On AVoX: Aurora

Paul Harris, CEO Aurora Multimedia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

AVT Question: Please share insight into the current state of networked AV and control; what you see as barriers to entry; and what advice can you offer on how AV/IT managers can overcome limited resources or a lack of buy-in.

Thought Leader: Paul Harris, CEO of Aurora Multimedia (opens in new tab)

When existing infrastructure is involved, the cabling is everything, as it will determine the bandwidth of the AV over IP and the distance it can travel. At a minimum, CAT 5e will allow 1G AVoIP to achieve a resolution of 4K60 4:4:4 100m (330ft) with very good quality of image and with as little as a frame of latency. The higher the grade cable, the better the bandwidth. CAT 6A cabling allows for 100m of 10G at 4K60 4:4:4, but where the higher-grade cable will make the bigger difference is for installs that want 8K 4:4:4 or 4K120, as the compression will be minimal and so will the latency.

While it is ideal to use standards, it is difficult these days as there is not one single standard that stands out." — Paul Harris, CEO of Aurora Multimedia

The higher the grade cable, the better the bandwidth. CAT 6A cabling allows for 100m of 10G at 4K60 4:4:4, but where the higher-grade cable will make the bigger difference is for installs that want 8K 4:4:4 or 4K120, as the compression will be minimal and so will the latency. Fiber is no different. If the install has OM2 it will be lacking by today’s standards, but OM3 or OM4 can allow 10G and 40G to go a good amount of distance, and for far distances single mode will go 20km or more. The only downside to fiber is no PoE, so local power will be required. The network switch is the second piece to the puzzle, as an old switch can limit switching speeds and overall capability. Modern switches today will support IGMP, VLAN, auto-stacking, AVB, and more. This will be necessary to deliver the AVoIP effectively from one part of the network to the other. Finally, there is the AVoIP equipment itself. While it is ideal to use standards, it is difficult these days as there is not one single standard that stands out. Because of this, I tell people to evaluate their application and purchase what is right for the application, knowing there is a high probability that an upgrade will be required in five to 10 years. Therefore, cable is the key to everything. Equipment comes and goes, but cable is the costliest for labor as it is buried in walls, ceilings, and floors. It is the most worthwhile investment, and can stay around for decades if chosen correctly.

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Aurora

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Cindy Davis
Brand and content director of AV Technology

Cindy Davis is the brand and content director of AV Technology. Davis enjoys exploring the ethos of experiential spaces as well as diving deep into the complex topics that shape the AV/IT industry. In 2012, the TechDecisions brand of content sites she developed for EH Publishing was named one of “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. For more than 20 years, Davis has developed and delivered multiplatform content for AV/IT B2B and consumer electronics B2C publications, associations, and companies. From 2000 to 2008, Davis was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Electronic House. From 2009 to present, as the principal of CustomMedia.Co, Davis developed content plans and delivered content for associations such as IEEE Standards Association and AVIXA, content marketing for Future Plc, and numerous AV/IT companies. Davis was a critical member of the AVT editorial team when the title won the “Best Media Brand” laurel in the 2018 SIIA Jesse H. Neal Awards. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners, and sampling local IPAs.