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What type of UPS to use and why it is relevant to AV

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What type of UPS to use and why it is relevant to AV

I am often asked by Pro AV installers why they should use a UPS and which type to use.

In many cases there is a misconception that UPS systems are to provide enough backup power to let you finish your telepresence meeting or to let you finish watching your Netflix movie when there is a power cut. The primary functions of a UPS are to protect the equipment connected to it from brown outs and black outs and to provide enough power in case of a black out to give the equipment to shut down safely, without data loss or to give enough time for a back-up generator to start up.

The protection of AV equipment in particular is very important as brown outs can cause serious damage to sensitive AV equipment.

Types of UPS Systems

There are 2 basic types of UPS systems line interactive and online-double conversion. There are also Offline systems, but these are not really UPS as it means ‘uninterruptible power supply’ and a power cut with an offline system will cause an interruption.

Below is a brief explanation of the differences.

Standby/Offline battery Back-up

The offline UPS is just a battery, providing limited back up power, sometimes with regulation for brown outs. The cheapest standby/offline units will do only turn on batteries when the power goes out. Some more expensive units may also offer some surge protection. An offline UPS can take up to 45 milliseconds to switch over to battery power. This delay can be enough to cause damage to equipment.

Line Interactive UPS

The line interactive UPS does filter out some peaks in power, but is not fully regulating the output current. Fluctuations in the output current are still passed through. These units will offer a quicker response time (up to 10 milliseconds) and have some basic automatic voltage regulation (AVR) and surge suppression.  Lower-priced units will put out a simulated or modified, sine wave and higher-priced units will produce a pure sine wave.  Sometimes, these higher end units will go to battery in a brown-out (to boost the voltage) and in an over-voltage situation (to lower or “buck” the voltage).

Since the line interactive ups still has a delay of several milliseconds before the batteries kick in after a power cut, there is still a risk of causing damage to equipment.

Further, and probably most relevant to the Pro AV industry, the Line interactive UPS has only limited ability to filters out fluctuations from the input AC-power. These small fluctuations can be amplified in AV setups (by amplifiers for instance) and manifest itself in ‘unexplained’ noise or snow on screens or in humming noises from speakers. A line interactive UPS for AV, although commonly used, is not advisable.

Online UPS

The highest level of UPS protection is online.  Online units take the incoming current (AC), rectify it to the battery voltage of the UPS (DC), filter it, reinvert it and convert it to the appropriate output voltage for the unit (AC). Consequently, The output voltage is always rock-steady and the sine wave is always pure. 

None of the small fluctuations are passed by an online UPS. Only clean power out!

Also, there is no delay from power cut to battery power. It is always on the batteries. Further benefit of this is that this is better for batteries, so you’ll typically get a year or two more lifespan from them over the other types of UPSs.

To learn more of the Niveo Professional UPS systems, please check: http://www.niveoprofessional.com/product-category/power-products/

 
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Working from home?

Working from home?

How to avoid poor video conferencing!

With the corona virus around, many of us are working from home. As we are all adapting to this new situation, we want to come across as professional as possible, with the kids running around or consuming all your bandwidth for gaming.

Simple rules to improve the experience

A few simple rules can make the conferencing experience a lot better.

  1. If possible, join the conference from a separate room, where the cat is not jumping in front of the webcam and dryer isn’t emitting the main noise.
  2. Make sure you position yourself in such way that the light is coming from the front, not from the back. Otherwise, your picture will come across as very dark.
  3. Test your connection, microphone, camera and speakers of your laptop well in advance of the call. It can be very disturbing when someone is holding up the meeting, because their microphone is not working.
  4. Position your camera, so that is at eye level. No one wants the view up your nostrils during the meeting.
  5. When you are not talking, go on mute. Most laptops have the speakers and microphones very close together, often resulting in annoying feedback. Also, the entire team does not need to hear you ordering your pizza during the call.

How to avoid choppy audio, freezing video and failures to share screens?

In most cases, this is simply the result of not enough bandwidth.  Either your current Wi-Fi system is not providing enough coverage and throughput in your home or some-one in your family is using the bandwidth you need for gaming or Netflix.

Upgrade your Wi-Fi system

Assuming that your ISP is providing enough signal, both can be resolved by upgrading your Wi-Fi system.

With modern Wi-Fi equipment you can simply allocate a maximum bandwidth to that x-box, streaming TV and prioritize the bandwidth allocation for your work or school laptops. This is called ‘Quality of Service’ and is a handy tool built in professional AP’s to avoid your video conference failing.

Most retail grade Wi-Fi-routers have very cheap antenna’s and even though the box said it offers a Gazillion Gigabit connection, it usually doesn’t. Apart from the quality of the antenna’s these devices are often placed in worst possible spots for getting a signal to, like the basement or electricity closet.

Let the router route and let the wireless be done by access points. In this way, you can place the AP’s in the best spots to cover the entire house and get a consistent signal throughout the house.

Niveo Business Systems Wireless AP and Router

The new NRS-RC1 is a router & controller & PoE switch into one. Cloud ready! All designed for dazzling easy installation and configuration. At extremely affordable prices that blow your socks of.

No need for a PoE injector or switch of or a router or controller. It is all built in this single device. Cloud manageable!

The new NRS-AP10 wireless access point, offers 802.11AC, dual band / dual radio, high power and ultra wide coverage at a very affordable price.

The extreme easy wizard interface makes 30 second configuration the new norm!

 Niveo Professional Wireless series

If you want to step up your wireless home system, you can use the Niveo Professional NWA-series wireless.

  • The NWA300 (Ceiling) and NWA220 (Outdoor) offer exceptional throughputand wide coverage.
  • Full Dual-band AC, with dual radio.
  • Save time and money by installing less devices on the job to get the same coverage
  • Save time and money by completely cloud manage your installation through the controller
  • Intuitive interface, with wizard support.
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Taking Wireless Networking to the next level!

Taking Wireless Networking to the next level!

Like with all our products, we think about the applications of the products, how it is going to be installed and what challenges an installer might encounter when installing and then we start designing.

Niveo makes life easier, with the best possible performance.

Here are a few examples of what we have done (so far) with wireless networking.

Start with the best possible components
When making an access point, it is not the speeds the marketing department puts on the box that is important. That are just trinkets. What is important is how it performs: Actual throughput speeds, usable coverage, stability of the signal, sensitivity of the antennas.
These make the difference between professional equipment and mass market retail grade DIY equipment: There is no financial shortcut to great performance! As a rule, we use the best chipset, antennas available, outperforming nearly everything out there! 

  •  Much higher throughput
  • Much better effective coverage
  • Much more stable signal and low risk of drop off
  • Much higher capacity for handling and managing multiple clients
  • 120+ concurrent users on a single access point
  • Exceptionally high NAT conversion


Build very intelligent software

  • Built in AP-guard software the AP’s can detect issues and autonomous resolve issues by a reboot sequence.
  • Unique Reboot Scheduler, prevents issu
  • es and congestion and maintains the highest possible performance
  • Built in channel analyzer, helps finding the best channel for optimized performance…Hey, it can even do it automatically for you!
  • It will automatically adjust the channels if interference changes
  • Smart QoS for prioritization

 

Seamless roaming

  • Very quick hand off from AP to AP
  • No latency as with ‘repeater’ or Mesh networks

 

Build very handy Controllers

  • Controller based load balancing and flow control, so the wireless streams are distributed over the AP’s to optimize network performance
  • Supports up to 200 AP’s in a network (NWAC-7000)
  • Supports up to 20 AP’s in a network (NRS-RC1)
  • Built in Gateway
  • Built in Firewall
  • Built in Router
  • And even a Built in PoE-switch (NRS-RC1)

Make you do as little as possible

  • Zero config installation of the NRS-RC1 and the NRS-AP10
  • Just plug, play & walk away!
  • But if you really want, please see next section:

 

High levels of management

  • The AP’s can be used with or without controller: It will still do roaming!!!
  • Cloud management in case you want to access it remotely. But why would you? It does everything by itself, so we built something you don’t actually need.
  • Supports captive portals/authentication portals for internet café and hospitality
  • Supports Facebook and Google authentication

 

Try for yourself

For more information on our wireless products, please check out:

http://www.niveoprofessional.com/product-category/wireless-and-controlers/

  • For Home/Small office:
    • NRS-RC1: Controller/Router/Gateway/PoE-switch
    • NRS-AP10: Dual band, Dual Radio 802.11AC AP

  • For Enterprise:
    • NWAC-7000: High capacity WLAN controller
    • NWA-300: Ultra-wide coverage ceiling 802.11AC AP
    • NWA-220: Ultra-wide coverage outdoor 802.11AC AP

Niveo Professional is a manufacturer of enterprise network equipment for commercial and residential AV industry.

To learn more on how Niveo Professional and its equipment can help you build more secure installations, please check www.niveoprofessional.com or contact us at: info(at)niveoprofessional.com

 
 
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  • COMMUNICATIEWEG 9-L, 3641 SG MIJDRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS

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How secure are your AV-installations?

How secure are your AV-installations?

Less than one month after the WannaCry ransom-ware attack, many companies and institutions were hit by Petya. The Petya attack spread very rapidly affecting many companies in a very short time-frame(1). It nearly paralyzed operations of one of Europe’s largest container terminal and has seriously disrupted the operations of companies like TNT Express(2).

While large corporations have teams dedicated to information security, most AV-installers do not have such teams available. The question is, are we still in control of our installations?

Is 100% secure possible?
In short ‘no’. Dr. Melanie Rieback, owner of Radically Open Security, explained in a recent interview of one of the Dutch newspapers: “A group of hackers with time and money get in everywhere”(3) It primarily boils down to how great the interest is in entering a network, set off against the effort needed to get in. In parallel, one should design the security in view of the value/importance of what it protects.

What does it mean for AV?
With AV-installations we should as a bare baseline make reasonable effort to secure our setups. In corporate environments, the security specifications are mostly dictated by the IT departments and usually the design must be assessed and approved by that department prior to installation. In small commercial and residential installations, it mostly comes down to the choices of the installer.In each case, we must avoid being the cause of opening up the network of our customers to those who want to do wrong. We certainly don’t want to be the cause that the private holiday snaps of your VIP customer are suddenly all over internet, because we have insecurely created a port forwarding to show that device on your phone or because we forgot to change the default password of the WiFi.

IoT, Easy Wizards and stuff you can show on your smartphone
Many of us have grown to love the use of ‘easy installation wizards’ and flashy smartphone app’s: The stuff you plug in and works without configuration. There are off course trade-offs for your ease of installation. Firstly, all these wizards are primarily designed for the DIY/retail market and installing these in residential or commercial AV setups require very little added value from the knowledge of the installers. Secondly, since more is done for you, more of the technology is moved to the ‘black box’. We get less and less influence on the security of the installation.

The largest DDOS (Denial of Service) attack of 2016, which crippled large parts of the Internet was caused by a botnet that made use of vulnerable devices like webcams, camcorders, baby monitors, and other insecure internet connected devices. Basically, easy to install stuff you can show on your phone!

The greatest concern of all is the quick rise in Internet of Things (IoT) devices. We already bring in those easy to use IoT devices into both corporate and residential environments, while the chip manufacturers of the IoT chips are still bickering on what level of security needs to be embedded on those chips.(4)

Simple steps to improve security

Again, there is no guarantee to fully securing your installations. Making it more difficult to get in, also makes it less attractive to get in. These steps are merely a guideline to some security basics, but the needed level of security measures needs to be assessed for each individual installation. When in doubt, ask an expert!

  • Educate yourself in networking and security: Both Infocomm and Cedia offer training programs to give you understanding on networking and the security aspects of it.
  • Don’t blindly rely on wizards for configuration: Only when you understand what these wizards do and how secure they are and have satisfied yourself it meets the requirements, make use of a wizard. Usually, the easier it is to configure, the easier it is for someone else to get in. Great benefits can be had from being able to configure the devices yourself: You are in control of what you are installing and you add more value to the installation.
  • Make Security a standard paragraph in your design: Creating best practices will make implementation easier and more effective.
  • Make sure here is good firewall protection: Don’t rely on the firewall functions in mass market retail routers or ISP equipment. Get professional equipment in and put that behind the ISP router. Apart from increasing security, you create a clear demarcation between ISP and installer responsibilities.
  • Check which devices are allowed to connect to internet: More advanced routers will offer the possibility to check per device if and how often it connects to internet. Some are even capable of automated lock outs or set that manually.
  • Isolate IoT device on a separate VLAN: segment your network as to isolate IoT from the rest of the network.
  • Turn off unnecessary ‘Smart’ features of equipment: Be cautious of ‘Smart’ features like televisions with camera’s or voice enabled controls. These features are easy targets to get in. Turn it off if it is not needed.
  • Change the passwords: It seems like the most obvious no-brainer, but in many cases passwords are kept default in many AV installation. This is used in many exploits and very easily avoidable. Not convinced? Check this link:  http://lmgtfy.com/?q=default+password+list
  • Use remote access only when you need it and are convinced of the security: Showing off stuff on your smartphone is not a goal by itself. Only use remote access features if you know how they are secured and if that meets the levels required.
  • Use VPNs: Securing and encrypting access will help the security of your network.
  • For wireless devices:
    o Turn off WDS: This one button connect is easy entry for everyone.
    o Change the SSIDs: Standard SSIDs give away the vendor/type.
    o Activate Wireless encryption.
    o Turn off standard guest networks: They are easy entry and not just for your  guests.

________________________________________
[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/technology/ransomware-hackers.html?mcubz=2
[2] http://investors.fedex.com/news-and-events/investor-news/news-release-details/2017/FedEx-Files-10-K-with-Additional-Disclosure-on-Cyber-Attack-Affecting-TNT-Express-Systems/default.aspx
[3] https://www.volkskrant.nl/tech/deze-wonder-woman-van-de-computerbeveiligingswereld-hackt-zo-je-bedrijf~a4505208/
[4] https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603015/security-experts-warn-congress-that-the-internet-of-things-could-kill-people/?set=603780
________________________________________

Niveo Professional is a manufacturer of enterprise network equipment for commercial and residential AV industry. Niveo Professional offers firewall routers like the NR10 with many capabilities to increase security of AV installations: http://www.niveoprofessional.com/product/nr10/

niveo-routers-nr10

To learn more on how Niveo Professional and the equipment can help you build more secure installations, please check www.niveoprofessional.com or contact us at: info(at)niveoprofessional.com

 
 
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  • COMMUNICATIEWEG 9-L, 3641 SG MIJDRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS

  • TELEPHONE: +31 297 256161

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  • TELEPHONE: 855-406-4836

All rights reserved, Niveo Professional

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THE ALL NEW NIVEO PROFESSIONAL ZERO-CONFIG VIDEO-OVER-IP SWITCHES

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THE ALL NEW NIVEO PROFESSIONAL ZERO-CONFIG VIDEO-OVER-IP SWITCHES

Reliable, easy and affordable. Those three words fits perfectly with our zero-config video-over-IP switches. The all new NGS-IPV-switches are designed to make any video-over-IP project as simple as can be. Simply unpack the switch, plug in, and you are ready to go! Powers most standard PoE+ encoders and decoders. The built-in remote management software allows for easy acccess and monitoring of the switches and the encoders and decoders. Also these switches supports most 1-Gigabite based Video-over-IP systems, like Crestron NVX, QSC Q-SYS, SVSi, Blustream, DIGITALINX IPO, Gefen,  Omnistream and  Cobranet. The switch support Dante and AE67.
Are you just as exhited as us, feel free to contact us for more information!

 

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GLOBAL HEAD OFFICE
  • COMMUNICATIEWEG 9-L, 3641 SG MIJDRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS

  • TELEPHONE: +31 297 256161

North American Headquarters
  • TELEPHONE: 855-406-4836

All rights reserved, Niveo Professional