Audio Video in an IT World Part II : “It’s All About Control”
Audio Video devices on the market today provide multiple options for control. Most people have become accustomed to the basic handheld remote control that works using infrared bursts of light. This is referred to as IR. IR is relatively inexpensive and generally reliable providing there is a good line of sight. However this is not always possible for a number of reasons. For instance if the device is located in a cabinet or another room.
There are solutions for this such as IR repeating devices and RF (radio frequency) to IR conversion where the handheld remote emits radio frequencies. The base station receives these frequencies then converts them into an electrical signal that travels out of a port on the base station through wire to an emitter that converts the signal to IR. This is reasonably reliable but is prone to some RF interference.
In today’s world of control the handheld device has changed and the method of control has changed. Many AV devices can now be controlled over IP (internet protocol) and incorporate a built-in Ethernet jack and/or Wi-Fi. This allows the IPad or Smart Phone to become a primary controller. An address is assigned to the AV device and the controlling device (IPad or Smart Phone) by the LAN router. Therefore the convergence of IT and AV begins. The correct communications must be established for the AV and IT devices to work properly. This is great if you have only one AV device to control but what happens if there are multiple devices. Currently there are solutions for this scenario. More to follow in regards to the solutions in Part 3. IP Macros.