.

Enttec DMX USB Pro vs Enttec Pro 2 MK2

The Enttec USB Pro has become the most popular interface in the market today. It’s a very stable and reliable interface that you can use with any software of your choice. Even after 5 years on the market, it continues to be a best-seller.

Enttec has an additional version of the DMX to USB interface, called the Enttec Pro 2 MK2.

There’s only a difference of about $50 between the two interfaces, but the MK2 is loaded with a hefty amount of new features that provide a lot of value at a relatively low cost.

The Enttec Pro comes equipped with 1 universe for a total of 512 DMX channels and the MK2 has 2 universes for a total of 1024 DMX channels. The MK2 also has a better and faster microprocessor than the Enttec pro.

Another notable difference is that the MK2 comes with a DB15 breakout cable that translates to DMX 3-pin and it allows you to have 1 DMX in and 1 DMX out at the same time. This is very useful if your application requires a DMX input.

The MK2 is also fully compatible with Midi, and Enttec offers a cable that you can purchase called the flying harness for DMX and Midi. That way you can directly plug in Midi and have full control over your fixtures through Midi board.

The MK2 also has stand-alone capability whichis very convenient because you don’t have to buy a DMX recorder or a separate stand-alone interface because this feature is already included.

The Enttec Pro MK2 is also more aesthetically pleasing than the previous model. It features a slim-profile CNC machined aluminum box. The best part is that the price difference is only $50 dollars. You are definitely getting what you are paying for with this unit. You will get a whole universe of DMX channels along with all of the new features that are included.

Summary of Open Source DMX USB Interface

All three versions of Entec’s interface are quality products. You just have to know your application what’s required to achieve your desired outcome. The Enttec Open is perfect for a small set-up as long as your computer can handle the load. The Pro is perfect for any application doesn’t require more than 512 DMX channels. The MK2 is perfect for anything and it will facilitate your experience with DMX if you haven’t had much practice.

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