When you plug a monitor, display, camera, or speaker into the wall, you don’t stop to think about the infrastructure on the other side of the outlet. You just plug in your device and expect it to work. But if you have the wrong cabling, the connections and switches on the other end of that outlet can’t properly read the signal transmission. This can cause you to experience latency, delays, and even total loss of signal that interfere with the smooth operation of your audio and visual devices.
In this on-demand webinar, “Preparing for AV over IP and Futureproof Infrastructure,” Bob Ferguson, broadcast and audio video channel manager at Belden, a global leader in signal transmission and security solutions, takes a deep dive into everything AV integrators need to know about cabling, AV over IP, and more.
AV over IP Should be On Your Radar. Here’s Why
Most AV systems are configured the same way. There are input sources, such as DVD players and microphones. There are output sources, such as monitors and speakers. And there are cables, such as HDMI cables, and matrix switches to connect everything together.
It’s not a bad system, but it does come with some restrictions. For example, since each device in your system acts only as an input or an output device, you need twice as many ports to accommodate everything. In a traditional AV set up, devices also must stay within a certain distance of their power source and control system.
AVoIP (AV over Internet Protocol), where AV data is transmitted over a network, such as a LAN or WAN, or over the Internet, helps overcome many of these challenges. Benefits of AVoIP include:
- Cost. Ethernet switches are less expensive than matrix switches, especially for large systems. And the signal type doesn’t change the kind of switch you need. In other words, if your whole company is switching from HD to 4K, you don’t have to replace all your matrix switches like you would with a traditional AV configuration.
- Scalability. AVoIP maximizes your available ports because every device can be both an input and output device. AVoIP configuration also makes it easier to add switches for increased capacity and allows you to repurpose any unused ports for other systems.
What about some of the challenges you may have heard associated with AVoIP, such as latency management and bandwidth availability? That’s where the right cabling comes in.
AVoIP Needs the Right Cable. Here’s How to Pick It
According to Ferguson, choosing the right cable for an AVoIP system starts with these questions:
- What is the maximum distance I need between my device and the control system?
- What are the power requirements of my AV devices?
- What is the minimum data speed I can live with?
- Will I be using video compression technology?
The answers to these questions will first help you decide whether a 1G or 10G network is the best fit for your AVoIP needs. While 1G networks have long dominated the market thanks to their low price and high compatibility with existing network infrastructure, 10G is picking up steam, Ferguson said. 10G is becoming price competitive, he said, and boasts zero latency making it an especially good fit for the requirements of sending video over the network.
And then comes the final piece of the AVoIP puzzle: the cable. From CAT cables to fiber optic, the right—or wrong—cable can impact picture quality to power availability and everything in between.
To learn more about all the cabling options from Belden, and which one is best for your application, watch the on-demand webinar today.