AV over IP made simple
AV over IP (Audiovisual over Internet Protocol) technology has been around for more than a decade; hailed as a revolutionary innovation in the AV industry for its potential to transmit data from multiple sources to a huge number of outputs.
But despite being one of the biggest trends in the professional AV sphere, it is still evolving and being slowly adopted and for many AV professionals it remains a bit of mystery. What does that stack of black boxes actually do? And how does it differ from the other solutions out there?
So what is AV over IP?
AV over IP (or networked AV as it is commonly known) is the transmission of audio, video and other signals over the internet, LAN or WAN networks.
It takes a signal from an AV source, such as a media player or PC and passes it through an encoder, which breaks it down into manageable chunks of digital data called packets. This data travels through the network and is converted back into a compatible AV signal when it reaches the decoder. The signal is then received by the output device (speaker, display, projector etc.)
When transmitting and receiving from multiple sources, a network switch operates as the focal point between the encoder and decoder, providing separate connections for each input and output device.
Many leading technical brands that manufacture AV over IP products have their own name for the technology – for AMX by Harman it’s SVSI, Wyrestorm use Network HD and Atlona has Omnistream, but they all fall under AV over IP (networked AV).
What are the benefits of AV over IP?
At first glance, AV over IP systems look very similar to traditional AV networking solutions such as HDBaseT, but the use of an IP network brings some key benefits.
- Network based system can accommodate very
number of devices – not limited by physical ports on switches, can be expanded with IP ports and only limited by the IP network it is connected to.
- Saves cost by avoiding buying expensive AV switches and gives the ability to manage a large number of multi-point displays from a single investment.
Easy to install
- One of the key benefits of AV over IP is that it can utilise existing network infrastructure, depending on the bandwidth required.
- Far less cabling with only one cable type: category cable (ethernet).
- Removes physical point-to-point connections, making changes and replacements simpler and more efficient.
- As you can utilise existing networks and equipment if your bandwidth requirements are low, there is minimal costs to move to an AV over IP system. The costs for scaling up are also significantly less that alternative networks.
Secure & manageable
- Can use same methods employed by IT departments – creating specific zones/areas and enabling authorisation.
- Easy application of encryption technologies.
- AV over IP can be transmitted over fibre optic or copper cable easily, and although the category cable has a maximum distance of 100 metres, you can add switches and repeaters to increase the distance.
- Through IP networks data could theoretically be sent over networks to anywhere worldwide.
AV over IP solutions are perfect for larger installations with a high number of end points, such as universities, stadiums and airports, thanks to huge scalability, less cabling and significant potential cost savings.
Networked AV is also a great option for systems in environments such as sports arenas, corporate offices and public spaces, where user authentication and separate networked zones are required.
Explore Midwich’s AV over IP brands
Audio over IP
AV over IP training and support
If AV over IP is out of your comfort zone, then Midwich offers AV over IP training and deployment support, as well as guidance with specification and system design.
Contact our expert sales team today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01344 592250