John Henkel, Director of SMB Product Marketing at NETGEAR
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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: John Henkel, Director of SMB Product Marketing at NETGEAR

AV over IP has become more mainstream over the past few years following a decades-long discussion about the transition from analog to digital to IP. While AVoIP offers many advantages for pro AV users, there remain some challenges.

The requirements of AV on a network are very different from standard IT environments, bringing far more complexity." — John Henkel, Director of SMB Product Marketing at NETGEAR

With the ability to scale as needed, the flexibility of using standard networking infrastructure, and a wide range of products for any application, AV over IP solves many problems in today’s commercial and residential installations. However, complicated, time-consuming configurations and stringent IT demands are creating unneeded barriers to installation.

The requirements of AV on a network are very different from standard IT environments, bringing far more complexity. For instance, not all types of AV over IP require the same configuration. Each must be set up correctly so you don’t get audio pops or dropped video frames, for example. Setting up these systems perfectly every time requires either a highly trained AV engineer with an IT background or a network switch built for the AV industry with an easier way to configure reliably and consistently.

Adding to the barrier of adoption, most AV people don’t speak IT fluently. There needs to be a bridge in which certain terms can be jointly understood to allow better communication between AV and IT teams. More IT-based training for AV people and vice versa is required to help both sides understand the unique needs of the other.

AV over IP is here to stay and for good reason, so finding ways to take away the complexity surrounding its technology is essential. And while revamping your IT network infrastructure to fit AV needs may seem like a costly expenditure, it doesn’t have to be. AV/IT managers should look for products that tailor specifically to AV for all kinds of budgets while offering the same enterprise-level functionality and security.

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

Cindy Davis
Brand and content director of AV Technology

Cindy Davis is the brand and content director of AV Technology. Davis enjoys exploring the ethos of experiential spaces as well as diving deep into the complex topics that shape the AV/IT industry. In 2012, the TechDecisions brand of content sites she developed for EH Publishing was named one of “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. For more than 20 years, Davis has developed and delivered multiplatform content for AV/IT B2B and consumer electronics B2C publications, associations, and companies. From 2000 to 2008, Davis was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Electronic House. From 2009 to present, as the principal of CustomMedia.Co, Davis developed content plans and delivered content for associations such as IEEE Standards Association and AVIXA, content marketing for Future Plc, and numerous AV/IT companies. Davis was a critical member of the AVT editorial team when the title won the “Best Media Brand” laurel in the 2018 SIIA Jesse H. Neal Awards. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners, and sampling local IPAs.