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AV Switching – Not What It Once Was

 

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This is the fifth in a series of InfoComm 2016 follow-up reviews by Unified Technology Systems’ employees

 

Atlona SwitchersThe need to have specific input/output cards in an AV switcher that are unique to their signal type are quickly becoming overshadowed by new technology and transport methods. HDBase-T is changing the AV industry and how we move signals through the various systems. What once took several cables to manage multiple signal types has now become one category cable, saving time, money and signal integrity. The use of streaming has also had a huge impact on the industry by giving us the option of using the existing network infrastructure to not only transport the signal, but eliminate the “middle man” (the traditional AV switcher) and simply use the decoder to show the desired encoder.

While there is still a need for traditional AV switching in specific environments, these new technologies give us more options with less limitations and allow the AV systems to be more integrated with the networks in which they reside.

crestron boothIt was obvious at InfoComm 2016 that almost all manufacturers supported both HDBase-T and streaming, proving the AV industry is becoming more network centric and less of a separate entity. AV equipment has lived on the network for years now, the trick is to use that network to its fullest extent and rely less on the gear that isolates the AV system.

Choosing the correct AV switcher and/or transport method can make or break any project. Making these choices are more complicated today, simply due to the fact that other systems may be affected and relied upon. More discussions are required on the front end of the project to ensure all systems are capable of supporting each other while providing the best possible solution. Simply said, communication is key…and the sooner, the better!

Scott Wood

Author Scott Wood

In the AV industry since 1999, Scott is responsible for the GA, SC and TN Unified Technology Systems teams. He also serves on the Senior Leadership Team working to establish the highest of standards that all Unified employee owners (ESOP) can be proud of while delivering the best customer experience possible.

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