With IP networks now such a vital part of business infrastructure, the centralized control and monitoring of AV systems over IP networks has been a noticeable development. AV over IP (AVoIP) offers huge possibilities in terms of AV system flexibility, rapid troubleshooting, and remote control/monitoring.
There are two main aspects when looking at AVoIP. Firstly, its features and capabilities; secondly the management prowess of putting personal area network (PAN) activity over the network. From a network perspective, AVoIP provides end users and the administrators in charge of their AV applications the ability to manage all of their resources from a single point.
Currently, the use of voice, security and audio systems over IP networks is widespread. However, the management and control of AV systems, especially video, has been the often ignored. Once AV is brought into the mix, it is beneficial to have the universal management of all those resources over a single network.
AudioVisual over IP (AVoIP) allows IP enabled audio-visual equipment to be connected over an IT infrastructure allowing central control and remote monitoring. This delivers real time data of you IP controlled systems and can help diagnose and correct outages before the end user becomes aware of any issues. This includes presentation systems, video conferencing, distributed TV and control systems. Amongst the benefits of this is better functionality with a lower cost of operation and maintenance.
From an AV features perspective, we are now getting further away from a defined architecture of matrix switches. In a ‘traditional’ AV system, each piece of AV hardware does a specific job and it’s a case of linking them together in discrete systems. However, with AVoIP comes a new generation of a much more flexible hardware, which can be quickly updated to add the features and other required elements of a project into particular devices.
AVoIP also offers the advantage of reduced costs associated with AV-specific tasks like switching, conduit, cabling infrastructure, pathway and storage, utilizing the existing data infrastructure to support AV distribution. At the same time, system requirements are simplified and adding extra input/output or extending the reach of a system can be done quickly, simply and cost-effectively. AVoIP adds agility to the whole AV industry. As features emerge and technologies change, we can quickly apply those to a particular device.