GAIN11

The Art & Science of Audio & Video

Moore’s Law evolving to encompass audio/video?

It’s no secret that audio video technology is advancing at a dizzying pace. As the lines continue to blur between all technological industries from computers, gaming, security, networking and of course audio/video the shared technologies and epic production numbers have allowed all of the participants to make leaps forward at an exponential rate. For those not familiar with “Moore’s Law” it is the documented phenomenon that available computing power doubles every 18 months but remains at the same relative cost to the consumer.

With the wide spread adoption of DSP in the commercial market we have already seen systems diminish in size greatly. What use to require several racks of analog equipment is now commonly replaced with a single rack space unit that handles all the signal processing and distribution.

We are now seeing features like full automation available in mid priced mixing consoles that used to be reserved solely for consoles with a six-figure price tag. We have multi-channel snakes now being run over CAT5e and CAT6 and that will make any FOH engineer cringe. It’s not unheard of for contractors to purchase their equipment for a project and then some models be discontinued before installation.

If I may I would like to point out one area where they all seem to have dropped the ball and that’s software compatibility. Every time there is a major change in PC operating systems the audio/video & systems contracting industry seems to lag months if not years behind. The Vista operating system has been out since November 2006 and I have yet to find any A/V software and/or hardware that is compatible out of the box. If your lucky after downloading numerous drivers, that never seem to want to install, you may eventually end up with a software/hardware combination that’s about as stable as a toddler on ice.

Or for some extreme examples I know the company I work for has a piece of test equipment that still operates on DOS and fire alarm systems that require Windows ’95 and/or ’98. Now come on, there’s simply no excuse for that!

by Jason Levert

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May 19, 2008 - Posted by | A/V News | , , , , , , , , , ,

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