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Technology Showcase: Video Over IP

Nov 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

The latest hardware-based technology simplifies video distribution.

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The IP-based and IP-controlled systems from NetStreams are designed to handle virtually any number of digital or analog sources and to deliver uncompressed content, including high-definition audio and video, to an virtually unlimited number of zones. By combining content and control signals in one data stream, NetStreams systems offer improved levels of simplicity, reliability, and expandability that can benefit both integrators and users with lower costs for installation, setup, and support.

DigiLinX is NetStreams' IP-based audio/video distribution network designed to deliver the highest-quality transmission over the same network infrastructure found in most commercial facilities today. DigiLinX requires only a single Cat-5e cable to deliver audio, video, and control. DigiLinX also provides many options for controlling an audio/video distribution solution, from its built-in GUI to drivers for Crestron and AMX systems. Integrators and application partners can even control DigiLinX through custom-built applications.

A very significant implementation of video over IP is to bring images from security cameras back to centralized monitors, and Sony was one of the first major companies to adopt this approach. Its SNT-V704 is a compact video network station that enables a video camera with an IP interface to be remotely monitored and controlled over a network. It enables analog camera monitoring at 30fps, and it offers selectable MPEG-4/JPEG compression formats. The SNT-V704 has a Tour feature with five scanning patterns with up to 16 positions in each scan and an Area Setting feature that allows the administrator to crop an area within an image.

Just last September, Sony added three hybrid video network surveillance recording servers to its line: the NSR-1050H, the NSR-1100, and NSR-1200. These new recording servers come with enhanced features, including the ability to combine analog and IP cameras on one system, full high-definition video output (1920×1080), and open-platform operation that supports cameras from multiple vendors. The NSR-1050H, NSR-1100, and NSR-1200 units have internal storage of up to 0.5TB, 1TB, and 2TB, respectively. Each server can be connected with up to seven NSRE-S200 storage units, which provides an additional 2TB of hard-disk storage

Typically used for mobile newsgathering, the ACT-L3 Portable Video Transport system from Streambox enables broadcasters, government agencies, and enterprises to deliver high-quality live and stored broadcast video over low-data-rate connections such as broadband, BGAN, and other IP and satellite networks. During electrical outages, Streambox systems seamlessly switch to battery power and continue to deliver video without interruption. Houses of worships have even used the ACT-L3 system to send live reports back to the congregation from missionaries serving in the field. Streambox's ACT-L3 codec features an advanced proprietary video compression technology that has been optimized for interlaced video and provides more efficient compression than MPEG and H.264. ACT-L3 is highly adaptable to differing data-rate requirements.

As major proponents of Video Streaming as a Service (VsaaS), VBrick has set its sights on making it possible for even the smallest organizations to achieve the kind of video broadcasting reach once only available to large corporations. In fact, its website proclaims, “It is now possible to setup a worldwide broadcast-capable Internet TV station for a few thousands of dollars.”

Its VBoss system is a family of VSaaS products to facilitate streaming video assets out to the Internet that includes VBoss Engage, VBoss Broadcast, and VBoss Present. VBoss Engage is a comprehensive video service that instantly delivers live video from anywhere at any time and displays it on a customized viewing portal with the sender's private branding. This delivery can be either a free, advertising-supported, or pay-per-view broadcast. VBoss Broadcast lets you cut and paste code to insert live video into your own website while also providing template-based viewing pages. VBoss Present enables anyone to plug in a camera and give PowerPoint presentations to a global audience from a desktop.

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