The benefit of networked AV with the new trend over IP has become a very important aspect of AV Systems. This can add a layer of complication to the networking and requirements for the AV system.
Being prepared for a networked AV system has been going on for a long time in the AV world now. IT managers are adapting to the idea of having all these devices connected. This is creating an opportunity an amazing benefit with networked AV.
The days of 8×8 and 32×32 video switchers will soon be gone and replaced with network switches. Now, this does bring a level of complication but can bring many benefits. With all the standards that exist, it can make this very confusing. Dante and AVB have been battling over these standards in the audio world. While in the video world it has been less about a standard but who’s
The video products use a lot of the same standards, but a lot of solutions have developed their own flavor. The one that does still play nicely with others is
Use of central remote monitoring and management has been slowly adopted until recently. Since its becoming more critical for AV to reside on the network, the monitoring becomes more important. Why would you not monitor the AV devices? The IT department already usually monitors all the typical IT devices.
A great benefit with networked AV is that many AV devices support SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) that is a standard used by most monitoring applications for a more universal way to manage. Device manufacturers have been building platforms to manage their devices but usually lack the support for another device. This can be sometime then require a very custom configuration. This can be a challenge today to find the right way to manage all devices, but sometimes anything is helpful.
Having devices on the network gives you remote support ability. That alone can make support hard without something to keep track of the devices. A central management system with everything on the network will give you remote access. From your management system, you can create alerts to stay on top of issues before someone calls the help desk.
Traditional systems are restricted by I/O (Input/Output). With networked AV your restrictions become the number of switch ports and hardware processing power. Similar to a server with X amount of power, it can only handle X amount of simultaneous users. Your investment becomes more valuable because the ability to scale over time is possible without a significant upfront cost.
The location of devices, adding, moving, expanding and so on, a networked AV system is very cost effective to alter. Many systems can get expensive and complicated but with a networked system, it gets simplified. In a video system that only has a few sources but 30 endpoints that all need to select between those sources you would need a traditional 32×32 switcher. Another example in a lecture or training room a lectern can require a lot of AV. Often they need to be reconfigurable and that means all sorts of connections in each location. Completely networking sometimes means that all connections can be converted to one LAN connection.
Leverage the existing infrastructure that is already in place without having to add lots of expensive cabling. Traditionally AV systems were all point to point cabling. When networking your AV systems, it’s just another drop from the nearest IDF. Then something can reach across your building or campus. This eliminates the need for a very long direct cable run. Which can be expensive and with video would require a direct fiber run.
The subject of networked AV is a vast and complicated subject. We try to provide the best support to navigate this topic. Some other topics we hope to cover in the future and recommend to read about to continue your understanding of networked AV are security, cloud control, streaming video, and AV network requirements.
For more information about how we can consult on your next AV project please contact us here!