The Blog

No Latency

What’s in a name or a phrase? I believe the saying goes, “a rose by any other name still smells as sweet.”

However, a phrase, a claim, does not necessarily. Such was the case for Crestron on the show floor of ISE 2017. “No Latency” is what it said above their new NVX series video streaming product. No latency.

Let’s step back for a second and discuss what “latency” is. It’s a good exercise as you are going to start seeing this as a measure and mark in various video over IP products as the years move along. Latency is the time it takes a system to process the video, putting it into IP packets, and move that video from one point to another. Some say “low latency” while others espouse their latency in milliseconds. But no. As in none.

To get to the core of what exactly Crestron was trying to convey I spoke with a few of their representatives. The question boils down to does the NVX add any latency to the system. According to Crestron, the answer is no; it does not. Crestron has even posted a video to illustrate this.

When you have an HDBaseT, HDMI, or any AV system the incorporates scaling, there is latency inherent to that system. It’s the scaling part. What Crestron is claiming is that their NVX streaming device does not add any additional latency to the overall system to put the AV on the network. They scale and decode the signal simultaneously.

If you are using the streaming solution to send the signal to an overflow room that is relatively close to the source material, yes it matters. You would ideally want that to get to the overflow room as quickly as possible. Seconds, in this case, do matter. If you are sending it up floors or across campus, I would say it probably isn’t as big of a concern. In cases of mass notification, it would be critical. Yes, then seconds do matter.

With any claim made at a trade show, I look forward to seeing the device shipped an in the wild as soon as possible. Once you start putting them in, let us know what you think.

Editor’s note: Crestron is an Underwriter of AVNation.


Tim

Tim's just this guy, you know.



One thought on “No Latency”
Bradford Benn

March 20, 2017

Yes, I work for Harman that makes a streaming solution as well. However the Zero or no latency comment is a little misleading. Not speaking for Harman but purely from a technology standpoint there is always some latency. It is not possible to convert signals without it. Even analog amplifiers have latency. The phrase that was said is that it had the same latency as the HDBaseT solution even though it is an Ethernet based network. Yes, that is impressive. However it is not zero latency it is no discernible additional latency.

There will always be a forwarding/routing latency through a network switch; one of the reasons for the differences in price. There will always be processing time for converting a signal in the analog domain to a digital stream and then back again for consumption by humans. Add on top of that the compression and decompression algorithms and there is a latency. It can be vanishingly small but there will always be a latency. This fact is true for everyone’s product, even my employer’s.

Crestron has done a good job of having no additional latency as compared to HDBaseT. I am not trying to diminish their effort, I just want to make sure that the information is out there.

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