Have you often wondered what exactly are networked AV systems and how they can help your business? Well, in this article, we shall talk about networked AV systems and how they can and should be designed. Here goes…

Network-based AV systems were first introduced on a large scale in 2011 and have slowly gained acceptance. Network-based AV systems convert all audio, video and control signals to standard IP-based network traffic in order to switch, route, process, and control. Also, the network-centric paradigm uses standard IP-based network protocols to directly monitor and control every device and there is no customer software required.

There are several advantages to networked AV systems. They cost less than the traditional AV systems and everything is standards-based and available for free. Also, networked AV designs work natively on standard telecommunications infrastructure and signals travel 100M by default with copper and signals travel even longer with fiber. Every signal has a “heartbeat” and can be monitored, reset, or power cycled remotely. Also, conduit and electrical infrastructure requirements are minimal.

Guidelines of networked AV design:

Here are some guidelines for designing a networked AV system:

1) Deciding where the system will reside: You need to decide whether this system will reside on its own separate network or whether it will reside on the corporate network. While both have their pros and cons, running a fully networked AV system on a corporate/converged network does have its downside. However, where the system will reside is entirely dependent on your IT department and its ability to make switch configurations. It is also dependent on your prevailing security protocols and the overall technical networking prowess. So, you need to make this call.

2) Ensuring that all media gets in and out of your network: In a fully networked AV system, all media (both audio and video) need to get into and out of the network. Once it’s there you will be able to route it, process it, and distribute it. All you need to do is mind your bandwidth and resolution requirements. There are a variety of non-proprietary protocols and hardware out there that can get the job done.

3) Thinking about your audio: Once you put everything on the network, you will be able to distribute and process your audio via the network. You will also be able to adjust it remotely and listen to it remotely at all points of the signal chain.

4) Logging into each and every equipment that you use: In a fully networked AV system, you should be able to control each and every device you utilize natively via IP. You should also be able to log right into each and every piece of equipment you use.

5) Using Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices whenever you can: Since you are connecting every device to a network, you should try to use power over Ethernet (PoE) devices whenever you can. This not only saves money in electrical work but also gives you a way to directly control and monitor that power consumption of each device by way of the network switch. For those devices that cannot be powered via PoE, you should utilize a networked power distribution unit or networked single socket power relays.

6) Controlling this fully networked AV system: You should control this fully networked AV system in a reliable way that is native to a network environment. To properly control your networked AV system you will want to use a solid and powerful server-based solution. This solution should be able to compile all of your system data in one place, which includes device logins, passwords, system settings, drawings, instruction manuals, pictures, notes, and so on.

7) Accessing the system remotely: Once the fully networked AV system is up and running, you should be able to remotely access the system, so that you can get to it if there are problems later on, or so that the system can get to you if it has a problem. Detecting problems automatically is easy for fully networked AV systems. They can be programmed to fix themselves if a device becomes unresponsive, and only contact you if the problem isn’t resolved.

So, these are the main items to consider when designing a fully networked AV system. Do follow these guidelines and you will be able to design networked AV systems the right way. Here’s to seamless audio and video over a network…

For more information on how can design and install a fully networked AV system for your business, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

(Content courtesy: www.avnetwork.com and images courtesy: www.avsinc.net and www.svsiav.com)

AV Solutions, Audio Visual Consultants at Actis Technologies India