Are you in the pic­ture?

Prem Ro­drigues of Siemon ex­plains what is re­quired from the IT net­work to em­brace full AV con­ver­gence

Network Middle East - - INSIGHT / AV CONVERGENC­E -

At the very heart of ev­ery in­tel­li­gent build­ing lies an Ip-based net­work powered by a high-per­for­mance cop­per ca­bling in­fra­struc­ture that en­ables the con­ver­gence of mul­ti­ple build­ing ser­vices - and as­so­ci­ated de­vices – onto one uni­fied in­fra­struc­ture.

While in most smart build­ings, the light­ing, se­cu­rity, fire and safety sys­tems, heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air con­di­tion­ing (HVAC) have long shifted to con­nect­ing via Ip-based ca­bling, newer ap­pli­ca­tions such as Poe-en­abled com­put­ing are now emerg­ing to take ad­van­tage of it too.

But what about AV ap­pli­ca­tions like video and pro­jec­tion dis­plays, video con­fer­enc­ing and dig­i­tal sig­nage? Can they be con­sid­ered a true IP sys­tem?

The most pop­u­lar AV pro­to­col to­day is HDBASET. It sup­ports ul­tra-high­def­i­ni­tion 4K video and au­dio along with 100 Mb/s Eth­er­net (100Base-t), USB, bidi­rec­tional con­trol sig­nals and 100W of power for dis­tances up to 100 me­ters.

Newer AV pro­to­cols in­clude Soft­ware­De­fined Video over Eth­er­net (SDVOE) which uses stan­dards-based net­work ca­bling, Eth­er­net, TCP/IP and low-la­tency switch­ing to trans­mit AV sig­nals. SDVOE also elim­i­nates the use of AV video ma­trix switches, which typ­i­cally cost about 90 per cent more per port than a stan­dard Eth­er­net switch.

Most in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als to­day see SDVOE as the AV ap­pli­ca­tion that lever­ages net­work ca­bling and In­ter­net Pro­to­col (IP). Soft­ware-de­fined Video over Eth­er­net sup­ports un­com­pressed 4K video, au­dio, con­trol and 1 Gb/s Eth­er­net (1000BASE-T).

Re­gard­less of whether an AV sys­tem is HDBASET or SDVOE, the re­quire­ments for the un­der­ly­ing ca­bling in­fra­struc­ture sup­port­ing them re­main largely the same. While HDBASET can run over Cat­e­gory 5e (to lim­ited dis­tances) and Cat­e­gory 6 cop­per ca­bling, the HDBAset Al­liance and HDBASET equip­ment ven­dors all rec­om­mend Cat­e­gory 6A twisted-pair un­shielded ca­bling at a min­i­mum to sup­port the band­width re­quired for 4K sig­nals and reach the full 100-me­ter dis­tance.

To en­sure truly ro­bust per­for­mance, how­ever, many AV ven­dors rec­om­mend Cat­e­gory 6A or Cat­e­gory 7A shielded twisted-pair cable. This is be­cause these shielded so­lu­tions pro­vide much bet­ter re­sis­tance to alien crosstalk, which has a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on HDBASET sig­nals wher­ever mul­ti­ple ca­bles are bun­dled to­gether.

Fur­ther, with re­mote power run­ning to video dis­plays at a higher level of 100W, shielded ca­bling of­fers much bet­ter heat dis­si­pa­tion and ther­mal sta­bil­ity.

When it comes to net­work ca­bling me­dia for SDVOE, Cat­e­gory 6A ca­bling is not just rec­om­mended; it’s a must. SDVOE re­quires a 10 Gb/s Eth­er­net net­work (10GBASE-T), which can only be sup­ported by a min­i­mum of Cat­e­gory 6A cable. And for the same rea­sons as HDBASET, shielded ca­bling is rec­om­mended to elim­i­nate crosstalk and pro­vide su­pe­rior heat dis­si­pa­tion and ther­mal sta­bil­ity for re­mote pow­er­ing (90W POE).

From a con­nec­tiv­ity point of view, video dis­plays can be de­ployed much more rapidly if high-per­for­mance field­ter­mi­nated plugs are used.

These plugs are ter­mi­nated at point of in­stal­la­tion and elim­i­nate the need for tra­di­tional out­lets and patch cords. This pro­vides sav­ings on ma­te­rial, time and labour, and it also of­fers a cleaner, more aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing look.


Shortly af­ter the in­tro­duc­tion of SDVOE, the HDBASET Al­liance in­tro­duced HDBASET over IP to also lever­age stan­dards-based net­work in­fra­struc­tures and 10 Gb/s Eth­er­net switches for cross­cam­pus trans­mis­sion, but it re­quires HDBASET-TO-HDBASET-IP bridges and HDBASET-IP switches.

Be­sides, the market has seen the in­tro­duc­tion of other AV over IP pro­to­cols, in­clud­ing the So­ci­ety of Mo­tion Pic­ture and Tele­vi­sion En­gi­neers (SMPTE) 2110 stan­dard. It de­fines the un­com­pressed trans­mis­sion of HD video over IP, JPEG2000 lightly com­pressed video over IP, and high-ef­fi­ciency H.264 and H.265 video com­pres­sion for video over IP.

Prem Ro­drigues, direc­tor for the Mid­dle East, Africa & In­dia/ SAARC at Siemon

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