Back in September Commercial Integrator released the results of their survey "What is on Your AV Networking Wishlist?". The survey participants had some great suggestions and I wanted to take moment to talk about how SDVoE stacks up to that wishlist.
1. A Switch That is Plug-and-Play Out of the Box
Check! One of the SDVoE Alliance founding members, NETGEAR, has an entire line of managed switches (M4300 series) that comes pre-configured for Network AV directly from the factory to work with SDVoE endpoints and control solutions. It really doesn't get any easier than that.
2. Manageable Networks
Check! Network management is all about software, and this is somewhere SDVoE shines. The endpoints themselves have significant reporting capabilities to help system software understand conditions on the network and make this information useful to the system owner/operator. Many alliance members have already built software that makes it easy to understand the health of the network, and there is much more work being done in this area.
Meanwhile, the majority of AV over IP installations treat the SDVoE system as a standalone ‘island’, just like an old matrix switch, but with all of the scalability and flexibility that Ethernet provides. This is approach simplifies deployments and reduces the requirement of network monitoring because it leaves you with nothing at all to manage on the network itself!
3. Drag-and-drop GUI Programming for Controllers Connected to Network
The SDVoE API makes it simple to create custom and easy-to-use applications focused on individual end-user requirements. As a starting point, many SDVoE manufacturers, like SDVoE founding member ZeeVee, have created new applications that make system configuration and operation a breeze. The basic architecture of SDVoE (powerful API unifying multiple brands of endpoint hardware) makes it easy to create applications that are more purpose-built than traditional ‘route A to B’ video system control.
4. Plug-and-play preconfigured devices
SDVoE endpoints are ready to go right out of the box. Without any special configuration they can fully replace a matrix switch, and even handle use cases that used to require expensive and dedicated hardware – such as fully synchronous video walls and multiview image compositing.
SDVoE creates a standard of performance and interoperability between all members’ devices. This means that there is no worry about whether a ZeeVee transmitter will interface correctly to a Christie projector – the interoperability is built-in at the chipset and protocol layer.
5. Greater Mobile Device Control
Here again, the flexibility of the API-based approach shines. Applications built on the API can be deployed on PCs, mobile devices, traditional control systems, or any other computer platform capable of network access. Many SDVoE applications have already been built to take advantage of mobile devices.
6. To Have 4K and Above Signals, Work Over a 1Gig Network
Everyone agrees that consuming less bandwidth is better. But at what cost? It’s very easy to understand that a signal compressed by only 30% is going to look better than a signal compressed by 2,000%. Yet that’s what 1G systems require. This means introducing latency and reducing image quality.
It takes a 10G network to deliver AV with the same quality and latency as a matrix switch – the benchmark of performance. It offers flawless quality and near-zero latency. This is what users expect. Giving users this kind of confidence means we NEED 10G. And here’s the good news – bandwidth is cheap, and it only gets cheaper!
7. More Comprehensive Security and Integration Features Across the Board for all AV Network Products
The strength of SDVoE is the breadth of the ecosystem. At the time of writing this, there are 158 shipping products based on SDVoE technology, and all of them are easy to integrate because they are interoperable by design. Security features baked into SDVoE itself include the fact that all AV signals are encrypted with AES-128 – without exception. Specific requirements from an end user’s IT group are easy to layer on top of the base layer of SDVoE by members who add in capabilities like SSH communications, 802.1x authentication, or other features required by a specific installation. And it’s important to remember that, like a matrix switch, SDVoE can be implemented off-network to deliver the ultimate AV performance with zero network impact.
About Justin Kennington
Justin is the President of the SDVoE Alliance and you can connect with him on LinkedIn
About the SDVoE Alliance
The SDVoE Alliance is a nonprofit consortium of technology providers collaborating to standardize the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments, and to create an ecosystem around SDVoE technology allowing software to define AV applications. Founding members of the SDVoE Alliance are Semtech, Aquantia, Christie Digital, NETGEAR, Sony and ZeeVee. SDVoE Alliance founding members bring different perspectives to the SDVoE initiative spanning the entire ecosystem with expertise in chipsets (Semtech, Aquantia), switches and storage (NETGEAR) and AV end points (Christie Digital, Sony and ZeeVee).