As convergence continues, will AV and IT coexist?
While large IT distributors like Tech Data and Ingram Micro have aggressively sought to gain market share in the pro AV sector with display products, their offerings on the audio side haven't been nearly as robust.
Jerry Gale, vice president of marketing for Columbia, MD-based AV integrator SPL Integrated Solutions, says establishing a depth in audio products and services is a good way for AV integrators to gain an edge over computer-world competition. “To prevent IT departments from taking over our industry, AV integration and design companies should stress the advantages and benefits to integrating high-quality audio systems and products for corporate boardrooms, conference rooms, and training rooms,” Gale says.
Display products such as plasmas and projectors represent “safe ground for the IT departments,” he notes. “They understand VGA, XGA, and SXGA. What they don't understand is audio. They're more interested in disaster recovery plans than microphones, loudspeakers, and amps. The best example is that most IT departments are willing to use the loudspeakers on the projector rather than install separate loudspeakers. They want to make audio requirements insignificant. In other words, we aren't experiencing the convergence of AV with IT. It's the convergence of V with IT.”
Daniel Frankel is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.