Recent Posts by Michael BraithWaite
Traditionally, AV content is distributed using fixed hardware matrix solutions – a method still being used in some projects. This method will have one piece of hardware with fixed number of inputs and fixed number of outputs; all the sources and destinations being connected to this same box.
There are some major disadvantages in using this traditional method. To name just a few:
a) Multiple racks of equipment and more footprints are needed
b) Expensive, specialized, and source-dedicated cables are needed
c) Complex installation and maintenance is required
d) Cable restriction for length limitation is a consideration and even it may pick up noise and distortion
e) Rigidity is a reality – the system is neither scalable nor flexible. For example: Starting with one 16×16 (sources x destinations) unit, a customer would face purchasing another entire 16×16 system should they need to add just two more channels…a 32×32 system in which only 18×18 are being used.
The modern and new way of distributing AV contents is through TCP/IP Ethernet network. To explain simply, the source devices are connected to a device called an “Encoder.” The destination devices are connected with a device called a “Decoder.” The Encoders and Decoders are connected with an Ethernet Network Switch.
There are countless advantages in using this new method. To name just a few:
a) Highly scalable: Any source to any destination in any combination of the inputs/outputs can be connected in the system. Add a device when needed and if needed.
b) No distance limitation in the network.
c) Highly flexible, including video, audio, data, and control – all in the same network. Can extend the system by increment of 1 unit (unlike the purchasing scenario above!)
d) Highly reliable with high-quality signal transmission over standard Ethernet networks, using standard CAT5e/6 cables.
e) Internet Protocols are matured and standardized for interoperability and are future-proof.
f) Highly affordable, using the existing IP network infrastructure that includes the switches and cables.
g) Ease of installation and maintenance.
ClearOne’s StreamNet technology – a high-quality, AVoIP streaming solution that provides digital media distribution with unmatched scalability and ease of deployment on existing IP networks. It supports all types of AV sources to be distributed through existing Ethernet networks to all types of endpoints – from video wall screens to single, large-display screens and laptops or mobile devices.
ClearOne’s VIEW® Pro delivers the highest-quality multimedia streaming & distribution on an existing IP network with 1080p60 resolution, and an H.264 codec with ultra-high-quality 4:4:4 color-space video, ultra-low latency, low & adjustable network bandwidth, self-discovery, built-in control, RTSP/UDP streams for 3rd party products interoperability.
Many of you reading this ClearOne blog today may have worked on conferencing rooms with our award-winning Pro Audio solutions over the past 35 years. So it may be safe to say that you would never design a commercial conferencing room without an Audio DSP right? Why is that? Couldn’t you just connect a series of microphones to a pre amplifier or cross bar switcher, connect your speakers to an amplifier, and then just switch to your desired source and sum all the microphones into your codec?
Oh my, no way could you do that! At a minimum, you’d need acoustic echo cancellation, you would want first-microphone priority, perhaps some filtering, some noise reduction, some equalization, and so on.
However, the most important reason for using an audio DSP such as our CONVERGE® Pro line is for what you don’t know: such as an air handler (not part of the original design) that is now right next to your microphone array; or a large projector that, when hot, turns on some loud fans three feet from one of your microphones.
Most AV professionals would not design a conference room without an audio DSP, however these same professionals deploy AVoIP every day without any “Video DSP” and this is a shame. To be honest most AV designers would not know what a video DSP even is; the explanation being the goal of this post.
Video DSP is the ability to modify, change, and mix the video imaging in many ways:
- Modifing the color space of an image
- Chroma subsampling or compressing to save bandwidth
- Scaling the image from one resolution to another, removing lines or pixels from the image
- Changing the orientation of the image, frame rate
- Mixing multiple images together or layering the video
- and many more
You may know that ClearOne has a line of AVoIP products called VIEW® Pro and all of these devices contain video DSP that allow you to manipulate the video depending on the end-user requirements. Some of these video DSP features require an option license to be applied to the device; but many others are available with the free software from our website. One valuable example is the multi-image feature, in which you can blend any number of video sources together into a single video output even if all of these are different source types, video types, resolutions, or frame rates.
Competing brands of AVoIP do not have video DSP in the devices (encoders and decoders) and instead require you to purchase another black box that connects to the network and take up rack space, switch ports and power for multi-imaging.
Video DSP can also help you to build video walls, and remove scrolling text from sources, or remove channel logo’s from the image just by creating video layouts with our free VIEW® Pro PANORAMA™ software.
If your project has requirements for multi-imaging, or video walls, then the built in video DSP features from the ClearOne VIEW Pro system will save you money on the system and provide more capabilities that any other AVoIP or matrix type system on the market today.
Please contact your local ClearOne sales or send us an email to VIEWPRO@CLEARONE.COM and we will be happy to help assist you with any designs or to provide any demo equipment to test your video DSP needs.
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