Just like all industries that employ the use of technology, AV technology is also always emerging and changing.
While certain AV trends come and go, many newer technologies in the AV industry are often adopted by commercial and Pro AV integrators. And, although some AV technology is adopted quickly, some may take a much longer time to reach the masses.
If you’re an AV vendor wanting to stand out from the competition, using the latest AV equipment to streamline installations or offering your new and existing clients the latest in AV technology is one way to do it.
When choosing which AV technology to invest in there are several factors to consider, including where to channel resources and how to measure return on investment (ROI).
Also, timing is everything. Adopting a new technology early can label you as a trendsetter in your niche, as clients see the unique value proposition your AV services bring to the table.
So…is this a good time to invest in AV technology?
Moving with the times and being ahead of the curve is bound to be a good thing, but there are certain questions you should ask yourself before investing in new AV technology:
Does it make my job easier?
Often the latest AV gadget seems like a must-have, but ask yourself if it will really make your job easier. Contemplate how the AV technology might help you to save time, streamline installations and reduce labor costs.
For example, after having sold hundreds of Belden Revconnect connectivity systems over the years, we know it offers excellent value for cable technicians and contractors.
Key benefits include:
- Single Style Termination: Supports all RJ45 (CAT 5e, CAT 6, CAT 6A) shielded and unshielded connections
- Versatility: Terminates both jacks and plugs and allows the interchanging of both easily
- Reliability: Assures a strong, dependable contact all at the time
- Time-saver: No need to separate pairs. Terminate bonded pairs as fast as non-bonded
- All-in-one tool: Prepare the cable and terminate – one universal tool does it all
Similarly, you can write and list all the perceived advantages you think a new AV technology will bring. It’s also a great idea to discuss the investment with your team and technicians who will actually use the product on the job.
Does it deliver value to my clients?
It’s important to ask how the AV technology will benefit clients, especially if you are replacing an existing working application with new and improved AV equipment. Clients often need to be convinced that the new technology will be worth the investment, and what added “value” it will provide.
For example, major advancements in wireless presentation systems has led to many AV vendors shifting from bulky control panels to intelligent AV systems to seamlessly stream video and conduct presentations.
A very good example of this is the Kramer VIA GO, a cutting-edge wireless presentation tool that offers content streaming with crisp mirrored images and amazing video playback features.
Key benefits include:
- Allows 2 user screens (iOS, Android, Chromebook, PC or Mac) to be connected via LAN or Wi-Fi and displayed simultaneously on the main screen
- Using the VIA app Multimedia feature, the device can support up to 6Mbps video bit rate, and can seamlessly be integrated with VIA Site Management (VSM) Software & the VIA Pad.
- iOS /Android Mirroring and outputs to either an HDMI or Mini DisplayPort
A great product with a simple and intuitive user interface, the Kramer VIA GO is an all-in-one solution for displaying streaming videos and PowerPoint presentations for huddle spaces, classrooms and small to mid-size meeting and conference rooms.
Many AV integrators have found that modern presentation solutions like the above can be of immense benefit to their clients. As an AV vendor, when you come across new AV technology, always ask how it can provide additional value for your clients, and not only make your job, but theirs, easier.
Does it provide a good ROI?
Once you invest in the AV technology, you must have a clear understanding of how long it will take to see a return on your investment. It doesn’t really matter how cheap or costly the AV equipment is, what matters is that it should deliver a positive return. In the case of AV trends, you need to be careful as trends can die, and the purchase needs to pay off before a trend is long gone.
However, as AV technology is always evolving, there are trends that you’ll notice are more likely to carry on into the future. Some of these include wireless AV systems as mentioned above, virtual and augmented reality, advancements in 4K, custom cable assemblies for specific applications and more.
Also, taking into account the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic, the AV industry continues to evolve to meet new demands. There is always much to be discovered in this industry, and we at Pacific Radio Electronics make sure to keep up and adopt the latest in AV technology to support our AV vendors and designers.