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Video Codecs, they’re not all created equal

Written on December 8, 2017 at 2:29 pm, by

 

We see h.264 used in so many applications.

 

 

This is one of the most incredible things about ClearOne’s ViewPro AV over IP solution.  ViewPro can decode streams that some other device encodes, or native H.264/265 devices like IP cameras.  Or, send a stream to ViewPro directly from a PC/Mac, iOS or android device or others.

 

Same is true at the other end, you don’t need one of our ViewPro decoders, simple devices like an AppleTV, or an IPTV set-top box can decode our streams.  Recording or playback on an NVR (network video recorder) is easy, watching streams on a PC/Mac/iOS/Android, etc is easy too.

 

 

It’s the beauty of being standards based.  But h.264 isn’t known for its high quality streaming, or so we are conditioned to think.  H.264 and 265 High Profile, in both 4:2:0 and 4:4:4 variants are what we use in ViewPro. With High Profile h.264 compression, you would be hard pressed to notice any difference in signal or image quality, with fast motion video, or fine text like spreadsheets.  Whatever the content, High Profile, h.264 encoding and decoding will give you an output that looks just as good as your original content.

 

 

High Profile H.264 is the codec used on BluRay discs, and most often in broadcast/Cable TV, it is extremely powerful in its compression capability, and the key is, within ViewPro we put the priority on low latency, latency that comes extremely close to some of the other AV over IP products that require 10 times, or even 100 times the bandwidth of ViewPro.

 

 

When you come across a project that needs long-distance signal distribution, and/or a large number of sources or displays, you really should give ViewPro a chance.  Once you see everything ViewPro is capable of, I’m sure you will agree it is ideally suited for the Pro A/V community.  And we haven’t even discussed advanced features like TRUE VideoWall processing.  We can save that for next time.

 

Please share your comments below and if you have any questions on how VIEW Pro streaming encoders and decoders can integrate into your business, contact us today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flexible Frequencies – Versatility and Security of ClearOne Wireless Mic Systems

Written on September 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm, by

View for yourself the power behind the WS800 Wireless Microphone System, and join such discriminating users as the U.S. Department of Justice.

ClearOne’s WS800 Wireless Micophone System is the most economical, versatile, and easily scalable wireless system in the market today with unprecedented ease-of-use and simple installation.

 

This system has a Receiver, all types of Transmitters (Microphones) Boundary Tabletop, Gooseneck Podium, Beltpack, Handheld Microphones, Charging Station and Extension Antenna kits. WS800 Receiver comes with and without Dante built-in audio networking.

 

The WS800 and DIALOG® 20 systems complement other professional audio products from ClearOne including CONVERGE® Pro 1 & 2 Mixers, INTERACT® Mixers, and CONVERGE® Matrix products.

 

Learn more about the WS800 Wireless Microphone System today!

 

 

All about Power over Ethernet (PoE) – ClearOne Tech Note

Written on September 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm, by

The purpose of this tech note (full link below) is to describe information related to Power over Ethernet (PoE) and ClearOne’s PoE supported CONVERGE Pro 2 (CP2) P-Link Peripheral Pro Audio products.

 

Power over Ethernet or PoE refers to passing of electric power through twisted-pair Ethernet cable, allowing  a single Ethernet cable to provide both a data connection and electric power to devices; giving new flexibility to installations.

 

Powered Devices (PD’s) that can operate within the power specification of PoE can be located almost anywhere, without the need for electrical outlets. Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) all provide DC power on the Ethernet cable (such as PoE Ethernet Network Switches, and PoE Power Injectors).

 

PoE has been standardized by IEEE 802.3 standards, and has two types:

  • PoE: This is covered by the 802.3af standard and provides up to 15.4 Watts of DC power.
  • PoE+ or PoE Plus: This is covered by the 802.at standard and provides up to 25.5 Watts of DC Power (over two pairs).

 

ClearOne’s CONVERGE® Pro 2 peripheral connections are supported by PoE, with the ability to daisy-chain multiple peripherals with mixers through our P-LINK connections, sharing resources and power.

 

 

Two standard PoE modes exist – A, and B, which differ as:

 

Mode A:

  • Delivers power on the data pairs of 100-BASE-TX or 10-BASE-T cable.
  • That is, pins 1 & 2 form one side of the DC supply and pins 3 & 6 form the other side.
  • These are the same two pairs used for data transmission. That is, mixed data and power.
  • This is similar to the phantom power technique used for powering microphones.
  • In summary, this mode A uses only 2 pairs for data and power.

 

Mode B:

  • Delivers power on the spare pairs of 100-BASE-TX or 10-BASE-T cable.
  • That is, pins 4 & 5 form one side of the DC supply and pins 7 & 8 provide the return.
  • These are spare pairs and these spare pairs are used for power. That is, no mix of data and power.
  • In summary, this mode B uses 4 pairs for data and power.

 

The table below shows ClearOne products that support PoE (i.e., PD’s), PoE modes supported for powering from PSE, PoE Power injectors (i.e., PSE’s) that we offer and the number of PD devices that can be supported.

 

S. No.

ClearOne PD’s

Supported PoE Modes

ClearOne PSE’s

PoE Power Injector
(910-001-004)

PoE+ Power Injector
(910-3200-202)

Product

Part Number

Mode A

Mode B

Mode A or
Mode B

Support
One PD

Support
Daisy-Chain
up to 3 PD’s

Support
One PD

Support
Daisy-Chain
up to 3 PD’s

1

Beamforming Mic Array 1 (White)

910-001-003

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

2

Beamforming Mic Array 1 (Black)

910-001-003-B

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

3

Beamforming Mic Array 2 (White)

910-3200-201

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

4

Beamforming Mic Array 2 (Black)

910-3200-201-B

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

5

CONVERGE Pro 2 GPIO Expander

910-3200-301

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

6

CONVERGE Pro 2 USB Expander

910-3200-302

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

7

DIALOG 20 Wireless Receiver

910-6100-201

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

8

Touch Panel Controller *

910-3200-501

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

* This must  be the last device in the P-link chain when daisy-chained with other PD’s.

 

For the full, downloadable tech note, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case Study: VIEW® AV Network Streaming at Unilever Singapore

Written on August 15, 2017 at 11:25 am, by

 

 

ClearOne® VIEW® AV Streaming System Powers AV System at New Unilever Singapore Training Facility

 

 

With 24 AV zones spread throughout two buildings, the company now has full, simple control of its expansive AV system.

 

 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, August 15, 2017 — When Unilever, the world’s largest consumer goods company, built its new training facility in Singapore, perhaps the most crucial component was a robust audio/video system that would be easy to use, had no audio lag and could deliver multiple sources to a total of 49 endpoints including digital signage displays. Working with Principle One, a leading technology integration firm with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo, the company turned to ClearOne (NASDAQ:CLRO), the leading global provider of audio and visual communication solutions, and the ClearOne VIEW network streaming system based on Streamnet®-patented technology TCP/IP solution to provide the 24-zone, four-source system that makes the training center more efficient and enjoyable for both employees and trainees…

 

Download the full article

 

 

 

Yes, 4K Really DOES Matter!

Written on July 13, 2017 at 11:58 am, by

 

I recently read an article titled “Does 4K even matter?” It was a good article with some salient points. I would argue that 4K does matter for a variety of reasons; and I agree with the author that 4K is a tool…and the right tool is going to depend upon the job. 4K makes sense when all the parts in the entire system support 4K or when a customer wants to future-proof an installation and install as many 4K-compatible devices as possible in the project.

 

VIEW® Pro 4K – Encoder

Just as our currently-shipping 2K version of VIEW® Pro; the 4k version supports all of the awesome licensed features that make our ecosystem unique. We offer a composition feature that allows the user to create video walls and/or multi-viewer compositions. The number of sources that can be shown on a video wall or even a single screen is virtually unlimited — and it’s incredibly scalable with no requirement for a video wall processor. Applications span almost any vertical market- from Command and Control Centers to medical appliactions; any customer that requires the highest resolution, best color space (4:4:4), and finest detail.

 

Using both H.264 and H.265 video coding compression, VIEW Pro 4K can ride on existing networks. These streams are 1/10 to 1/100 the size of comparable streams using Motion JPEG or Uncompressed Video offering incredible scalability. In addition, our current VIEW Pro 2K solutions can be intermingled and work in the same installations as our 4K solutions.

 

Another important feature of VIEW Pro is the ability to both ingest and create RTSP streams to work with 3rd-party decoders like VLC. 4K video playback on VLC does have some specific requirements for it to work successfully, including enabling the GPU accelerated feature in VLC. By using the processing power of the graphics card, it will reduce the load on the processer. Newer operating systems with the latest drivers will be required for 4K decoding to work smoothly. Consider an application in a medical or dental school where a professor streams 4K via RTSP for students to pick up on their laptops. Through a 3rd-party control, the professor can switch these streams at will.

 

ClearOne’s 4K VIEW Pro continues the lineage of providing the best value, greatest flexibility, and interoperability with 3rd-party control systems that earns it’s moniker of being the only “true video DSP” in the streaming marketplace.

 

4K encoders and decoders have their places in the AV world, and adoption will continue to grow as the entire industry matures and expands, with all pieces in the chain become 4k-enabled.

 

Learn more about the ClearOne VIEW® Pro 4K Multimedia Networked AV Streaming Solution that was Awarded InfoComm 2017 – Best of Show.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Creative With AV over IP

Written on June 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm, by

 

One of the interesting things about AV over IP is that it offers a unique way to accomplish AV communication goals.  The rules change when your sources and end points are routed over a network; and this offers a great deal of flexibility.  An integrator recently presented some design requirements that allow an advantage with this flexibility.

 

The system called for 16 IP cameras on a network that needed to be routed to and controlled from a separate network without any Ethernet connection between the two networks.

 

The 16 cameras are connected to a layer-3 switch.  The IP addresses of each of those cameras are entered as a proxy on the decoder which has an RTSP license for hosting 3rd-party streams.  Each IP camera can provide different resolutions; and by using lower-resolution streams, the decoder does not to scale the video.  With the decoder hosting these RTSP Streams, the decoder now becomes the source into the encoder.  Usually we think of the decoder as the end point, but not in this scenario.  The connection between the two is an HDMI cable.  This addresses one of the primary requirements of the system which is security.  The customer does not want the IP cameras accessible from the network on which they are being viewed.

 

The encoder that is connected to the switch has an RTSP license that allows it to send RTSP streams to 3rd-party devices.  Viewers with access to the “viewing” network can use a soft decoder like VLC to pick up the stream via a URL.  The viewer sees whatever is on that URL which could be any of the 16 camera feeds or a combination of multiple cameras in a layout created in the VIEW® Pro Panorama Software.  The switching between these sources and layouts is accomplished using our VIEW Virtual Matrix software (see links to sample videos below) or our free Virtual Control software.  This GUI can even be accessed via a mobile device.  For more extensive control we offer free modules for all of the popular control systems.

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B0sUvEZJUaAMMnhIOThUTmRtVWc

 

From the ClearOne side, all this requires is a single Encoder with and RTSP License and a Single Decoder with both and RTSP and a Composition license.  While it’s not something you run into every day, it is a unique way to solve a problem.  The end result is a very flexible, scalable and certainly a very cost effective solution.

 

 

 

See all of our VIEW® Pro Streaming solutions.

 

 

 

We Have a Facebook Contest Winner!

Written on June 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm, by

 

We know that you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting in anticipation for the announcement of the winner of the ‘MEDIA COLLABORATION KIT’.

 

Ladies and gentleman with out further ado, we give you the winner, Colby Cox!!!!

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

 

All of these awesome prizes are yours! You’re now the talk of town and super famous.

 

Thank you to all who entered our Facebook Contest. It was really fun and was a raving success.

Be on the look our for the next contest with even more great prizes to give away and you too can be cast into the limelight of the Pro AV industry.

 

 

 

 

Video Walls Cannot be That Simple

Written on June 8, 2017 at 10:15 am, by

 

It can seem daunting – creating content on such a large canvas for public consumption. Video walls make a huge impression (pun intended) for lobby areas, informative signage, or even retail use. Even with the hardware setup, just configuring the sources to appear as desired can be a time-consuming task… at least until now.

 

Auto-discovery of sources can be key to saving time — and sanity — with a video-wall project. The foundation of a fully expandable mesh network of sources and endpoints makes the concept nearly nirvana, and VIEW® Pro delivers. It’s really that simple, with one screen or many, and the PANORAMA software license, you can add a video wall to your existing network, and configure it literally in minutes.

 

Watch these examples, to see just how easy it can be with our latest VIEW Pro Features and Tips:

(4 videos in Playlist)

 

 

Corporate AV Should Be Exceptional

Written on May 26, 2017 at 11:35 am, by

 

Corporate AV has become ubiquitous in almost every setting, as digital devices seem to be constantly in-hand, and the expectations of immediacy and flexibility in sharing information is driving our business decisions more than ever. Meetings with remote participants have evolved not only to include video with an unfailing audio foundation; but also the flexibility to share content from multiple people— and multiple devices —with an assumed ease-of-use.

 

Flexible Cloud and Room systems are the key to true adoption, and efficient remote meetings in which key decisions can be made. Users require the full gamut of media collaboration from rich video and web conferencing Cloud-only services, to total solutions for huddle spaces and conference rooms that also include Cloud plus multi-user wireless presentation, recording and streaming, traditional video conferencing— all with audio conferencing & PTZ camera endpoints. Solutions for “bring-your-own familiar app” are a new necessity for true adoption of conferencing spaces.

 

For conference spaces to truly be used to their full potential, systems need to include Cloud access, as well as flexible and intuitive room systems with built-in Cloud collaboration; the foundation of ClearOne’s COLLABORATE® Pro and Spontania. With true ease-of-use and flexibility, conference spaces become busy and utilized for small ad-hoc meetings and large, formal meetings alike. User needs are satisfied- from the ability to share content from more than one person simultaneously, to more flexibility for content sharing with smartphones and tablets. The ClearOne lineup delivers a host of features that are right-sized for any collaboration space or need.

 

This InfoComm International infographic (used with permission) hits some key points in this burgeoning age of video collaboration, the need for flexible systems that can handle audio conferencing, traditional video conferencing, Cloud video collaboration with familiar web applications, BYOD, wireless presentation, and even the needs for recording and streaming. We’ve become so attuned to video, that we stay more focused when non-verbal visual cues are present in meetings – with a higher likelihood of watching video or visual content than reading documents.

 

 

 

 

 

Wireless Presentation Gone Mainstream

Written on April 5, 2017 at 10:58 am, by

 

You probably get this familiar type of call quite frequently:

 

Mr. Customer is searching for a wireless data-sharing solution – and the strangest part is that he may reference a specific brand-name of solution instead of the technology itself.

 

Those of us who are not quite so young anymore might remember those types of calls, in the end of last century, when customers were inquiring about a specific brand of conferencing solution when a more general executive phone was actually needed for simple audio-conferencing activities.

 

That is a sign that a technology has “made it.” It has gone mainstream!

 

One vendor discovered and delivered a much-needed new product concept in the market, found a new intuitive and natural way in which people can collaborate. A new niche, a new opportunity for business has surfaced.

 

Wireless data sharing became a fundamental component in meeting rooms of the new millennium. Employees and business guests expect it…it should simply be there for agile and productive collaboration.

 

And now Mr. Customer calls in, knowing he should be prepared to spend a couple thousand for even the most basic configuration – all his budget will allow.

 

What Mr. Customer does not know yet, and you may want to inform him, is that the wireless-data-sharing-box concept he is looking for has been by far surpassed by the new outstanding ClearOne COLLABORATE® Share!

 

For almost the same price, Mr. Customer would receive so many features that a sophisticated sales pitch simply isn’t needed. With COLLABORATE® Share, he is not only increasing the potential of his buy, but he is also getting, basically for free, a state-of-the-art H.323 codec and cloud collaboration suite – all three fully integrated in one, simple, intuitive user and administration interface.

 

Help your client take their media collaboration to the next level.  LEARN MORE about ClearOne COLLABORATE® Share.