Professional audio/visual technology is experiencing strong growth in a wide range of verticals, including corporate offices, education, government and military, and entertainment, according to a 2013 report by InfoComm International. In the next few years, the pro AV market is likely to continuing its upward trend, as more organizations see the benefits that AV can bring to their facilities.
As a value-added reseller (VAR), you will likely encounter pro AV customers from a variety of industries in the coming years. In order to be competitive in each market, it’s important for you to fully understand the basic infrastructure of a pro AV installation. That way, you can easily tailor each system to your customers’ specific needs.
To get started, familiarize yourself with the basic components of pro AV infrastructure:
- Audio: For most projects, audio equipment will include speakers and microphones, which are available at a wide range of price points and with many different feature sets.
- Cabling: Media and networking cabling includes everything from analog to HDMI and fiber-optic cables. These are what transfer information between each audio, video, lighting and/or data device.
- Connectors and adapters: The nuts and bolts of an install, connectors and adapters help all your various devices and types of cables integrate seamlessly.
- Displays: LED, LCD, touchscreen and projector displays are available in nearly every size you can imagine, with a wide range of features and benefits.
- Plates, panels and inserts: A relatively small part of the pro AV infrastructure, but important nonetheless. These help make the end result of each install appear neat and organized and enable easier service and support.
- Power management: In any pro AV system, power management is highly important. This category includes cooling solutions, power and line cords, power distribution, surge suppression and UPS devices.
- Racks, mounts and accessories: The right mounting equipment is an absolute must for any pro AV deployment. Be sure to choose racks or mounts that will suit each customer’s facility and will enable the technology to be used and accessed as effectively as possible.
- Sound reinforcement: From speakers and amps to microphone stands and sound-masking devices, these are the elements that help fine-tune the audio to precisely meet your customer’s needs.
For additional guidance on pro AV infrastructure, you might consider partnering with a leading technology distributor that could help provide technology and design support. Or, you could bolster your AV knowledge by attending industry tradeshows and networking events or by investing in online training and certification classes.
Industry organizations like InfoComm International offer high-quality training for AV professionals who are looking to advance their knowledge of the industry. The organization even has courses that specifically cover AV infrastructure and design. For a relatively small investment, you could quickly become well-versed in pro AV equipment, which could bolster your AV business for years to come.
How are you planning to learn the pro AV ropes? Do you feel that your previous experiences as a VAR working with other technology will lend themselves to the pro AV world?