Traditionally, AV content is distributed using fixed hardware matrix solutions - a method still being used in some projects. This method will have one piece of hardware with fixed number of inputs and fixed number of outputs; all the sources and destinations being connected to this same box.
There are some major disadvantages in using this traditional method. To name just a few:
a) Multiple racks of equipment and more footprints are needed
b) Expensive, specialized, and source-dedicated cables are needed
c) Complex installation and maintenance is required
d) Cable restriction for length limitation is a consideration and even it may pick up noise and distortion
e) Rigidity is a reality - the system is neither scalable nor flexible. For example: Starting with one 16x16 (sources x destinations) unit, a customer would face purchasing another entire 16x16 system should they need to add just two more channels...a 32x32 system in which only 18x18 are being used.
The modern and new way of distributing AV contents is through TCP/IP Ethernet network. To explain simply, the source devices are connected to a device called an "Encoder." The destination devices are connected with a device called a "Decoder." The Encoders and Decoders are connected with an Ethernet Network Switch.
There are countless advantages in using this new method. To name just a few:
a) Highly scalable: Any source to any destination in any combination of the inputs/outputs can be connected in the system. Add a device when needed and if needed.
b) No distance limitation in the network.
c) Highly flexible, including video, audio, data, and control – all in the same network. Can extend the system by increment of 1 unit (unlike the purchasing scenario above!)
d) Highly reliable with high-quality signal transmission over standard Ethernet networks, using standard CAT5e/6 cables.
e) Internet Protocols are matured and standardized for interoperability and are future-proof.
f) Highly affordable, using the existing IP network infrastructure that includes the switches and cables.
g) Ease of installation and maintenance.
ClearOne’s StreamNet technology – a high-quality, AVoIP streaming solution that provides digital media distribution with unmatched scalability and ease of deployment on existing IP networks. It supports all types of AV sources to be distributed through existing Ethernet networks to all types of endpoints – from video wall screens to single, large-display screens and laptops or mobile devices.
ClearOne’s VIEW® Pro delivers the highest-quality multimedia streaming & distribution on an existing IP network with 1080p60 resolution, and an H.264 codec with ultra-high-quality 4:4:4 color-space video, ultra-low latency, low & adjustable network bandwidth, self-discovery, built-in control, RTSP/UDP streams for 3rd party products interoperability.