Benefits of Digital Distribution


Distribution and switching of analogue video is extremely expensive and inflexible, requiring dedicated cabling and specialised switches. Transmitting video digitally however, allows the user to take advantage of infrastructure that may already be in place (Ethernet is ubiquitous). Compression allows several video streams to be present within a modest amount of network bandwidth. As network bandwidths continue to expand, so too does the capacity to add additional video streams. With a digital distribution system, additional nodes can be added readily, simply by connecting them to the video network. Furthermore, by using IP multicast, there is no additional network overhead associated with adding additional clients and each client may have access to any of the videos on the network.

Network Video Distribution

Digital video distribution utilises the common Ethernet network infrastructure already present in many instances. Digital distribution systems provide the following key benefits over analogue equivalents:

  • Readily scalable - additional input or display nodes can simply be added to the network
  • Many-to-many switching - each display node can access each video source that is present on the network
  • Utilises existing infrastructure - Ethernet networks are ubiquitous, eliminating the need for specialist switches and cabling

The use of IP multicast means any number of clients may connect to the same video stream without imposing any increase in network load. Each client may subscribe to any of the videos available on the network. A single server may be connected to several video sources, distributing each of their videos on separate multicast addresses to any number of clients.

All video data received from an SPx AV server is packaged in Cambridge Pixel's standard SPx data format. This means that the video can readily be received and displayed by other SPx applications (e.g. RadarView display client), providing a clear path to integrated radar and video display applications.

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