For decades, the market for advanced video signal management has been dominated by the matrix switch. From small 6×2 presentation room switches to huge building-scale switches with hundreds of I/O ports, nothing could beat the matrix switch when it came to image quality, signal latency and even switching speed.
Yet there is pressure in the market to leave this old approach behind. Enterprise users want to move their AV systems away from specialized cable and proprietary systems to standardized IT infrastructure. This transition has not been fully realized, because in the past it required making compromises to the user experience. To conserve bandwidth, video-over-IP systems all used heavy compression, which added latency and reduced image quality. The transports used made switching unreliably slow. Further, every manufacturer’s approach to AV over IP has been unique and proprietary, lacking the interoperability that the IT end user is accustomed to.
Today, there is a solution, and it is being rapidly adopted by manufacturers, designers and integrators across all applications in commercial AV.
In January 2017, the Software Defined Video Over Ethernet (SDVoE) Alliance was formed to address the requirements of the enterprise, IT-focused end user. The SDVoE Alliance is based on the fundamental principle that the AV application does not need to be defined and constrained by the physical infrastructure. It is possible to enjoy the benefits of Ethernet and IP networks (and acceptance by the IT community) without the compromises that used to be required when bandwidth was a scarce and valuable commodity.