Netgear shared SDVoE’s next steps plus key product intros at CES
Las Vegas–Before the doors to CES 2020 officially swung open, Netgear hosted its PRO AV briefing for an update on the Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE) Alliance—of which it is a founding member– and to deliver a closer look at its lead in key technologies including several product firsts with WiFi6.
“If you take all the TVs in the world and subtract the TVs in the home and subtract the TVs in broadcast, then whatever is left over is Pro AV,” said Keith Kennedy, managing director of Orlando, Fla.-based Grandbeing Technology and Director of the SDVoE Alliance.
Since the dawn of TV, signals switched by dedicated matrix switches, but new tech has made it possible to replace the matrix with Ethernet, a pro AV trend called AV over IP.
While AV over IP is still being touted as the wild west, Kennedy said virtually every pro AV manufacturer offers AV over IP, but that many players were building inside their own “walled garden”—lacking the interoperability expected of Ethernet-based gear.
The goal of the alliance, a consortium of pro AV manufacturers, system designers, integrators and technology managers, is to collaborate to standardize the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals and to create a platform allowing software to define AV applications.
According to Kennedy, things are coming together with as evolution gains momentum. “I have been in this business 35 years and have seen a lot,” he said. “There is a massive technology shift underway. Whether it is at trade shows, concerts, airports or houses of worship, we are reinforcing the experience for people who are in these environments.”
Recent SDVoE clients include the Zurich Opera House, a European cultural performance venue, with a mission to deliver visual reinforcement of emotional on-stage content to 15 large format 4K projection displays. The Quadram Institute, a medical research and teaching facility in Norwich, England, which performs 40,000 endoscopic procedures a year is incorporating technology that turns its 4K displays into the surgeons’ eyes. The Harrisburg University Storm, a collegiate esports Varsity team, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has commissioned the design and development of a future-proofed 2,300-square-foot training facility centered around a 17-panel video wall system which is key for audiences watching. Quality is paramount since visual artifacts reduce a gamer’s situational awareness and latency (more than 100 microseconds) is equal to death.
Just three years young, the SDVoE Alliance has over 46 member companies and includes over 200 products. The roster of members, which launched with founding companies Aquantia, Christie, Netgear, Semtech, Sony and ZeeVee, in 2017, continues to attract new participants.
The briefing also featured a look at Netgear’s product launches for tech transitions. With Internet speeds gaining in double digits year over year, the biggest revolution in WiFi is here. Millions of WiFi 6 devices have already been sold and the connected home category is expected to get a huge push from the new Wi-Fi 6 protocol supporting PCs, laptops and networking technologies, including routers and switches.
Netgear is first to launch WiFi6 routers, extenders and WiFi systems including the Nighthawk Mesh WiFi 6 System delivering 1.8 gigabits per second for homes up to 1,500 square feet per unit and is expandable through additional units. The MK62, available this month, retails for $230 and the MK63 which comes out in March, has a price TBD.
The briefing also touched on the national rollout of 5G and the need for new devices like the Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router, a CES 2020 Innovation Award winner, available the second half of 2020 at a price not yet disclosed. An elevated user experience on the road and in the home is coming soon as all four networks are ramping up. Verizon will have 5G in 18 cities; AT&T will be in 21 cities; T-Mobile in 5,000 cities; and Sprint in nine cities.