Saturday Streaming and Dreaming

(Image credit: Pixabay from Pexels)

I’m a streaming service addict. We’ve got Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Go, the list goes on and on. In my opinion, these services have the best of the best—from new dramas like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix (highly recommend) to ’90s cult favorites like Death of a Cheerleader on Prime Video.

I basically never have to watch commercials, even if it’s just fast-forwarding them on the DVR, and I can watch from anywhere I like. Rainy Saturday and don’t feel like getting out of bed? No problem, I’ll watch TV in the bedroom. A night in with my girlfriends? We can take over the living room. Any device anywhere.

My Saturday night streaming marathon got me thinking … is AV becoming any content, any device, anywhere? It seems as much. AV over IP is predicted to be all the rage (again) at InfoComm, according to the press releases I’ve seen. There’s a plethora of products being released (or revised) at the show, and SDVoE has more than a dozen AVoIP training sessions. I’m looking forward to seeing what exhibitors have to offer in terms of innovation. After the show, it’ll be even more interesting to hear integrators discuss whether or not AVoIP innovations are truly being adopted in real-life scenarios.

And what about the content part of the equation? Content is becoming a larger and larger part of the show. One glance around the exhibit hall will give you an idea about the evolution of content at the show. I remember when we just played Hollywood blockbusters in the booth because the content didn’t matter. But today? That would not go over well—you’d be laughed off the show floor. As with a streaming service, the content is just as important as the stream. It needs to be eye-catching, relevant, and entertaining—on fleek, as the kids would say.

Last but not least, the “any device” part of the equation. Integrators don’t always love the idea of a BYOD party, especially in a corporate environment, but end users are demanding it. There’s no doubt that manufacturers will play to this trend and we’ll see the launch of many products that allow users to use their individual devices to share content.

After the dust settles from InfoComm, SCN will be watching closely to see what streaming standards and vendors emerge victorious. Perhaps there will there be not one winner but many. As with many other AV product categories, different solutions fit different use cases and budgets. What is certain is a spike in demand for more streaming and platform-driven AV. See you in Orlando!

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Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.