Andrew Jimenez, Vice President of Technology for Anixter, demonstrates how video quality is significantly reduced when using video compression techniques on a minimally compliant category 5e system, compared to a Category 6A infrastructure.
Hi. This is Andy Jimenez, Vice President of Technology with Anixter. I want to talk today about infrastructure and the importance of infrastructure when specifying it for supporting video applications.
One of the innovations that has gained a lot of press and adoption in the industry is video compression. Used a lot in the video industry for surveillance as well as for broadcast-quality video, the advantage of compression is that you are able to compress a large video stream into a usable bandwidth and use it over the network. One of the most common compression schemes used is H.264. The advantage of H.264 over traditional compression is that is takes up a lot less bandwidth. With this benefit of bandwidth reduction on the network also comes consideration on the infrastructure because it doesn’t take a lot of errors or a lot retransmissions to really cause issues on the network.
So, I want to provide a simple example of the effect of errors on a network when running a streaming video application using H.264.
What I have here on our touch-screen monitor is a video using H.264 compression. As you can see, when using a robust infrastructure like Category 6 or 6A where you don’t have any errors, the video stream is basically transmitting seamlessly through the network.
So, I want to demonstrate the impact of a poor infrastructure: in this case, a minimally compliant Category 5e infrastructure and the impact of errors on the video screen. So, I’m simply going to switch the Cat 6A system with the Cat 5e system, and with our setup, it’s running at worst-case conditions at 100 meters. What you’ll see is an error rate of roughly 0.89–1 percent. That’s a very low error rate, but you can see in terms of the video that it’s practically unusable. So, this is really showing the impact of compression in errors on the network.
So, a good rule to follow is that if you are specifying high-compression video schemes like H.264 on your network, you want to provision very robust infrastructure for that application. In this case, either minimally compliant Category 6 or Category 6A.