In addition to being an audio and video design consultant, I’m a technology geek. It should go without saying that InfoComm is a big deal for me and something that I look forward to. It’s not just the gear. In fact, it’s mostly not about the gear. It’s about the conversations with people developing and working with the hardware (and increasingly the software and support).
These conversations are enormously interesting to me. I’ve grown much more interested in applications and trends than how thing plug together. A decade ago, it was mostly about just getting the technology to work. Everyone was in much more of a presentation mindset and you were doing pretty good if you could just get a clean image and intelligible sound.
Today, every manufacturer seems to be pitching that they have some “unique” way of resolving these issues. Yet, when you get down to it, there are more similarities than differences. Why? Dirty little secret that’s not so secret – Because virtually everyone is using the same hardware. For example, in UTP video transmission, manufacturers have their choice of HDBaseT chipsets, from Valens, Valens, or Valens.
This doesn’t mean that there is no differentiation between manufacturers. It just means that the differentiation is increasingly defined by software, quality of support, and extra features. To a large degree, the quality of these three components is determined by how well the manufacturer understands its end-users. This statement is increasingly true for integrators and consultants, as well.