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: John Storey, CTO and R&D Director at Datapath (opens in new tab)
The past few years have shown how essential it is to collate and share accurate data. Critical decisions are based on information available, so it makes absolute sense to make these decisions with as much relevant information as possible—whether that’s from camera feeds, news sources or other dedicated information sources.
Being able to instantly transform any video wall display for different emergency situations is now a standard practice in many mission-critical and emergency control rooms, but simply having a rigid display on a video wall is underutilizing what is possible for maximum efficiency. As media has become more routable—and that’s very much thanks to AV over IP—you can bring information together in front of operators in many different ways. And with those advances in display technology, a lot of that can now be shared at operator workstations, and beyond if necessary.
To meet the needs for the growing complexity in control room environments, Datapath has brought to market a platform that is as suitable for modest control rooms as it is to large, multi-source and multi-site organizations—able to design, manage, and monitor entire systems from a single interface.
Named Aetria, this platform provides a central interface for all configuration and control, bringing numerous benefits to efficiency, reliability, and the ability for full and fluid collaboration. Datapath has developed a solution that allows these workstations to operate as their own personal video wall, displaying any content as they see fit, as well as being able to share anything to any display in the control room environment, or even externally.
Datapath has developed a world-first technology that allows optimum quality video to be shared over 1Gb and 10Gb networks simultaneously, with no visual impact on latency and image quality. A 4K video source can be viewed and shared, as both 4K and HD, on a 10Gb network, while also being transferred more widely on a lesser 1Gb network, for example.
It also brings significant security and deployment considerations. Squeezing sources over an IP network brings visual quality considerations, and perhaps most importantly for command and control, and latency issues. Unless the use of encoded video streams (typically H.264/5) for the primary control aspect is immediately written out, the high encoding latency makes real-time control clunky and difficult to use in practice. The commoditization of 10Gb networking components now allows uncompressed or visually lossless compression techniques to be employed that don’t incur the same latency penalty.
Clearly, data security in the control room is vital, and end users need to know that their systems are as safe as possible. With Datapath’s Aetria solution, security is built in. All connections are secured with enterprise-grade AES encryption, and user sessions and APIs are secured with TLS encryption. Finally, the role-based user rights management functionality can be used standalone or integrated with an existing enterprise identity and access management platform.
AV Technology's Thought Leader Series on AVoX
Check out what other industry thought leaders have to say about the state of networked AV. A full list with links can be found at the bottom of the On AVoX, the Intro Article (opens in new tab)