Amongst AV professionals, there is consensus on the fact that “the system is only as good as the distribution”.
This refers to common experiences with clients who are new to large scale AV deployments — and who focus on more glamorous and conspicuous elements (like the display and audio hardware) and somewhat overlook the distribution system.
This becomes even more important in the context of the arrival of the mesmerising potential of UHD and 4K displays, because 4K-ready distribution systems are still rare.
In this whitepaper, titled “Distributing 4K and UHD Signals in Professional AV Environments“, Extron calls attention to many of the important considerations that these super-high resolution systems require. The paper provides an introduction to technology and standards, and offers practical solutions for incorporating 4K video into an AV system design.
A couple of insightful extracts from this whitepaper:
“… it is very common to have multiple destinations in a system. This could be multiple monitors, streaming encoders, video processors, recording devices, or connections to an additional signal distribution system. When this occurs, care must be taken in order to address the resolutions that are supported by such a wide range of destination devices.”
“In order to extend, switch, matrix, or otherwise distribute a 4K/UHD signal, System Designers must consider the sources, destinations, and distances involved. For intermediate distances, 100 meters (328 feet) or less, twisted pair distribution is an easy and economical option. When longer distances are involved, fiber optics or streaming technologies are available.”