By Kaleo Lee, The Audio Visual Company of Hawaii

As a commercial AV integrator, I typically stay away from any residential shows, unless I’m looking for some kind of tech for my personal home. With companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung, the commercial world of integration is changing rapidly.

Once upon a time – a little over 10 years ago – I joined the exciting world of commercial AV integration.  There was a clear line between commercial and residential AV, we used 5-wire (RBGHV) with BNC connectors, and SDI, and we built solutions only seen in a professional environment with technologies like video matrix switchers, digital signal processors, and video wall processors.

Blu-ray, a residential technology, became so popular it forced the commercial world to adopt it along with HDCP.  HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), while intended to protect the movie industry, was such a viable data encryption method the computer companies started to adopt it.  It not only made all the commercial manufacturers and integrators change the way they built commercial AV infrastructure, but it forced us to adopt HDMI – and the uproar in the industry was almost comical.  I get it, no one likes when they’re forced to change. In 2011 the Analog Sunset began, and over the next 3 years, it was like working through a long funeral.  Sitting around with friends like, ‘Remember the good ol’ days of VGA?’

This is when the shift became apparent — residential solutions are now making a stand in our commercial space.

Companies like Logitech were once a personal or home kit for video.  Around 2011, with the release of MS Lync (developed from Skype technologies), there were hybrid technology solutions where these technologies were being used in commercial applications.  The most common spaces, where these hybrid solutions may have been found in a business, were huddle rooms and personal offices.  Thankfully, companies like these have adopted their products to meet the 8/5 or 24/7 demands of commercial applications.

Collaborative video software, or “soft-codec” as we tend to call it on the commercial side, is nothing new.  However, as the soft-codec solutions began to mature, the shift from the home to the business began to transpire.

For those reasons, this is “WHY I AM GOING TO CEDIA.”

Recently, the battles in the home have been over voice. Alexa, Cortana, Siri, the Google Assistant have both created another dynamic in the “connected home,” and grown exponentially in the home. Just like Blu-Ray, it has now made its way into the commercial market.  I personally – like so many of my commercial AV peers – have been involved in integrating one of these devices into a professional conference room.  Convenience and capabilities are becoming so important, many commercial clients are looking the other way with regards to the implications of a company recording all of their conversations.

In today’s AV landscape, if you’re in the commercial AV integration business it appears that if it’s successful at CEDIA, there’s a good chance you’ll see it in the commercial space soon.  I can either stay reactive, or attend CEDIA and be proactive in our business.

Worst case, it will be like cross training.  While CEDIA isn’t my main sport, I will get great knowledge and experience that will only increase my capabilities of my main sport, Commercial AV Integration.

Kaleo Lee headshot

Kaleo Lee is an experienced Vice President of Sales and Business Development, with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He’s skilled in Operations Management, Collaboration Solutions, Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Management. Strong sales professional with a Bachelor of Science (BS) focused in Aerospace Studies from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott.