As streaming services like Netflix and Hulu become increasingly popular, and cord-cutting becomes the new norm, the question begs do you really need video distribution?
I love video distribution and believe it offers tremendous value in the right applications, but the truth… It’s not needed in every situation.
So, for the next minute, I’ll see if I can help you determine whether or not video distribution is right for you.
Benefits of Video Distribution
First, let’s review the most common benefits of video distribution.
- TV & Source Control – In the past, Video Distribution was the easiest way to control both your TV and your Video Sources (Blu-Ray, Cable/Satellite Receiver)
- Centralized Video Sources – Video Distribution allowed you to centralize all your video sources in a Media Rack, and distribute the content to TVs throughout the house.
- Kept TV Installs Clean– Using Video Distribution kept TV installs free of ugly cable clutter, and unnecessary media cabinets in every room.
- Maintains Video Quality – Unlike streaming content that is highly compressed, Video Distribution lets you maintain the quality of the Video Source, and gives you the best possible viewing experience.
Kaleidescape 4K movie server
How Do You View Your Video Content?
To understand whether or not you need Video Distribution, you need to ask yourself how you plan to watch content in your home.
Have you cut the cord?
Do you prefer Live TV and sporting events?
Do you use Blu-rays, or a movie server like Kaleidescape?
When Video Distribution Probably Isn’t Right for You
If you’ve completely cut the cord, and only watch streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, video distribution isn’t necessary.
What you’ll want instead is ‘TV and Source Control.’
Today it’s very easy to control your TV (and video sources localized at the TV) without video distribution.
Even if you have a video source like an Apple TV or a Roku, it’s easy to recess everything in the wall directly behind the TV.
It allows you to fully flush a TV like the Samsung Frame, but still easily control the Video Sources there at the TV.
When Video Distribution Is for You
- Live TV – Now we have a lot of Clients that still watch live content. They’re big sports fanatics, or they just prefer their experience with cable/satellite.
- Blu-Ray Disc – If you still use Blu-ray Disc, especially Ultra HD, or if you have a high-quality movie server like a Kaleidescape.
- Surveillance – If you want to bring the cameras from your Surveillance system up on the TV, to check on the pool or see who’s at the front door.
- Maintaining Quality – Today when we watch streaming content, even if it’s from something like an Apple TV that ‘supports 4k,’ the content is highly compressed.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of compressing content, think of it like a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.
You take all the natural juices and water out of the orange juice. Somewhere down the road, you add water back in to drink it.
It still tastes like Orange Juice, but it’s not anywhere near the taste of fresh squeezed orange juice.
That’s basically what happens with our streaming content from Sources like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.
And it’s not just the Video that is compressed, the Audio is highly compressed as well.
So, if you want the very best listening and viewing experience, you’ll want video distribution.
Now some hater is going to read this and point out that compression still occurs with Video Distribution, and that is correct.
All content is compressed. Even the content we see in the Cinema is compressed. But the compression of streaming content, vs that of your video distribution system, isn’t even comparable.
Should You Buy Video Distribution?
If you’ve completely cut the cord and aren’t concerned at all with the quality of your content, you won’t need Video Distribution.
If you still watch live TV, Blu-ray players, Kaleidescape, and if you care about getting the best possible quality for your viewing experience, I would recommend Video Distribution for You.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Video Distribution either in the comments below, or online. Let us know what you think.
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Named one of Technology Integrator’s Top Talent Under 40, Matt has designed systems for 12 national award-winning projects, including "Home Theater of the Year", and "Custom Smart Home of the Year" from CTA™ (Consumer Technology Association). His ebook “How To Wire Your Smart Home” is a best seller among professionals and DIY-ers alike. You can watch Matt share the secrets of his craft on YouTube!
Matt is a Golden State fan.