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Tag Archives: Network Streaming

HDCP isn’t just another useless acronym

Have you ever heard of HDCP?  Ever wondered what it really means or why it exits?

 

HDCP is an acronym for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection.  It is a form of digital copy protection that was developed by Intel with the intention of preventing the copying of digital audio and video content as it travels across connections. Being that HDCP is a digital technology, HDMI and DVI cables are used.

 

HCDP becomes relevant when it comes to moving audio and video signals over a network…..AV over IP Video Distribution.   If a signal is protected by HDCP, once that signal is put into a video distribution system, it will pass if the device the signal is flowing into is HDCP compliant.   There are two general standards in the HDCP world….1.4 and 2.XX.  Without getting into the details on either, suffice it to say that in a professional AV Distribution System, the equipment you use should be compliant with both in order to provide both a legal solution and one that is flexible for your clients needs.

 

In our industry one of the main challenges that integrators face is with Apple.  Using an Apple device as a source into an Encoder can create an issue even if the content being played is not HDCP protected.  AV Integrators have told me that their customers often call and say that their Apple Device is not passing audio and video even when the content being played is not HDCP encrypted.  By default Apple has HDCP Content protection enabled on their devices.  Apple has presumably taken this route so they will not be liable for the actions of an end user.

 

To get around this, some encoding and decoding devices have a switch that enables them to turn HDCP off.  In theory this appears to be a viable solution.  The reality however is that the HDCP licensing agreement that all manufactures who wish to be in compliance sign, does not allow for this work around.

 

With ClearOne’s View Pro System we fully support the HDCP standards of 1.4 and 2.XX.  Our View Pro AV over IP Streaming Solution will never block protected or unprotected content. There is never a need to turn HDCP off.  ClearOne has taken the position to comply with HDCP Licensing to the letter of the law.

 

For more information on HDCP, visit the link below.

 

http://www.digital-cp.com.

 

As a leader in the AV community, we must provide equipment to our partners that protect their interests and their customers.

 

 

The Many Faces of Streaming

It seems that every few years, there is a new “Word” that makes its way into our vocabulary.  Back in the 1970s, it was the word “Disco”.  Every nightclub and bar suddenly became a Disco.  In the 1980s, it was “Camcorder”.  Everyone was talking about buying and using a camcorder to document their lives’ events.  These “Words” seemingly come out of nowhere, and suddenly explode into our lives.  You see and hear them everywhere, on the TV news, in advertisements, at parties.

 

This year’s word is “Streaming”.  It’s everywhere.  Coming from the tech industry, “Streaming” means something very specific to me.  But, to the average person, it means something else entirely.  In fact, most people don’t know exactly what it means.  I did a quick (and very unscientific) survey among my non-tech friends.  We played a quick game of Word Association.  When I said “Streaming,” they all said “Netflix.”  In other words, they look at Streaming as an inexpensive method of entertainment, allowing them to “cut the cable” (everyone’s fantasy).

 

To industry insiders, it is more specific.  But, it still has many meanings.  Is it a point-to-point delivery of a camera into a command center for security?  Or how about bringing a remote camera source into a video switcher for a TV broadcast?  What about point-to-multipoint streaming, as in content delivery, such as a church service via a web site?

 

How people define “Streaming” depends on the side of the electronics industry they are in.  To make the categorization easier, I like to break it out into four distinct trade shows:  ISC (International Security Conference), NAB (National Association Of Broadcasters), CES (Consumer Electronics Show), and Infocomm (Pro Audio/Video).

 

In the Pro AV industry, it’s not as much as a camera feed (though that can be a component of the content);  it’s a replacement for a point-to-point hard connection, kind of like a long extension chord.  It is generally an efficient, and versatile way to move content.  In some cases, it is just a lower-cost way to move content.  In other cases, it enhances the experience by adding graphics and effects that were difficult to accomplish in the past.  And in other cases, it ties in content from far-off places that could previously not be reached.

 

ClearOne VIEW® Pro streaming solutions sit squarely in the Infocomm world, Pro Audio/Video applications.  It is more commonly called “AV over IP.”  By running content over the network, it eliminates the need to run multiple cables over a long distance to get content to monitors, in a point-to-point connection.  Think digital signage and video walls.  It is a combination of cost saving, convenience, and experience enhancement.  A great example is in the case of a sports bar.  With so many monitors placed in such a wide proximity to the source, AV over IP saves time, money, and complicated installs.  Direct connections are no longer needed. Everything is delivered through the network.

 

In addition to content delivery, VIEW® Pro products are actually more than encoders and decoders.  They are video Digital Signal Processors (DSP).  When audio DSPs were invented, they did so much for live audio.  The VIEW® Pro products do the same for video walls and digital signage.  Not only do they distribute the content, but they add effects to make the content more interesting and attention-getting.

 

Streaming serves many purposes.  It touches everyone’s lives in so many ways of which we are not even aware.  There is a reason it is the “Word” of the year.  It enhances our visual experiences in so many ways.  The age of streaming has arrived.

 

 

 

VIEW® Pro Streaming and It’s Incredibly Versatile RS-232 Control Abilities

 

VIEW® Pro streaming encoders & decoders lead the industry in sending high quality h.264 video and audio over an existing IP network; but you probably already knew that. What you may not have known are the brilliant and flexible control capabilities of this technology.

 

In this post, we’re going to take a look at controlling devices via RS-232 and how you can use this power to take over the world, well, maybe just a client’s displays and audio outputs.

 

As an integrator, you’ve labored for several weeks (and weekends), up and down three flights of stairs, installing a multitude of displays for a client. You’re now hoping to solve the problem of powering on/off monitors, and to make it easy for the end user to select which source to show on any of the multitude of new displays. VIEW® Pro is the answer; allowing you to create an ASCII command list in the Dealer Setup software and then selecting that list using the Serial to Command selection on the Sources tab of any encoder being used  in your streaming project.

 

Dealer Set Up Serial to Command

 

The true efficiency of this “mesh network” setup is that you need only have the command list on one device, then using the magic of AV over IP, you can send those serial commands to any decoder on your network to perform the functions you’ve programmed. These commands can include the Active On/Off of the decoders themselves as well as Monitor Power On/Off which would of course require a serial cable from the decoder to the display. The D210 decoder is designed to mount directly behind a display with its small design, making this feature perfect for that model.

 

Additionally, commands such as Source Select can be used to change which sources are being played on any decoder on your network. Using a 3rd-party controller, such as a Crestron device, connected to the serial port of any available encoder or decoder, a savvy integrator could then program a stylish interface for powering displays on and off as well as providing the client an easy-to-use GUI for changing what video and audio is being played throughout the organization.

 

To expand on this ability, integrators can use VIEW® Pro’s new 2 way rs-232 pass through allowing use with ANY of the popular control system such as Utelogy, AMX, and the aforementioned Crestron to “pass-through” any driver over IP and extend the power and reach of the control system.

 

This control feature is included with all of our VIEW® Pro streaming product lines, with no additional upgrade or licensing. Competitors don’t offer this method of control with their streaming devices. Think about the possibilities you can provide for your clients. Not only are you giving them the industry leading 4:4:4 color space of vibrant, crystal-clear video with the lowest latency times;  you’re offering built-in control that allows you to provide a professional AV over IP solution with fewer devices and affordable upgrade licensing across their existing networks.

 

Look into ClearOne’s VIEW® Pro streaming encoders & decoders for your next project and see why we are taking the industry by storm with our network media streaming solutions. You know us for audio, and now you know why “we do video.