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The ABCs of Pro AV: A Complete List of Audio Visual Acronyms and Their Meanings

A list of the most well-known audio visual acronyms relevant to the pro AV industry today — because, goodness knows, we could use a reference!

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The ABCs of Pro AV: A Complete List of Audio Visual Acronyms and Their Meanings

The pro AV industry is full of technical jargon that, admittedly, makes it a little hard for outsiders to comprehend the very scope of what services are offered within it. That’s why we’ve created this easy reference guide to the most well-known audio visual acronyms.

AudioVisual Tech Protocols

AVoIP – short for “AV over IP,” or the transfer of audio visual data over an client’s IP network.

SDVoE – “software-defined video over ethernet;” this refers to an AVoIP protocol that utilizes off-the-shelf ethernet switches.

HDCP – “High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection;” a form of copy protection (scrambling of signals) that prevents copying of audio & video content as it travels across cables or connections.

HDMI – “High-Definition Multimedia Interface;” an uncompressed digital connector providing an interface between 8-channel digital audio and HDTV standards.

HDBaseT – “high-definition video, audio, power, home networking, Ethernet, USB, & control over category cable.”

AVB – “Audio Video Bridging”

LED – “light-emitting diode;” a material that emits light when electricity passes through it.

OLED – “organic light-emitting diode;” a polymer or other organic substance used as a semiconductor in an LED

AV Industry Associations & Events

AVIXA – “Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association,” producer of InfoComm trade shows around the world, co-owner of Integrated Systems Europe and the international trade association representing the audiovisual industry.

AVUG – “AV user group”

NSCA – “National Systems Contractors Association;” not-for-profit association representing the commercial electronic systems industry and founder of such programs as IGNITE, Pivot to Profit, etc. Its annual Business & Leadership Conference gathers integration professionals for strategic presentations and networking.

SIA – “Security Industry Association” is a trade organization for security professionals.

USAV Group – Physical Security Alliance (PSA – see below) is the world’s largest systems integrator consortium made up of the most progressive security and audio-visual systems integrators in North AmericaUSAV, a division of PSA, connects affiliates into an industry team consisting of integrators throughout the U.S., Canada, and Latin America, manufacturers and service providers, and industry associations to provide a collaborative network of experts.

PSA – Physical Security Alliance (PSA) is a systems integrator consortium made up of progressive security and audio-visual systems integrators in North America.

BICSI – “Building Industry Consulting Service International” tackles information technology and communication systems education.

CompTIA – “Computing Technology Industry Association;” association of over 8,000 companies providing IT certifications.

CTA – “Consumer Tech Association;” producers of CES (Consumer Electronics Show)

DSE – “Digital Signage Expo;” world’s largest trade show dedicated to showcasing digital display and interactive technology solutions.

DSF – “digital signage federation;” not-for-profit trade group representing the digital signage industry and founders of the DSE.

ESPA – “Electronics Systems Professional Alliance”

CEDIA – Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association

PSNI – “Professional Systems Network International;” alliance of integrators, manufacturers, and distributors around the world and dedicated to creating industry standards.

BLC – “Business and Leadership Conference;” provides integration firm leaders with business insight, camaraderie, and innovation to help them improve sales and leadership skills.

ISE – “Integrated Systems Europe;” the largest pro AV trade show in the world. Moving from Amsterdam to Barcelona in 2021 to accommodate growth

AIA – American Institute of Architects

Audio Visual Acronyms for Business Practices

AVaaS – “AV as a Service;” An emerging solution coming from AV Integration firms that allows them to keep their customers up and running without sending a truck

CAD – “computer aided design”

LEED – “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design;” The building certification standard used for the Green or Sustainable construction movement

OFE – “owner-furnished equipment”

RFP – “request for proposals”

ROI – “return on investments”

RMR – “recurring monthly revenue;” the thing many integrators are struggling to maintain

SaaS – “software as a service”

Miscellaneous Audio Visual Acronyms

CTS, CTS-D, CTS-I – “Certified Technology Specialist;” AVIXA’s pro AV certification program (D for design; I for installation)

AV – “Audio-Visual;” if you’re reading this list, you surely must know this one above all other audio visual acronyms.

VAR – “Value-Added Reseller”

ADA – “Americans with Disabilities Act”

APEX – “Audiovisual Provider of Excellence;” AVIXA program that honors member companies that achieve certain levels of employee certification and training

AR – “augmented reality;” formerly thought of as a gimmick, we’re seeing its use in more creative display projects each year.

VR – “virtual reality”

AI – “artificial intelligence;” hotly-debated whether or not this belongs in the AV industry.

BYOD – “bring your own device;” a trend in corporate meeting spaces where customers are demanding the capability to join a meeting using only the tech they bring to it, such as a smartphone or laptop.

CCTV – “Closed Circuit Television”

FCC – “Federal Communication Commission”

PSIM – “Physical Security Information Management”

BIM – “Building Information Modeling”

MOAR – “Market Opportunity Analysis Report;” AVIXA reports focused on AV opportunities in particular vertical markets.

IOTA – “industry Outlook and Trends Analysis;” a series of pro AV reports by AVIXA that look at particular regions and the global AV market

DSCE, DSDE, DSNE, DCME, DSSP – The certifications for the digital signage industry as adopted by the DSE, DSF, and ISA. They stand for:

  • Digital Signage Certified Expert ( DSCE) the fundamentals course
  • Digital Signage Display Expert (DSDE) on displays
  • Digital Signage Network Expert (DSNE) on networks
  • Digital Content and Media Ex[pert (DCME) on content and media
  • Digital Signage Sales Professional (DSSP)

Don’t see some audio visual acronyms which should have been on this list? Let us know by putting them in the comments below!

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  • How about OFE – Owner Furnished Equipment

  • Glenn Conner says:

    Good article, excellent information! Just one thing… To be an acronym, it has to be pronounceable as a word, such as Save Yourself Time Energy and Money, or First In First Out. Otherwise, it’s just initials or an abbreviation. (And, yes, I know there are lots of people who would argue the point these days; doesn’t make it right.)

    • Adam Forziati says:

      Fair enough, Glenn! It doesn’t make it right — but the industry is lacking a complete list like this, and with the internet being a veritable conglomeration of acronyms, abbreviations, etc. these days, we felt this would be useful. Thank you for being one of the few people to catch this!

  • Roger says:

    I believe that CCTV is more commonly referring to Closed Circuit Television rather than Closed Caption Television….

  • Hall Research says:

    HDCP – High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. A form of copy protection (scrambling of signals) that prevents copying of audio & video content as it travels across cables or connections.

  • How about AVaaS, LEED, CAD, AVUG…
    AVaaS – AV as a Service. This is a newer/emerging solution coming from AV Integration firms that allows them to keep their customers up and running without sending a truck. It also is another revenue stream for them!
    LEED – Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. This is the building certification (and professional accreditation) standard used for the Green or Sustainable construction movement. Administered by the United States Green Building Council (USBGC) and accredited by Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI). An emerging conversation in AV as AV moves further into the IT Network, remote access solutions and the continued experiential conversation. Understanding how AV solutions participate in the built environment has become a differentiation point.
    CAD – Computer Aided Design
    AVUG – AV User Group –

  • Paul Konikowski says:

    Expanding on OFE, you often want to indicate who is installing it…
    OFOI – Owner Furnished Owner Installed
    OFCI – Owner Furnished AV Contractor Installed
    CFCI – Contractor Furnished Contractor Installed
    and for Goverment work…
    GFE – Government Furnished Equipment
    GFGI – Government Furnished, Government Installed
    GFCI – Government Furnished, AV Contractor Installed
    SIPR – Secret Internet Protocol Router Network
    NIPR – Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network
    BVD – Best Value Determination
    DoD – Department of Defense
    UFC – Unified Facilities Criteria
    AFF – Above Finished Floor (i.e. mounting height, typically to center of device or eletrical box)
    RFP – Already listed, but sometimes this stands for Request For Pricing
    RFQ – Request For Qualifications (similar to RFP, but more for pre-qualifying bidders)
    IFB – Invitation For Bids
    KVM – Keyboard, Video, Mouse
    PTZ – Pan-Tilt-Zoom (cameras)
    FF&E – Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (AV often falls in this budget)
    GC – General Contractor
    EC – Electrical Contractor
    RFI – Request For Information
    VTC – Video Tele-Conference
    ATC – Audio Tele-Conference, not to be confused with
    ACT – Acoustic Ceiling Tiles
    BGM – Background Music
    STB – Set-Top Box (TV)
    CATV – Cable TV’
    IPTV – Internet Protocol Television
    MEP – Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineers
    NIC – Not In Contract
    POTS – Plain Old Telephone Service
    UON – Unless Otherwise Noted
    VIF – Verify In Field
    PK – Paul Konikowski 🙂

  • Michael Fay says:

    Excellent additions PK.
    Here are two more that I don’t see listed yet:
    SOW – Scope of Work.
    ROM – Rough order of Magnitude.

  • AIA – “American Institute of Architects” Should be under organizations.

  • Victoria Ferrari says:

    You forgot SPoAV 😋

  • That’s good to know that the AV industry is full of jargon and acronyms. I would think that it would be useful to know some of them so that you could know what is going on. I’ll have to consider learning some of these so that I could understand what an AV specialist would be talking about if I decide to get one for an event.

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