02/24/2010

Advancing Intercom and Paging Systems with IP

IP-based intercom and paging-system technology proves to be more easily deployed, cost effective, and flexible than traditional hard-wired systems

 
Checklist for Buying an IP Audio Solution
  • Specify an IP intercom and paging system that incorporates true IP edge devices.
  • Ensure that your IP intercom solution works on your LAN, whether VoIP enabled or not.
  • Choose a communication system that incorporates a built-in digital audio recorder. Event logging can be of great value.
  • Select a system with operational redundancy. Check for fault detection, prevention, and reliability features that allow intercoms to transfer automatically to the next available server if the primary server becomes unavailable.
  • Develop project requirements that include a plan for future growth/expansion that minimizes hardware purchases.
  • Buy products that offer a software development kit (SDK) to allow integration with the rest of your building controls.

By Chris Coffin

Intercoms and paging solutions provide instant, location-based communication to another individual or distributed group for purposes ranging from informational to security and emergency notification. Internet protocol-based (IP-based) intercom and paging-system technology is proving to be more easily deployed, cost effective, and flexible in use and design than traditional hard-wired systems. Switching to IP modernizes analog intercom and paging systems by capitalizing on the rising IP convergence trend that combines audio, video, and data onto the local area and wide area networks.

Instead of retrofitting into the limited archaic wiring in a building where you're essentially performing a one-for-one replacement of units that are already in place, IP intercoms can be placed anywhere you already have an existing IP network connection. They can instantly become campus or metropolitan communications devices connecting multiple buildings to a central command and control center. They don't require a dedicated exchange or head-end, and the signal does not have to report to a single cabinet within the building. Instead, software is all that's needed to manage the endpoints. The result: a plug-and-play scenario that allows unlimited growth from a single intercom system to an IP network of intercoms across the campus or nation.

Working with IP is simple, too, whether you are using it in new or retrofit applications. Pulling wires for analog intercom installations, especially in older buildings, can be a nightmare. IP solutions can run on wired, wireless, or fiber infrastructure - whatever can transport TCP/IP. There is no need to install new risers between floors for bulky cabling. By utilizing either the existing network installation or installing one to support multiple data types, users can leverage their investment for a better return. Unlike limited wiring in a building, IP has no boundaries and is easily extended beyond a structure's walls. This means its potential application types and the number of deployments it can accommodate are endless.

One of the most cost-effective benefits of IP intercom and paging is that users can manage multiple locations without adding staff. For example, a business located in multiple time zones can have its facilities managed locally during the day, but have the ability to roll into one command and control center at night.

Another consideration is that, with the next generation of Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) right around the corner, IP is the state-of-the-art platform for intercom technology. It is getting faster and, as the technology develops, the ability to increase the number of addressable endpoints is a necessity. Any fears or concerns about reaching a dead end on the Internet highway are needless. IPv6 proves that the Internet is limitless.

While moving to IP offers many advantages over sticking with dated analog technology, it's important to remember that using IP for point-to-point communication does require network planning. As with adding any other device to an IP network, bandwidth must be taken into consideration. You must also plan for security, as any new endpoint also creates a potential entry point for hackers and others that mean to do your network harm. 

Chris Coffin is CEO and cofounder of Lake Forest, IL-based Digital Acoustics (www.digitalacoustics.com).

 

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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

Connectrac wireways offer discrete power and technology connectivity in open interior spaces of all kinds; affordably, quickly and with long-term flexibility.



When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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