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Harman Takes Some of the Mystery Out of the Crowded AV over IP Space

InfoComm 2019 attendees can expect lots of AV over IP products. Is this finally the year when the hype is outweighed by practical applications?

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For the past couple of years, you couldn’t go to any AV trade show and not be bombarded with tons of products and companies hyping the arrival of and myriad use cases for AV over IP.

The hype level was strong for the technology, but it was often tough to cut through some of that clutter and understanding exactly how the products that were getting all the buzz would actually help you and your customers.

Did InfoComm 2019 demonstrate another year’s worth of style over substance when it comes to AV over IP? Mark Templeton, VP of U.S. Southwest for Harman International, says it might finally be the time when people will truly understand what the technology can do for you.

“I absolutely believe we’ve reached that point,” he says in an interview with CI editorial director Tom LeBlanc. “We faced the innovation portion of the adoption curve and now we’re well into the early adoption phase.

“A lot of that’s driven by IT taking a more active role in AV solution selection and AV procurement.

Some of the fears a lot of the integration community had about IT-based technology are a thing of the past and people are embracing it,” says Templeton.

Cutting through the AV over IP Clutter

The many acronyms related to AV over IP are “marketing-driven or manufacturer-specific,” says Templeton. He advises people to “focus on standards-based technology.”

“Focus on the application and what technology is best for it,” he says.

Video over IP [VoIP] applications are focused on three areas: image quality, latency and bandwidth. Streaming applications are most concerned about having the highest possible bandwidth, while presentation solutions are tied most closely to image quality and latency.

Templeton says “gigabit over IP technology” is gaining steam and “gives everyone the best of both worlds,” including single-frame or subframe latency and visually lossless video.

“In many cases, we have more bandwidth than we need,” he says.

Integrators need to consider whether the AV they install is going to be on an isolated network, an isolated LAN within the customer’s facility or on the customer network when deciding which AV over IP solution is the best fit for the job.

“Focus on the technology and focus on the solution,” says Templeton. “The wrong application could set you up for some headaches down the road.”