Pre-defined requirements for IP signal transmission systems facilitate selection
AVoverIP is becoming increasingly important. Thus, the number of providers also increases. Therefore, the choice of the right system is getting increasingly difficult. It is extremely useful to exactly know the planned use cases and their requirements. As assistance in the decision-macing process, this blog post defines different kinds of communication spaces as well as their typical use cases and the requirements on the transmission quality of AVoverIP systems.
Advantages of AVoverIP in AV technology
AVoverIP is becoming more and more important for AV technology and will further replace the traditional point-to-point signal distribution via dedicated hardware. The future lies in signal transmission via IP based networks. According to the market research firm Futuresource Consulting, sales of AVoverIP products in 2017 had already increased by over 130%. Almost all manufacturers of products for AV distribution now offer network-compatible, IP-based solutions. At the same time, the number of projects in which AVoverIP solutions are integrated is also increasing. This is a development that is not surprising. AVoverIP offers many advantages in AV signal transmission for both AV system integrators and users. By using existing IT infrastructures, AVoverIP solutions can be easily integrated into computer networks. Compared to conventional systems for signal transmission, networked AV systems offer almost unlimited scalability, flexibility and cost-efficiency. Since no standard has gained a general acceptance yet and different standards are used (e.g. 1 Gbit systems, 10 Gbit systems, AVB, different features, strengths and weaknesses) the selection of a system is often difficult.
What to look for when selecting?
There are numerous features that have to be considered when selecting systems. These include, for example, bandwidth, use of different signal formats and support for variable data rates. A very important factor that should not be underestimated when selecting a system is the Quality of Experience, which above all influences user acceptance. A communication room can be as modern and as well-equipped as it needs to be – if the users do not use it due to poor communication quality, this means a wasted budget. Therefore, when planning a room, you should always make sure to ensure the best possible communication quality. In this blog post we concentrate particularly on latency, solution and refresh rates as criteria for transmission quality and display/presentation quality. Based on the corresponding room types and their use cases, we give an overview of which factors should be considered when selecting AVoverIP.
Definition of room types/use cases and their requirements for AVoverIP:
We have defined the different room types of communication spaces as follows:
- Video conference room,
- Meeting room ( -standard und –ad hoc),
- Collaboration room
- Presentation room
- Multfunction room
Based on the use cases of these different room types, AVoverIP has different requirements for image quality (latency, image repetition, resolution).
1. Video conference room:
Video conference rooms are used to share and exchange information, make decisions and solve problems. This usually happens across LAN boundaries. With classic video conference rooms, it is important to ensure high communication quality. That’s why the end-to-end latency between transmitter and receiver should be as low as possible during transmission. The more delayed the end-to-end latency is, the more the communication quality decreases. As far as lip synchronization is concerned, the offset times should be as short as possible. The audio track and the video signal should be as little delayed as possible so that the user does not notice the offset. Even relatively minor delays can have subconscious effects on the viewer. The result is that the content is perceived as less credible and therefore less trustworthy. Accordingly, the systems should have as little offset as possible in order to guarantee a qualitatively satisfactory solution with regard to lip synchronization. Video resolution also plays a major role in communication quality. In a videoconference room today, this is at maximum Full HD with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, since on the one hand the videoconference systems themselves do not process higher resolutions and on the other hand the added value of a UHD resolution is not given in such a scenario.
2. Meeting Room:
A meeting room is a space that serves internal communication purposes. It is used for presenting and lecturing, passing on information and exchanging information. The meeting room is used for communication within a building and the presentation of visual content such as PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, graphics or videos. Although in some scenarios meeting rooms are equipped with videoconferencing systems, the two scenarios are considered separate because the requirements for these room types generally differ. Meeting rooms can also be differentiated into ad hoc meeting rooms and standard meeting rooms. These differ particularly with regard to capacity. While ad-hoc meeting rooms are designed for small groups of people and can be used spontaneously without a room booking system, standard meeting rooms are intended for four to 16 people, depending on the means available. Due to the strong focus on technical video content, a standard meeting room places high demands on the quality of the visual media to be transmitted and displayed. UHD resolutions at a refresh rate of 60 Hz are ideal for ensuring optimum presentation, especially for product presentations and computer graphics. In addition, this also results in optimal equipment for future application scenarios. Since ad hoc meeting rooms are mostly used for spontaneous meetings and not for making decisions on critical topics, the presentation of the contents as a Full HD signal with a refresh rate of 60 Hz is sufficient in such a case. With regard to the latency to be maintained between an input command and the display, low latency times are recommended in both cases.
3. Collaboration room:
Collaboration rooms serve primarily to develop and discuss content. In a collaboration room, several employees work together on an idea. By using various interaction technologies (mouse, keyboard, touch display, controller), the users come into direct contact with the media technology components and operate them with them.
A refresh rate of at least 60 Hz is required to ensure smooth motion when using touch displays. The contents must also be reproduced with the highest possible resolution (ideally UHD), since the user is standing directly in front of the display and a high pixel density is visible there. In addition, by using haptic input methods, the lowest possible latency time between the input command and the display is recommended. Since touch events are transferred via USB, it is also advantageous if the system supports USB signal transfer.
3. Presentation room:
Presentation rooms are used for presentations and lectures. Presentation areas thus are room scenarios that are used for advertising purposes or to convey information. With regard to video resolution, there is a high demand on the systems. Video content must be transmitted and displayed at a UHD resolution and at a frame rate of at least 60 Hz in order to present the data in the best possible visual quality. The support of High Dynamic Range and Dolby Vision is also an advantage, as it may well be that such mechanisms are desired for image optimization. The end-to-end latency between input and playback can be in the mid to high range, since the focus of this scenario is not on bidirectional communication and a certain delay time during transmission is acceptable.
5. Multifunctional room:
Multifunctional rooms are used for the most different things. They are used both for training and education, for presentations and lectures, for developing content and its discussion, for passing on and exchanging information, as well as for making decisions and solving problems.
For this reason, a multifunctional room is a room that has no fixed media components and can be flexibly equipped depending on the application. The multifunctional room can be used for collaborations, meetings and presentations. The requirement criteria are – depending on the application – the values of the collaboration room or the meeting room. In order to be able to use the systems flexibly, they must also be able to be integrated at different input and output points without losing their configuration.
An auditorium is used for presentations and lectures and for training and education. Auditoriums are both lecture halls in universities and larger rooms in companies that are used for the presentation of knowledge, work and annual reports. The rooms are based on bidirectional real-time communication between the presenter and the audience, which places high demands on the transmission time of the systems used. To ensure that audio and video signals are perceived synchronously, the delay of the video transmission system used should be as low as possible. If the system exceeds or falls below certain values, it is necessary to delay the audio signal to the video signal by appropriate mechanisms. However, if the delay time to be bridged is too long, the delay between actual creation and actual reproduction increases to such an extent that the realistic communication is disturbed. Therefore, systems that cause a too large offset of audio and video in the transmission are not recommended here. Since viewers are usually at such a distance from the presentation surface that the advantage of UHD transmission is no longer given, visual content can be reproduced with a Full HD resolution of 60 Hz.
As shown, the room types with their different use cases have different requirements for AVoverIP systems. It makes sense to first deal with the use cases and the associated requirements for a communication space. Only in this way is it possible to adapt the AV technology and thus the AVoverIP system exactly to the needs of the company. In this way, superfluous costs can be saved that would arise later in the event of adjustments. In addition, one can be sure that the user acceptance of the room will increase, which in turn will result in a good occupancy rate, which will very soon pay off when setting up a room.
Sascha Kremp, IP-Streaming Specialist bei der mevis.tv GmbH
Monica Wagner, Marketing assistant, macom GmbH
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