What an exciting year to be involved in pro AV. Whereas some technology segments have experienced limited innovation and growth, pro AV has been anything but stagnant. Advancements abound in this industry, thanks to healthy competition among vendors, resulting in better, more affordable solutions. Here are just 3 areas that really took off in 2017:
1. Indoor LED technology
We’ve all seen early generation LED screens that contain blocky text and difficult-to-decipher graphics. This year, costly low-resolution indoor LEDs were replaced by more affordable, brighter and better-looking LEDs. Not only do these newer displays offer a higher perceived resolution, manufacturers were busy including enhancements that make it easier than ever for solution providers to combine them to create affordable video walls. For example, whereas video walls used to require special frames and mounting hardware, some LEDs now include features such as corner magnets that not only make it easy to connect screens, but the magnets also pass power from one display to the others. Even LEDs that still require specialized mounts have become simpler to install.
2. 4K and HDR
Thanks to the continued price drop of 4K devices, along with it being easier to develop 4K-quality content, 4K displays increased in popularity in the Pro AV world in 2017. In addition to making 4K resolution more common, manufacturers took advantage of the display’s potential by including HDR (high dynamic range) capabilities. While 4K adds pixels and resolution, HDR improves colors—and not just a little. To the untrained eye, the difference between standard high-definition and 4K ultra-high-definition isn’t always noticeable. However, a display with HDR is noticeably better looking than one without. The end result is content that really pops and creates quite the impact on viewers.
3. Customers want more than signage hardware
More than any previous year, we saw that customers were no longer satisfied with solution providers who could only offer a piece (e.g., hardware) of a solution. Rather, customers want integration specialists who can bring together disparate systems to create impactful solutions with an ROI. For solution providers thinking about the Pro AV space for 2018, don’t assume you can be successful selling only digital signage hardware. Customers today want answers concerning content management solutions, content strategies, interactive kiosks and more. On a positive note, this creates an opportunity for solution providers to provide real value and acts as a way to differentiate from competitors who aren’t as invested in helping their customers.
Pro AV future forecast
Based on the rapid rate of innovation taking place and high customer demand, it’s safe to say that the pro AV industry is poised to have a great 2018. In our next blog, we’ll take a look at some predictions for the coming year that will provide further evidence that this technology segment is strong and shows no signs of slowing down.