AV over IP vs. Traditional AV: Which is Better for Your Project?

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Nowadays, AV over IP solutions have become increasingly popular among audio/video project installers and integrators across the globe. What is AV over IP exactly? Are there any similarities or differences between AV over IP and traditional AV setup? In this blog, I will answer these questions one by one.

What Is AV over IP?

The full name of AV over IP is “Audio-Visual over Internet Protocol”. In essence, it involves sending audio-visual data via a network like the Internet, LAN, or WAN. AV over IP, commonly referred to as AV/IP or AVoIP, is the use of common network hardware to transmit and switch video/audio, in contrast to traditional AV systems.

The idea of “AV over IP” has been around for a while. It includes everything from sophisticated video distribution infrastructures in production and broadcast facilities to internet-based live or on-demand video streaming. The gradual replacement of conventional AV infrastructures with IP-based infrastructures has been a topic of discussion in the professional AV (facilities AV) field for the past few years, hence the name AV over IP.

AV Access Blog_AV over IP vs. Traditional AV

Similarities Between AV over IP and Traditional AV

The fundamental components of AV environments never change. The major focus of conventional AV infrastructures is the extension and switching of audio/video sources. Users should be able to view and/or hear their video and sound sources on their viewing stations and on their sound systems or speakers for an AV facility to function properly.

Sources must be caught, transferred, swapped, and shown to accomplish this. Push buttons on physical devices, all the way up to digital interfaces on computer-based technologies, can be used as the user interface to change sources.

The components in both AV setups are pretty comparable. In AV over IP, the “A/V Transmitters” and “A/V Receivers” are referred to as “Encoders” and “Decoders” respectively, while the “A/V Switcher” (sometimes referred to as a video matrix switcher) is referred to as an ordinary “IP Switch” that your PCs connect to in the office.

Differences Between AV over IP and Traditional AV

Traditional AV has been replaced by AV over IP, which has enhanced the following key features: scalable switching (many more ports and easier to add just what you need), breaking down distance barriers, improving the ratio of inputs to outputs, expanding the reach of video standards beyond the local facility, integrating data and communications, and providing new options for video processing.

Audio/Video Switching

The Ethernet switch is likely the main reason why enterprises are increasingly switching from old AV infrastructures to IP-based AV infrastructures.

In comparison to the conventional hardwired video matrix switcher, AV over IP allows for much more precise control over the inputs to outputs ratio. It’s conceivable to have a lot of inputs but few outputs, or a small number of inputs but a lot of outputs.


The distance between boxes is another restriction of conventional AV. The price of installation and extension rises even further when wires must be extended over distances of hundreds of meters within facilities. IP-based AV can be conveniently transmitted over copper (Category) cable and fiber optics.

The maximum length of a Category (CAT-5, CAT-6, etc.) cable is 100 meters. Due to its ability to overcome both distance and source and destination number restrictions, AV over IP considerably improves flexibility.


While some AV over IP products employ proprietary packetization schemes that can also be used with IP networks and common IP switches but are incompatible with other products on the market, others use standards-based packetization for transmission on IP networks and compatibility with IP switches.


Interoperability and product security cannot be determined just by the packetization method, regardless of whether it is standards-based or proprietary. It merely relates to the streams’ theoretical compatibility with a variety of technologies or their actual compatibility.

Tightly connected AV over IP encoders and decoders are offered by several suppliers. In other words, the vendor for the encoders and decoders must be the same. The main cause of this tight connection is often that vendors try to give their clients specifications and performance guarantees. This makes it possible for very regulated out-of-the-box setup and usability.


Compared with traditional AV solutions, AV over IP solutions boast more flexibility and scalability. The number of sources and displays attached is no longer limited. Even when physical ports run out, multiple IP switches can be connected to expand. They also break the distance barriers and allow you to have a better ratio of inputs to outputs.

If you are looking for a reliable AV over IP solution, AV Access HDIP100 is the right one for you. It is easy-to-use and plug-n-play. The HDMI encoder/decoder can work easily with any universal managed or unmanaged Ethernet switch on the market. It features matrix switching, video wall support, easy visual control, fast seamless switching and other amazing features. It is ideal for wide applications like sports bar, restaurant, shopping mall, retail store, house of worship, casino, college and university, etc.

That’s all for the blog. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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