A Networked World: Commercial AV evolution and the change it brings
Diversified’s Tyler Bonner featured in Sound and Communications magazine
Generically speaking, “net-works” (disparate nodes or points connected by one- or two-way channels) have been around for decades. “Networked,” however, changes everything. Using the term in this way connotes that these connections constitute a state of being. “Networked” is a more active and better way to express how audio, video and data have converged into a single proposition and now move as integrated entities on a common highway.
That’s also been the challenge for AV systems integrators. As InfoComm expressed it in a white paper in 2014, “… the audiovisual (AV), information technology (IT) and tele-communications fields were distinct disciplines. Today, they have converged, which is not to say that one has con- sumed the others, but rather that large technology programs now incorporate elements of all three, interrelated and working together to achieve an enterprise goal.” But inte-grating both the technologies and the cultures behind them has been a test for AV professionals. That process, like the technologies and products themselves, is a work in progress.
“It’s an entirely different world,” said Dan Gundry, Senior Control Room Specialist with integrator Vistacom, in an understatement. “The staff and knowledge-base requirements of a networked world are vastly different from what we’ve been used to.”
The cultural shift, he said, has been led by content. That’s certainly been the case in the entertainment industry, where content has been the propellant behind the rise of streaming enterprises like Netflix and Spotify, but also the underlying motivations for tectonic moves such as AT&T’s acquisition of DirectTV in 2015 and its current pursuit of Time Warner. But content is just as valid a way to describe the messaging of retailers, corporations and even houses of worship. “You go where the content is,” said Gundry, “and the content is on the network.”