AVT Question: Please share insight into the current state of networked AV and control; what you see as barriers to entry; and what advice can you offer on how AV/IT managers can overcome limited resources or a lack of buy-in.
Thought Leader: Richard Bugg, Digital Products Solutions Architect at Meyer Sound (opens in new tab)
Adapting to the future never has been easy. The speed at which users adopt new technology depends on more than just “it’s a better solution.” Consider the move from the typewriter to the word processor. Early machines were expensive and required technical knowledge beyond most in the “typing pool.” The full potential was not unlocked until users realized that they no longer had to start again to make one simple change.
Frequently, early adopters are those who have a task that cannot be accomplished easily with existing technology. Unless the cost of the new technology is trivial, deployment is slow until production increases and prices fall. Likewise, the availability of those who can install and use new technology is limited. And sometimes, “bold new things” just don’t work out. How does a responsible manager spot long-term success among all the possibilities?
Cost is key, but it is important to identify all of the acquisition, installation, operation, and lifetime costs. With an existing infrastructure, what will be the repair and replacement costs next year, or five years from now? Aging infrastructure in installations is a place to start. Where are you in the life cycle of your wiring, and can it support existing and emerging technologies? In the past, designing network infrastructure for transporting media was challenging. Simply working out what might be required often led to “over-provisioning” during the design phase. Now the level of traffic required for systems to “just work” has risen so high that over-provisioning becomes impractical and expensive.
In this context, technologies and systems that provide deterministic, guaranteed, performance provide an advantage that should be sought out.
So the answer is that it’s complicated, but looking at all of the real costs will help determine when a proposed change in technology will provide a significant advantage.
AV Technology's Thought Leader Series on AVoX
Check out what other industry thought leaders have to say about the state of networked AV. A full list with links can be found at the bottom of the On AVoX, the Intro Article (opens in new tab)