Why USB 3.0 for AV?
Why use USB 3.0 for AV? The 5Gbps data rate available with USB 3.0 allows us to send up to 1080p-30 uncompressed video directly to a PC. This is especially useful for soft codec and web based video conferencing solutions like Lync, Skype, Hangouts, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Jabber, etc... USB 2.0 is also capable of carrying 1080p-30 resolution but it must first be pre-compressed by the camera (e.g. via H.264 compression) in order to squeeze into the 480Mbps limitations of USB 2.0. Most cameras do not have this compression built-in but more importantly many applications perform better if the conferencing, streaming or recording software is the only step in the signal chain providing compression to the video stream.
USB 3.0 Cabling Length Limitations and Extensions
USB 2.0 cable lengths were limited by specification to about 5m or 16.5’. While USB 3.0 cable length is not specifically limited by the specification, the effective max cable length is even shorter at about 3m or 10’. This is fine for connecting appliances to a PC at your desk but will not suffice for installations in larger spaces (e.g. control rooms, conference rooms, auditoriums, etc...).