In today’s integrated technology environment, you have most likely heard the term “AV-over-IP,” or AVoIP, which stands for “Audio-Visual over Internet Protocol.” While AV-over-IP has existed for a long time, its popularity has surged over the past few years. Fueling this growth are the technological advances in AV equipment as well as the savings and efficiencies gained when systems converge on the IP network.
Why Choose an AV-over-IP Solution?
AV-over-IP technology allows you to transmit audio, video and control signals over a standard Ethernet network (such as a LAN or the internet) instead of using the traditional point-to-point AV infrastructure. If your AV project will encompass more than 16 inputs and 16 outputs, you should strongly consider an AV-over-IP solution. It can help future-proof your AV investment while providing scalability, flexibility and cost savings:
- Scalability – By utilizing an AV-over-IP solution, your AV network will not be limited by a typical matrix switch solution with a fixed number of I/O ports. With this integrated technology, growth is managed by simply installing new IP switches as needed. This enables you to more easily scale the number of ports to meet your needs at any time.
- Flexibility – AV-over-IP improves flexibility in many ways. First, it allows you to tailor the ratio of inputs to outputs to meet your goals. For example, you can have a few inputs with many outputs, many inputs with few outputs, or many inputs with many outputs. In addition, utilizing packet-based switching technology, AV-over-IP makes it possible to make hops from switch to switch so that long distances are not an issue. This makes your infrastructure more flexible without compromising quality or speed. Flexibility is also gained in the telecom room by using the same switches to support both your voice / data network and AV needs – you just need to designate which ports will handle AV transmission and which will handle other network traffic.
- Cost Savings – Less cabling is typically required in AV-over-IP projects. Another advantage is that using unshielded Category cable instead of shielded Category cable can save you money, as can purchasing IP switches instead of costly traditional AV switches. As your system expands, an AV-over-IP solution provides the most cost-effective way to scale up as needed.
Five Best Practices for AV-over-IP installation
Follow these best practices provided by NetPlanner’s certified AV experts for a smooth AV-over-IP implementation:
- Determine if you want to put the AV system on your own existing network or if you want to build a separate network for it.
- If you choose to utilize your own network, work closely with your IT department to confirm that your existing infrastructure can handle the demand. If you choose to create a separate network, clarify who will be responsible for support and maintenance.
- Select the right switches for your network that will serve your organization’s needs now and in the future. For unmatched security, reliability and customer support, NetPlanner recommends using Cisco switches. Cisco leads the industry in designing scalable, service-rich switches that adapt to new IT and business requirements.
- Remember that network design is crucial to the success of AV-over-IP. It is critical that the network infrastructure meets all the standards required to deliver clear, high quality video and audio signals. Make sure the company you choose to implement your AV-over-IP solution has significant expertise designing and installing audiovisual systems as well as data networks.
- Start with a solid AV design by working with a qualified audiovisual system designer. The design should include a functional scope, telecom room drawings, rack elevation drawings and one-line drawings. This will not only ensure a smooth installation; it will also help protect your investment with a system that functions as expected.
Need Help with Your AV System?
NetPlanner designs, builds, and maintains AV systems for clients in every industry. Throughout every stage of a project, we pride ourselves on the caliber of our highly qualified staff. Our certified personnel include BICSI RCDDs, who serve as network infrastructure experts, along with CTS-I and CTS-D professionals, who help ensure a robust audiovisual system.
Our team also includes full-time network engineers with numerous Cisco and other networking certifications. They work closely with our designers and installers throughout the process, playing an integral role in the successful deployment of AV-over-IP solutions.
For a complimentary AV consultation, please call us at (770) 662-5482 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our certified system engineers are available to discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have.