What AV Over IP Means for Integrators and IT Specialists Maintaining AV Systems

For end users, AV over IP has turned high-quality video into an everyday business and information tool. But for AV integrators and IT specialists, AV over IP has meant a great deal more.

For many years, AV and IT have existed in two separate domains, overlapping mostly by competing for room in cable runs or equipment closets. Today, the space for which AV and IT compete is far more often expressed in terms of bandwidth — and the competition is increasingly becoming a non-issue thanks to continual advances in compression technology and security standards that allow AV equipment to behave and be maintained as another piece of an IT network.

Here, we’ll take a look at the major considerations behind an AV over IP build and how those considerations demand the attention of both integrators and IT staff.

Streamlining Versus Bandwidth

AV over IP simplifies integrators’ work in several ways, notes IVCi. In the past, integrating audiovisual equipment into a single system demanded that integrators install proprietary switches, cables and other items for each piece of equipment. At times, it even demanded that AV integrators do their own soldering to ensure that equipment could connect.

AV over IP, however, eliminates the need to make each discrete component of the system talk to one another through a series of proprietary connections. Instead, audio and video signals can pass through the same Ethernet, as Liberty Cable describes in an excellent white paper. Specialized switches for each piece of equipment have largely been replaced by HDBaseT switches, lowering costs.

But the words “video over IP” instantly make many IT specialists wary. In the past, both audio and video have placed significant demands on bandwidth. IT specialists are aware of these demands, but not always up to speed on the ways in which compression technology has advanced, as Patrick McLaughlin notes in Cabling Installation and Maintenance.

Here are a couple of examples of how tools available today can open up network bandwidth:

  • Options like the SMPTE 2022-6 standard have expanded capabilities for sending high-quality video over Ethernet without causing unacceptable latency, notes Peter Suclu.
  • An Audinate white paper provides real-world examples of how some facilities are using VLANs to segregate signals so that AV and data can freely flow.

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AV over IP represents a small part of the recent explosion in the Internet of Things (IoT), as video and audio equipment becomes a “thing” on the network. As an AMX industry brief notes, this explosion raises concerns for IT specialists, who recognize that every network node poses a potential security risk.

Compounding the problem is the fact that a great many IoT objects either have no security features or have security features that don’t interact efficiently with standard network security protocols, Wendy Zamora writes at Malwarebytes. While these problems can be addressed, both AV integrators and IT staff must first be aware that they exist.

As the professionals introducing audio and visual equipment to the network, integrators need to understand potential security risks and be able to recommend tools to address them. As the guardians of the network, IT staff likewise need to know how the AV equipment introduced will interact with existing security systems.

When both integrators and IT specialists are familiar with the encryption and digital key options for AV over IP, it’s easier for them to spot potential problems and resolve them in order to prevent security breaches, HB Communications says.

One advantage both AV integrators and IT specialists have is an ever-increasing understanding of network security. Their expertise allows them to think about security as an issue much earlier in the planning process and to improve stakeholders’ understanding of its importance, says Paul Zielie, Harman Professional Solutions’ manager of Enterprise Solutions.

For instance, both AV and IT professionals can drive home the importance of

  • using secure passwords,
  • maintaining separate admin and user accounts,
  • enabling encryption and use logs,
  • and adhering to a strict bring your own device (BYOD) policy.

Integrators and IT Staff as Teammates

As G. Sahagian at Sound & Video Contractor points out, few one-size-fits-all solutions exist in the AV over IP world.

Instead, the best solution for any client will be one that considers the client’s specific needs and challenges. To find this solution, AV and IT professionals increasingly find themselves coordinating their respective areas of expertise.

“AV and IT have historically been bad neighbors that can’t — or won’t — talk to each other,” AMX notes in a white paper on the convergence of the two fields. History, however, is changing. As the company says in an industry brief, IT-friendly AV systems:

  • Integrate seamlessly with IP networks
  • Embrace standards to ensure interoperability
  • Minimize technology obsolescence with standardized equipment
  • Consolidate functions
  • Allow AV equipment to “read” (and be maintained as) just another part of the network
  • Use IT security protocols

In order to build AV systems that play well with IT, integrators and IT specialists must communicate well, too.

One benefit IT specialists gain from working with integrators is integrators’ ability to “take a whole-room approach,” note Avixa’s Nermina Miller and Brad Grimes. Needs assessments that consider IT’s needs as well as those of end-users are just one tool in the integrators’ collaboration toolkit.

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The Future of AV Over IP: Considerations for Integrators and IT Specialists

As Rob Lang explains in AV Magazine, the transition to AV over IP is already here: The vast majority of AV devices can now be networked should users wish to do so.

The fact that equipment can be networked, however, doesn’t always mean that the process is challenge-free — or that it’s stopped undergoing significant development.

AV over IP is expected to continue changing both the AV and IT realms. Sales of AV over IP-related equipment and builds rose 130 percent in 2017, and similar increases are expected in the coming years, FutureSource Consulting writes.

At Commercial Integrator, Jason Knott outlines one of the biggest competitions in AV over IP: the feud for supremacy between HDBaseT-IP and SDVoE. The former has been used longer, Knott writes, but the latter offers both a recognized brand and the ability to send HD video over CAT-5 — an especially promising option for AV integrators and IT specialists working with older Ethernet installations.

ESCO outlines a few additional challenges currently confronting AV over IP systems:

  • Audio breakout remains challenging or impossible in certain systems.
  • Integration of software control systems can pose difficulties, particularly when the goal is to include an AV over IP build on a network with an already-familiar interface that doesn’t currently support AV.
  • Integrators continue to face challenges in bridging the proprietary gap between encoders and decoders in certain systems, particularly legacy systems.

The good news? “There’s often more than one answer to an audiovisual problem,” CCS Presentation Systems says. In some instances, IT staff can provide perspectives that offer opportunities for solving these problems.

As AV and IT work continues to converge, better communication between integrators and IT specialists will become increasingly important.

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Implementing AV Over IP in an Automated Building: Tips for Integration

The rise of Ethernet, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) made automated buildings a logical reality. Today, many facilities’ mechanical, safety and security, lighting, and ventilation systems are controlled through a building management system (BMS) or a building automation system (BAS).

These systems typically connect to the building’s Ethernet infrastructure, allowing facilities managers to access them via computer. BAS manufacturers and installers like Cisco cite many of the same advantages that AV over IP integrators offer:

  • Connectivity through existing Ethernet channels
  • The ability to sync and control infinite data points
  • Improved real-time data transmission
  • Centralized control through a single intuitive visual interface

Today, many integrators’ clients want to have it all: a fully automated building with superior AV systems. Here’s how AV over IP systems can be built to “play nice” with automated building technologies — and how to sell the benefits of both systems to facilities managers and decision-makers.

BAS 101: How Do Building Automated Systems Work?

Building automation systems seek to combine all of a building’s functions into a single system. The system both controls the building’s functions (heat, lighting, ventilation, security) and gathers data, which allows it to track how the building is used and to adapt its commands to various building functions for maximum efficiency, according to Control Solutions.

AV over IP became feasible in the 1990s, according to Mark Mayfield, at about the same time facilities managers began embracing digital upgrades to the analog systems they’d used to integrate building functions during most of the 20th Century. Both facilities management and AV integration began to move away from proprietary system components with their own specific infrastructure demands and toward tools that worked over a single building network.

Today, the move to Ethernet-based, IP-supported tools in both spheres is reflected in how humans access them. To the end user, an IP-based BAS looks similar to an AV over IP interface: a visual display offers access to the various parts of the system, which can be controlled or monitored from that interface.

A well-designed, well-implemented BAS offers tremendous energy and cost savings. By allowing the system to monitor factors like building occupancy and use, facilities managers can leverage the power of the system’s analytics to control lighting, heating and cooling, and other factors much more closely than human observation can, according to Fusion Commercial AV. The system can respond to small changes that add up to big savings.

A poorly-designed or poorly-implemented BAS costs money, too. A report for the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) estimates that 20 percent of the energy used in US businesses today is spent on automated building systems — and that, with better implementation, this number could be reduced by as much as 12 percent.


AV Over IP and Automated Building Tools: A Strong Team For Facilities Managers

For many years, managing a building’s interior comfort and managing the use of audiovisual tools within that space were two separate spheres. As both building management tools and AV tools move onto the same internal network and rely on IP to function, however, facilities managers and integrators alike are finding creative ways to merge their domains of expertise.

Smart Buildings for Smarter Savings

Energy pressures and climate change are pushing many companies toward automated systems that offer smart control of resources. Carolyn Heinze at AVNetwork takes this revolution one step further, arguing that AV integration is essential to smart building technology.

Heinze notes, for example, that a smart building that “knows” when to warm up a room, turn on the lights, or drop the window shades can “learn” how to prepare AV equipment for a scheduled meeting, as well. Tools like Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices can also help control energy costs without sacrificing functionality, notes NPI Connect.

JLL Smart Building Program senior consultant Michael Carter agrees. AV isn’t just about delivering images or video to a display or connecting conference calls, he tells Heinze. Instead: “AV is about communications and collaboration. It’s important to think about AV as a core communications tool within the framework of an enterprise.”

By thinking of AV as another tool on an automated building’s network, integrators can spot opportunities to use their own expertise to support a client’s needs. Integrators can also find ways to make the system work well within the company’s internal culture, creating a system that enhances already-successful approaches.

Integrating Interfaces

AV over IP puts audiovisual systems on the same building network as computers, tablets, HVAC and lighting systems — which creates the opportunity to offer a single interface to manage all of these functions.

Companies like AdvanceTechnology have seized this opportunity, offering tools like single user interfaces that can manage both automated building functions and audiovisual tools. Interfaces in different areas of the building can also be customized for use. For example, facilities managers can provide access to AV tools, lighting and window controls in meeting rooms, but reserve control over other systems for authorized staff.

One of the largest mental loads on staff is the need to learn their workspace’s tools. When interfaces are aligned, the amount of information staff must remember in order to use workspace tools drops, freeing them to focus on their own work. This increased productivity can be a major selling point for companies considering integrator bids.

Security Systems

Stakeholders who seek bids from integrators are often thinking on the automated room or microenvironment level. Many AV over IP projects stay at this level, focusing on automating the components of a single room under a single interface (often located in the room itself) rather than automating an entire building under a centralized control unit. Conference rooms, classrooms and museum exhibits are three common examples of the automated room model.

However, many facilities are finding new uses for a system that allows for AV access and control anywhere in the building, integrated into a single facilities management interface.

One of the first systems to benefit from these innovations was security. Security systems have long relied on audiovisual components like microphones, cameras and closed-captioned television (CCTV) systems. An AV over IP-based system can efficiently stream, record and analyze security data; alert security personnel or law enforcement; and take other steps that traditional systems cannot.

Systems are no longer limited to a finite number of devices or a particular security closet or other location in the building. “Sources can be ‘any’ and ‘many,” says Cherub Availability Services CTO and co-founder Brian McCarthy. “And destinations can be ‘any’ and ‘many.’”

Integrators who wish to talk security with the managers of automated buildings can adapt more readily to the project’s specific needs, rather than forcing building managers and security teams to adapt to the limitations of the technology.

IT Security and AV Over IP

Whether or not a project focuses on building security, integrators should consider digital and online security, as well. Because AV over IP systems exist on the network, they can become the weak point in a hacking or fraud scheme, notes Atlona business development manager Michael Crisci. “The technology itself has to align with the stringent security requirements that exist within an enterprise environment,” Crisci tells AVNetwork, “Otherwise you’re not going to see it matriculate through that environment.”

Internet of Things (IoT) security is a growing concern. “History shows that most fast-growth technology solutions focus on solving business problems first; security is an afterthought,” Mandeep Khera writes at Security Intelligence.

This means that devices on a network, like videowalls or sound systems, create weak points that can be exploited. And when an AV system is integrated into an automated building, it can become the weak point that gives nefarious parties access to the entire building.

Security expert Bruce Schneier notes that data breaches cost an average of $3.8 million each, and that’s only the beginning of the damage they can cause. Integrators who are prepared to answer facilities and IT managers’ security concerns stand a better chance of landing bids with their preferred clients.


AV over IP and Automated Buildings: Adaptability For the Future

Much energy has been spent in technological research, seeking ways to make the tools we use as adaptable and intuitive as we are. Including AV systems on a building’s smart network is one way to bring these traits to the next level, making the tools easier for human users and more effective for the overall health and efficiency of the workspace.

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Managing Security for Your Networked AV: Challenges and Opportunities

Streaming video over IP networks isn’t a new concept, but AV over IP systems have become commonplace only in the last few years. As with any networked system, networked AV poses certain security challenges.

Given concerns over hacking, cybercrime and the Internet of Things (IoT), fears that AV over IP poses insurmountable security risks are common — and overblown, according to HB Communications. Security concerns should be taken seriously, but proper management leads to a system that is at least as secure as hardwired AV.

What are the major security challenges for AV over IP systems? What opportunities do they present for integrators and organizations? We’ll cover some of the biggest questions here.

Challenge 1: Talking Security With Both AV and IT Teams

But when it comes to installing AV systems, IT’s No. 1 concern has often fallen by the wayside, according to Doug Hall, product manager of device control for Harman Professional Solutions.

“AV is an industry that started out separate from IT, and then it went through something that we, perhaps infamously, called ‘AV/IT convergence,’ Hall says. Despite living in a post-convergence world, however, AV professionals don’t always know which questions to ask, and IT professionals often respond to that lack of knowledge with silence. “Nobody wants to deal with an issue that they don’t understand, so the natural tendency is to avoid the subject altogether,” Hall says.

The result? “Security requirements for AV projects are often discovered at installation or even worse, on commissioning or later when the organization runs a security audit,” says Paul Zielie, Harman Professional Solutions manager of Enterprise Solutions.

Opportunity 1: Address Security Earlier and Build Security Literacy

AV integrators are increasingly preventing the late-realization problem by discussing security during the planning stages, according to Zielie. Both integrators and the organizations that hire them for AV over IP projects can also benefit from making basic security best practices part of their regular routine. These practices include:

  • Changing default passwords
  • Creating separate administrator and user accounts with separate privileges
  • Enabling auditing logs and disabling unnecessary services
  • Enabling encryption

In some cases, Zielie says, there’s simply no substitution for old-fashioned attentiveness. Describing one of the limitations of encrypting media streams using HDCP or equivalent, he says, “Even if the stream is encrypted or isolated on another network, the only protection you receive is from network eavesdropping. Anyone who is allowed to book a conference room could listen in to a meeting they are not authorized to attend.”

In other words, minding digital security means minding in-person security, too.


Challenge 2: The Internet of Things Raises Questions About the Security of Things

The Internet of Things describes the millions of devices that can connect to digital networks — everything from smartphones to fitness trackers to thermostats. When AV components like televisions or speakers are networked, these become part of the IoT, as well.

And there are a lot of Things. According to analysts at Gartner, the IoT will consist of more than 20 billion devices by 2020 — a number that does not include smartphones, PCs or tablets.

IoT security has been a major concern in recent years precisely because it wasn’t a concern in the early days of networked objects, according to Icon Labs. Companies learned the hard way from that early neglect that a networked object can become the weakest point in a system — and thus the easiest to hack.

Internet-connected televisions can contribute to the problem. As Gil Press notes at Forbes, Wikileaks’ recent release of CIA documents indicated that a networked TV can be repurposed for information-gathering purposes, even against the will of its user.

As long as AV components like TVs, projectors speakers, and microphones are attached to an IP network, they offer opportunities for hackers. But this same challenge also offers an opportunity.

Opportunity 2: Building Security Into the System

“Standard PC security solutions won’t solve the challenges of embedded devices,” Icon Labs says. “In fact, given the specialized nature of embedded systems, PC security solutions won’t even run on most embedded devices.” Instead, Icon Labs notes, IoT security must be carried out at the device level.

AV over IP, however, offers more than one opportunity for protecting data within the system. Options include:

  • Device security. As both Icon Labs and Wendy Zamora at MalwareBytes Labs note, most IoT things don’t play well with traditional security tools. In order to remain secure, these devices need their own internal security solutions. Investing in AV system with devices that come with security embedded, however, is currently costly and limits the range of available options. Fortunately, less-secure devices can be connected to networks in other ways without creating vulnerabilities.
  • Stream encryption. Tools like Zio’s AV over IP encryption focus on the streaming AV data itself, encrypting the stream so that even if it is intercepted during transit it’s inaccessible to the interceptor. Decryption tools on the receiving end ensure the stream can be presented to its rightful viewers or listeners without interruption.
  • Encoder/decoder encryption. One way to address both the thing-level security gaps and stream encryption simultaneously is to build encryption tools into the video encoder/decoder points, Matrox points out. Since video signals often must be encoded for streaming (and decoded for viewing), a switch that encrypts as it encodes puts security at the device level — at the switch — while ensuring the stream is secure throughout transit.

As security becomes the next Internet of Things hot topic, security options for components and transmission alike will improve. However, organizations seeking to upgrade to secure AV over IP needn’t wait for these built-in tools to become commonplace. Instead, integrators can incorporate security measures using existing tools and protocols.

Challenge 3: BYOD Pokes Holes in Your Best-Laid Security Plans

Many organizations allow or even encourage Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that allow users to connect their own laptop, tablet, or other device to a network for AV purposes. These policies make it easier for people to work anywhere, and they can save a company money by reducing its own expenditures on items like PCs and tablets.

They can also poke massive holes in a company’s AV security. To cite just one example, a video presentation streamed from an employee’s own laptop may not be encrypted, making it vulnerable to unauthorized viewers.

Opportunity 3: Teach Everyone How Security Matters

While AV integrators are not typically in the business of providing “how to mind your cybersecurity” seminars, they can pass along a few tips to clients — and implement these tips themselves.

Nathan Spell at Synergy CT recommends adopting the following policies as a baseline:

  • Change default system, home and Wi-Fi passwords.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use (bonus: it can help save your battery, too).
  • Use a reputable antivirus software and update it regularly.
  • Don’t access public Wi-Fi points from personal devices.

In some situations, an organization may wish to make these points part of their requirements for using the BYOD privilege. In others, a ban on BYOD altogether may be the best way to protect sensitive information such as medical records or other data.


Challenge 4: ‘Everyone Knows’ How Online Security Works

Integrators who understand the security challenges of AV over IP can often have fruitful conversations with IT teams while preparing a project for a client. But talking to other client stakeholders can be a different story.

As Cristina Chipurici at Heimdal Security notes, myths about network security abound, and even the best-versed professionals can fall prey to them on occasion. Some of the most common misconceptions include:

  • “Our business/network is too small and unimportant to interest hackers.”
  • “We already have antivirus software/firewalls/another security measure, and it works fine.”
  • “Our AV integrator’s recommended measures are too expensive, or just an attempt to upsell us something we don’t really need.”
  • “We only access information from trusted sources, so we can’t get exploited.”
  • “We will definitely know the moment something goes wrong.”

While these objections can be exasperating, they also reveal a key opportunity for integrators.

Opportunity 4: Truly Secure Systems Don’t Change With Opinions

If stakeholders in a project raise misconception-based reservations about a project, integrators have an opportunity not only to educate but to find better ways to build strong defenses into AV over IP projects.

For instance, in its own list of common network security myths, SynergyCT recommends bringing various truths to the fore:

  • “We’re too small/we only use trusted sources”: Exploiters count on most people thinking they’re safe because they’re obscure. In fact, it’s the “too small” folks who make the best targets precisely because they believe they’re safe.
  • “Our existing security works fine”: Recruiting the help of the IT department to debunk this myth can help. IT staff know there is no magic bullet for network security, and they have the background to interpret exactly how AV security will address specific weak points.
  • “It’s too expensive/you’re trying to upsell us”: As integrators know, expense isn’t the toughest part of a AV security. It’s recognizing what needs to be done in time to do it most efficiently. A comparison of the costs of encryption versus the costs of a breach can easily correct this misconception.
  • “We’ll know the moment something goes wrong”: Often, hackers exploit weaknesses not to mess with the tech’s owner, but to hijack processing speed or other features of the network for their own purposes. These parasites often don’t show symptoms — but just like parasites in the animal world, they leave the host vulnerable to any number of other invaders.

The more integrators know about network security concerns specific to AV, the more effectively they can propose and implement AV over IP projects that provide strong defenses as well as top-notch functionality. Likewise, organizations that understand the basics of AV over IP network security equip themselves with the knowledge to choose an integrator who is well-versed in the topic.

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AV Over IP in Fintech: Creating Collaborative Environments for Economists

Business has always moved quickly. Since their inception, boardrooms and trading floors have drawn bright, engaged people restless for the next challenge.

As technology matches the pace of the rest of the world to that of business, financial and economic spaces find value in cutting-edge tech tools. Professionals occupying boardrooms, analysts’ offices, and trading floors can leverage AV over IP and its capabilities for richer insights, better decision making and clearer economic analysis in real time.

Here, we look at the benefits and opportunities that an AV over IP installation can provide for financial professionals — and how integrators can communicate these positives to installation decision makers.

How Business and Finance Are Embracing AV Over IP

Fintech, short for “financial technology,” encompasses a broad range of technological innovations in the financial sector, from computer technology used in bank recordkeeping to online investments and even digital currencies, says Bernard Marr at Forbes.

Fintech is no longer a niche realm; 33 percent of financial customers use multiple fintech services in their daily lives, according to Investopedia. And investment from financial firms into such technologies has exploded in recent years. An Accenture report found that businesses worldwide invested $12 billion in fintech in 2014.

Meanwhile, the AV over IP market is booming, as well. According to Robert Archer at Commercial Integrator, market sales of AV over IP products rose 130 percent in 2017 and are projected to continue increasing. The parallel rise in business’s interest in fintech and a macro-level willingness to embrace AV over IP provides fertile ground for integrators to partner with executives, financial analysts, traders and other financial professionals.


Talking Fintech: How Integrators Can Benefit Business (and How to Communicate It)

As one Alpha Video blog post notes, audiovisual tools are commonplace in the business world. Conferencing equipment, video calling, streaming video, CCTVs and remote diagnostic tools have become standard tools in the business arsenal. Without access to these tools, many businesses find it difficult to carry out day to day business or to land their most important clients.

Since business leaders are already familiar with the benefits of many of these tools, they’re open to the idea of their continued use — but they may need an integrator’s help to understand why upgrading or updating an audiovisual system to AV over IP is in their best interests. Integrators can help make their case by focusing on the following benefits and opportunities.

Ease of Installation and Scalability

One significant benefit AV over IP provides versus its predecessors is its ease of installation. As Matrox notes, the system’s reliance on an existing or updated Ethernet infrastructure means that any number of video, audio, or other data formats can be sent along the same CAT5 or CAT6 network cables. The days of closets stuffed with dedicated cables for each piece of equipment in the room are in the past.

Similarly, the use of existing network switches helps to lower cost and complexity for businesses and for integrators who provide ongoing customer support. And because many business venues already have Ethernet cabling in place, installation can often be carried out with minimal or no disruption of ongoing business.

The scalability of an AV over IP setup is a major selling point for businesses that plan for significant growth, but that must also anticipate occasional slowdowns. As a result, Lightware USA focuses on scalability in a handout for prospective clients, noting that while standard AV is often limited to 128 devices, AV over IP allows unlimited devices to connect — and to use existing network switches at lower costs.

Matching Customer and Client Preferences

Consumers, clients and end-users continue to embrace AV over IP options, with more members of these groups stating a strong preference for IP-based tools every year, according to Anthony Brennan of Futuresource Consulting.

As cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to appear in every corner of daily existence, businesses that make their communications and connections to these tools seamless stand a better chance of attracting and keeping customers and clients.

Consumers aren’t the only ones with strong preferences, either. The Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA)’s 2017 AV Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA) Global Summary found that seamless AV and Internet-based technological solutions were preferred throughout a wide range of businesses and industries, including by traders, financial analysts and experts, and business executives. Top growth areas included security ($14.7 billion in 2016) and AV capture and production ($22.9 billion) — two tools that help financial businesses carry out day to day tasks whether or not these directly benefit consumers.

Lack of Latency

Whether the goal is to share crucial financial analyses, hold an international video conference in real time or execute a perfectly timed trade, the tech system supporting the task must respond promptly. The urgency of lag-free communications and transactions gives integrators an opportunity to emphasize AV over IP’s low latency options.

As Justin Kennington at AVNetwork notes, the barriers to zero-latency transmission over IP continue melting away. While AV and IT do share bandwidth, improved encoding and the advent of 10 Gb AV over IP solutions allow AV and IT functionalities to be carried out over the same or parallel networks without infringing on one another’s ability to receive and transmit seamlessly.

Suddenly, holding a crystal-clear, high-resolution videoconference while sharing large quantities of data and executing perfectly-timed transactions is no longer science fiction, but business fact.

Seamless Space

Boardrooms seeking to upgrade their AV systems may have trained executive and stakeholders to deal with subpar audio, shaky video and other hurdles. Some companies may even have changed how the space is used in order to adapt to deficiencies.

When talking about a new system or a substantial upgrade, then, integrators can gain buy-in by focusing on the ideal shape and uses of the space, according to AVNetwork’s Tim Kridel. Focusing on quality components, a layout that allows for natural conversation without shouting to be heard or straining to listen, and the use of artwork or architectural elements to shape the acoustical and visual space can all enhance the final results.

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Case Studies

Every business has unique needs and goals, and an effective approach to each project will keep these goals in mind as it articulates benefits, highlights opportunities and proposes solutions. Case studies of successful tools and projects can help integrators envision a compelling story to sell their vision to financial decision makers.

Long-Term Use, Instant Access: Exelon Puts Video Outputs to the Test

US energy giant Exelon Corporation uses its trading space up to 12 hours a day. At every moment in the space, its traders need access to up to date information. Clear, easy-to-use displays are a must, and so is energy efficiency.

When the company invested in the redevelopment of its Baltimore headquarters, the trading floor got an overhaul, as well. The resulting 21-story Exelon Tower houses 650 energy traders and their support staff, who gain up-to-the minute information from the trading space’s three LED displays.

The largest screen measures 100 ft. by 7 ft. and includes real-time television and video feeds. Two 20 ft. by 4.5 ft. displays contribute additional statistics and information, as well as messaging and branding.

IBX: A Superior Boardroom for Superior Functionality

Independence Blue Cross (IBX) provides health insurance for 10 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia. When the company sought an upgrade of its 40-seat executive conference room in Philadelphia, IBX demanded a seamless, easy-to-use system that allowed everything from AV components to lighting to be controlled from a single simple interface.

Enter a system managed by Kramer’s digital scaler/switchers and cables, allowing clear signals from up to 200 feet and integrating Blu-Ray DVD players, cable TV boxes and recording devices into a single, intuitive user interface.

CSG: Video Meetings Made Easy

Every financial professional has had at least one video meeting experience end in disaster. Incompatible devices, byzantine join structures and system lag have turned what should have been a routine conversation into a major headache.

Enter CSG, with a cloud-based video conferencing tool that allows anyone with an email address to connect in one click. When paired with a strong AV over IP system, the software makes it easy for business and financial professionals to host video meetings — never again worrying about the other party’s particular tools, scurrying to download the right apps or scrambling to address latency issues.

The Future of Fintech

While fintech’s many iterations will continue to change the way both professionals and consumers handle finances, economics and accounting, AV over IP offers a specific way for financial experts and their firms to streamline business. A well-built system allows these professionals to focus on ideas, analysis and goals — not on waiting for the network.

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