Survey: pro-AV products through the years

What is the most influential AV product of all time? What type of product will solve the most problems in the next 5 years? We asked a selection of consultants, integrators and end users their views on products past and present and future.

Ben Pain, Royal College of Physicians UK 
What is the most influential AV product of all time? That’s a bit like asking for the most influential book or album. I’d argue that the first steps into projection/moving images or amplified audio are still the most influential. So either the Phenakistiscope or perhaps the parabolic horn. 
What has been the most important product from the last 10 years? The CPU – the move from analogue to digital has affected the whole way we use / design AV. 
What products are you using in every install now? Mersive boxes – elegant, simple, agnostic and great UX. 
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? Not a device – better collaborative working / standardisation between manufacturers. 
 
Richard Johns, Vega Japan 
What is the most influential AV product of all time? Tandberg/Cisco Codec 
What has been the most important product from the last 10 years? Skype (more like 20 years), as it influenced the rise of soft-codecs (Zoom, Teams etc)  
What products are you using in every install now? Displays, cameras, microphones (more all-in-one now) 
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? Having an AVoIP standard across brands/devices. We have a lot of standards (e.g. Dante, AES67, SDvOE, HDBT etc.), it would be good to have a product that becomes the gold standard, so there is more interoperability between different brands/devices.  An easy to install all-in-one product that auto-tunes to the room would be nice. A Nureva mic-speaker with a camera would be good, as the auto mic-tune on it is really good. 
 
Blair Parkin, Eden Project 
What is the most influential AV product of all time? The Kodak S-AV 2050 slide projector (made multi-image AV possible in Europe as its sister the Kodak Ektagraphic projector did in North America) 
What has been the most important product from the last 10 years? Barco ClickShare opened an entire new market up. More seminal for me but pre the last decade is the blue LED becoming bright enough to make viable backlit LCD flat panels and then bright enough to make giant LED.  
What products are you using in every install now? I am using a Shure/Sony combo of mic and camera every day connected to Zoom/Teams. At Eden as we welcome the public back then projection is what we use as part of our public programmes and exhibits.  
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? The ultimate AV/media technology convergence where handling high quality sound and picture over a normal IT network does not eat all of the bandwidth and does make the IT department just say no. Secure, integrated, efficient.  
 
Yousef Abdul Hadi, Smart Technology Company  
What is the most influential AV product of all time? Direct LED videowalls. 
What has been the most important product from the last 10 years? Direct LED videowalls, UC and collaboration, discussion systems 
What products are you using in every install now? Crestron, SEADA, AVproconnect  
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? Crestron, SEADA, AVproconnect 
 
Christian Bozeat, macom UK 
What is the most influential AV product of all time?
The speed of internet service 
What has been the most important product of the last decade? Unified communications  
What product are you using in every install right now? Video conferencing  
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? Some magic product that makes people see the need for proper processes and approach to designing, supporting, monitoring, and managing AV, unified communication and all the peripherals around it 

Greg Jeffreys, Visual Displays
What is the most influential AV product of all time?
Slide projector – marked the transition from stills to full moving video 
What has been the most important product from the last 10 years? Skype/Teams/Zoom
What products are you using in every install right now? Elbow grease
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? Anything IoT 

Aidan Crowe, Pure AV
What is the most influential product of all time?
Internet (or if a ‘physical’ product, the PC)
What has been the most important product from the last decade? HDbaseT
What product are you using in every install right now? USB
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? USB-C transmission (long length) - device/cable to transmit Video, Audio and High-speed comms over one easy to fit cable over any distance. 


Jonathan English, prodd
What is the most influential AV product of all time?
The wireless mic
What has been the most important product of the last decade? iPad 2
What product are you using in every install right now? Gaffer tape
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? Ever-lasting gaffer tape 

 

Kevin Murphy, Kraftwerk Living Technologies
What is the most influential AV product of all time?
The video projector – changed the face of every industry
What has been the most important product of the last decade? Flexible LED panels
What product are you using in every install right now? Projectors, uncompressed media players, audio processors, loudspeakers, audio amplifiers, equipment racks
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? Some A true 8K projector with ultra-wide lenses….but that needs the chip too 

 

Darren Pitt, Diversified EMEA
What is the most influential AV product of all time?
LitePro 580 – changed the AV landscape
What has been the most important product from the last 10 years? The flat panel displays
What products are you using in every install right now? A mount of some description
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? One video platform/hardware solution that could be ubiquitous across all platforms or run all in one box 

 

Anders Jørgensen, Stouenborg
What is the most influential AV product of all time? The modern loudspeaker. We can have picture and video but without sound our hybrid meetings are pointless and in the past 20 years where I have worked in business the sound has become more and more important
What has been the most important product from the last 10 years? The new array speakers from Sennheiser, Stem Audio and Shure
What products are you using in every install right now? I’m using network switches in all the installations right now and that is also the answer to the next question
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? Advancements in network switches 

 

Toby Wise, Snelling Business Systems
What is the most influential AV product of all time? The microphone / amplified sound
What has been the most important product from the last 10 years? USB UC Integrated webcam / mic / soundbar
What products are you using in every install right now? Digital displays
What type of product would solve the most problems for you in the next 5 years? AI-enabled interface providing wireless and / or single cable connectivity to any device running Windows, ioS or android OS’s and providing bridge to installed camera, microphone(s), visual display and loudspeaker system. AI element auto configuring EDID and USB settings as required by source device and installed devices such that no user intervention is required. Simply connect and go.