AV-over-IP has rapidly become the buzzword du jour and if you ask 10 people to define it, you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Simply put, AV-over-IP solutions utilize standard networking equipment to transmit and receive video and audio content. It replaces expensive, dedicated AV systems that in the past resided alongside standard networks.
As a buzzword, the question becomes…
- For system integrators, VARs and distributors: “How do I help my customers understand their options and make the best AV-over-IP recommendations?”
- For in-house IT teams: “How do I incorporate AV-over-IP into my existing network and address potential issues such as bandwidth, security, capacity and interoperability? And how can I maximize ROI while minimizing TCO for my deployments?”
Introducing the future of AV
One recent development that is dramatically improving the performance of AV-over-IP solutions involves the addition of a Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, approach (another buzzword nowadays). Software is now replacing expensive hardware, which also has very little flexibility, in AV-over-IP infrastructures. Delivered on a SaaS model, organizations can rapidly expand their AV-over-IP deployments via software upgrades, besides, addressing software issues is dramatically less expensive than ripping out and replacing hardware and cabling. AV-over-IP solutions developed on a SaaS model enables organizations to deploy advanced visual communications at scale; such as in hundreds or thousands of facilities; and centrally manage customized content pushed out to different facilities or different areas of a facility.
SaaS-based AV-over-IP solutions also provide great control and flexibility, which enable a near-endless variety of applications. For example, think about a retailer with several hundred stores organized into clusters based on shopper demographics. Marketers at headquarters can distribute customized promotions to displays within each store cluster in a matter of minutes. Or, think about a large manufacturer with several plants. Operations teams can coordinate production schedules, inventory, training, staffing and other key functions, pushing relevant content and updates to each section of the facility. All departments such as IT, sales and marketing teams benefit from a SaaS-based AV-over-IP model.
A solution for every visual application
Userful is a pioneer in developing software-based AV-over-IP solutions. In January, we introduced our Visual Networking Platform into the AV market—designed to deliver content from any source to any combination of screens, in real time and centrally managed. To fulfill all the visual application needs of the enterprise, Userful offers a robust portfolio of solutions: Userful On-Premise is a server-based product that provides the robustness and advanced features needed for mission critical, and other demanding applications. Userful Cloud, the first industry solution to fully eliminate any hardware requirements for visual applications, leveraging the SoC architecture of smart displays. By loading Userful’s uClient app onto smart signage displays, you can replace thin clients, media players, cables, extenders and other hardware typically required to display content on screens throughout an organization, and deploy high-performing vide walls with unlimited resolution capabilities.
Taking it to the next level
Just this week Userful announced the integration of uClient app’s support for their Userful On-Premise product. This is a great achievement and advancement for the world of AV, because now organizations can have all the power and flexibility of the server-based solution for their critical and demanding applications, without the need for that additional hardware we talked about before. Besides lowering the TCO even further, this approach also eliminates another point of failure in the system. It is the first solution to stream live or interactive content directly to smart displays in real time. Userful On-Premise enables organizations to optimize interactivity through advanced layout management, such as picture-in-picture, multi-window, and command and control, making it the ideal solution when operating demanding real-time content.
Organizations have an important opportunity to significantly improve operating efficiency and reduce costs by effective deployment of AV-over-IP solutions. Cisco estimates that by 2022, video traffic will represent 82 percent of all IP traffic, up from 75 percent in 2017. Userful research has revealed that effective AV-over-IP solutions can boost operating efficiency by 80 percent and reduce TCO by 40 percent.
Userful will be exhibiting at this week’s InfoComm tradeshow. Come pay us a visit in booth #2548, we hope to see you there!