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Three major AV-over-IP technologies explored

Audio video over IP (AV over IP) technology is revolutionizing the way audio and video are sent and received over networks. This technology enables a new era of remote and distributed collaboration, with better audio and video quality than ever before. 

Despite the growing popularity of AV over IP technology, there is a common misconception that a blanket approach to IP-based audio and video can work for all applications. Selecting an audio video over IP transmission that is not tailored to the application's varied needs results in a compromised solution. 

In reality, applications often have multiple use cases and would benefit from more than one AV-over-IP technology. Therefore, understanding the key differences between the three major AV-over-IP technologies is essential to understanding which one, or which ones, are best suited for a particular application. 

To help you understand the best options for your video over IP setup, we’ll explore three of the major audio video over IP transmission technologies available before describing the core characteristics that dictate AV/IP chemistry.  

Audio video over IP transmissions: intraframe, interframe & uncompressed

intraframe and interframe coding image

In the AV industry, three main types of technology dominate for sending video over a network: intraframe encoding, interframe encoding, and uncompressed video transmission. 

Intraframe compression, or I-frame encoding, is a type of encoding that compresses the entire image into a single frame.  

On the other hand, interframe compression, or P-frame encoding, compresses only the changing portions of the image from one frame to the next.  

Uncompressed video transmission is exactly how it sounds; no compression is used. This means that the video signal is sent in its original form, without any encoding or compression whatsoever.  

Each type of video transmission has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Certain characteristics help decide which type of transmission is most appropriate, including the type of content being transmitted, the level of quality required, the latency that can be tolerated, and finally, the overall network topology of the installation. 

The "elements" that dictate AV/IP chemistry


The type of content you plan on transmitting is a major factor to consider when selecting an AV over IP solution. If the content is desktop content, meaning it is mostly static with only occasional changes, then compression can help reduce the data rate required to transmit it. On the other hand, if the content is fast-moving and changing quickly, then uncompressed transmission is likely the best solution for higher quality. 


The overall quality of the video and audio you will be transmitting is another factor to consider. Quality levels can be broken down into three categories: lossy, visually lossless, and lossless. Lossy compression sacrifices some of the image and audio quality to reduce bandwidth requirements. Visually lossless compression preserves more of the original data, but still eliminates some of the information. Lossless compression preserves all of the original data and is, therefore, the highest quality option available.  


The amount of latency that can be tolerated by an installation is another key factor to consider when selecting an AV/IP solution. Latency is the delay between when an action is performed and when it appears on the other end of the transmission. Lower latency solutions are typically preferred in live applications, as they ensure that any delay between action and response is minimal. 

Network topology 

The type of network topology proposed for an installation is also a critical factor in an AV-over-IP solution. Network topologies can vary greatly, and the choice of technology will depend on the receiving network and its bandwidth availability. 

Ultimately, crafting audio video over IP solutions requires careful consideration of each element that dictates AV/IP chemistry. It is important to assess every individual application’s needs to develop a solution that meets all the requirements. With a customized solution, you can ensure that your AV-over-IP system achieves optimal results. 

AV over IP Applications: Tailored Approach Whitepaper

In this paper, we explore real-world applications and evaluate each one based on the four criteria above to determine the best approach for an AV over IP solution. We also introduce IPMX (Internet Protocol Media Experience), a set of open standards designed to make interoperability easier in AV/IP networks so you don’t have to compromise on quality. 

Download the whitepaper

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