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InfoComm 2016 highlights the rise of the systems company

Little more than two years ago, companies such as Biamp, Harman and QSC could safely and accurately be described as audio companies. Harman was the first of these companies to move beyond the traditional realm – with the acquisitions of AMX in 2014 and SVSi in 2015 – but InfoComm 2016 saw a number of other companies announce their move into technologies that one didn’t previously associate with them.

The intentions behind these expansions are easy enough to see: by being able to offer more technologies, whether under one brand or several, the manufacturer gets a larger slice of the project budget; meanwhile the integrator benefits from a one-stop shop and an offering that plays together nicely.

At InfoComm 2016 Biamp announced TesiraLUX, which transports both audio and video signals over a single network with AVB/TSN; and even one of the most technologically diversified companies within the AV space, Crestron, went further by adding a new DSP offering.

QSC, which surreptitiously dropped the word ‘audio’ from its name a few months ago, was keen to portray Q-SYS as a software-based platform rather than simply a standalone DSP product. This message was emphasised by the launch at InfoComm of QSC’s AV-to-USB Bridging solution for conference rooms (pictured): this comprises the Q-SYS I/O-USB bridge and two PTZ-IP conferencing cameras (the Q-SYS PTZ-12X72 and Q-SYS PTZ-20X60). QSC says the new solution “solves the problem of the meeting room geography when integrating soft codec conferencing with camera feeds and audio”. As many bridges and cameras can be added as required, and the bridging solution integrates seamlessly with Q-SYS, without the need to download additional software or drivers.

This trend of technological diversification looks set to carry on as the industry continues to mature, and takeovers and technology partnerships proliferate.