Networking for A/V gear

March 10, 2009 at 08:17:06
Specs: Windows Vista
Im a programmer for an A/V company(and usually handle the simple networks we install as well), and some of the things we have been putting in require a little more than the networks we have been installing. Specifically, FusionRD and Kaleidascape systems, which basically allow the customers to rip dvd's (legally) onto a server and stream them throughout the house in 1080p. This is very bandwidth intensive, and the netgear gigabit home products I have been using have been causing problems when the system is in high use. Linksys was even worse.
I need to find a way of doing things that will be time efficient, and effective. Money is the least of the concern, but I will need to do it myself, and not spend more than a couple/few hours setting it up once it's physically installed. I have taken a few networking classes as requirement for my IT degree, but am definitely not an expert, and am concerned about my ability to be able to set up some of the managed switches, or more complicated routers. It has been recommended to me that we use at least a slightly managed switch so we can set up VLAN's, which he said benefit this type of system the most, being able to keep the lines going to these devices separate from the rest of the home network. The majority of systems we do require around 8 lines to go to various places in there house for wallplates, and slightly under or at 8 lines for the video system, so 16 ports is what we will usually need. A lot of times they have a wireless router already, in that case we just disable DHCP, and have them use it as an AP.
What I need is just general guidance from the networking community.
What you think I should do different.
Maybe a suggestion on an easy to use managed switch, or a good router.
Again, I would like to use the highest quality products, regardless of cost.
Thanks in advance,
Mike :)

See More: Networking for A/V gear

Report •


#1
March 10, 2009 at 10:08:06
and am concerned about my ability to be able to set up some of the managed switches, or more complicated routers. It has been recommended to me that we use at least a slightly managed switch so we can set up VLAN's, which he said benefit this type of system the most, being able to keep the lines going to these devices separate from the rest of the home network.

The real advantage of a managed switch is not (in this case) VLAN tagging but QoS (quality of service). Certainly you could use VLAN tagging to isolate a portion of the network from another but this could as easily be accomplished with a SOHO router and using different subnets.

The thing is about this (VLAN tagging or subnetting) is, all the data is still going to be travelling through the switch and if the switch is uplinked to any other device (such as a router) you still have the issue of all aggregate bandwidth on the link.

So I repeat, VLAN tagging in a small environment is NOT the answer to your problem.

QoS on the other hand allows you to tag the video streaming with a higher priority than all other traffic. These means it gets the lion's share of bandwidth, even on an aggregate link such as an uplink port the highest priority traffic goes through first.

I suspect no matter what, any switch you buy that will be QoS capable will also be managed and therefore more expensive than a basic switch. A managed switch will also require you to learn about them and how to use QoS and/or VLAN tagging.

I would definately start looking into QoS if I were you and I would definately check into different available methods of deploying it (ie: software driven/hardware driven etc).


Report •
Related Solutions


Ask Question