Date Archives May 2010

What’s Best For My Control Room: Video Walls or Walls of Video?

By David Jones, Sales Manager Control Room Group

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like everyone dreams of having a “video wall” in their control center. Video walls are great, but they’re not necessarily the correct control room display for everyone.

A Video Wall

One of the first tasks of our sales team is to determine whether the client needs a “video wall” or a “wall of video.”

Although both are powerful tools and have a potential place in the control center, there are big differences between the two. Most customers have never had those differences explained to them. This leads to mistakes in the system design. The client ends up spending money (not “investing”) on unnecessary technology that will never be used properly.

A video wall is made up of a video processor and an array of video displays, (typically video cubes or narrow bezel LCD panels.) The video processor addresses the entire video array just like a CPU addresses a monitor. Users can run multiple applications on the display and open other windows as needed.

A Wall of Video

This setup would come in handy at an energy management center, for example. If there is an outage, it can be managed on a portion of the video wall, without sacrificing the rest of the display.

A wall of video is also composed of an array of video displays; however each display shows the signal from one of multiple inputs. A video matrix switch routes the appropriate input to its corresponding display.

In our illustration of a power outage above, one of the inputs would have to be removed for the energy management center to address the situation on a wall of video.

A wall of video is more appropriate for a security center, for example. Each display would show the signal from one of multiple cameras. If one camera fails, the remaining displays would remain functional.

As we said earlier, both the video wall and wall of video are powerful tools, but each addresses unique control room needs. Many of our clients come to us asking for a video wall when in fact a wall of video fits their requirements best.

If you’d like to learn more about the difference between a video wall and a wall of video, and learn more about how they can benefit you in the control room, please email me at david.jones@avispl.com. I’ll give you all the details.

Learn more about the Control Room Group

Deliver and Access HD Video – Live or On Demand New from LifeSize

LifeSize Video CenterLifeSize recently announced LifeSize® Video Center, an innovative new video capture and broadcast system that enables high definition (HD) video to be accessible everywhere – live or on demand.

  • Executive and corporate communications: communicate with employees across the organization and around the world
  • Training: provide employees the flexibility to view HD training sessions wherever they are, whenever they are available
  • Education and distance learning: broadcast and record classes at the press of a button. Bring faculty to remote students, without compromises in quality

The LifeSize Video Center appliance is specifically designed to process HD video directly where it is created, harnessing the power of LifeSize 220 series HD video communications systems. The architecture is the industry’s first solution to enable an unprecedented 20 concurrent recordings in HD, 1000 simultaneous live streams and up to 350 simultaneous on-demand streams, all in crisp, 720p30 high definition (HD) video.

Other key features of the LifeSize Video Center include:

  • Push Button Recording: record and auto-publish from LifeSize 220 series HD video communications systems with one button
  • Auto-Publish Capability: organize content automatically via recording keys
  • User Controlled Layout: viewers easily switch between layouts of video and
    presentations, during recording and playback
  • Flexibility: record and stream, either in-call or out-of-call for playback live or on demand
  • Intelligent Management: Web portal content automatically customized based on user permission
  • Administrator Control: set up, access and monitor effectively through an intuitive, centralized user interface (UI)

Click here to view more video conferencing products »

An Introduction to Voice Over IP ( VoIP ) with Biamp

BIAMP
Biamp Systems has had a VoIP solution for use in audio conferencing systems for over 2 years now – this technology isn’t new to us. In the past two years, AVI-SPL has installed our solution in systems that are integrated with Cisco Call Manager 5.0 & higher, as well as SIP systems by Avaya, Shoretel and others.

What is VoIP?

Internet Protocol (IP) is the way you can digitally access and send information from a network. You communicate using IP every time you access the internet. Now you can leverage that in new and cost-effective ways. From audio to control to video, IP enabled products are the future backbone for A/V systems. Lower costs, greater flexibility and better management are all advantages of leveraging existing IT infrastructures. With the introduction of the VoIP-2 card, a SIP compliant two-channel Voice over Internet Protocol interface, Biamp Systems follows our tradition of innovating to better serve our customers.

The VoIP-2 Card allows Biamp’s AudiaFLEX to connect directly to IP-based phone systems. Used in conjunction with AEC-2HD Acoustic Echo Cancellation Cards and TI-2 Telephone Interface Cards, the VoIP-2 Card makes AudiaFLEX the most powerful, flexible and affordable telephone conferencing product available. Up to six VoIP-2 Cards can be installed into a single AudiaFLEX unit.

VoIP Basics

Before diving into technical details, this simple overview diagram is a good start to summarize steps involved in a VoIP call.

1. The voice signal is first encoded into a known compressed audio format, packetized in a real-time protocol and then transmitted over the network.

2. A VoIP protocol takes care of managing the communication session.

3. On the receiving side, data is extracted from packets and the signal is decoded back to analog audio. Success of this process is obviously sensitive to delay and packet loss.

Into into VoIP

What Are Those Voice Over IP Acronyms?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): Protocol specifically designed for voice transmission over networks (LAN/WAN).

Protocol: Similar to how a language enables communication between people, a protocol defines a set of rules used to control connection, communication and data traffic between different network devices.

Codec: It refers to the software algorithm used to encode the voice signal into a compressed data format optimized for transmission over IP. On the receiving side, signal is decoded back to analog audio. Codec quality obviously affects audio performance.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP): SIP is a widely used peer-to-peer protocol that allows the set up, modification and tear down of a VoIP communication session. Peers of a SIP session are the User Agent Client (Initiating the call) and User Agent Server (Answering the call). Note that SIP does not handle voice transmission, it only manages the communication.

SIP servers: They include the Proxy, Redirect and Registrar Servers. Their purpose is to provide name resolution, user location and pass on messages to other servers in the network.

SIP addresses: Users in a SIP network are identified by unique SIP addresses. A SIP address is similar to an e-mail address and may be of two types: a user name (sip:support@biamp.com) or an E.164 address (5036417287). VoIP-2 card only supports E.164 address.

Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP): An IP packet format that is used for delivering real time audio/video over the LAN/WAN. Once the VoIP call session initialized by SIP, RTP is the protocol used to transmit the voice data.

Quality of Service (QoS): Mechanism used to prioritize applications, users, data flow by guaranteeing a certain level of performance. QoS is very important in the case of RTP applications such as VoIP where it is used to insure quality of the audio signal.

Domain Name System (DNS): DNS procedures provide translation from human friendly hostnames into IP addresses. The SIP session mainly uses DNS to allow a client to resolve a SIP URI into the IP address, port and transport protocol.

SIP call flow process: During the registration process, SIP devices register to a registrar server their SIP addresses. The network is then aware of the location of a device upon request. When a user initiates a call, the SIP discovery process starts by sending a request to a SIP server (proxy or redirect server). The challenge for the proxy server is to obtain the IP address of the device such that voice data can be routed between them. Negotiating a compatible data format (sample rate, codec …etc) is the next step before voice data can be transmitted between parties. SIP terminates the call session with a BYE message at the end of the call.

Click for featured BIAMP products »

AMX’s New Partnerships Provide Building Energy Consumption Savings and more.

AMX logoAMX’s partnership with FieldServer Technologies and DENT Instruments will offer an integrated building management control system for building automation, AV devices, and indoor environmental quality from a single interface. This allows all systems to follow a base set of rules for reduced energy consumption to lower carbon footprints and contribute to LEED points.

Click here to read the complete article »

Would you like to know more about AMX products? Click here to request more information »

SANYO’s All-in-One Projector Mounts Provide the Full Power of Audio

Sanyo logoTargeted for the educational market, SANYO’s new MT-EDU 101 and MT-EDU 102 projector mounts offer an all-in-one package for teachers on a budget. They deliver the impact of 50-watt two-channel amplifiers and two powerful 25-watt rated two-way speakers for high-performance capabilities. This effectively eliminates the need to use a typical projector’s internal speakers or a separate audio system in order to gain the same effect.

The high-efficiency ported speakers, which use 5” woofers and directional tweeters, are tuned to provide optimal sound coverage in large rooms, including a standard 32’ x 32’ classroom. Designed to avoid overwhelming listeners in the front rows with excessive sound levels, the system provides excellent intelligibility throughout the room without distortion and microphone feedback.

Multiple external audio sources, including wired and wireless microphones, are easily accommodated without complicated wiring arrangements. A line level microphone jack, two sets of stereo RCA inputs and a mini stereo jack are located on the side of the mount chassis, and each input has an individual gain preset control.

MT-EDU101 Mount

For short throws, the MT-EDU101 extends 7 to 27 inches from the wall, and for longer throw distances, the otherwise identical MT-EDU102 adds an extension pole to place the projector 37 to 67 inches from the wall. These can be mounted either to single or dual studs on 16”, 18”, or 24” spacing, and can also be mounted to concrete.

A universal projector mounting mechanism allows the mount to be used with any short-throw projector, including the SANYO PDG-DWL100, PDG-DXL100, and PLC-WXL46 projectors. It provides a pitch adjustment of ±16.5º, a 7.5º roll adjustment, and a 41º yaw trim. Total weight capacity for the mounts is 50 lbs.

An integral cable routing system allows concealed management of signal and power cables, which pass from the projector through the arm and into the wall mount. Security for mounting of additional AV equipment such as PC, Mac or control modules is available by using additional security hardware that fastens to the wall mount.

Click here for a list of featured Sanyo projectors »