Installing self-contained, decentralized UI/control processors like the AMX MXT-2000XL-PAN has advantages for small- and medium-sized projects.
Rethinking over-engineered, over-priced control systems in single-room applications.
August 12, 2013
In the world of A/V control and integration, the inherent list of challenges integrators face is everpresent. Applying the right control system architecture into projects is arguably at the very top of that list.
Most integrators who spend the majority of their time on the design/ build side of the business are faced with the need to provide control solutions that are customized to the application and yet still very cost effective. Enduser expectations of what their experience should be using their A/V systems is at an all-time high, but their expectation of what they should pay for it is at an all-time low.
Alas, the iPad strikes again.
And while it definitely makes sense on larger projects to utilize a centralized, dedicated control processor in the head-end rack that houses the control program remotely, what about the small/ single-room applications? What is the best approach to take in these instances?
Through my many years in this industry, I’ve seen quite a few over-engineered, over-priced control systems installed in single room applications. In fact, I would say, historically speaking, this has been the norm, not the exception. When I was on the integrator side, we were guilty as charged, as well. So I cast no stones.
A trend has definitely taken shape on smaller-sized projects — installing self-contained, decentralized UI/control processors. Having the processor built into the UI (user interface) that stores the control program locally provides some real advantages that are sometimes overlooked.
First and foremost is cost. It is consistently less expensive simply because there is less hardware to buy. And by no means am I suggesting that revenue be left on the table. This is more about empowering the integrator to allocate project resources as needed. No longer is the integrator forced to see a disproportionate amount of project funds gobbled up by control system costs, especially when the project is small-to-medium in size.
Secondly, ease of deployment. As the trend of IP-enabled A/V devices and subsystems continues to advance, having a UI/ processor locally on that same network allows for easy integration. And because there is less equipment to install, there are also fewer points of failure. In single-room applications, this control topology is ideal.
There will always be a strong need for centralized solutions that are driven by head-end control processors, especially at the enterprise level. Fortunately, we can provide these comprehensive solutions that fit the bill for any application. And while, yes, it is well-documented that challenges abound in what we do, it is also at the heart of what keeps us going and provides us all with job security. And besides, if integration were easy, everyone would be doing it.
This article was originally published by our content partner Commercial Integrator