18 SPECIAL REPORT: AV OVER IP
Time to get on board To begin this special 12-page report on AV over IP, Ian McMurray looks at the different factors that are driving the move to this new paradigm. It’s said that, if something is inevitable, the best thing to do is embrace it. Is that how the AV industry is viewing the growing signiﬁcance of AVoIP?
veryone – well, almost everyone – knows that it was Tim (now Sir Tim) Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web in 1989. Rather less well known are Bob Khan and Vint Cerf, without whose invention the internet we know today wouldn’t be possible. TCP/IP – widely referred to as just ‘IP’ – will, depending on who you believe, enable between 20 billion and 75 billion devices to be connected to the internet by 2020.
‘Integrators have the opportunity to move away from the pack, become leaders, and offer all those beneﬁts to their clients’ Chris Scurto, ZeeVee
‘Ubiquitous’ doesn’t begin to describe IP. As such, it was always inevitable that, at some point, it would begin to encroach on the world of AV. After all: we already consume huge amounts of video using IP; according to Cisco, by 2020, a million minutes of video will cross the
network – every second. The success of Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora testify to how much we rely on IP for audio. Earlier this year, Spotify announced that it now has over 50 million paid subscribers, while Pandora claims 21.96 billion hours of listening in 2016.
Everyone’s a winner But just because something is inescapable doesn’t mean it’s ideal – or even right. Does the AV industry stand to gain from IP’s inexorable march? The answer seems to be a resounding ‘yes’: everyone, including end-users, manufacturers and integrators, comes out a winner. “End-users gain all of the economies and beneﬁts that have propelled data and voice over IP thus far, the opening up of new applications such as wireless transmission, the ability to reach much longer distances, the ability to hybridise between data types and the ability to sustain a much larger audience of concurrent consumption of AV,” believes Myles Carter, media relations manager at Matrox. “We know that the market needs simple solutions,” says David Margolin, marketing director at Kramer, which premiered the Kramer Network enterprise management platform for AV over IP solutions at ISE last year. “AVoIP will become the new AV standard eventually. Aside from the big
Key Points End-users, manufacturers and integrators all stand to benefit from the transition to an AVoIP world AVoIP has been enabled by silicon technology, higher-capacity/lower-cost switches, and developments in codecs The world of AVoIP is a different and unfamiliar one, and many in the industry foresee the need for substantial education and training Demand for AVoIP is being driven by end-users seeking integration, scalability, lower costs and new applications and complex AV installations, new AV owners are still looking for simple solutions for smaller meeting spaces that don’t require a high level of technology but do require remote management. Being able to identify, before the end-user, that there’s an issue with the meeting space is a key requirement. On top of that, being able to minimise downtime and provide a reliable user experience is equally important.” “Manufacturers gain a lowered barrier to entry for new products, since they now only need