When you’re ready to upgrade your home audio-visual system, consider an AV over IP connection.
This may be the first time you’re hearing about AV over IP, but it’s likely you’re already using its sister technologies. For example, you may frequently use Voice over IP technology, like WhatsApp, to make voice calls through the internet without relying on traditional mobile phone or telephone networks. AV over IP is a similar concept.
In this article, we’re sharing the fundamentals of what an AV over IP system is, how it’s different from traditional audio-visual systems, and why you should consider installing this type of AV system in your home. We’ll also reveal why we recommend the Savant AV over IP product line over any other.
What’s the meaning of audio-visual?
Let’s get the basics down before we move into AV over IP.
The audio-visual meaning applies to any device that includes both a sound and visual component, like home security cameras, televisions, and computers. An audio-visual system consists of multiple audio-visual capable devices which communicate with one another throughout your whole home or perhaps just within one room.
What is AV over IP?
AV over IP (or AVoIP) stands for Audio Visual Over Internet Protocol. Simply put, it’s an audio-visual system that communicates through the internet. It uses your existing home Ethernet network instead of a dedicated AV cable infrastructure.
With AVoIP, all your audio-visual devices can be connected throughout your home using standard Ethernet connections.
We’ll get to why that’s a benefit for you in a moment. But first, let’s go through the basics of how AV over IP works.
How does AV over IP work?
AV over IP is set up almost like a traditional audio-visual system, with a few key changes: the AV transmitter, AV receiver, and AV matrix you’re accustomed to using are replaced with an AV encoder, an AV decoder, and an Ethernet switch.
Imagine you have a security camera set up outside your front door. You want to use an AVoIP system to view the live camera feed on a monitor in your home office.
From a bird’s-eye view, here’s how you would set it up: The source of your AV signal (the security camera) connects to an AV encoder box. That encoder connects via an Ethernet cable to an Ethernet
switch, which is connected to an AV decoder box via another Ethernet cable. Finally, the device on which you want to view and listen to the camera feed (the monitor in your office) connects to the AV decoder.
If that’s difficult to visualize, just remember that the key difference between a traditional AV system and an AVoIP system is that you’re using your home’s Ethernet network instead of analogue AV cables.
What are the advantages of AV over IP?
There are many important advantages to an AV over IP system.
With AVoIP, you aren’t limited by the number of ports on your AV matrix.
In traditional audio-visual systems, you can only connect as many sources and viewing or listening devices as you have physical ports for on your AV matrix.
But with an AVoIP system, if you run out of ports on your Ethernet switch, you can simply connect it to another switch—and thereby double the number of ports. In theory, you could extend the number of sources and devices on your AV network indefinitely.
This is especially important for whole house audio or multi-member family homes where you may have dozens of connected devices, like televisions, computers, gaming systems, and security cameras.
AVoIP systems are easier, cheaper, and less intrusive to install than traditional audio-visual systems.
Because traditional AV systems require their own infrastructure, installing a traditional, analogue system from scratch throughout your home requires time, money, and at least a temporary intrusion into your daily life. Likely, your installation company will have to drill and cut into your walls to hide the lengths of cables.
With AVoIP, you can tap into your existing Ethernet network, so the installation process is much easier and faster. Not to mention, you save significant costs in labour.
AVoIP systems provide faster and higher quality audio and video content than traditional audio-visual systems.
AVoIP systems are digital, which means they can communicate at incredibly fast speeds. Not only do AVoIP systems often provide higher quality images and sound, but the quality also doesn’t diminish as you increase the distance from the source to your device as it does with traditional AV systems.
This means that AVoIP systems are the ideal choice for homeowners looking to level-up their home entertainment with higher-quality picture and sound.
You can extend your AVoIP system to reach greater distances than traditional audio-visual systems.
Unlike in traditional AV systems where you are physically limited by the length of your connecting cables, AVoIP systems can be however far-reaching you need them to be. That’s because AVoIP systems can be extended by connecting more Ethernet switches whenever your distance runs out. Not to mention, Ethernet cables themselves can be run much longer than traditional analogue cabling and aren’t subject the same interference.
For large homes, an AVoIP system can be the difference between having a connected AV system in every room and having to choose which rooms to connect and which to leave out.
We Recommend the Savant AV over IP line
Savant, a leader in smart home technology, has launched a quality AV over IP line to meet all your audio-visual needs. Savant offers a full product line integration of AV over IP, which means whatever audio-visual products you’re looking for, you can find an AV over IP version with Savant. Most importantly, Savant’s line focuses on both quality and scalability for your home, which makes it an excellent choice for your home audio-visual system. Looking for an audio-visual installation company in London or the UK? Contact SmartAve for a free consultation.