AVoIP vs. traditional AV
Understanding the differences between traditional AV and AVoIP protocol is crucial for making informed decisions about your organization’s infrastructure.
Traditional AV methods rely on a dedicated, AV-specific infrastructure, and are characterized by their non-compression of signals (which means they keep the original quality). These methods typically use proprietary systems, they are uniquely designed and not based on standard technologies and products.
The IP world, on the other hand, allows for the use of off-the-shelf, non-proprietary IP switches. This makes the IP approach accessible, cost-efficient, and versatile, as it doesn’t rely on specialized hardware.
Native Pro AV signals, which can range between 18 to 48 Gbps, require substantial bandwidth. This high bandwidth demand makes them suitable for running over specialized infrastructure but not directly over standard IP networks.
As for AV over IP, typical and most popular IP networks, which often operate at 1 Gbps-10 Gbps, simply don’t have the capacity to handle large data streams. Therefore, to transmit these signals over IP networks, compression is necessary.
It’s also important to recognize that while these two professional AV systems – traditional AV and AVoIP – differ in their approach to signal transmission, the management and control of both systems are conducted over IP networks, through control and management systems.
While traditional AV systems are constrained by a cable-bound nature and a limited 100-meter range, AVoIP is more suitable for expansive settings.
If your organization already has an IP network in place for computer communication, integrating AVoIP can be a seamless and efficient choice. This is because additional ports can easily be added to an existing IP network, facilitating the incorporation of AVoIP into the current system.
However, if your organization predominantly uses a traditional AV-based infrastructure, it may be more practical to continue with it. This approach ensures compatibility and may utilize existing equipment and processes more effectively.
Another option is to set up two parallel networks: one based on IP and the other on traditional AV. This dual-network approach allows for dedicated channels for data transmission and AV, respectively.
Alternatively, a single network can be configured to handle both traditional AV and oIP. This choice might be more cost-effective and less complex in terms of infrastructure. However, for security reasons or to optimize performance, some organizations may prefer to have separate networks. This separation can minimize risks associated with data breaches or interference between data and AV transmissions, ensuring that each network is optimized for its specific purpose.
The challenges in implementing AVoIP
Implementing AVoIP protocols presents several challenges that must be navigated carefully. One of the primary concerns is ensuring Quality of Service (QoS) for each stream, with audio often requiring the highest priority, followed by video. Additionally, maintaining responsive interactions is crucial, necessitating effective control signals to prevent issues like repeated key presses due to unresponsiveness. This requires precise network settings and real-time IP protocols to manage these priorities efficiently.
Another significant challenge lies in implementing robust authentication protocols. These protocols are essential to control network access, similar to the need for a username and password for system access. Installers must have a deep understanding of device authentication methods to maintain network integrity and security.
Moreover, installers face the need for comprehensive training in network management. This includes a thorough understanding of drivers, configurations, and more, which are vital for effectively managing and troubleshooting IP networks.
Security is a paramount concern in AVoIP systems, especially when handling sensitive AV data. Ensuring a secured network, whether opting for a standalone AV network or a combined data and AV network, is crucial. This decision, along with choosing between 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps networks, depends on the specific requirements and security protocols of the AV applications.
Finally, the use of Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a huge benefit. PoE simplifies installation by allowing the Ethernet switch to power the remote devices through the same cable that transmits AV data.