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Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) in Conference Rooms

Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) are an option that AV integrators can avail of when setting up an installed audio system, such as a conference room, an auditorium, or a boardroom. However, most clients may have many questions when it comes to DSPs.

What are DSPs? What do DSPs do? How are they different from Analog mixers? What are their advantages and drawbacks, if any? The list of questions goes on….So, what are the answers to these questions? To know more, read on…

A DSP is a specialised microprocessor with an architecture that is optimised for the operational needs of digital signal processing. In other words, DSPs measure, filter and/or compress continuous real-world analog signals and convert them to digital signals.

However, DSPs can and should only be used in installed audio systems, such as a boardroom, auditorium, or conference room, and not in an ad hoc audio system, such as a cafeteria. For the latter, an analog mixer works well. A DSP allows the mixing of multiple mics, and gives a single output to an amplifier, called an “audio mixout”. DSPs have several benefits when it comes to working in installed audio systems.

Some of these are:

Clients can connect multiple inputs to a DSP, not only a microphone. These inputs could be a laptop, desktop, DVD player, Blu-ray player and so on.
Clients can connect a PSTN or VOIP phone line to the DSP, thereby availing of unlimited phone services.
Clients can also use DSPs for audio conferencing, when more than 2 to 3 participants are present in a room.
Clients can use DSPs to ensure Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC). This reduces the echo in a boardroom or video conferencing room, with the DSP blocking the echo.
Clients can use DSPs in a video conferencing room with several participants.

A courtroom with a DSP

With DSPs being introduced into the AV market in 2007, this technology is being widely used for installed audio systems. The only drawback of a DSP is cost, both of procurement and of installation.

An analog mixer for example, can be sourced for about Rs 20,000, whereas a DSP can be sourced for about Rs 2,00,000, almost 10 times the amount of the former. Similarly, an analog mixer can be set up by anybody, including a technician, whereas a DSP can only be set up by a certified programmer. This again, increases the latter’s installation costs. However, a DSP has several advantages and benefits that an analog mixer does not have.

So, now you know a bit about DSPs and how and why they should be used. Do consider this technology when requesting an AV integration and installation for your boardrooms, conference rooms, or auditoria. Here’s to an echo-free audio and video experience!


(Images courtesy: and