Past generations of audio video contractors tried to stay out of the IT (Information Technology) department’s way. Cable runs might have coincided in the walls, but, for the most part, audio ran on its own wires, video ran on its own path, and all of it had absolutely nothing to do with the computer network.
Today, though, we have more choices when it comes to transmitting audio video signals, including across IP lines. Today’s control systems and routing equipment that directs audio video signals run in exactly the same way as computers, and it all operates via touch screen based on the right programming.
These are just two basic examples of the convergence of IT and AV. In short, audiovisual systems design and installation, today, is a lot more than understanding speaker coverage patterns, acoustics, and sight lines.
If you’re looking at a professional commercial audiovisual installation, there may be some component of control, which will require programming, and certainly routing of various AV signals, perhaps across network lines. Not only should your audio video contractor know what he’s doing when it comes to IT, but he should be willing and able to coordinate with your IT department on everything from running lines to sharing bandwidth.
If you’re running a large corporation and have an IT staff that really knows its stuff, they are probably a bit possessive of “their network.” Make sure your choice of AV integrator has the experience, training and knowledge necessary to get the job done, and the attitude of teamwork that’s needed to coordinate with the growing list of contractors, from low-voltage electricians to the architects to, now more and more, the IT department.
If something goes wrong with your AV systems, there’s a good chance your IT department will be the one calling the AV contractor. Don’t be afraid to get their input when it comes to making the choice, and find an AV integrator who knows IT.