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AV over IP: It’s the details that make the biggest difference: Aurora VPX Series

Aurora VPX Series 1Gbps AVoIP continues to lead the pack across features, specifications and real-world performance. But more than that, intelligent and revolutionary design makes it a smarter choice for consultants, integrators, and their clients.

This article steps through all the clever elements that add to the VPX Series’ functionality, ease of use and configuration control. It’s an astonishingly exhaustive list of advantages that can’t be ignored.

Moreover, Aurora has a download that allows you to compare specifications against anything on the market, making it easier to compare. We invite you to take the challenge and see for yourself what a smart decision Aurora AV over IP is.

Original Manufacturer 

Aurora is the original manufacturer and inventor of its AV over IP products. The hardware and software technologies are developed in its New Jersey, ISA, corporate office. It’s a fundamental difference to the many companies that do not design or manufacture their hardware. Original technology and unique design are vital ingredients in Aurora’s leadership.

Aurora’s in-house capability allows the business to move ahead, create trends, adapt quickly and provide support by understanding the product down to the chip level. 

Regarding AV over IP, Aurora has created many technologies that other manufacturers are only now adopting. These include the Transceiver concept, Dante/AES67 over IP with Video, Reversible USB, Decora Transceiver AV over IP wall plates, channel mapping, rapid deployment, 10G PoE, and more, has all been innovated by Aurora Multimedia.


The transceiver unit can be configured as an encoder or a decoder. The advantages are fewer models required, better serviceability, and more functionality. This is especially true with the wall plate models, as they can be configured as an encoder for a laptop and as a decoder for an extra display, depending on the meeting room’s requirement. 

Scaling with Seamless Switching

This design decision helps interoperability between different display resolutions and allows fast, seamless switching. It is the difference between waiting seconds versus less than a second with a smooth transition. The faster the switching time, the smoother the effect is when changing between sources.


Latency determines the time it takes to encode the audio/video and decode the audio/video to show on the display. The lower the latency, the better:

  1. At live events, zero-frame latency means viewers cannot hear or see the difference from the live performance.
  2. When using computers, the lower frame rates help when using a mouse. There’s an absence of trailing, for example. Typically, in conference room applications, one frame or less is ideal. 

Breakaway Routing

For maximum flexibility, it is essential to have the ability to route the video, audio, USB, RS-232, and IR independently. This allows the same audio to be routed everywhere while different videos are displayed on various displays. Breakaway USB helps with routing cameras to different encoders. 

Compression Type

The compression type can significantly affect image quality and motion artifacts. Aurora uses Mimix™, a proprietary compression that delivers the best quality across image and motion. When demonstrating side by side with the original content, it is almost impossible to tell the difference.


Ensuring an AV over IP device has proper enterprise-class security like AES 256, 802.1x, HTTPS, & SSH is wise. With this, a system will be protected in some environments. It is just as essential to ensure no content is left behind when there is a power cycle, a typical requirement in military and government applications. The Aurora units can even lock out the front buttons, display, and OSD information.

Audio (Analog & Dante/AES67)

Handling audio requires flexibility when accommodating a variety of system designs. Analog audio is still used in many systems, and having a line in/out is essential. Just as important is the ability to downmix Surround PCM audio to 2-channel stereo and even allow the analogue output to be selectable to mono to save on cable costs.

For Dante/AES67, Aurora is the first company to allow an ASIC video CODEC to run a software license version instead of requiring additional semiconductors in hardware. This helps reduce costs, lessens supply chain issues, and requires fewer model varieties since any of Aurora’s VPX devices can be enabled.

To make the use of Dante/AES67 even easier, Aurora integrated into the built-in webpages a Dante® Routing page so that the routes can be made from the same interface. This makes the initial setup much easier and faster.

Channel Mapping with EPG

Aurora created this unique feature to allow a “cable box” experience through AV over IP. Aurora allows you to use a comma-delimited spreadsheet (.csv) to enter encoder host names, channel numbers, channel labels, and channel descriptions.

The file is then uploaded into a unit set as a decoder. Now, that decoder can change channels using the front up/down buttons and the Aurora remote options (IRC-BT1 Bluetooth, IR-11 IR). With the remote or API protocols, you can bring up the EPG (Electronic Programming Guide), which will show the information entered in the .csv file along with a preview window of the channel you are potentially selecting.

Control System Remote

Another exclusive Aurora feature is where the IRC-BT1 Bluetooth remote button presses, and releases are sent over a network socket connection. Aurora or a third-party control system can receive the various button presses and react accordingly. For example, pressing and holding the up/down arrows on the remote can control the dimming if the control system connects to the lighting system.

Auto Sense Switching

 Sometimes, pressing a button is not convenient, and auto sense will look for the last device plugged into the system and switch to that input when this feature is enabled. We give both buttons and auto sense for our wall plates, so when both inputs are used, you can still switch inputs without having to unplug and plug in to get a signal back.

Network Connectors and Features

Aurora supplies RJ-45 and SFP per unit for maximum flexibility and, once again, fewer SKUs. The SFP can be used for single mode, multimode mode, or a second RJ-45.

Aside from typical network features such as IP Address, Subnet, Gateway, & Host Name, the Aurora products allow for NTP, VLAN, and Cable Integrity checking. Aurora uses the NTP for the time and date stamp of logs to help diagnose if an issue should occur.

The VLAN helps, especially when using Dante® on a single LAN port. Many products need to consume two ports with Dante. The cable integrity test checks the LAN to ensure it is a proper 1G connection.

KVM & USB 2.0 Routing 

One of the great things about AV over IP is the scalability; with that, KVM and USB routing applications shine. Aurora handles the basic keyboard, video, and mouse routing, but we added advanced features like roaming mouse and hotkeys. The roaming mouse allows the switching to a new PC to automatically occur as the mouse reaches the edge of a display towards the next display. The hotkeys are fully programmable with any command, so it is not limited to just switching commands but can be used to turn on/off a display, for example. The USB 2.0 bandwidth allows 1080p30 cameras to be routed easily from any decoder to encoder.

Windowing, Videowalls, Custom Images

The VPX series can do up to 8x8 video walls, image rotation for portrait or jigsaw puzzle walls, PiP (Picture in Picture), and Quad windowing. It also allows custom images to be loaded into units set as decoders so a company logo, for example, can show up when there is no signal. Other companies charge additional fees for some of these features; however, Aurora includes many of these features as a base functionality.

Virtual Comm Ports

 Aurora can create a virtual communication port directly to the IR and RS-232 ports over an IP socket. This allows any control system to have direct access without needing an Aurora-specific macro to control the IR or RS-232. For example, a macro made for a specific brand display’s RS-232 port can be directed to our IP Address Port for RS-232 without any modification. 

Advanced Capabilities

Many companies focus on audio and video delivery, but there is more to AV over IP. Applications dictate the need, and for Aurora, we recognise unified communications as one of those needs. That is why we made the VPX-UC1 Ultra. We added a 2.4GHz 8 Core Android processor with a 6TOP NPU and lots of memory. It can run all the leading Android applications such as Microsoft 365™, Zoom™, Teams™, and more.

The VPX Ultra even has dual 8K60 outputs for the latest displays, especially the new popular 5K displays. Any stream coming into the VPX Ultra can be sent into the application and even converted to other lower streaming bandwidth standards like H.264 or H.265 and recorded. ReAX control is integrated into the system engine and can easily automate the room.

Digital Signage is another excellent use as the VPX Ultra can playback video overlayed onto a menu screen, for example, and even schedule when it gets played.

Video Preview

 A typical video preview has low resolution and only a few frames per second. Aurora VPX can do 720p30 high-definition MJPEG as a secondary preview. Third-party control interfaces and remote web pages can view this stream.

Testing & Debugging

It is great when things work well, but the reality is that when you have a variety of brands trying to be interoperable, there is a possibility for things to occur. Aurora developed advanced functions to deal with these situations and ensure quick results, even if they were Aurora’s firmware.

The VPX Series can do full remote diagnostics so we can see everything the processor is doing and use that information to pinpoint what is happening, be it locking to a signal, HDCP issues, audio interoperability and more.

Even if remote access cannot be granted, the log files can be saved to file and sent to Aurora. A built-in NTP client is used to time/date stamp and continually log. Many technicians will appreciate that. 

A test pattern generator is built to send one of many different patterns and resolutions over the network, even if a source is unavailable. This is very useful when setting up the system. The built-in web pages or our free Windows web server management tool can access all this.

Front Display

Aurora uses OLED screens on all box units to assist with support. Information like IP address and status can be viewed, making units easily identifiable—the OLED to be customised as a “label” identifier. Nothing is worse than having labels stuck to a product and possibly falling off, not to mention the aesthetics.

Control Ports 

Audio and video are not the only essential elements of an AV over IP solution. The ability to control nearby devices is just as important. Our products typically default with RS-232, IR, CEC, and IR Learner.


Aurora offers two rack mounts. A 1RU holds two units, and a 5RU can mount 12 units. To make it simpler, rails attach to the Aurora units and slide in from the front and affix easily into place with thumb screws.

Brands with connectors on the front and back cannot easily mount in a rack, so typically, they make more SKUs with card cages and various cards, which creates more items to support and inventory to manage.

You also lose redundancy because if the card cage fails, every card fails. Our method assures maximum redundancy while keeping the SKU the same.

Power Consumption

The typical Aurora VPX at 4K60 4:4:4 will draw approximately 8 watts. Lower resolutions will draw less. That means we work on standard PoE and do not require PoE+ or PoE++. Most need to consider how much the system will cost an end user over time from electricity. Many of the FPGA-based systems on the market will draw anywhere from 18 watts to 32 watts. A more extensive system can result in thousands of electric bills per year. It's not good for the environment or the pocket.


Aurora provides a 5-year limited warranty. Some companies offer a lower warranty and then charge for additional years or force you to buy their entire ecosystem to get an additional warranty.

TAA Compliant

Aurora AV over IP products are primarily made in the USA or a TAA-compliant country. In all instances, Aurora owns the intellectual property and fully controls the process.

About Aurora

Aurora Multimedia is defined by its relentless pursuit of genuine AV innovation, providing the most advanced end-to-end audiovisual experiences. The hallmarks of Aurora products and solutions are smarter, easier and more user-centric ways of enabling and using AV technology, measurably better quality and performance and leading value for money.

AP Tech is the authorised Australian distributor of Aurora Multimedia. Every Aurora solution from AP Tech is backed by local warranty and support.

A. P. Technologies Pty Ltd, Andrew Paton April 7, 2024
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