Building Strength Through AV Training

Building Strength Through AV Training
  • "When the opponent expands I contract, and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, 'I' do not hit, 'It' hits all by itself." The philosophizing martial arts icon Bruce Lee used a musculature metaphor to illustrate his mental agility to his teacher in Enter the Dragon. More than just a physical maneuver, this is a mantra about how to anticipate change and adapt accordingly.

TekAV provides coast to coast support for over 500 dealers, covering all aspects of visual communications products and solutions.
Perhaps it's an unlikely comparison, but audio and video hardware seems to have taken on this mantra. AV systems are shrinking while their capabilities expand. As little as a decade ago, there were racks and racks of equipment necessary for basic audio and video distribution systems. Now they're all but obsolete.

"As portable media goes away, there is increased portability over Ethernet," observed Steve Villoria, CEO and president of AMD/MediaPOINTE. "The key to AV over IP technologies is they take what's happening in a room over an IP system. It's a real-time conversion."

In educational institutions, this is already triggering the replacement of physical media that goes stale quickly. "They're starting to capture all of the existing classes and stream them live over network so that a lecture can be seen across campuses," Villoria said. "If they a noteworthy politician visits one campus it can be streamed and seen at remote campuses, and afterward they can be seen forever through that digital library."

Previously these types of technological trends were seen only at a higher-ed level. Recently, however, primary schools and even those in areas where budgets are extremely limited, the convergence of the network and the desktop with AV is helping schools. When an AV system connects to the network and/or the internet, suddenly the money that a school invests in IT infrastructure can be seen as "matching funds" for grants. "Products that do everything from capture, stream and archive content, to making video from an AV system available on demand are now being bundled by AV integrators with a distance learning system or a local AV system," Villoria said. "The projector, camera, nearly everything gets paid for by grant money, just because the system can talk to a network. Those kind of financial trends on the part of the government will help to exponentially drive AV over IP in the marketplace."

As there is still a slight intimidation factor associated with convergence, AMD and four other Master Value Added Distributors (MVADs) of audiovisual and videoconferencing products and services have joined forces to create a single national provider for products, training, service, and support, called TekAV. So far, TekAV has launched five training centers around the U.S., and ongoing education and certification courses cover subjects like firewall traversal for content distribution and managing video over networks, among many others. "Our focus is to provide the building blocks that integrators need to build the AV systems of the future," Villoria said. "Right now the growth in AV over IP is occurring in all vertical markets."

Kirsten Nelson is a freelance content producer who translates the expertise and passion of technologists into the vernacular of an audience curious about their creations. Nelson has written about audio and video technology in all its permutations for almost 20 years; she was the editor of SCN for 17 years. Her experience in the commercial AV and acoustics design and integration market has also led her to develop presentation programs and events for AVIXA and SCN, deliver keynote speeches, and moderate and participate in panel discussions. In addition to technology, she also writes about motorcycles—she is a MotoGP super fan.