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How to Successfully Navigate A/V Convergence, Transition to Ultra HD

Handling the convergence of A/V and the move to Ultra HD may seem like a challenge. By keeping these factors in mind, integrators can also avoid the biggest pitfalls that stand in their way.

CI Staff

Every integrator I speak with is either thinking about Ultra HD or has already installed it. This is not a future technology, it is here now as clients are expecting and asking for it.

Luckily, Ultra HD-ready products are available, and the change is not nearly as disruptive or costly as the SD to HD transition. 

What has driven the need for Ultra HD? New technology that has allowed Ultra HD media to be recorded, transferred and archived is a huge catalyst. But one of the main drivers is expectation by the general public. 

As technology progresses, things are becoming smaller, faster and more powerful. Not only can we talk, text, tweet and email on our smartphones, but we can take amazing high resolution photos and videos, watch television and stream our favorite movies. We also enjoy being able to do all this, and more, from a single device.

We live in a connected world where consumers have become so used to having access to content and seeing high quality images that they have now come to expect it everywhere they go, whether at a Sunday church service or watching a live stream of their kid’s high school football game.

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High quality images keep viewers engaged no matter how the content is accessed, and quality has become equally as important as the content itself. The move to Ultra HD is also inevitable, and it’s not a question of when it will happen, but what will happen to those who don’t get on board sooner rather than later.

It’s not just expected from major broadcasters, NFL stadiums or the massive screens in Times Square. A/V everywhere now has to be more impressive than what people can see at home on their TV.

Handling the convergence of A/V and the move to Ultra HD may seem like a challenge. But there are certain factors integrators need to keep in mind to successfully navigate the convergence of A/V while concurrently transitioning to 4K or getting workflows Ultra HD ready. And by keeping these factors in mind, integrators can also avoid the biggest pitfalls that stand in their way.

Compatibility

Everything from capturing images to switching, recording, streaming and archiving needs to work together. Ultra HD does not favor proprietary products that don’t work across an entire network. Fortunately, 12G-SDI, 6G-SDI and Thunderbolt technology have allowed companies to build products that work across an entire Ultra HD network.

12G-SDI and 6G-SDI products can handle multiple tasks as the lines between workflows become more and more blurred. With so many options and potential workflows, integrators need to ensure that they invest in technologies with the right feature set. This not only includes professional features, but also flexibility and interoperability.

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It’s also important because it shows that products are being developed based on customer need and feedback, especially as workflows are constantly changing and evolving. In the same vein, integrators should invest in products that have enough connections, inputs and outputs so that workflows have room to grow.

Why limit yourself from the outset? It’s also why integrators should look for products that have the ability to work in SD, HD and Ultra HD if their clients aren’t ready for a full on Ultra HD workflow at present.

Bob Caniglia is the Senior Regional Manager, Eastern North America, Blackmagic Design. For more information, please visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.

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