With more and more companies going the wireless way, this is a unique opportunity for AV integrators. Wi-Fi is increasingly being built into laptops, tablets, and smartphones, which means that the cable and wire mess that was so common, is now rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

A white paper by Infocomm explores this trend and lays down both the opportunities and challenges that AV integrators will face as they grapple with a workplace that is increasingly going the Wi-Fi route.

How it’s being done

Many wireless AV systems will use the clients’ existing wireless LANs (WLANs), because this is cheaper than deploying delicate infrastructure. Companies that are looking at several wireless collaboration solutions are increasingly wanting to integrate it into their network in some way.

This means that AV pros need to work closely with the client’s IT department. This is not only to enhance and ensure the security of the systems that they are installing , but also to make it easy for employees to store content, such as a presentation, on the network.

Working with the IT department of the company helps make the wireless system more user-friendly. However, if the existing network does not have enough capacity to spare, AV integrators can deploy a dedicated WLAN for AV applications.

This may result in dedicated wireless capacity for AV solutions. However, the flip side is that the introduction of more radio frequency signals can create new issues, such as increasing noise.

Some of the difficulties

One of the difficulties that AV integrators may face is interference. This could be from unauthorised (rogue) Wi-Fi devices that employees bring to work, or from the WLANs of neighbouring companies in a multitenant building.

This is called wireless pollution and it saps a WLAN’s capacity. This is why it is important that AV integrators do a site survey before the project begins to not only identify potential sources of interference, but also the clearest channels.

Also, in Wi-Fi’s crowded spectrum it is often difficult to find clear channels. Also conditions change over time — neighbouring tenants and their WLANs move in and out.

This is why it is important not just to list other Access Points (APs), but also to do a proper radio-frequency analysis so that non-Wi-Fi devices can be identified.

Wireless communication

Network security is another important feature when setting up a wireless AV system. While one major reason for embracing wireless AV is to avoid the hassle of physical connectors, this ease of use can be undermined by the security technologies and procedures that enterprises adopt to prevent their WLANs from being hacked.

To prevent hacking, the AP should not invite unwanted access. AV integrators can do this by avoiding assigning an AP an obvious Service Set Identifier (SSID) like “CEO Boardroom”.

How to do it right

An AV integrator should review all available Wi-Fi installation guides and other similar collateral from AV and WLAN vendors. The integrator should also understand Wi-Fi best practices, such as three-channel deployments especially when the rooms are in close proximity.

Antenna placement and direction along with adjusting power should also be part of the final integration, testing, and documentation. If AV integrators do this, they can decreae the wireless transmission power incrementally, so that its signal covers just the room where it’s being deployed, rahter than spilling into adjacent spaces.

Integrators should also focus on wireless AV systems that are designed for enterprise environments. This makes life easier for both integrator and client.

Increasingly, new and forthcoming standards are providing additional flexibility for decreasing interference and maximising a WLAN’s capacity. Many organisations have made significant investments in wireless infrastructure and are reluctant to invest in newer APs.

So, now you know what to do to set up a wireless AV system for an enterprise. Do keep these points in mind when designing and integrating such a system and enjoy high-quality AV solutions at work and on the go!

To know more you can read this white paper from Infocomm. For more information on how to set up a wireless AV system for your enterprise, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

(Content courtesy: www.infocomm.org and images courtesy: www.infocomm.org and www.crestron.com)

AV Solutions, Audio Visual Consultants at Actis Technologies India