Video Distribution Systems

Video Distribution

Video distribution is a frequently requested service, but executing it correctly can be complex. There are many factors to consider, and skimping on quality products is not advisable. NZAV have tried many different brands and we’ve found that using cheap cables and equipment will always lead to failures.

In the past, video distribution was relatively straightforward. However, with the advent of mixed resolutions (such as 4K and 1080p) and HDCP (Copy Protection Protocol), the process has become more complicated. Managing EDID and using scalers are now essential. This complexity is why it's important to have AV integrators install your video distribution system.

Using cheap products is problematic because they are not designed for commercial applications. In venues like bars, restaurants, or bowling alleys, screens and equipment are typically in use for extended periods, generating significant heat. Domestic-grade products are prone to overheating or shorting out under these conditions, which can be a minor inconvenience at home but a significant issue in a commercial setting, potentially leading to loss of income.

Should You Use HDBaseT or AVoIP and What Is The Difference?


Extending HDMI signals has its limitations. HDMI cables have a restricted range: for 4K signals, the maximum recommended length is 7 metres (10 metres at most), and for 8K or 4K120 signals, the limit is 3 metres.

So, what is the solution? HDBaseT technology allows you to convert HDMI signals and transmit them over a category cable like CAT6. Depending on the signal bandwidth (4K60 = 18Gbps), you can run the signal for approximately 100 metres. Always use products with the HDBaseT logo to ensure reliability and safety. Non-certified products can potentially damage your HDBaseT projectors or displays due to improper power transmission.

HDBaseT can carry power over the Ethernet cable. If power is transmitted incorrectly by non-certified products, it can cause significant damage to the projector or display, leading to equipment failure.

AV over IP

AVoIP (Audio-Visual over Internet Protocol) is a similar technology that also uses category cables to transmit video signals, but it works differently. Instead of using transmitters and receivers, AVoIP uses encoders and decoders to send audio and video signals through a network. This setup allows any encoder connected to the network to send signals into the network and any decoder to receive them, providing greater flexibility and scalability.

While HDBaseT can manage configurations up to 16 inputs by 16 outputs, it becomes more limited and expensive when scaling beyond this. AVoIP, on the other hand, can easily support configurations like 50x50 or 20x100. The trade-off is that AVoIP heavily compresses the video signal, which can reduce quality. Consider whether flexibility or quality is more important for your needs when choosing between these technologies.

In summary, for domestic use cases, we recommend HDBaseT for HDMI extension due to its superior quality and reliability. For installations where scale is more critical than picture quality, such as in bowling alleys with multiple screens, AVoIP is the better choice. If you’re unsure which option is best for you, feel free to contact one of our experts to discuss your video distribution needs.