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Webinar Recording: Classroom Collaboration

Experts from Milestone and Sharp look at how distance learning has changed education, and the classroom tools each company provides to encourage collaboration among teachers and students.

George Atsidakos of Milestone will look at Chief and Da-Lite products, including the IDEA screen, which is a projection screen and writeable board that holds up to daily use.

Gary Bailer of Sharp follows with an overview of the effects of distance learning, and the benefits of interactive collaboration in education. He then focuses on the Sharp Aquos Board, the award-winning, interactive display that allows students in the same room and from different locations to collaborate with each other.

Download the webinar “Interactivity in the Classroom” >

Codecs, Bandwidth, and Latency

In our Video Over IP post, we touched on the encoding and decoding process that makes it possible to send video signals over the network. Now let’s take a brief overview of the codecs — which are encoding and decoding protocols — that employ these processes.

Codecs that use about 10Mbps (megabits per second) are ideal for transporting networked AV since they won’t allow the signals to monopolize your network.  Conversely, a 10Gbps (gigabits per second) codec will use up all the available bandwidth on a 10-gigabit network link. On the plus side, the latency — the delay caused by the process of encoding and decoding a video signal — will be low for this bandwidth-heavy codec.

Mezzanine, Intra-frame, and Inter-frame

Mezzanine, intra-frame, and inter-frame codecs will look at the source signal in different ways before compressing it for transmission. You want to have the most bandwidth-efficient codecs handling your signals. Even though there will be a trade-off in latency, that trade-off can be acceptable.

  • Mezzanine: These include TICO and DSC compression codecs. Latency is very low, but they also use the most bandwidth.
  • Intra-frame: These are JPEG2000 and VC-2 codecs. More efficient than Mezzanine in terms of bandwidth, but unable to stream to laptops and mobile devices.
  • Inter-frame: H.264 and H.265. H.264 AVC is the most common codec in use today. H.265 HEVC is the next generation. Latency will be about 200ms in the best case, which is considered acceptable.

Crestron’s “State of Networked Video and Integrated System Design” offers an easy-to-understand overview of these codec types, and the areas you need to address to have an integrated system of video distribution and devices — including network management, control, and security.

Download Crestron’s paper “The State of Networked Video and Integrated System Design” >

5 Ideas for Display Technology in Higher Education

In this AVI-SPL eBook, created in consultation with Christie Digital, we look at five uses for advanced display technology in the university setting, and why each one matters. The benefits this illustrated paper explores include:

  • Building a student community
  • Research and innovation
  • Collaborative and interactive learning
  • Development of job skills
  • Sharing eye-catching visuals

We also offer advice on what to consider and look for when purchasing display technology for your higher education campus. And we link to our recent webinar with Christie on display technology for higher ed, with plenty of real-world examples for inspiration.

Download your copy of “5 Creative Use Cases for Display Technology in Higher Education” >

Video Over IP — How It’s Done

In a previous post, you learned why video over IP makes sense. Now we’ll look at how to make it happen.

First, let’s define a couple of terms:

  • Encoding: When you encode data, you’re making it suitable for transmission over an Ethernet network. So an encoder distributes high-definition AV signals over an IP network. Video In can be HDMI, and Video Out is Ethernet. An example of an encoder is Crestron’s DM-TXRX-100-STR.
  • Decoding: As you’d expect, this means you’re making the signal suitable for an uncompressed HDMI transmission. So a decoder receives high-definition AV signals over an IP network. Video In is an Ethernet stream, and Video Out can be HDMI. An example of a decoder is the Crestron DM-RMC-100-STR.

In a point-to-point network, you can send a signal from a computer over your LAN to a display in another room. Both areas can have Crestron’s DM-TXRX-100-STR, and they don’t need a matrix switcher. You can also multicast from a single encoder that sends signals to each room that has a decoder and display.

You can also use those rooms as collaboration spaces, where you connect your computer so that your content appears on the display. The Crestron DGE-100 has the ability to receive the LAN stream, and also can take a local connection from a laptop. Watch this Crestron video to see how easy it is to create a network AV solution.

The Ease and Benefits of Video Over IP

A recent Crestron video shows why sending your organization’s video signals over IP makes sense. It also shows how surprisingly easy it is.

  • No distance limitations — Using the Ethernet, you’re sending those video signals across buildings, campuses, and geographic distances. So that ambitious plan you have to distribute digital signage and IPTV isn’t quite as daunting as initially thought.
  • Use your existing network infrastructure — You don’t need a new, dedicated AV network to carry this data. Choosing that path will not save you money over the traditional copper or fiber solution. Plus, you want to be able to mix copper, fiber and network AV on the same platform.
  • Scalability —  You buy the encoder/decoder you need, drop it on the network, and add more units at any time. That’s what I mean by easy.  In today’s ecosystem of BYOD, that expandability is essential to keep everyone in a growing company connected and empowered to use their own devices.

With video over IP, you don’t need to buy a matrix switcher to share the same content on displays in different rooms. In my next post, I’ll look at some of the specific Crestron solutions that can create the system you need to send and receive video over the network anywhere, and we’ll define encoders and decoders. In the meantime, watch the Crestron video below that inspired this post.