Should digital network audio be your first choice?
The cost of products has been steadily coming down, AV industry expertise has elevated, IT departments are more comfortable with networked AV devices, monitoring and reporting is baked in.
Network audio is a no brainer.
However, in recent times, the continued supply constraints for digital Dante audio enabled devices to have forced the konnectus design team (and many of our colleagues in the industry) to look for alternative solutions. In many instances we are forced to fall back to analogue solutions to meet project deadlines. Once we have the right analogue components, these projects have been able to be deployed surprisingly quickly, mostly due to the reduced coordination time required between AV and IT teams.
Is that enough to warrant sticking with analogue solutions?
I’ll answer that for you, NO!
It all comes back to user experience. Let’s put aside quality of sound and the audio signal for a moment. A high quality is achievable with both analogue and digital systems, so it is a bit of a moot point!….no pun intended : )
The significant difference lies with Support. The analogue systems mean “reactive” service and maintenance as opposed to “proactive and preventative”, which is possible with digital networked systems
More specifically, compare these two scenarios:
- Room A has an analogue audio system. One day, an end user finds it is not working and calls IT. A ticket gets raised. Someone eventually goes to the room to investigate and discovers that a technician is required. A few days later the technician comes and identifies the problem. The technician fixes the problem, and the room is back online.
- Room B has a digital audio system. It tells a central management system it has a problem before any end user finds out. A technician knows the problem straight away and knows what is needed to fix it.
In the Room A example, the end user is inconvenienced, and the room is offline for potentially many days or more. Conversely, in the Room B example, nobody is inconvenienced, and the room is offline for much less time.
So, which do you prefer for your business? Obviously, the Room B scenario.
In the months and years after deployment, the old school analogue systems will become a support burden for client operators and will in most cases be on an express path for upgrade.
“Connecting digital systems to the network” is the right choice. Delivering a joyful technology experience means the system works first time significantly more often.
Network audio systems also enable support teams to detect and rectify issues before the end user has an unpleasant experience. This is just a WIN for everyone and guarantees the best use and return on the AV technology investment.
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