AV over IP Nothing New, But Critical to Success for Today’s Systems Integrators

AV over IP was popular on InfoComm 2017 trade show floor but most successful integrators have been employing it for a while now.

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Jay McArdle has never been known for his subtlety or fear of mincing words. He displayed another example of his candor at the 2017 Total Tech Summit in November in Orlando when the discussion turned to AV over IP.

“If you don’t understand IP networks, do us all a favor and sell your business now,” McArdle, CIO for Zdi, told those in the crowd at the panel discussion, “Fresh Horses – Products & Applications Your Company Can Ride for Revenue & Profit Growth.”

“If you’re just hearing about it now, you’re in a really bad spot,” said McArdle.

Those words amplified the dismissals by his fellow panelists, Human Circuit president and CEO Bruce Kaufmann and SAVE Electronics president and CEO Tim Boyd, of talk that AV over IP is a new concept for savvy AV integrators.

Both Kaufmann and Boyd say they’ve been working on projects that marry AV and IT skills for 15 years or more.

“We need to embrace the AV over IP network,” says Kaufmann, scoffing at the almost three dozen new entries into the AV over IP space at InfoComm 2017 alone. Human Circuit has been working on projects with an AV over IP element since around 2000 in a hospital installation, he said.

“There was a lot of customization, but it worked well.”

Boyd, who says SAVE has been part of AV over IP installations by a different name since the mid-1990s at large hotel chains, knows the increased use of AV over IP technologies will help “make things easier to install and mean less rack space” for integrators installing their tech.

AV over IP seems to represent another case where the AV industry seems to lack standards, especially in comparison to its IT brethren.

“IT is very tight with its standards,” says Kaufmann. “If you don’t follow them, it doesn’t work. We don’t have hard standards. We have 12 different flavors. That’s something NSCA and maybe AVIXA need to help us with.”