AV, IP, and Digital Signage? - AvNetwork.com

AV, IP, and Digital Signage?

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It was a long hot summer of rapid technology change and new product introductions. Starting with the InfoComm show in June, news of new products in the display arena did not cease to amaze– with more ultra-thin bezel LCD, outdoor digital signage displays and mounting, OLED, more 4K, more touchscreen evolution, and the newest batch of innovation coming from direct view LED (and some new variations on direct view LED).

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David Keene
OLED is a dramatic addition to the display landscape. And anyone who has been to any major trade show this year has seen a lot of new direct view LED products. More than competing with LCD panels, direct view LED opens new markets for AV integrators. Direct view LED products now make it possible for integrators to sell entirely new solutions in a variety of applications that need larger, higher brightness, higher dynamic range, more energy-efficient displays. Yes, they are not cheap. Which is why they are poised to open new markets not cannibalize the LCD flat panel market. It’s about growing the market, on the upside.

In the digital signage market, there has not been major disruption over the shift to IP, AV over IP that is. The move to IP is pretty dramatic in the larger installed AV world (the classroom, boardroom, meeting room, etc) if not a complete retooling at this point. As I reported on the eve of InfoComm while visiting some Silicon Valley players (you can click here to read that report), even as moving AV signals (even industrial-strength video) over IP has moved from bleeding edge to mainstream, the industry still has a long way to go. Depending on your perspective, that involves either A) wringing out even more latency and other image quality glitches, and improving security features, for a better AV over IP package delivered to the user, and/or B) educating both the AV integrator and the end user that sure, we need to do more of A, but we now have some robust solutions that solve a lot of our challenges today, with today’s gear.

That journey– making AV over IP as robust and predictable as it needs to be– is ongoing. And it will involve many twist and turns, and the entrance into the market of heavyweights from the IT world. It behooves anyone reading this– even if you’re only in the more network-neutral realm of digital signage– to understand what’s going in that long struggle, because it will affect digital signage. And to help you do that, I asked Jeff Greenberg to help explain some of the issues, in his feature article in the last issue of Digital Signage magazine, AV/IT Layering, the New Revolution. (Click here to read Greenberg’s take on the phenomenon.)

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