Posted in education
on June 16, 2016 2:55 pm EDT
Church-Worthy Benefits of Audio Networking
The benefits of audio networking are significant in the church environment. Cost savings just happens to be No. 1.
A 70% reduction in speaker wire, 50% fewer connections, and 30% less conduit are just some of the benefits of networked audio.
First off, a major benefit of audio networking is that there are far fewer cables to run—a 70% reduction in speaker wire, 50% fewer connections, and 30% less conduit, according to sources at Attero Tech, provider of cost-effective networked AV solutions based in Fort Wayne, Ind. Other advantages are improved sound quality, since the network connections are simpler and less exposed to ground faults and loops; fast and simple changes for channel assignments, using only a mouse click instead of physically reconfiguring assignments; lower costs in the form of far less cabling; the elimination of analog components including soldered connectors, isolation transformers, distribution amps, and equipment racks for them; channel counts can be increased, with longer runs between endpoints with no loss of signal; and finally, simplified troubleshooting. In addition, the network switches used in networking are the same ones used in a local-area network (LAN); some of the shopping can be done at Best Buy instead of specialty pro-audio stores.
Networked audio’s simplicity also makes it easier to work around when it comes to maintaining the aesthetics involved in a sound system installation....
“The cost savings are the No. 1 reason to go with networked audio,” says Adam Barnes, who does sales and systems design at Featherston Media in the Dallas area, listing the cost of a couple of runs of Cat-6 cable that can hold the same 32 channels of audio that previously required 32 individual copper wires to carry. “That’s not just the cost of the cabling but also the cost to install and maintain and troubleshoot all of that copper,” he notes.
Barnes adds that networked audio’s simplicity also makes it easier to work around when it comes to maintaining the aesthetics involved in a sound system installation. The proliferation of networked amplifiers, from companies like Bose Professional and L-Acoustics, is further reducing the connectivity footprint of networked audio. “We’re now designing more systems where we can consolidate all of the amplifiers in one rack in a single location, which further reduces complexity and cost,” he says.
Networked audio has impacted equipment decisions. Barnes says that they often specify Yamaha products, such as the Nexo sound system they’ve just installed in the Tyler Street Methodist Church in Dallas, because of the company’s extensive and native integration of Dante connectivity.Closing thoughts
Like any technological sea change, the migration to networked audio distribution and transport brings with it advantages and challenges, and both are often magnified in a worship environment—the benefits allow church tech teams to work smarter but their inherent complications can be exacerbated when the IT knowledge base isn’t yet up to speed. But what’s undeniable is that networked media is where AV is going in the future, and the future is pretty much here now.
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