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Three Reasons to Upgrade Your Analog AV to Digital

We received the photo below this past month from an ExhibitOne client. It shows an audiovisual solution created for a mobile cart.  They sent us the picture for two reasons:

ExhibitOne Retired Analog AV Equipment
  1. Show us they are retiring some of their equipment

  2. Let us know that some of it still works just fine

Which is rather remarkable, considering we implemented this solution more than 15 years ago.

The system, of course, is all analog AV. Digital AV solutions didn’t exist then.

Today, it’s just the opposite, making it harder and harder to make the case for keeping working analog AV technology in service. In fact, here are three reasons why you should upgrade your analog audiovisual systems to digital.

1. Company Image

Company image alone could be reason enough to switch out analog AV equipment for digital. To prospects, vendors, prospective new employees – even current employees – using analog presentation technology in the digital age makes the company look as if it is stuck in the era of flip phones (or even before). YIKES!

Company image aside, as a practical matter, visitors using any newer laptop are not able to connect. They are likely limited to an HDMI connection…which doesn’t exist in the analog world. Moreover, they’re likely pushing 4K resolution – also non-existent with analog.

2. Maintaining Systems

Your overall system upkeep is another consideration for making the switch. At some point, individual components of an analog system will need to be replaced. Rest assured, in the picture above, not everything in that picture works.

Certain digital technology can be mixed and matched with analog components to keep systems operational. ExhibitOne can help in this area, if that’s a company’s strategy. However, regardless of the capability of the newly added components, system performance remains analog.

It’s like hooking up a garden hose to a fire department’s fire hose nozzle. Adapters (if there are any) would get the two connected, but no matter how wide open the nozzle is, the water flowing out the huge nozzle is never greater than what the trusty garden hose can supply.

3. Getting Ahead

Speaking of flip phones a moment ago – functionally, they are not obsolete. You can still make and receive calls and texts – just like they were designed to do (at least while 2G is still available).

Technologically? Well that’s another story. Compared to a smartphone, flip phones lose out on a tremendous amount of functionality, productivity and efficiency.

The comparison is quite similar between analog and digital audiovisual systems. Analog will always give you the ability to see and hear content. Digital lets you take high-resolution/quality-sound content and distribute it throughout the enterprise.

We call it, “AV over IP” (internet protocol).

Your audiovisual content can ride on the company’s existing Ethernet network infrastructure and ultimately be shared virtually anywhere. Mobile. Desktops. Conference rooms. The Internet. You name it. ExhibitOne was one of the first national system integrators to embrace this capability.

And yes, we can make this happen even if you want to hold onto your analog AV systems.

But you will miss out on everything discussed above and a lot more, such as being able to centrally manage your AV equipment over the network. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what’s happening with all your equipment before you get the call that something isn’t working – and the meeting starts in three minutes?

Can you keep using your analog systems? By all means. Just as you can keep using a flip phone. But, can you really afford to lose out on everything you are missing? Like the equipment in our friend’s photo…maybe it’s time to move on.


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