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The Difference Between RF Video and IP Video

As with everything else in the technology world, how we receive and view our video is changing. This leads to the question-which is better “RF Video or IP Video?” If you take away any inherent bias your answer is surprising— “neither.” Both have their place and here is why.

RF, which stands for “radio frequency,” is the older of the two technologies and has traditionally been used for television but also for cordless phones, radar, GPS, Satellite, radio and countless other devices that everyone uses each day. According to Wisegeek, RF waves are electromagnetic waves which propagate at the speed of light transmitted through air. However, for the Cable TV industry these signals are mostly transferred through coax cable.

In the past decade or so, advances in computer technology have enabled IP video to emerge as a viable video distribution solution along with RF video. IP, or “Internet protocol,” refers to the communications protocol for computers that are connected to a network. IP video can include streaming video via the Internet, as well as IPTV and stored videos such as movies and television programs. IP video has the advantage, like any computer technology, of having the ability to be on demand whenever and wherever needed. IP allows each user to search for content and access additional information on their schedule.

While IP tends to consume large amounts of bandwidth space, it has its place for small viewing devices (less bandwidth) or locations that are willing to add and support a parallel network just for video. An alternative to this parallel network is using the Z-Band RF distribution system. The Z-Band solution is simple. With one UTP (unshielded twisted pair) wire, a single port can receive the full bandwidth of all the available channels — including video on demand — plus use the spare pair wires in the same cable not used by video. This solution handles your data needs including Voice over IP or streaming video from the Internet. Our ideal RF distribution system provides the ability to use UTP and “converge” all communication needs, including both RF and IP, over one wire without the need of parallel server systems.

Z-Band Now Offers an IP Video Product

However, in applications when access to huge amounts of internal stored video is required on demand by numerous users, the IP solution would still be your best alternative. Z-Band now offers a cost-effective stand-alone IP video distribution product that is ideally suited for these high-volume video applications that tend to require large amounts of bandwidth capacity. If you are interested in using a Z-Band RF or IP video distribution system for your organization’s needs or if you have more questions, contact Z-Band today for more information.

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