Pro AV standards - Middle East focus

We continue our series looking at the application of InfoComm standards when we hear from Adrian Goulder, special projects manager at Omnix. He talks to Tim Kridel.

TK: What’s your opinion of InfoComm standards? For example, do you find them useful? If so, how? Some AV firms say they’re useful for showing clients that AV has checklists and other tools for ensuring that something is implemented properly. Some also say they’re useful when the client’s IT department is in charge of AV because the IT world has so many standards, so showing that AV has standards provides credibility. And do InfoComm standards have any drawbacks? 

AG: We use InfoComm standards much like we use our ISO standards. It’s not just for Omnix but also for our client’s peace of mind. Whether we are installing a few LCDs or undertaking an entire mall AV fit out, it’s essentially at our core to both undertake and ensure we use them. One of Omnix’s main reasons for success is repeat business. Ensuring the same quality—from hardware install to DSP to highly complex integration on a military/government level—is key to our continued success. 

TK: I’m interested in whether InfoComm standards are getting more traction in some areas of the world than others, and if so, why. How widely are they used in the countries where your firm operates? What affects adoption?

AG: That’s in interesting question. I can only speak for the GCC area where Omnix operates, but like most countries, there are 101 AV companies. Using standards like InfoComm sets us aside from the competition and adds a layer of trust and compliance. 

The adoption of InfoComm standards, I think, really is down to not just companies but the individuals that work there. For some it’s a core belief, and for some they simply aren’t interested. 

TK: Which types of standards would you like to see InfoComm create, and why? For example, some integrators say they’d like to see standards for lighting and building management.

AG: Standards for bracket alignment comes to mind. It may seem a small thing, but I can tell you that rarely do I see installs that have executed this properly. Honestly it can completely ruin the aesthetics of a videowall, whether that’s LCD or LED. I think it’s safe to say it’s a bug of mine, and I can’t shake it.

Apart from that I think lighting, project management, soldering and cable quality come to mind. Cat7 for me is one, such as keep the twisted pairs twisted right up to the connection. Also, some cable on the market is not 8 wire (4 pair) also send and receive pairs required for 1000BaseT are not wired correctly. HDBT is not that new to the market but I time and time again see the wrong type of cable or not properly shielded leaving a lot of head scratching when it’s actually just a simple cable issue.

TK: Do you ever use IT standards? Why or why not? And what can AV learn from the IT world in terms of creating and applying standards?

AG: Again, coming back to correct cable types and terminations, also proper cable management. Handover documentation is another key point here for both AV and IT. AV standards are growing, and right now we are at a good point, but as always there is always room for improvement. Ultimately it’s down to the AV integrators to use them, but like I said earlier, there are 101 companies. At Omnix, we set ourselves aside by providing time and time again the same quality of work for our clients and why we are the biggest and well known AV integrator in the GCC.

Other Q&As in the series: 
Rob Ferguson and Chris Ostler - Electrosonic
Ann Brigida - InfoComm

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