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Cynthia Wisehart on AV Over IP Now

As some of you may know, I produce a bi-weekly newsletter AV Over IP. When it started over a year ago, I concentrated on stories about the underlying technology, theory, etc.

About six months ago I shifted the focus to include AVoIP application stories, and candidly it was hard to find them. Perhaps they were happening. In fact they have been going on for some time, just not under the AV Over IP banner. But I still had to hunt for them.

In the last quarter of 2018, I noticed a change—I was starting to see more application stories and they were quite varied in terms of markets and systems. AVoIP was moving from buzzword status into the mainstream.

For those of you working with IP-based systems I am certain far more has happened than I know—it takes a while for these stories to get out. But once I start seeing an uptick in stories it usually indicates that the market is reaching a kind of critical mass.

I remember when this happened in the film industry, which I covered for 12 years as the editor of Millimeter magazine. When I started, something called the Avid was just coming on the scene. Sony had not yet coined the phrase 24P for digital camera systems. People still talked about preferring film and flatbed editing systems. Not so much any more.

We’ve heard a lot of dueling marketing about 10G, 1G, both-kinds-of G, “zero latency” (a physics impossibility), and more. All this has been somewhat abstract compared to what has to happen in real installations, some of which are hybrid or transitional between the hard iron legacy and the IP future.

Here’s what I can say: in every interview I do, people are not going back. What I observe for most people is once they get through that first install, they never look back. Consultants who rightly specified more traditional systems a few years ago, are seeing those designs reimagined for IP.

I am not trying to be a booster. As you know I was a theme park designer back when Media Matrix was new. In theme parks we had to take chances on everything new; that’s not for everyone. I know that the equation between deploying new paradigms, budgets and time, while also keeping customers, is a complex one. I know that for a long time, being able to integrate legacy AV and emerging AV will be a thing.

But it’s time to chase this if you are not already. There is no substitute for getting your hands on an IP-based system. It will not be as easy as the marketing might have you believe. But what I’m hearing is that it’s good on the other side.

One way to get going is of course to take the plunge in the real world. Another is to take advantage of the training out there to hone your IP chops. I’m going to try to help with that by curating some training and giving you a chance to sample it. You can start by going to our new Training Track landing page off our homepage. There are two training samplers there for you now.

You can also take a look at an event put on by my colleagues at SCN—the AV/IT Summit at The next one is April 18th in Dallas. 

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