David Shamir of Atlona demo'd their OmniStream system for AV over IP, showing the similarity of the source material to the video delivered at the receiving end. The demo will be up at the Atlona booth at InfoComm in June.
Even as moving AV signals (even industrial-strength video) over IP has moved from bleeding edge to mainstream, the industry still has a long way to go. Depending on your perspective, that involves either A) wringing out even more latency and other image quality glitches, and improving security features, for a better final package delivered to the user, and/or B) educating both the AV integrator and the end user that sure, we need to do more of A, but we now have some robust solutions that solve a lot of our challenges today, with today’s gear.
Silicon Valley– home of Netflix, Google, and any number of companies that have mastered the art of moving squilabytes of data through digital pipe with astounding speed and efficiency– is a good place to launch a discussion on the state of AV over IP for the commercial AV world, and last Friday it was the place I got a personal demo of some interesting new solutions from a serious contender in that world. That contender is Atlona, who have been on the scene a while, and are some pretty eloquent spokesmen for both what’s available today for AV over IP for the commercial AV market as well as for the need to push the envelope to make it all even better. Atlona, with headquarters in San Jose, CA, has just this week announced a new solution, their OmniStream product family for AV over IP, that I saw in San Jose, and that InfoComm 2016 attendees will get to see in Las Vegas. Atlona believes their industry-exclusive features include the ability to supply redundant AV networks with independent data streams with cost-efficiency breakthroughs, and enterprise-grade network error resilience and video compression with extremely low latency not achieved with previous technology. I had a chance to meet with David Shamir, director of product management at Atlona, Friday, and Shamir did a great job of putting not just their offerings but the larger issues in context.
20-30 or more milliseconds of latency, depending on the application, results in poor delivery of high bandwidth video across an enterprise or across the country. So the need is obviously as little latency as possible, as Atlona demo'd in their pre-InfoComm demo in Silicon Valley for NewBay Media on Friday May 20th.
“What we see as our goal,” said David Shamir, “are two things: to address the integrators that are already doing AV over IP; and to explain why the traditional circuit-based integrator may want to consider AV over IP. What are the issues for AV over IP today? As a system integrator, it’s not really about 'moving video over IP' as many people say. At InfoComm, you’ll see some 40-50 vendors all claiming to move video over IP. I say, it’s not about moving the video over IP. When you immerse yourself in packet-based switching, which is what IP is, there is more that you as a systems integrator need to take into consideration than just moving video over IP. In fact, that is the easy part. But when you as a system integrator approach IT guys, they speak a different language. Their religion is different. So if we want to go with IP trends, we need to speak their language.” Having heard many technology industry analyses over the years, few people have offered a view as broad-ranging as Shamir’s, who spent less time explaining Atlona’s offering than explaining why the world is changing and who is at the forefront of the IP revolution. In fact, Shamir outlined specific changes going on inside the tech giants' offices in the Bay area, including a recent AV/IT makeover at eBay corporate headquarters where they transitioned everything to IP.
But I was down the street from eBay, at Atlona’s offices, to get a peek at what Atlona will be showing at InfoComm in June. In a refreshing break from usual product pitches, David Shamir virtually built with me, an enterprise AV over IP system, where we populated each part with ideal solutions based on current demands from users. We built out the system, and the needs analysis. In a way, reverse-engineering an ideal product not starting with product and then shoe-horning that product into needs real or imagined.