AV-over-IP is a hot topic these days and AV pros and IT departments around the world are embracing it as the solution to drive display applications of all kinds – from digital signage to corporate meeting rooms, from operation center video walls to immersive video experiences. Despite the increasing demand for AV-over-IP, there has been no one unifying protocol or even one unifying technological approach. AV-over-IP quite literally means the transmission of audio-visual information via data packets over an Internet Protocol, or put more simply, using the network rather than using traditional audio-visual signal transmission.
That definition of AV-over-IP is generic enough that it fits a lot of different applications and differentiating among them is the first step in choosing the right approach for any particular topic.
To differentiate among AV-over-IP offerings it’s important to understand how AV-over-IP came about. Traditional AV solutions used circuit-switched networks and that involved various proprietary cables and connectors and resulted in a cumbersome solution that was often proprietary and offered limited scalability.
As the use of networks rose and more video was deployed over the network some AV companies began to replace their AV connectors with specialized encoders and decoders to allow AV signals to be sent over an IP network.
We’ll call this conventional AV-over-IP: it’s using the network but isn’t using the server, switch and computer infrastructure that most people associate with IP networks. Instead it’s using proprietary or specialized hardware and codecs that aren’t interoperable and have no universally agreed upon standards. In essence the encoder and decoder infrastructure that so many AV-over-IP solutions promote is still reliant on cumbersome proprietary and specialized hardware.
In contrast to this is a Software based approach to AV-over-IP that relies only on commercially available off-the-shelf hardware, rejecting the use of encoders and decoders and fully embracing existing IP standards. This approach relies exclusively on a tech stack that would be familiar to any IT department and is standard in the enterprise.
Userful software runs either on an on-premise Server (standard commercially available off-the-shelf hardware from HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc.) or a cloud server that then connects through a standard IP network directly to LG webOS smart displays compatible with Userful’s uClient app. Those smart displays all run Userful’s uClient app which allows them to sync across displays for video walls and allows them to connect back to the Userful server (either in the cloud or on-premise).
The result is an AV-over-IP platform that allows customers to stream any content source to any display in any location, at any time and in real time. Customers can deploy content of unlimited resolution onto video walls of unlimited size, using a cloud based server for public display and digital signage applications. Using an on-premise server, customers can deploy real-time content and interact with it in real time for a control room or operation center video wall. The combined Userful and LG webOS solution offers a visual networking platform that takes an AV-over-IP approach and allows IT teams to easily stream content anytime and anywhere for customer engagement, employee communication, process automation, rapid decision-making and more.
Userful with LG WebOS compared with traditional AV-over-IP solutions:
To make it easy for LG customers to get started with Userful’s Visual Networking Platform, Userful is offering free 1 year subscriptions to Userful Standard with purchases of select LG webOS displays, until December 31, 2020.
To learn more about Userful and this special offer, visit userful.com/lg