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This July 18, 2017 AVIXA blog by Steve Greenblatt is very well written and gives a bit of insight into the role of the AV programmer.

Find it online here.

With the rise of “no programming required” solutions, the term “programming” is becoming a bad word. In the AV world, programming has become associated with the notion of being complex, problematic, costly, and time consuming. The perception of it being difficult to implement and manage has also started to surface. While some of these may be true at times, the concept of programming and the involvement of a programmer in a project should be given some more consideration.

When thinking about programming, we usually think of writing code by a highly trained programmer using tools that may or may not be understandable by the average person. This mystique is what becomes the challenge, as the owners of the systems feel they are being kept in the dark with the inability to make modifications, or provide support without the involvement of the programmer. As a result, the negative perception of programming is created.

Whether you call it programming, configuration, or drag-and-drop application, the goal is the same — creating system functionality and automation and using technology to support an organizations’ communication and business operation. Identifying needs and providing consistent, reliable, and personalized solutions is key. Thus, it is the role of the programmer that is a critical component in achieving the desired outcome in a project.

The task of programming starts well before any “code” is written or any system is configured.  Every automated system should begin with defining the system operation, establishing a user interface look and flow, and ensuring the device selection and system design support the needs of the users. These initial steps are part of the planning process and are more critical than the actual implementation phase, known as system programming.

If the intent of the system operation cannot be accurately documented (in fact, the system operation should be what defines the system design and device selection rather than the other way around), the outcome will likely not meet expectations regardless of what programming or configuration method is chosen. This concept is comparable to building a house without a blueprint. It doesn’t matter how good your tradesman, they are likely not going to succeed in meeting the expectations of the client. This is a step typically handled by a programmer as they are the ones managing and implementing the project, as well as validating the completion of the desired operation.  As a result, a programmer should be considered an integral part of a design team.

The added value of a programmer does not stop there. Programmers have the responsibility of making everything work whether it is programming-related or not. For example, a programmer is relied upon to be the troubleshooting expert when something isn’t working. Therefore, they must possess knowledge about signal flow, RS-232 and IP communications, network configuration, and any products that are made by control system companies as well as third-party devices. If a function or device is not operating properly, a programmer is typically involved in figuring out the solution.

Taking it one step further, when a project is complete and an issue arises that requires troubleshooting, the programmer is typically involved to help isolate the problem using their comprehensive knowledge of the system and ability to understand how each device operates.

Although it may not be obvious to those looking in, the programmer’s role is clearly not just about programming. Whether it is creating traditional code, configuring the control system, or using any other type of drag and drop interface, involving a programmer’s expertise is critical to the success of the entire project.

ACSDI will be closed Monday September 2nd in observance of Labor Day.  Whew, all of us at ACSDI are REALLY ready for a long weekend of relaxing and having fun.  We are very fortunate to have such great customers that keep us so busy! Thank you.

Check out where we have worked around the world.

Lower 48 & Canada

 

Alaska

 

Hawaiian Islands

 

Europe

 

Northern Mariana Islands

 

Caribbean Islands

 

Australia

Not only do Nate & Tyler work out at the gym everyday to offset sitting in front of a computer all day, they decided to take the Tough Mudder challenge this year. It is a very intense 8.5 mile boot camp type course with 25 various difficult obstacles. We are very proud that these guys are staying fit and healthy. You can see why they call it “Mudder”.

Happy Independence Day!

We will be closed Thu July 4 & Fri July 5 so that our team can take a nice long well deserved weekend to celebrate with family & friends.

The talk at Infocomm 2019 was AV over IP and many AV over IP solutions were introduced, but what is it and how does it work?

 AV (Audio-Visual) over IP (Internet Protocol) is the transmission of audio-visual data over a network replacing the standard analogue audio-visual environments using standard network equipment to switch and transmit video and audio signals.  In both systems the hardware and requirements are very similar giving the users the ability to see and hear their audio-video sources on their systems by capturing, moving, switching and displaying.  In the AV over IP environment the Transmitters become Encoders, Receivers become Decoders and the matrix switcher becomes a standard IP switch controlled by software.

One of the benefits of AV over IP is cost savings.  A single Ethernet cable can now be used to power devices, send audio and video, and control a device.  No longer are multiple cable runs needed saving both materials and labor reducing the possible points of failure resulting in simplified troubleshooting.

Increased functionality is another benefit due to ethernet cables capacity of handling a greater amount of data than serial cable resulting in significantly faster communication speeds allowing all devices on a single network to be integrated with advanced functionality.  Also, by using IP control the devices can be managed from one location.

The best benefit is the improved quality due to the fact IP allows more data to be passed over a single cable enabling transmission of HD and Ultra HD signals as well as voice over IP.

These are just a few benefits out of many, it just gets better and better.

ACSDI will be closed Monday May 27.

We will be remembering and honoring those who so bravely served and sacrificed for our freedom, we sincerely thank you.

This is a great article in the Commercial Integrator published May 3, 2019, read it here.

ACSDI (really Kevin) had a bit to do with this part… ” The technology systems include 190 AMX devices and more than 300 endpoints, giving users the flexibility to distribute content to wherever it is needed on the campus, including for staff and player meetings.”

We are very proud of Kevin for the amazing control system he designed for this project. When I asked Kevin what it was like for him to work on such an enormous project he replied “I have been a Vikings fan since the late 60’s, it was very enjoyable to work on such a complex and highly visible system.”

On Thursday we celebrated the 16th birthday of ACSDI. Congratulations Palmer, you should be very proud of yourself for creating such a successful business. We all appreciate you.

On Wednesday we celebrated Nate’s 6 year anniversary with ACSDI. We can’t thank you enough Nate for your hard work and dedication. Your leadership with keeping us all organized and informed is invaluable to our success.