Blog: Wifi, mobile and acronyms
Peter Lloyd, September 24, 2012
There was a time when the commercial AV sector looked askance at home theatre and its installers. But it shouldn’t do, because more and more CE devices – the so-called c2b products – are finding their way into business. Those products come with all sorts of protocols attached that commercial integrators need to learn about. And who knows them best? Residential installers.
Two examples came my way last week.
Trying to cope with the copyright protection embedded in CE devices was one, with two long and multi-stranded discussions kicking off on web forums.
“Does HDMI converted to HD- SDI and then converted back to HDMI keep HDCP intact?”, asked a question poser on the AV Professionals Group forum. And “Is EDID causing your high blood pressure?” asked a contributor to the AV-iQ Group.
Another less obvious example of CE’s influence surfaced at a trainjng session being held by Habitech, a “resi” distributor now entering the pro market.
Ruckus, a new supplier, was presenting the case for high bandwidth reliable wifi use in homes, shops and offices. Forget your home wifi box, this is all about high speeds, low interference and, crucially, making it possible to prioritise types of traffic – such as streamed video. And, very helpfully, it’s two way.
The ability to link CE and mobile devices wirelessly and interactively could not only reduce cabling, but enable all sorts of temporary or tactical applications’ including virtual galleries in museums and at exhibitions, signage systems, sprcial promotions to mobiles or desktop users and creating “virtual communities” at events. So it’s worth learning about, even if there are still some potential wifi pitfalls.
Pitfalls or pratfalls?
The biggest of those might be getting blamed when presentations fall over, which happened all-too-regularly at last week’s AV User Group meeting. Held at Vodaphone’s headquarters – one place where it might be reasonable to expect connectivity – the meeting was set up to discuss “videoconferencing and mobility” and featured no less than eight presentations from vendors.
At least one of them complained that Vodaphone’s wifi system had crashed their presentation, but the reality was that at least 60 per cent of the manufacturers’ presentations – to an audience which include 40-plus top end user buyers – were hopeless. And that’s being generous.
When anything went wrong, which it did with alarming frequency, vendor team after vendor team went into an on-stage huddle to try and sort out their demo, leaving the audience to talk among themselves.
Little wonder that the biggest round of applause went to a Vaddio presentation given by Andrew Popely of Tukans. As well as presenting directly and clearly Popely actually talked directly to the audience – and he had the wit and wisdom to cut his contribution short so that the users could get to the pub only 30 minutes later than originally scheduled.
There are times, even in a week when Apple launched iPhone5, when face to face communications still work best.