“Audio-Visual over Internet Protocol” also known as AV over IP or AVoIP for short, relates to the recent technology that makes it possible to stream Video, Audio and Control commands for remote devices by utilizing the Local Area Network for data transmissions. AV over IP makes distributing Video and Audio Signals simple for homes and businesses.
How does AVoIP accomplish this? Essentially after properly configuring a Network Switch for AVoIP devices, simply plug in Sources (AKA - Cable Box, DVD, Roku, Etc.) using an HDMI Cable into what is known as an “Encoder or Transmitting unit”, typically one source per Encoder. The Encoder then plugs into the Network Switch using Category Cable like CAT6 in order to transmit the data to the Local Area Network. On the other end where the TV Display or Projector reside, a “Decoder or Receiver” unit will connect to a Network Switch which decodes the data transmission for all Video/Audio/Data. Plug the Decoder into a Display using an HDMI Cable and presto you have picture. The Source can be distributed to multiple TV Displays for viewing. Some manufacturers offer Encoders with 2-Source Inputs, however, it's more common to purchase one Encoder for each Source and one Decoder for each TV Display.
There are many advantages to using AVoIP over traditional cable methods. For instance, the number of Source devices is no longer limited when physical ports run out like a Matrix Switch, instead with AVOIP just add an Encoder or Decoder as needed. You can even add additional Network Switches and extend your distances farther versus being limited to the typical maximum distance of 328ft using Point to Point using HDBaseT Technology. Another perk is if you require DVI, VGA or Displayport you will no longer need a convertor, just purchase the proper Coder for the connections style.
Note - Most AVOIP Brands offer Coders that are backwards compatible, simplifying installation and associated cost.
How about Control? Well of Course there are many options for AVOIP when it comes to Control. Most AVOIP Manufacturers offer their own Control Programs and Touch Panels. But alternatively you can select a 3rd party Control Company like Crestron, Savant, URC, RTI, Etc.. Be sure to contact an AV Professional for design assistance to ensure you get the best AVoIP system for your application and money!
Overall the future is looking bright when it comes to AVoIP technology as the standard for connecting AVoIP devices. Practically anything we buy in the future will be controlled over the LAN, especially as whole house systems continue to advance while the costs drop. AVOIP is here and it's not going anywhere but forward!