Q&A: Matrox Graphics’ Ron Berty on Signal Distribution Options

Matrox Graphics Inc.’s business development manager weighs in on integrators’ signal distribution options, IP networks and hybrid solutions.

CI Staff

As companies create and distribute more audio and video content than every before, system designers are tasked with providing signal distribution solutions that will keep their clients’ organizations ticking.

Matrox Graphics, makers of Maevex AV-over-IP solution, is a manufacturer that works with integrators and consultants on addressing those challenges.

CI talked to Ron Berty, business development manager for Matrox, about the the state of signal distribution.

What are some challenges that integrators and their clients typically have when it comes to signal distribution as we enter 2015 that they didn’t have just a few years ago?

Berty: A few years ago there wasn’t much choice when it came to signal distribution. It was all proprietary instead of standardized and all pretty much baseband, which resulted in signal distribution that was big, expensive, and cumbersome.

Today with signal distribution over IP there are many options available, which helps address all these issues. For example, you can go all IP or you can go for a hybrid approach and grow existing distribution networks out using an IP infrastructure. The two can work together, without clients losing earlier investments.

When designing a signal distribution solution for clients, what are some common mistakes that integrators should try to avoid?

Berty: It’s important to embrace new signal distribution options like audio and video over IP.  At this stage, most of us believe that AV over IP is the way of the future. There are plenty of options and solutions out now that work in new installations or integrated within existing, older matrix-style distribution systems.

It is very important for integrators to be knowledgeable of these options when dealing with clients today. If they are not, their competition most likely will be.

What advice do you have for an AV integrator designing a signal distribution system for a client whose CIO is quite concerned about the effect it will have on their network?

Berty: One key piece of advice is that it is important to know what clients expect in terms of the general purpose and video quality expectations of the signal distribution system. The desired resolution and quality will in large part dictate the bit rate required to move the video over the network. This in turn will play a key role in determining how the AV-over-IP network is set up.

For example, if the requirement is to move a simple, medium-quality H.264 720p stream from one point to another at a meager 5 mbps then the CIO or IT director may be satisfied with the existing network infrastructure. However, if the client is expecting to run a distribution network with many sources and many destinations that needs to distribute 1080p60 high-quality video, a VLAN or Video subnet might be more suitable so as not to impede regular data moving about the network.