AV over IP promises to take full advantage of the convergence of AV and IT, with the ability to distribute video, audio and control signals over traditional network infrastructure.
These days, when dealing with high-definition resolutions and frame rates, AV system designers typically look to transport video, audio and control signals throughout their Space/ typical classrooms using twisted pair extenders. These are point-to-point systems with transmitters at source devices and receivers at destination devices. Even when you place a switcher between those source and destination devices, you're essentially adding more mid-stream transmitters and receivers into your point-to-point environment. We see larger and larger matrix switchers coming from the manufacturers, but our switching design is still limited to the number of inputs and outputs on those switcher frames. Everyone knows the feeling of needing to add one more device to your AV system, but the switcher doesn't have any available inputs. While limited in some respects, these point-to-point systems offer a bandwidth-controlled environment, high resolutions and frame rates, and very low latency.
The AV over IP model differs from existing AV designs in that it's essentially a streaming infrastructure. We're all used to video and audio streaming over the network, but AV over IP technology is taking streaming to a different level. Instead of placing HDBaseT transmitters and receivers at all the devices in the room, the AV over IP model calls for an encoder at each source device and a decoder at each destination device. The encoders and decoders are all connected to standard Ethernet switches. In some cases there are transceiver, which can be configured either as Encoder or Decoder for more flexibility. As a result, we're no longer limited to a finite number of inputs and outputs, and theoretically we can connect as many encoders and decoders as our network design allows — with the ability to scale up at lower costs. Based on the network configuration, we're also no longer limited to AV signals being confined within the room. The decoders can be controlled to display any stream from any of the encoders.
Contact BTCT to find out more about professional, integrated AV OVER IP solutions.