This year marks my tenth year working in the Audio Video industry, and as I become more polished with age, I begin to reflect. There have been many changes in the past decade, the most prominent being the move from analog to digital in both audio and video. AV is a growth industry. As new technology pushes the boundaries of communication, the ever present demand for seamless information systems are being met with new products that promise just that.
With the first rays of economic hope peeking through the fogs of recession of 2009, the video accessory world is looking toward a future ripe with possibility. Many new technologies that promise to change the AV industry as we know it have moved from bleeding edge to market ready products in a short amount of time including 3D and high speed internet through HD video cabling as seen on the HDMI 1.4 spec. These two technologies alone are likely to drive a growth in consumer HDTV purchasing as well as a host of new connectivity products to update a market that has been supersaturated with current generation displays and sources.
Like in all technology transitional phases, accessory lines like Atlona Technologies become invaluable for resellers capitalizing on the wave of new commercial and consumer purchases. They allow resellers the ability to provide not only large ticket items such as 3D Televisions, but all the converters and infrastructure equipment necessary to integrate these new products with their clients’ existing equipment.
Some of the more subtle market trends that have developed throughout this past year deal more with how we move data between devices. The consumer world will always be drawn toward technology that simplifies complicated systems, which is why wireless connectivity rapidly increases in demand. “We have noticed a substantial increase in the number of requests we get, through emails and phone calls, from customers looking for wireless HDMI for their homes…” said Michael Khain, Atlona Product Manager, “…so we listened and developed several products to do just that”. Atlona is set to introduce several wireless devices under $400 in the first quarter of 2010. Many consumers may have been dissuaded by the first generation of wireless devices put out by varying manufacturers that flopped in the market due to high price points and scarce chipset as a result of a lawsuit between two main chipset manufacturers. Atlona is looking to provide the reliable wireless systems that are affordable for these very consumers. A few wireless products have been doing well already in the market, such as Atlona’s HDAiR, wireless USB to HDMI adaptor, which allows users to connect computers to HD displays using Ultra Wide Band (UWB) at short distances. These products are helping pave the way for a host of home connectivity solutions that will allow consumers and installers a multitude of new options in designing home AV systems.
The commercial world is moving in a different direction, opting instead for fiber optic based systems that provide a more future proof method of transporting audio video and data. Commercial AV systems require a dynamic infrastructure that can be repurposed as sources and displays are switch and replaced, and with the growing digital signage market, remote displays are being deployed to do much more than video playback. The current standard of CAT5 based video extension, while completely adequate for small to medium sized AV systems, is limited in both bandwidth and distance, and is unable to meet the far reach of interactive kiosks and centralized controlled video data systems. “As bandwidth requirements for audio video and data transmission grows, users can just upgrade components without installing new fiber optic infrastructure” said Jim Banda, Sales Director with Broadata Communications, Inc. Atlona and Broadata have partnered to develop the world’s smallest and most advanced fiber optic audio/video/data extenders introduced into the market earlier this year.
With so many new trends converging at the end of this decade, one truth holds fast and strong, connectivity solutions are key. Atlona products have been referred to as “the glue that holds all this video stuff together” by many of the people we encounter. We intend to continue this trend, making the AV world as integrated and seamless as possible.
Dir. of Marketing