News and Articles

The New Video Codec On The Block

Compressed video is ubiquitous on the internet and in our daily lives. Many media producers, both online and offline, currently use h.264 and HEVC codecs to compress their video. However, these proprietary codecs come at a high cost in the form of licensing and royalty fees. Recently, a new video codec called AV1 was released to compete directly with HEVC. What makes this high performance codec especially interesting is the fact that it is royalty free. This, along with its impressive industry support, means that it is set to make quite an impact on the media landscape.

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40GbE IT backbones on a yacht?

I’m often seeing 40GbE backbones being specified on yachts. Is this the way to go? Here’s my take…
The short version is this: There are two scenarios, either you are building an IT network or a converged AV/IT network (i.e. implementing HDMI over IP). In the first scenario my opinion is that the answer is a firm NO, which I will try to back up with examples below. In the second scenario I’ll make the case that there is probably a better alternative available to you. Read on for a better explanation.

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A Challenge to AV Manufacturers

For many years now I have been hoping and waiting for a very particular product to be launched. A product that in my opinion would be a very useful tool in AV custom install, from small systems to large scale high end systems. Now another ISE has passed and I still haven’t seen it. Ultimately I’ve decided to put this idea out into the world, and see what comes of it. Hopefully the wait will end soon!

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To Compress Or Not To Compress? Video Over IP Continued…again

Let me be clear about one thing: I have nothing against compressed solutions. They make total sense in certain situations and the performance they achieve compared to even a few years ago is striking. The compressed solution provided by the manufacturer that looked me up is a very nice one indeed, but I still feel that in this situation, and most others when dealing with a new build, uncompressed is the way to go.

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The Blockchain Explained

Perhaps you’ve heard of the blockchain, perhaps not. It’s going through a bit of a hype at the moment in tech land, because it has great potential to change the way people and companies handle transactions and other contracts. It’s definitely worth having a basic understanding of what it is, which I will try to give you today.

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Failing Tech Alert

given the recent announcements by Cisco and other hardware vendors around products containing chips from the Intel Atom C2000 processor series, it may be wise for you to double check to see if you have this processor in any of your gear.

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What 3 Words?

In the space of about a decade, we have all become quite dependent on our satnavs and phones to guide us to the right spot while on the road, but being able to correctly specify your exact destination is not always easy. Latitude and longitude coordinates are always there as a fall-back option, but unless you know how to enter them properly, and you are sure that the numbers are correct to begin with, you may end up in totally the wrong place. Interestingly there’s now a much easier way to describe locations anywhere on the globe.

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Copy Protection on Digital Media

Under the DMCA section 1201, copying (ripping) disks to a hard drive, even if it is only for your own viewing convenience, is illegal, because in order to do that you have to break copy protection, but I think the lawmakers got a bit carried away with section 1201.

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The AV Matrix is Dead, Long live the AV Matrix

New technologies are managing to transform HDMI (and other signal formats) into IP packages without lossy compression, pipe them across the network and reproduce a pixel perfect image on the other end, with practically zero latency. Not only that, but they throw in seamless switching, upscaling, downscaling, picture in picture, and video-wall functionality. All in real-time. This is truly an achievement.

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HDMI Over IP, A Technology Primer

Following my first post on the topic of HDMI distribution over IP and my subsequent visit to InfoComm 2016, I can confirm that HDMI over IP is most definitely here. There is a lot to choose from in fact! Here are some things things you should be aware of. Many of the...

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