AV Equipment Manufacturers: PLEASE STAND BY by Christopher Maione

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The InfoComm AV Systems Energy Management Standard group continues its efforts in developing the first Green AV standard. “The goal is to develop a standard (or group of standards) that can be applied universally to audiovisual systems in terms of product selection, design approaches, system management, and operations. Such standards would apply to the overall system, not the performance or efficiency of any individual components.”

For true energy management, this standard will be key. There is a twist in the verbiage, however, with regard to “the performanc e or efficiency of individual components." In order for the standard to be applied to its fullest extent, we are going to need our industry’s AV equipment manufacturers to step up to the plate. They need to provide us with individual components and equipment with the required operational modes, including (most importantly) a STANDBY mode.

There are potentially four operational states of an AV system which are summarized here:

DISCONNECTED: In this mode, the AV equipment cabinet is disconnected from ANY power source. In addition, any peripheral devices must be disconnected via a switch, relay or other so that they are not connected to a power source.

OFF: AV components should be in their most power conserving mode which still enables them to be turned to the “STANDBY” or “ON” state via the remote control system or other manual “System On” switch.

STANDBY: All AV components are to be in their “STANDBY” mode so that they will promptly be available when needed. If AV system inactivity is detected (say after 30 minutes of inactivity) the AV system will AUTOMATICALLY put itself into STANDBY. If inactivity continues (say after another 30 minutes) then the AV system will automatically turn itself to the “OFF” state.

ON: The AV system and any electronic components which are needed for operation (and only those devices which are required for the particular AV function) come out of STANDBY and into “ON” state.

These operational modes are similar to the Energy Star (version 2.0) Audio/ Video specifications but provide much more applicability to commercial AV system components and AV systems as a whole.

So the challenge is out to all AV manufacturers, especially to industry leaders such as AMX, Crestron, Extron, Polycom, and Tandberg. We need a well-defined STANDBY mode for all AV system components manufactured and brought to market. Video projector and flat-panels have included standby and sleep modes for years, as the manufacturers realized the need to turn off their equipment in efforts not only to save energy, but also to extend the life of their equipment.

Here is what we need all AV equipment to include:

· Clearly defined operational modes: OFF — STANDBY — ON

· STANDBY to be a specific and identifiable operational mode.

· The ability to (remotely) trigger STANDBY mode.

· Prompt transition from STANDBY to ON mode.

· Lower power consumption in STANDBY mode vs. ON mode.

· Minimal power consumption in OFF mode.

(At present, Energy Star permits 2 watts power to turn “on” a device from the “off” mode. The InfoComm standard will permit a sliding scale of power consumption in “OFF” mode based on the specific equipment type.)

We have about seven months until InfoComm (June 2011); let’s see which manufacturers are really committed to AV energy management and respond to our challenge.

Stay tuned for the first public draft for comments of the InfoComm AV Systems Energy Management Standard.
For more information, visit www.infocomm.org/cps/rde/xchg/infocomm/hs.xsl/11977.htm

Christopher Maione, CTS-D, is president of Christopher Maione Associates, a firm specializing in all aspects of AV business, technologies, and marketing strategy. He also serves as an InfoComm Adjunct Faculty member and frequent speaker at global AV industry events. Reach him at cmaione@chrismaione.com.

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