Driven by the AV and IT Life

After completing the first show of the new season of rAVe Radio’s AV Power Up with great guests Cory Schaeffer, TJ Adams and Joey D’Angelo at QSC, it got me to thinking about my standing in the industry, as well as my thoughts about it. These three individuals who have major profiles in the industry talked with us (being myself, Johnny Mota, Hope Roth and Katye McGregor Bennett) and while I was hosting the show in my usual tech/humor driven way, I also took in what I can only consider an absolutely terrific discussion on audio, software, BYOD and more.

Cory Schaeffer who has been a great friend for quite some time and has done several of our shows starting with the very first last March and ending with the last one of 2015, asked if she could bring her team (yes – read team) with her on the first one of 2016. I asked Cory what she wanted to discuss on the show and you can see in terms of the topics what was laid out in our collaboration (yes – read collaboration). So already knowing the basis of tech discussion, along with the humorous discussion we like to have on the show, driving the technology portion became quite evident.

An hour and eight minutes later, after the recording was done and after taking it all in, I had to sit back and say “I love this.” Now I will admit that while not every technology realm I have experience with was discussed here (although mobility/BYOD is something I discuss on a constant basis), what I both added as well as took from this discussion I considered to be golden. Almost like living the AV and IT life — in a podcast.

IT and AV

Being in the industry as long as I have from computer rentals to AV integration sales to my current stage it has been a great tour of technology – projection (I saw my first projection shootout at InfoComm ’95 in Dallas), room integration in corporate and education, computer interactive whiteboard technology and the software that accompanied it and more. Videoconferencing had two names – Tandberg and Polycom. What was considered revolutionary in videoconferencing in those days is now considered to be overpriced and not nearly as functional as what we have on the market today. What we do have available in the AV and IT market today is the height of innovation and more than that – functionality as well as interoperability in many cases at the right price for the customer.

Simon Dudley, CEO of Excession Events a very good friend who as many know has lived in the videoconferencing and UC space for years has great perspective on this. We recently did a video “end of the tech year” podcast together – watch one of Simon’s portions directed to videoconferencing, the industry and business:

New developments in visual technology which we know include digital signage, video walls and more hit the market regularly – I’m not just talking about the latest and greatest 4K display… – here is what I’m talking about:

Iowa Communications Network (ICN) creates collaborative visual experience with the Broadband Information Center


Looking to take operations management beyond individual desktop computers, the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) worked with Christie®​ and CCS Presentation Systems​ to install a Visual Presence Monitoring System within its Broadband Information Center (BRIC), creating a collaborative tool for additional visibility to monitor its state-wide broadband network.

Yes – the true AV and IT.

The term AV/IT has been passed around the industry for over ten years now along with that other one – convergence – and I’m about to call it… enough. If you call video transport over the network AV/IT that’s all fine of course – however look at the above example and you will see a well-designed, currently built AV/IT system serving a multi-purpose communications network operations center. As stated by Ric Lumbard, Executive Director, ICN:

“I wanted to create a visual operations center for the advanced layer support of our operations network, but we didn’t have a suitable place to monitor and do it in a way that I felt was carrier-grade. Establishing the Broadband Information Center came out of that desire.”  

ICN moved operations out of a bullpen type configuration, with employees viewing information on desktop computers, to a purpose-built area for the BRIC. Lumbard stated, “I wanted the operational aspects of the ICN, not just the optics, but the operations site of the ICN itself to be in the forefront. It’s important that when people come in for meetings they know the ICN takes the operational environment of its network very seriously.”

The job was installed by one of the leading AV industry integration companies – CCS Presentation Systems in partnership with a well-known global leader of display technology Christie.

See related  Sennheiser, Barco and QSC Collaborate to Update Gateway Innovation Hub in New York

Designed and installed by CCS Presentation Systems, the BRIC comprises 12 Christie FHD552-X 55-inch flat panels and nine Christie Phoenix nodes. The flat panels are arranged in two separate configurations: the main video wall has eight flat panels in a four by two arrangement, and the second video wall has four flat panels in a two by two configuration. All 12 panels are driven by the Christie Phoenix nodes.​

You can read the full Christie press release here.

When we talk visual technology – and collaboration – consider this (my number one solution pick at InfoComm15):

Jupiter Canvas – The world’s most powerful collaborative visualization tool

Now THIS (and there are more which I will highlight in future blogs that I write) is what I’m talking about when you refer to “AV/IT” in the industry. Wireless presentation systems, well there is the mobile BYOD component there. When you talk about video communication and collaboration platforms provided by such companies as Acano, Pexip, Videxio, Blue Jeans, Vidyo, Zoom and more – you have true AV/IT in applications that are cloud-based and software-defined (VM). Yet many of the integrators I talk to in the industry have little to no idea who these names are. If you do you are ahead of the game, if you don’t, umm, wake up…

Fellow rAVe writer Max Kopsho wrote a blog Five Ways AV Can Become More IT – a good one with a closing first paragraph statement:

That is where the focus should be – ADDING IT to AV.

Back to the beginning of this one talking about QSC and those in the podcast. TJ Adams, a growing influencer in the industry in this podcast talks in-depth about the Core 100f appliance — not box. Now I know Max and many others in the industry will hear that one word and think IT. We call our refrigerator an appliance (it can even be “smart”) – however in IT it’s known as this:

A computer appliance is generally a separate and discrete hardware device with integrated software (firmware), specifically designed to provide a specific computing resource. These devices became known as “appliances” because of their similarity to home appliances, which are generally “closed and sealed” – not serviceable by the owner. The hardware and software are pre-integrated and pre-configured before delivery to customer, to provide a “turn-key” solution to a particular problem. Unlike general purpose computers, appliances are generally not designed to allow the customers to change the software (including the underlying operating system), or to flexibly reconfigure the hardware (Wikipedia).

QSC’s Core 110f and software-based audio processing (which was my #2 Top 10 solutions at InfoComm15 pick) is innovative, and dynamic. Watch this interview I did with TJ at InfoComm 2015 talking about the Core 110f, including a part of our discussion which concerned “the box”:

I do live, and am driven by the AV and IT life every day (yes that’s 7 days a week) along with my writing and podcasting as well. A great show is coming this Friday – Episode 37 of AV Power Up, make sure you give it a listen.