It's a Converged World After All
As A/V dealers and integrators gird for a digital-home turf war against their IT counterparts, D&H Distributing's Digital Convergence Show promotes the idea that both sides can prosper…and even collaborate.
By Joe Paone
The convergence of A/V and IT is a growing issue in home
entertainment and automation, and D&H Distributing has a unique perspective on the dynamics at work. For years, it has touted convergence and educated its customers—dealers, resellers, integrators—on the concept.
The Harrisburg, Pa.-based company's annual Digital Convergence Show serves as a rallying point for the IT-A/V cross-pollination that's increasingly taking place within our industry and within so-called "digital homes." This year's September 29 event in nearby Camp Hill was the fourth in the increasingly popular series. Over 60 vendors and 700 attendees visited seminars and panels and perused exhibits, according to D&H. Unlike past events, which were regional roadshows, this year's was national in scope, with D&H flying in partners from throughout the country.
Sean Wargo, director of industry analysis at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), delivered the keynote. Seminar topics (and presenters) included Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) 2005 (Microsoft), MP3 (Creative), SMB networking opportunities (Cisco), voice-over-IP (D-Link), A/V wiring (Cables to Go), basic distributed audio (Russound), universal learning remotes (Logitech Harmony), digital homes (Intel), IP video (Panasonic), small office-home office (RCA) and videogames.
The event gives IT and A/V professionals a chance to give each other an up-close-and-personal once-over, but D&H Vice President of Marketing Daniel Schwab didn't feel an adversarial vibe. "They understand it's a very big market, and they're coming at it from very different standpoints," he says. "Everyone has the ability to compete. They're all just trying to learn a little bit more about each other and figure out how they can apply what other people are doing to their own businesses."