AV Networks: Future of Audio, Video Directly Tied to IT

While there are a wide range of signal types to consider when thinking about the right AV network, the type of cable most often used for such networks is Ethernet.

AV Networks: Future of Audio, Video Directly Tied to IT
One possible way to connect an AV network, would be to run just a ton of Ethernet cable throughout the building and put in patch bays, and allow you to connect anything to anything. The only problem with that approach is you have to understand what devices plug into each other, and which ones will actually will talk to each other in order to make the system work.
AV Networks: Future of Audio, Video Directly Tied to IT
One possible way to connect an AV network, would be to run just a ton of Ethernet cable throughout the building and put in patch bays, and allow you to connect anything to anything. The only problem with that approach is you have to understand what devices plug into each other, and which ones will actually will talk to each other in order to make the system work.

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Things tend to come full circle, don’t they?

What devices will actually will talk to each other in order to make a system work?

How many do you guys remember when a computer network amounted to a token ring that used BNC connectors and coax cable?

OK, so maybe a few of you, but not all. Now, how many of you are familiar with how many different types of signals can flow over a CAT5 or CAT6 cable?

Maybe I should start listing them, just so we can start to see the sheer quantity of different things that are all transmitted over a similar connector type. Today, instead of installing Multi core copper snake cable for an audio mixer, many of us are instead opting to put in a digital snake with a CAT6 cable.

Under such a configuration, can I plug a digital snake into your network switch? Can it then go to multiple consoles?

I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but it’s all with the intent of starting you thinking about the complication in the potential consequences of not knowing all of the signal tapes, and how they all need to talk to each other.

On a system recently installed of note, it included a high-end Cisco network switch that drives all of the traffic between all the connections, such as the video projector, to the TVs throughout the building, to the amplifiers, the system DSP, the front of house mixer, as well as the touch panels that control everything.

One of the issues that just came up was that installation after it had been completed, involved a couple of 75-inch large displays that had been put on stage by the owner. One of the volunteers at the church proceeded to grab an Ethernet cable, looking to plug from the back of the TV LAN port into a random Ethernet jack in a floor pocket. They then wondered why they couldn’t get any signal on the stage display TVs.

So if we start with Dante as one of the connectivity standards available on the market today, then another to talk about would be AES50, then HDBaseT, after which we would need to talk about DigitalMedia, or DM, from Crestron, AES67, ANet, QLAN, then we can’t forget standard IP traffic, let alone passive baluns for video signals.

Fortunately, all of the signal types noted above use the same connector type, that being Ethernet.

On the plus side, we could run just a ton of Ethernet cable throughout the building and put in patch bays, and allow you to connect anything to anything. The only problem with that approach is you have to understand what devices plug into each other, and which ones will actually will talk to each other in order to make the system work.


More About Stefan Svard
Stefan Svard has been involved with the A/V world for virtually all of his life. His first experience dates back to when he was 13 years old, and fast forward to the present. He now has the opportunity to serve a much larger base of people through his company, Audio Video Electronics, a Minneapolis-based AVL systems integrator, which specializes in sound systems, acoustic design, sound transmission isolation, video systems and lighting systems.
Get in Touch: ssvard@audiovideoelectronics.com    More by Stefan Svard

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For Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Video · Team Management · Budgeting · Team Development · Amplifiers · Audio · AV Networks · Cable · Consoles · Ethernet · All Topics

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