An audio video distribution system delivers music and videos from one set of concealed components to multiple entertainment locations, decluttering rooms by removing unsightly stacks of equipment.
Say goodbye to the black boxes that clutter your living spaces. They have provided you or your client with years of great audio and video content, but it’s time to move on to a more aesthetically pleasing home entertainment alternative. Homeowners are already heading in that direction, having traded their beefy Blu-Ray disc players for tiny media streaming devices. But why stop there? The AV receiver, amplifier, and other components have also worn out their welcome as families look for ways to declutter their living spaces of technology but still enjoy today’s assortment of high-quality digital entertainment offerings.
To centralize all the AV equipment, look no further than a multiroom AV distribution system. From a hidden location, like an easily accessible, well-ventilated utility room or vacant closet, an AV distribution system feeds audio and video signals to multiple locations throughout a home. Streaming devices, Blu-ray players, cable boxes, and other components reside with the AV distribution equipment, creating a single home entertainment “headend.” All that’s exposed are the TVs and speakers (if you haven’t elected to build them into the walls or ceilings) to which signals from the headend are delivered.
Your sleek video displays will certainly thank you, as now nothing will detract from their good looks. “When you’re watching a movie, you want the screen to be your focus, not a bunch of black boxes,” remarks Marc Waple, Global Director of Sales at Pulse-Eight (pictured above). Along with the gear banishment, an AV distribution system, like those in Pulse-Eight’s product portfolio, rids every entertainment area of tangled piles of cabling and unruly remote controls.
A More Efficient, Centralized Solution
Outfitting each TV with its own suite of AV components doesn’t just detract from the room design; it can clash with your, or your client’s, economic sensibilities. Your home can quickly become a technological jungle filled with duplicate systems—each with its set of remote controls, says Waple. An AV distribution system offers a tidier and more sensible approach to enjoying video and audio throughout your home, as content is shared house-wide from one set of components. You can allocate your budget to one exceptional suite of AV equipment rather than spreading your budget across several independent systems.
Hire a Pro to Make It Happen
So, how do you get started? Hiring a professional technology integrator is crucial. Synching all current and new components to work as one seamless system requires training and a thorough understanding of AV technologies and specifications. Plus, new high-speed cabling will need to be run from the AV headend to each entertainment location. Your HTA Certified integrator will help you plan for it all or work with the project architect, builder, or designer to help coordinate all these technical efforts.
Though if you are curious about how it all comes together, here’s the lowdown, courtesy of Pulse-Eight: The heart of an AV distribution system is an audio and video matrix. This piece of hardware retrieves signals from a streaming media player, media server, cable/satellite TV box, CD player, Blu-ray disc player, and other sources of entertainment you enjoy, processes the signals to ensure the best AV quality, and distributes them to any and all TV and music locations based on commands issued from a remote control. Signals can travel simultaneously to different spots, which means you can stream a movie to the TV and surround-sound system in the family room while another family member accesses the cable box to watch a sporting event in a bedroom—all while music from a playlist drifts through speakers in the kitchen.
Of course, the number of AV components/sources and entertainment zones will vary by household, so manufacturers like Pulse-Eight offer a variety of different options. To deliver high-resolution 4K video content from four sources to four zones Pulse-Eight offers its starter system, the Neo4Pro. At the other end of the spectrum, sending 4K video and Dolby Atmos immersive audio from as many as eight sources to 10 zones is Pulse-Eight’s flagship NeoX+ model. Imagine the possibilities for this level of smart home. Suddenly, you can have 10 different media rooms all sharing the same sources!
Don’t Compete with the Home Network
No matter how big or small an AV distribution system is, when audio and video signals travel over a home’s existing network, they are bound to encounter bottlenecks. Should someone be on the network for a videoconferencing session, for example, streaming content to the family room display might slow to a snail’s pace. The reverse is also true: The distribution of high-resolution 4K video content eats up a lot of bandwidth, which leaves less room for data to travel quickly to computers, iPads, and other devices. For the best entertainment experience, an AV network should be separate from the data network, suggests Waple. AV Distribution systems from Pulse-Eight, for example, allow AV signals to travel on their own dedicated network. This advanced cabling infrastructure requires no compression of the signals for distribution, which means 4K video lands at your displays in full resolution, and high-res audio gets to every speaker without any loss of quality.
Control Your Systems with Ease
Another huge benefit of an AV distribution system is using one remote to control everything. You can use the same remote that summons audio to the bathroom, for example, to bring a live, streaming ballgame to the TV and speakers in the backyard. Of course, your HTA Certified integrator can make give you a smart home control system that simplifies and unifies control. This can be a handheld remote control, an iPhone or iPad, or a portable touch screen.
A Smarter Home Entertainment Option
If preserving space, aesthetics, organization, and entertainment are high priority, an AV distribution system checks every box. Single-handedly, it makes technology disappear and streamlines the management and control of your entire home technology system. You can sit back and enjoy high-res video and audio throughout the entire home.