Audio Authority to Launch HDMI Over IP System to Pump Up 1080p Demos
Audio Authority in the middle of May will begin shipping its first HDMI over IP video distribution system.
The 2800 Series, in development for over a year, has been designed to address some of the key challenges posed by staging large HDMI demonstration systems on the retail show floor, according to Trent Davis, the company’s product manager.
“We’ve always viewed IP technology as a way to overcome some of the inherent issues with HDMI,” he said. “HDMI is transmitted over traditional HDMI cabling using a method called TMDS (Transition Minimized Differential Signaling) – a way to send large amounts of data in real time through the system. The problem you run into is, once you get 30 or 40 feet, you start losing signal quality and can’t resolve the picture any more. TMDS is really a six-foot solution – it’s not made for anything remotely resembling retail demonstration, or even a whole-house audio/video system.”
Using IP, Davis explained, the system converts that signal into a “beautiful facsimile” of the original, sending it at full resolution through a traditional Ethernet router, and splitting that off to multiple displays, and then turning it back into HDMI at the other end. “All the distance challenges, and the splitting, are accomplished in the IP world – which is what IP technology was made to do.”
The system is based on Gigabit high-speed data technology. “It provides 10 times the bandwidth of megabit – which means much less compression and a significantly better picture,” Davis said. It is expandable, via off-the-shelf Gigabit Ethernet routers, to funnel a consistent signal to up to 127 TVs, and is compliant with the HDCP 2.0 specification.
“The main points are the reliability aspect, the plug-and-play installation aspect, the low cabling cost, and the incredible picture quality it gives you. It’s a no-brainer,” said Davis.