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May 2017

Key Points „ The worlds of AV and broadcast are becoming increasingly similar – and AV integrators need to learn not only new skills, but a new vocabulary „ Distribution of video within an organisation or venue is, increasingly, a further example of the growing significance of IP

Crossing the streams

„ While implementation requirements vary from vertical market to vertical market, the underlying technologies are common to all „ For integrators prepared to invest in the necessary skills and understanding, the market is potentially a highly attractive one

Online video will account for 80% of worldwide internet traffic by 2019, according to Cisco – and businesses and organisations are making an increasingly substantial contribution to this figure. Ian McMurray reports on how the convergence of the broadcast and AV worlds is affecting this trend


f you were at ISE earlier this year, the chances are you heard a good deal of discussion about the impact of 4K and HDR. You probably heard people discussing the challenges of accommodating multiple portable screens. And you’d almost definitely have listened to conversations about the challenges – and opportunities – presented by IP. Conversely, if you were at IBC last autumn, you’d have heard people discussing what 4K and HDR might mean. You would likely have heard visitors wondering how to get content to multiple portable screens. And you’d certainly have overheard conversations about the opportunities – and challenges – presented by IP. Yes: the worlds of AV and broadcast are becoming increasingly difficult to tell apart – and nowhere are their growing similarities better illustrated than in the distribution of audio and video within corporate offices, leisure facilities, sports arenas and so on. Of all those similarities, the transition towards IP – the so-called ‘IT-ification’ of both industries – is perhaps the most significant one. “AV over IP is quickly replacing conventional AV technology, and this really affects all markets,” says Erik Indresovde, director of AV products at Black Box. “We see a very quick adoption in the hospitality industry, where hotels, bars and casinos are trying to get dynamic messaging and TV signals out to a large audience, and corporate

AV and education are also growth areas for IP-based AV. Furthermore, it’s largely driven by integrators with a desire to provide their end customers with the most innovative and costeffective technology.” “Without doubt, the broadcast video/audio market is now very focused on the capabilities and advantages being offered by the IT industry,” notes Stephen Brownsill, audio product manager, TSL Products. “Many in the broadcast industry are now looking to adopt IT technologies not only to distribute their content, but to create it also.”

‘Broadcasters refer to workflows, while AV integrators refer to solutions or designs’ Craig Heffernan, Blackmagic Design

Viable fabric “Delivering video from a playout origin to the destination can be designed a number of ways,” explains Will Waters, director of product marketing for NewTek. “In very general terms, there are two

ways to deliver video: RF (radio frequency) and IP (internet protocol). RF has served us well, but in recent years, IP networks have gained the speed and capacity to become a viable distribution fabric. NewTek is developing IP-based video products to help integrators bring solutions to end-users.” “End-to-end IP video systems are in particularly high demand due to their capacity to receive, convert and distribute high-quality video content to any device connected over any network, enabling an organisation to create its own personalised TV and video service,” adds Colin Farquhar, CEO at Exterity. “In addition, IPTV systems are scalable and easily integrate with the broader AV and IT systems, including digital signage, CCTV or network monitoring platforms, and enable system administrators to access and control all components at once.” Exterity, as Farquhar notes, has a comprehensive range of products designed to enable organisations to harness their IPTV networks, from capture through encoding, transcoding and receiving to monitoring and control. According to James Keen, marketing manager, Tripleplay, video over IP need not be as complex as it may sound. “Essentially, you need very little equipment,” he claims. “Modern video-over-IP solutions, such as ours, allow IPTV and VOD streams to be delivered across an IP network, securely to SoC-equipped screens and smart TVs directly from the headend server with nothing

Installation May 2017 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world

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