Widgets Magazine

Let's End the Religious Wars in AV

There have been more than a few times in talking with AV professionals that a certain disdain will arise. It centers around one company or two that they really don’t like. For whatever reason this seems to happen more often in the control and automation space than any other I have encountered. You don’t find fanboys of Epson going off on those who prefer Panasonic projectors. They all can get along even going back and forth depending on the year and the price point. For those companies who have entered into the control and automation space though, it’s as if there are religious zealots on each side proclaiming the graces of their chosen side and lambasting the decisions of others who have “consumed the kool-aid” of one company or another. I think it’s time to end that.
They All Make it All
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the number of companies who had gotten into ancillary product manufacturing. This is due to either watering down of opportunities in their original space or a weakness they saw in the new product line they were introducing. Regardless of the reason there are companies and corporations who manufacture nearly every item you may need or want in an audio visual system. There are even a few who create racks. The display market may be the one area these multi-line companies haven’t touched yet.
Depending on the company and your personal preferences these diversions from their original offerings may suit you and they may not. It would benefit you to look at the new product lines to see if they do. Sometimes they’ll fit and sometimes they won’t. It will remain a mystery until you find out for yourself or from a trusted adviser. Writing it off because it happens to come from a company you historically haven’t liked is a bit short sighted.
Personal Bias
This industry is personal. I have learned that the hard way and have made my share of mistakes and detractors as a result. There was a time when I didn’t like company “M” because I didn’t know them and the interactions I had up till that point weren’t positive ones. Just like people, companies change and evolve. Your favorite today may come out with a policy or product that misses the mark completely. Your contacts at that company may not be the best representatives and as a result your opinion of that company can be altered. Give them a chance and see if the product, not the people, fit into your world.
These Are Machines
The things we are really talking about are electronic boxes with ins and outs. They don’t have feelings or opinions on you one way or another. The people in the company may and that can impact how you feel about the manufacturer as a whole. I would advise to start with the product, not the people. A number of these companies have good, hard working people who love this industry as much as you do. They may not have the same life experience, world view, or business acumen that you do, but they are still people and should be treated as such. On the opposite side of that, so should you. As manufacturers they should treat the integrators and tech managers as the most important clients in their list; whether they account for $1000 a year or $1 million.
As we design and program systems at Innovad and get introduced to new products at AVNation I am constantly learning and adjusting my view on various product categories. Today I have a list of products I love to use in design and in programming. In six months that very well could change because of new information. However, with each new connection and each new interaction I am reminded that these are people, not products, we are talking to on a daily basis. I try to treat everyone I meet with respect and courtesy. Sometimes I get it, sometimes not. Just because I don’t agree with you or necessarily see the benefit of your product doesn’t make either of us a bad person. We just have a difference of opinion. And that’s OK.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

About Author

Tim Albright

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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