Audio-Visual (AV) communications have come a long way from the days of the chalkboard and early generation overhead projectors. Even the whiteboard, today’s replacement for the chalkboard is now somewhat dated, being replaced by the ubiquitous Smart Board in most schools and other teaching environments.
Beyond the fairly simple Smart Board which allows classroom and business meeting collaboration, advances in communications technology have allowed truly immersive working arrangements through video conferencing and video telepresence. Video conferencing is now considered a first generation of screen to screen communications. Video telepresence is by comparison a second generation AV technology allowing life-sized presence of meeting attendees from remote locations across the globe. Communications technology enabling these full-participation communications can save time and money, often doing away with the need for extensive business travel. In an ever expanding global community for both businesses and families, modern forms of AV communications allow personal connections over global distances, essentially bringing back the good old days of talking to your neighbour across the backyard fence.
These advancements in AV communications requires a cabling infrastructure, suitably designed so as to avoid any choppiness or pixilation of video images or any lag time between the viewed image and the audio file that is supposed to run in concert with the visual presentation. Early generation AV technologies required separate video and audio streams. Combining the two to arrive simultaneously at the receiving end was often a challenge.
Today’s use of fibre optic cabling allows both audio and video feeds to travel digitally along the same pathway for “life like” recreation at the receiving end of the transmission. Data capacity issues on earlier forms of cabling infrastructure resulted in choppy video transmission and broken audio feeds. Current fibre optic technology with its almost unlimited capacity to move digital information in an extraordinarily short time span eliminates these quality problems of the past. Even today however the technology platforms for AV communications are constantly evolving. New wireless standards such as the ANSI 802.11ac allows for order of magnitude increases in digital information transportation. Power Over Ethernet (POE) second and third generation technologies allow increasingly powerful end devices to run on low voltage cabling and the coming of 4K compliant devices will bring stunning clarity to images, making today’s HD images fuzzy by comparison. With all these advances, everyday use of 3-D holograms is not too far off.
These communication technology advances require that designers of these systems be aware of current trends in the industry and improvements in technology. A Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) is the professional of choice when designing AV communications systems. The RCDD designation is your assurance that the AV system for your business is well-designed, specified for maximum performance and installed professionally according to manufacturer’s best practices.