Skip to main content


Integrate ME
01 Nov 2022

Networking Deep Dive: Are AV Companies Transitioning to IT Companies?

Networking Deep Dive: Are AV Companies Transitioning to IT Companies?
AV to IT Transition

The network-based evolution of AV integration is shaping the future of the industry, compelling integrators to enhance their cybersecurity knowledge and IT fluency. A visit to the NSCA’s 2022 Pivot to Profit event brought to light a pivotal statement from Kyle Habben, ECC's president, urging the transition towards IT-centric operations. This shift is driven by the necessity to embrace AV-over-IP technologies, collaborate effectively with IT departments, adopt robust cybersecurity practices, and explore proactive service models for consistent revenue.

Making the Connection

The transition to network-based AV integration systems is evident, with most AV hardware now relying on network connections for signal transport. John Richards of AVI-SPL and Aaron Peterson of Mechdyne both emphasise the ubiquity of network integrations in today’s installations. The distinction between AV deployments and core IT infrastructure remains, however, allowing integrators to customise solutions based on various network topologies and client needs.

Considering 'Convergence'

The conversation around AV/IT convergence is decades old, yet many AV systems still operate on isolated networks with limited connectivity to client LANs. Nick Mitchell of Diversified points out that the degree of AV systems' integration with IT backbones depends on clients' security requirements, IT capabilities, and remote management arrangements. Peterson highlights the significance of security in client relationships, suggesting physical network separation as the most secure option. Mitchell notes increasing client expectations regarding cybersecurity, underscoring the need for integrators to prioritise this aspect during project planning.

Sean Wargo of AVIXA introduces redundancy as a crucial consideration, recommending separate networks for different types of data to ensure reliability, especially as the demand for high-resolution content grows.

Considering AV-over-IP

The focus on AV-over-IP (AVoIP) highlights its growing dominance in the industry. This approach, which routes audio and video signals over a network, is celebrated for its flexibility and scalability. Experts like Eric Snider of Conference Technologies Inc. and Jay Armand of Solutionz Inc. advocate for AVoIP, especially in configurations exceeding 4×4, citing its cost-effectiveness and the industry’s move away from large matrix switchers.

This deep dive into the networking transformation of the AV industry reveals a sector at the cusp of a significant evolution, merging more closely with IT principles to meet the changing demands of technology and client expectations.

Source: Commercial Integrator