With IP networks now such a fundamental part of business infrastructure, the centralized control and monitoring of AV systems over IP networks has been an obvious development. AV over IP (AVoIP) offers tremendous possibilities in terms of AV system flexibility, remote control/monitoring and rapid troubleshooting. Reto Spörri, senior sales engineer, AVoIP at Atlona, discusses what integrators and businesses need to consider in order to enjoy its advantages.
There are two main things when looking at AVoIP. Firstly, its features and capabilities; secondly the management capabilities of putting personal area network (PAN) activity over the network.
Looking at it from the network perspective, AVoIP provides end users and the management companies in charge of their AV applications the ability to manage all of their resources from a single point.
Currently the use of voice, security and audio systems over IP is widespread. However, so far, the management and control of AV systems, especially video, has been the step that’s effectively been left out. Once AV is brought into the mix, it’s advantageous to have the universal management of all those resources over a single network.
From an AV features perspective, we are now getting further away from a defined architecture of matrix switches. In a ‘traditional’ AV system, each piece of AV hardware does a specific job and it’s a case of linking them together in discrete systems. But with AVoIP comes a new generation of much more flexible hardware, which can be quickly updated to add the features and other required elements of a project into particular devices.
AVoIP also offers the advantage of reduced costs associated with AV-specific tasks like switching, cabling infrastructure, conduit, pathway and storage, utilizing the existing data infrastructure to support AV distribution. At the same time, system requirements are simplified and adding extra I/O or extending the reach of a system can be done quickly, simply and cost-effectively.
As an industry, it means we can be more agile. As features emerge and technologies change – as they are doing very quickly – we can quickly apply those to a particular device. For example, looking at Atlona’s scalable OmniStream AVoIP solution, HDR has now come to the forefront. This means that we can develop HDR technology to operate over top of that infrastructure.