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The Case For Live Video in Pro AV

With the constant expansion of social media platforms, streaming media services, and smart mobile devices, video is a pervasive element in people’s lives. In fact, there is an increased expectation of video content in most aspects of daily life. This includes workplaces, medical facilities, educational institutions, recreational destinations, marketplaces, and government services.

New technologies, applications, and devices are emerging to assist many types of organizations in producing effective content to engage their employees, clients, students, partners, patients, congregants, citizens, and other types of viewers.

Brian Olson

Simply put, if you haven’t taken a step into IP-backed live video as an offering, now is the time to start. Manufacturer partnerships are readily available to help you with the addition of the technology to your offerings, and the demand for well-priced, professional-grade video systems is constantly growing.

Many types of organizations want to add video to the media mix, but this can be intimidating to both the professionals implementing video and to the users who want to use it. The processes and deployment can seem overly complex, or there can be a belief that producing video is prohibitively expensive.

Video Production – Simpler and Less Costly

Just as with many other technologies, video production and delivery, however, have become simpler and less costly. This presents new opportunities.

Media and IT began converging about three decades ago. Since then advances in networks, software, COTS hardware, internet, mobile, and cloud technologies have combined to make video ubiquitous. 

One of the latest trends is the use of internet protocols (IP) for video production. IP has been widely adopted for video delivery, but the performance was not as suitable for real-time production. An important IP standard is network device interface (NDI), which enables identification of and communication between IP-based production components connected to the same local area network.

Here are a few locations where NDI and IP video are seeing successful adoption in the AV market:

  • Organizational Communications – Video provides thriving business organizations the ability to constantly align and keep in touch with employees and customers even at a global level. Maintaining consistent messages and plans is important, and video permits businesses to retain cohesiveness with multiple groups both local and remote. Video is used for product launches, executive meetings, and company conferences from different locations around the world. The same video solutions can apply for training of staff and technical assistance by providing visual experiences in classrooms and other facilities. Video such as webcasts are used to cover relevant events such as meetings, conferences, and seminars.
  • Education – Video informs as well as instructs in educational institutions. Schools at all levels have the opportunity to use this medium to enhance learning and enrich the educational experience. By integrating video into curriculums, traditional learning can be augmented with video elements. Video also contributes to the livelihood of educational institutions by producing student news, community outreach information, sports, and other activities. Interactive lectures are possible from multiple locations with remote speakers. Video embellishes social media for information and events.
  • Events – Video is a great way to build awareness that attracts customers to hospitality properties and experiences. For some facilities that host live events for conferences, conventions, and even entertainment, providing video services for production crews to cover events from various locations offers additional revenue sources. Going a step further, services can also be supplied for personal documentation of experiences at hospitality destinations and tours. As with other business enterprises, video is also used for communications and training.
  • Houses of Worship – Video is increasingly an important element of faith-based communications for spiritual institutions. Video can be a powerful means to deliver and enhance inspirational messages. Multiple locations are able to be connected while maintaining a feeling of personal connection, not only to extend the reach of a service, but to include elements such as two-way interactivity and guest speakers or performers as well. Services or other events are being streamed live to individuals unable to attend, or recorded and archived for later viewing.
  • Government – There are other opportunities for video expansion as well. Government organizations are keeping their constituencies better informed by producing and broadcasting sessions. Healthcare uses video for training, diagnostics, and even leading-edge implementations like remote surgeries. Defense agencies extensively use video for monitoring, surveillance, and training.

How to Get Started

The best way to get started is to experience IP video for yourself. There are hundreds of products that now implement NDI natively – as well as convertors that take standard video and convert it to an NDI feed.

As an integrator, the first step is to simply contact any of the many manufacturers building NDI into their products and discuss how best to fit it into a workflow. From there, order a few products and setup your first IP video workflow. The common reaction to the first use of NDI is that people suddenly see a vision for how it can expand video in the AV space – and expand an integrator’s business.

Because NDI is made available royalty free, and because of the quick adoption by manufacturers, it is currently possible to build out entire, end-to-end IP video workflows. This, in turn, brings a more attractive price point to schools, businesses, houses of worship, and others who can truly leverage live video to elevate their brand.