Q&A: WyreStorm Talks InfoComm, AV over IP and the Future of Signal Distribution

Published: July 4, 2016

WyreStorm‘s director of marketing, Todd Akins, took the time to discuss with CI his key takeaways from InfoComm 2016, AV over IP and the future of signal distribution.

1. CI:  Now the dust has settled on InfoComm 2016, what are your strongest takeaways from this year’s show?

TA: Although huddle room and collaboration solutions certainly were prolific, with WyreStorm being no exception – the overwhelming takeaway was the acceptance of AV over IP technology as the future of signal distribution.

Similar to the dawn of HDBaseT technology in 2010, WyreStorm started working on AV over IP technology early.  We’ve had our NetworkHD AV over IP solution available for more than two years. Being in the IP game for a while has allowed us gain a really good understanding of the technologies involved and what matters to customers in real world applications. 
A good example is our new NetworkHD Touch app for iPad, winner of Commercial Integrator’s Best Video Distribution System at InfoComm 2016 and one of our most popular products with attendees at the show.

The app was developed from first hand project feedback suggesting that although the dealer loved how NetworkHD integrated with third party control systems, the client noted their expensive new control system was not being used properly by their staff, largely due to their inability to understand what sources were showing what content and what displays they were switching content to. 

The solution was to create a free app that controls an entire NetworkHD system, featuring live previews of all sources and screens with instant drag and drop selection on a device the user was already familiar with, using gestures they already knew. 

Integrating with our Enado browser-based AV control system adds source control and QR code scanning for BYOD connectivity and further control functionality.  It’s all about giving the dealer options for their clients.

2. CI:  What AV over IP technologies are used in the Pro AV space and what applications are they best suited for?

TA:  H.264 has been the technology of choice for Blu-ray, HDTV broadcasts and consumer-facing video streaming services for a while.  Pro AV is realizing the same efficient compression technologies for commercial applications. 

Together with today’s ubiquitous IP networking infrastructure, the whole AV industry is jumping on board.  Some of our current projects involve sports bars, retail stores/malls, corporate environments and schools/campuses. 

3. CI:  What are some key features of AV over IP and why do you see it as “the future of signal distribution”?

TA:  AV over IP systems work by using a managed network switch, a controller and a series of encoders and decoders connected to sources and displays. 

Features of AV over IP systems include distribution and switching of high quality video and audio, PoE powering of encoders and decoders from the switch, CEC and 2-way RS-232 for use with third party control systems. 

A key characteristic of AV over IP, and one of the main reasons for its increasing popularity over other transmission/switching technologies is scalability, particularly for large-scale Pro AV deployments. Networked AV can be expanded cost-effectively to include a virtually unlimited numbers of sources and displays by adding plug & play encoders and decoders capable of multicasting content over the network.

4. For installers not already using AV over IP in projects, what are important considerations when deciding whether to go the HDBaseT or IP route?

TA: The WyreStorm slogan “Because the Technology Matters” is true.  The technology used in a project is vital and understanding the benefits (and tradeoffs) of the available technologies is essential to the success of any design.

Dealers should carefully consider all of the requirements of the application for today and in the future. Is distribution needed for a single location room, multiple locations or enterprise-wide?  What is the distance between locations?  What content is being distributed to what?  Is video wall support needed?  What is the expected image quality and latency?  Will sources or displays be changed, updated, or added in future? Is there a network and will it be used? What level of control is needed? 

Answers to all these questions will help determine which technology is best and which solution will meet the client’s AV distribution and control expectations. Whatever the need, WyreStorm has the right technology to deliver the perfect solution every time

Visit for more information on NetworkHD AV over IP.

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