AV and Broadcast – Is Convergence Bound to Happen?

Jamie Adkin, Vice President, Sales EMEA, Adder Technology

It’s that time of year again when everyone in the industry has the same mission - to get to IBC with all preparations completed and ready to ensure the months of planning and investment pay off. Events such as IBC are a great opportunity to take the pulse of the industry, to sense what’s coming next and to discuss with fellow industry specialists some of the hot issues of the day.

So, what will be the main topics this year? I have picked up much talk recently around the convergence of broadcast and AV and noticed the influx of manufacturers with a broadcast background venturing into the AV market. With the growing migration to IP in both markets, this trend looks set to intensify.

For the corporate customer, this is no doubt good news. As broadcast production quality continues to rise, this is having a positive impact on video quality. The techniques for handling content are also becoming similar, with more technology being used in both cases. In fact, in my view, as the use of IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly common, it’s not so much the coming together of AV and broadcast we should be talking about, but the merging of AV, broadcast and IT.

In broadcast, this is leading to demand for much simpler, consumer-style user interfaces and control mechanisms and a simplification of the broadcast chain through the use of network technology - something seen in AV previously. In turn, the AV market will continue to look for a greater adoption of standards. I also think that AV will begin to follow broadcast in the distribution of uncompressed video over IP.

Recently, we’ve seen a greater number of integrators with capability that spans both sectors. In the future, it may be critical for both integrators and distributors to develop a far broader knowledge of technologies that cover both AV and broadcast. Distributors will need to develop a wider understanding of the whole market, rather than just the products they represent.

However, there is a caveat here. In many ways, both industries have common needs. However, it’s important that new products are developed that are exactly fit for purpose – a compromise here just won’t work.

I’m looking forward to hearing more about this issue – and no doubt many others – at the show.