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.
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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