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How to Simplify AV over IP (AVoIP) and IP Video?

By Alan Williams, Director of Layer II Systems at Premiere Communications & Consulting, Inc.

In Premiere’s third and final series, Where do You see Network Convergence and Internet of Things( IoT) Affecting your Business in the Next 2-4 Years, we’ll be examining AV over IP (AVoIP) and IP Video design, which is a growing trend in overcoming the finite inputs and outputs on switcher frames characterizing current AV technology. As made evident in part 1 (PoE and LED lighting) and part 2 (5G readiness), IP network convergence and IoT is taking the enterprise business to new heights of efficiency, productivity, and long-term cost savings. Likewise, these IP and network convergence benefits also pertain to the development of AV systems for training and meeting rooms where the outcome of those meetings can have significant implications on Top Line Revenue!

 

There are a lot of slick AV options with myriad bells and whistles available on the market. However, we at Premiere have noticed over the years a significant lack of use by clients who invest in this overly complex type of AV technology. We’ve also witnessed a varying inconsistency in the user experience. On some occasions, we’ve even seen clients having to assign specific personnel to manage these complex rooms for general usage and to facilitate the set-up for meetings, which should be easy and fast AV processes.

Essentially, these constraints are due to an AV system’s lack of flexibility and scalability to accommodate the changing needs of the company/enterprise, as well as the capability to scale bandwidth as we’re heading to 4K Ultra High-Density (UHD) and 8K video. Furthermore, many AV solutions pigeonhole the system into particular configurations, often demanding more and more transmitters and receivers for expansion, thereby making the system continually cost prohibitive and difficult to control and manage.

With IP technology and convergence, companies can now enjoy the freedom to design, configure, and reconfigure their AV systems to meet their ideal vision and needs with virtually no limitations in distribution and switching. Whether requiring a highly sophisticated system for large conference and board rooms, wanting an HDBASE-T wireless set-up via multiple laptop and wall-mounted monitors for smaller collaborative spaces, or whatever the specific ideal configuration may be, standard Ethernet and IP technology can deliver that perfect AV solution.

The benefit of extending the AV function onto the network also makes for a more efficient, flexible, and cost effective method of sharing ideas, and information. This ultimately provides the business with another means of effective planning, while enhancing productivity and streamlining processes for maximum IT efficiency.

AV over IP & IP Video Explained

“This technology will save time in meetings, thus increasing productivity, while at the same time elevating the end user experience.” – John Marr, Jacobs Engineering

Put simply, AVoIP is about sending uncompressed audio and video information over standard IP mediums. It also means encoding the sources and streaming the content with some compression to mitigate bitrate over IP mediums. Ultimately, it means providing extension and switching of video and audio sources over standard IP.

This IP convergence means inputs and outputs anywhere and everywhere in a formerly confined signal path world. It simplifies AV design by requiring an encoder at each source device and a decoder at each destination device. With SVSI-AMX technology, the encoders and decoders range from lower bandwidth H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) compression to high-bandwidth JPEG2000 compression and beyond.

And, it brings flexibility to new heights, since we can connect as many encoders and decoders as the network design requires with the capability to scale on an as-needed-basis and at lower costs, along with easy expansions to ever-larger matrix configurations.

Sources can virtually be “any” and “many,” including desktop PC outputs, video cameras, media players, satellite/cable boxes, etc. The destinations can also be “any” and “many,” including receiver boxes connected directly to televisions in huddle rooms or public spaces; video wall controllers in control rooms; laptops or PCs decoding and displaying the source streams; or even purely software-based decoding and displaying on handheld devices like smartphones or tablets.

The ideal AV over IP solution also works with any control system for quick and easy AV management, while enhancing AV system reliability.

Additional benefits and details of the AV over IP technology model include:

(1)     Manage ALL AV Devices from a Single-point Web-based Interface

  • Use any laptop, PC, or mobile device to access the system
  • Remotely configure, update, and manage all your devices – legacy and new
  • Access a user-friendly, web-based interface from any single point in the network
  • Reduce overall costs by performing remote maintenance

(2)    Route any Type of Audio and Video Signal

  • Easily switch any number of audio or video sources to any number of destinations over an IP-based AV network. Kramer Network solutions, for example, scale to hundreds of devices and can support high quality audio and video streaming over IP without configuring the IP network.

(3)     Control Anything from Anywhere over IP

  • Control any device such as lights, displays or AV system in any room over an IP-based network
  • Supports millions of devices with a comprehensive library of 3rd-party smart device drivers

The diagram below from one of Premiere’s channel partners provides a great visual representation of how the network convergence of AV can be leveraged.

In conclusion, Premiere Communications & Consulting, Inc. recognizes how wireless IP-based AV solutions that are intuitive and collaborative in nature, and where consistency in user experience can be replicated across your organization, can provide huge benefits in terms of efficiency, reliability, and cost savings.

We hope to help our clients transition away from complex standalone systems where decreased productivity and collaboration has a negative effect on the organization.

We see AVoIP and IP video as one of the top three areas where Network Convergence and IoT will affect many businesses over the next few years.

Since the technology is already here, we, at Premiere, can plan, design, and build your ideal IP-based AV system today. Contact us or give us a call at (919) 839-7239 or 800-398-9831. We’re ready to assist you.

Though our 3 part series, Where do You see Network Convergence and Internet of Things( IoT) Affecting your Business in the Next 2-4 Years, concludes, our blogs will still be keeping you on top of the technology curve.

Our vision is to consistently exceed our client’s expectations by creating powerful network solutions that support the business processes of today, while leveraging the technologies of tomorrow.

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Matt Knowles

Matt Knowles