Rhetoric

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Anticipating NAB, we've presented the rhetorical "To HD Or Not To HD" on the cover this month. With a skull for emphasis: Alas poor Analog, we knew thee well. The petulance of technology is worthy of great drama: indecision, contradiction, compulsion. Just like Hamlet, the technological world that systems integrators are working within presents the maddening situations of keeping up with the latest technologies for clients while at the same time to thine own self being true.

It's not a matter of preference, HD is where the industry is at and there's no going back. On page 34 Alan C. Brawn explains many of the terms thrown around with digital TV and how the new technologies relate to systems integrators.

Like we learn in the Trenches this month on page 10, digital signs are everywhere and point to profits for installers. As the means to display information progresses with high-definition, so too do the messages and venue options for them. In Vegas for NAB, it's clear that broadcast is much broader than ever. The means of broadcast is in many more hands for specific narrowcasts. The tools and expertise involved stem from the same technology. So there's plenty to learn at NAB. Grass Valley is a legend in the broadcast world and last year established itself with systems installers with its Turbo product. This year Helius has teamed with Hughes Network Systems to build a digital media network where global advertisers can deliver messages to a new captive audience in restaurants, retail stores, and waiting rooms. There's plenty for integrators to consider.

HD has moved into boardrooms. This month Michael Heiss discusses the current needs and trends in boardroom applications on page 37. Just as HD has infiltrated homes, its presence is just as important in the boardroom, where for better or worse, a great many people spend more time than they do at home.

At home a great many discussions are had while not necessarily locked into one seat at a table. This is the concept Revolabs was going for as discussed in this month's Inventor Profile on page 56. With a pretty powerful word-of-mouth reputation at NSCA, Revolabs' sleek lapel-worn mics make for a more natural conference.

Just the way the progression of technology marches on so does the new generation of integrators. John Mayberry illustrated his recent schooling by an eighth grade girl on page 98. Her complete lack of apprehension when it comes to technology is likely to spell an exponential amount of innovation from this generation to the next one.

I witnessed this firsthand on a recent trip to Germany with Telex to tour awesome installations in the Berlin Olympic Stadium as well as the brand new inflated (literally) Allianz Arena in Munich. There were more young faces than usual among the 120 audio consultants on board for the trip. Recently out of school, there's a generation moving up that has only been exposed to what many audio veterans consider recent developments.

Hamlet was a tragedy. In this business, there's always a way to diversify and come out on top.

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