Endpoints in Audio

March 11, 2011

Q: I have a question about endpoints in audio. Considering the rising cost of analog cabling for remote inputs and outputs, it would seem that pushing the endpoints of the networked audio system out further into the installation’s public spaces has labor, termination and commissioning as well as in-use setup benefits and efficiencies. Although these widely vary, job to job, does anyone have any boiler-plate cost estimation models, for analog cabling installation?

A: Great question. Just a few years ago, I would make fun of the audio manufacturers for putting an RJ45 jack on the back of their devices when no one ever used them. When I asked why they did that, they said they had to in order to keep up with others and the consultants requested them. I would be curious to know if we have truly turned the corner on accepting digital audio as the new standard and networked audio installations as the preferred methodology? In other words, would the majority of our members lead with a networked audio solution, or would they lead with analog devices, wiring and connections? At what point does a systems designer flip from analog to digital? Is it the size, distances, switching/combining, flexibility, future-proofing, or what that triggers the need for digital? Or, is it a cost savings? Or, is it a comfort level in one technology vs. the other? It does provoke a bunch of follow-up questions.

The answer to your question is YES, we do have these labor standards available. In 2008, we updated the document to include data connections and networked audio installations. It’s available on our website in the research section. — CW

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