The Network has become the very life force of AV integration. In truth, the transition has enabled the integration industry to enter into or create markets which would seem unthinkable for us only a few short years prior. But larger players are beginning to pick up on that.
Is there any question of if AV and IP have merged and are inseparably connected? One pass over the floor of InfoComm 2017 is enough to show that assimilation is nearly total.
The evolution of Ethernet-based connectivity in integration systems is long and clear, though we still appear to greet it with a mix of excitement and reservation.
Control Systems were among the first to take advantage of the new branch of the phylogenetic tree, reaching like plants to the light. The adaptation was small in step but progressive in effect, with the ability to communicate, update, monitor and operate program functions. Accessory products such as lighting, temperature, and entertainment sources soon followed.
Expansion of InfoComm Tech
Following InfoComm 2017, the Biome is thriving with full-throated streaming media such as video conferencing, live information feeds, audio distribution and paging, all live on our “standard” 1G Networks.
Crestron touted their Digital Media NVX line which provides “4K60 4:4:4 HDR over standard 1Gb networks”. Much of this possible on the existing network and, with caveats, over CAT 5.
AMX (part of Harman – A Samsung company), building on their 2015 purchase of SVSI, introduced the N2400 series of encode/ decode units. The line also provides 4K video at 60Hz and 4:4:4 chroma and states that latency is nearly imperceptible.
No less remarkable is the AV-over-IP offered by smaller, and often more affordable, manufacturers like Aurora, ZeeVee, Matrox, Exterity, Aristia, and Tripp-Lite, to name only a few.
The technological DNA driving this environmental adaptation is also in the midst of invigorating changes.
SDVoE made a strong stand despite the small footprint of its booth with a collection of founding partners on hand to discuss and demonstrate their ‘Zero Latency’ capability.
HDBaseT unveiled its long-awaited IP product offering greater versatility, robust pro grade unicast and multicast services. The standard will also leverage the existing product installations.
All of this has attracted the interest of nontraditional exhibitors to the show. A trend that speaks to both the growth of the integration industry and the concern that big changes in the who and what are nearly upon us.
Rise of the Behemoths?
Cisco’s InfoComm booth was both sizeable and basic.
With a great pool of resources to utilize, Cisco featured its Spark offerings. The displays emphasized its core abilities to securely and seamlessly deliver VoIP, collaboration tools, Whiteboard technology and conferencing tools.
While not quite AV, it is clear that a very big dog has chosen to stake a claim in at least part of the market. Given the company’s very deep roots in network infrastructure and respect in the IT world, it is clear that it could take a big bite.
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The floor at InfoComm 2017 was also aflutter, yet again, with rumors that Cisco and a few other manufactures are actively seeking the purchase of a large integration firm, product manufacture, or both. If true, we may be witnessing the rise of the behemoths.
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