High Definition Video Distribution is the process of sharing a high definition video and high definition audio feed across many high definition televisions. This has many commercial and residential uses. From retail video displays, conference rooms, to in home theaters, video definition is gaining in popularity.
High Definition television is great to watch but it can be expensive to have throughout your entire home. The ultra-crisp and clear images of high definition TV are usually not available with standard satellite or cable imaging. Typically watching different channels in different rooms requires additional cable boxes or tuners. Purchasing and installing HDTV tuners in every room of your house adds up quickly. It would also require additional video and digital audio wiring in those rooms. The fact is high end displays are starting to drive customer expectations quite high.
The good news is with high definition video distribution you can view multiple devices on multiple televisions. You can watch your favorite movie in your room while the children watch a different movie in the living room. You could also pause your movie you are watching in the kitchen and resume watching it in the bedroom.
With multi-room video distribution, you have multiple video sources like Blue-Ray players, cable receivers, Xbox or other gaming consoles that can display at the same time or independently on different TV’s throughout the house. If you are tired of having messy boxes and wires around every TV, you could have all of the video sources located in one centralized AV cabinet.
Challenges of Video Distribution
There are two major challenges when implementing high definition video distribution.
The first issue is the video signal’s data rate (or bandwidth). The effects the maximum cable length as there is data loss over longer distances. So the higher the data rate (or quality of the video and audio), the shorter the cables must be. When HDMI cables were first created, the consumer electronics industry envisioned it for in room, short cable runs. A bad HDMI signal can result in dropped or frozen frames (or even complete signal loss).
The second issue is content protection or copyright. Content protection can prevent what it considers unauthorized video distribution.
What Equipment do I Need for Video Distribution?
To implement high definition video distribution, you will need amplifiers to boost your signal over longer distances. You will also need various splitters to split the signal into multiple outputs. HDMI Switchers will be needed if multiple sources are being accessed. The longer cable runs also cause noise to be picked along the cables. “Baluns” convert signals at each end to cancel out signal noise picked up. “Matrix” switchers and extenders provide advanced signal routing capabilities.
Some equipment provides Infrared (IR) routing functions which allow the use of remote controls via the system without needing the cable box in the same room.
What Wiring will I Need for Video Distribution?
Various systems run on different kinds of wire. Some solutions use existing antenna coax cables and require no new wires. Other solutions require new coax cabling or can be implemented on CAT5 or CAT6 wiring (normally considered Ethernet network wiring for computers). HDMI over IP technology (HDMIoIP) exists and there are many new transmitters and receivers on the market.
For existing coax cabling, the distribution system runs the video source as just another channel on your existing coax.
CAT5 wiring has become increasingly inexpensive and is much cheaper than coax. It also has boosters available which allow it to send high quality video and audio up to 1,000 feet. CAT5 cabling can also distribute electrical power (POE – power over Ethernet). Best of all, CAT5 cabling is easy to work with.
HDMI over optical cable is another option, albeit a very expensive one. It is highly recommended to use a professional if installing optical cables.
Integrating a High Definition Video Distribution Solution
At Epic AVI, we can consult with you on your needs and help architect a solution that will work best for you. We can directly purchase the equipment required and cable your location with the needed materials. In the end, you will have a highly professional video distribution solution for your home or office that will really stand out.