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The Path to Convergence: Exploring the Future of AV-over-IP with Crestron

AV-over-IP offers integrators a vast array of benefits – for starters, cutting the abundance of cables associated with traditional AV setups. Unsurprisingly, the advantages extend far beyond a primarily wireless setup, allowing integrators bigger scope, smoother scalability, and, as a result, enhanced creativity. The market has seen a slow and steady uptake over the past ten years, with high costs pinned as the main reason growth has taken longer than expected. However, the intersection between AV and IT is becoming more and more material, priming AV-over-IP technology to continue its steady march towards proliferation.

In the afterglow of ISE 2024, excitement in the industry is rife – a sentiment shared by both Futuresource and the team at Crestron. Sam Kennedy and Joel Mulpeter head up Crestron’s Product Marketing, working closely with the teams creating the brand’s leading AV-over-IP solution, DM NVX. Given their expertise, Sam and Joel are the ideal candidates to shed light on the direction of the industry over the next decade.

A steady climb up the mountain

Crestron has been a forerunner in the AV-over-IP market since its initial conception. “Historically, it was more of a point-to-point solution. But DM NVX put AV on the network, making it possible to be routed anywhere. It’s been a slow climb over the years to where we are now,” says Sam.

From Joel’s perspective, the market speaks for itself. “There are two ways of looking at a growing market. In one instance, the new technologies cannibalise the old, and in AV-over-IP’s case, there is some degree of that. But we’re also seeing the market grow significantly without cannibalising the pre-existing products. Year over year, the landscape is expanding, with AV-over-IP increasingly becoming the technology of choice for video distribution.”

Boundless use cases

AV-over-IP offers integrators truly promising scope, and the use cases for the technology are seemingly endless. “It can make AV-over-IP a challenge to market,” says Sam, “because of the incredibly diverse ways our customers and our integrators are deploying our solutions.”

But it’s this very factor that is simultaneously driving mass market adoption. “We’re seeing so many creative ways of problem-solving through AV-over-IP. A great example of that is through Royal Caribbean's new cruise ship, Icon of the Seas. Most people have seen it on social media, but it’s Crestron’s AV-over-IP solution that is powering the ship. In the past, delivering AV experiences at that scale would have been too costly, too heavy, or simply too logistically challenging. But thanks to AV-over-IP, it’s now possible to create unforgettable experiences in the middle of the ocean on the world’s largest ship.”

“AV-over-IP forms the building blocks that allow end users to create what they want to create,” adds Joel. “AV-over-IP is being leveraged to get content everywhere – across buildings, campuses, and stadiums, not just for the sake of having it on the network.”

How does AV-over-IP benefit specifiers and installers? 

One of the main advantages of AV-over-IP is that it’s fully flexible and scalable. “It enables installers to create vast audio-visual installations, giving end users the freedom to create exactly what they want to create,” says Joel.

It’s this flexibility that is lowering the barrier of entry for specifiers and installers. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach with AV-over-IP. Historically, the AV industry has been limited to cables; any creativity was confined to two fixed points. Now, end users can leverage familiar technologies to gain a scale and creativity that was previously impossible.

“That’s why we’re seeing such growth,” says Sam. “It’s a very exciting time. In the post-COVID landscape, AV-over-IP is being used to bring customers and employees back to physical spaces. That’s been another huge driver of demand.” 

Creativity sits at the heart of AV-over-IP – this must be showcased

Those who attended ISE 2024 would have noticed a clear mood shift surrounding AV-over-IP. The atmosphere of fear has lifted, with companies actively embracing a digital-first approach. “Ten years ago, AV was the technology sitting in the corner that nobody wanted to talk to. Now, due to the convergence of AV and IT, it’s become a core part of the most significant things happening around the world.”

“If you were to walk around ISE ten years ago, you’d see brands lining their booths with models and boxes. Now, we’re seeing an application-driven approach, with a focus on showcasing the user experience. It's about communicating both the building blocks and the finished product. That’s what’s inspiring creativity.”

The future of AV-over-IP 

It’s been a long road to convergence over the last ten years. What does the next ten years look like for AV-over-IP?

“Growth will continue, and creativity will mount,” says Sam. “It’s only the pace of the technological evolution that will change. Different resolutions will take hold and come to the fore. We’ve already seen 8K, and AV-over-IP will accelerate this natural technology evolution.”

“We’ll also continue to see movement toward standardisation and ‘any to any’,” says Joel. “This is the idea of integrating more video streams on the network – which will ultimately enable more levels of creativity. That will continue to snowball.”

Sam emphasises that the AV and IT convergence isn’t finished yet. “We’re on that path, but it hasn’t peaked.”

“The main question we’ll be asking is how big do we need to go? We built DM NVX to be versatile so it can support changes in resolution and scale. And now, compared to the snap decisions made during the pandemic, AV deployments must go a lot further. Spaces are bigger, more expensive, and increasingly complex – they’re often multi-purpose or auditorium-style. Integrators need intelligent camera set-ups, and AV-over-IP is increasingly the product of choice to facilitate those long-term needs,” says Joel. 

The path to convergence may be long, but it’s proving itself to be increasingly rewarding.

You can read the full version of this interview here. Discover more about Crestron’s revolutionary DM NVX offerings here.


About Crestron:

At Crestron, we build technology for every way people work everywhere in the world – from desktops to boardrooms, offices to multinationals. Technology that adapts to what you have and prepares you for what you will need. Platforms, devices, and systems designed to improve communication and collaboration, all managed by a cloud-based system for easy deployment, monitoring, and upgrading. At Crestron, we create simpler solutions so people can work faster, better, and more productively. Discover Crestron at

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Olivia Lowden

About the author

Olivia Lowden

Olivia Lowden is responsible for the long-form content, press, and partnerships at Futuresource. Prior to her career at Futuresource, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, demonstrative of her lifelong love of words.

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