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AV over IP system: build as a standalone network or as part of the IT network?

Shadow Networks, Island Networks, Converged Networks: What Approach Is Best for my AV over IP System?

Pete “The Tec Man” Coman was a recent guest of the SDVoE LIVE! show. Justin Kennington posed these questions to Pete, “Should I build my AV over IP system as a standalone network? Or should I build my AV over IP system as part of the IT network?”. Here are a few highlights of the conversation:

  • Security was one topic threaded throughout the conversation. Pete commented, “…some people think of a converged network as utilizing the same cabling infrastructure as IT, but a true network convergence is really the coexistence of multiple systems. For example, you have your data or IT, your telephony, AV, and security, allowing these disparate systems to connect and communicate on a single IT network with segregation being provided by virtual VLANs or VLANs.
  • Pete recommended not building your AV over IP network as a shadow network—a network that is totally isolated or segregated, not connected to the main IT network. It’s typically unmanaged and it’s typically installed without the approval of the IT department. And those types of networks pose a huge security risk to any organization. So, it should be avoided at all costs.”
  • Justin posed a devil’s advocate argument, “I’m the AV team. I’m scared of those IT guys. Every time I go to them and I say I need something for the network, they tell me no or they tell me I’ve got to pass this security level, blah, blah, blah.” Which I don’t even know what that level means! “I’m going to set up a couple of switches… run my cables and I’m going to have my AV over IP. Why not?”
  • Pete cautioned against the security risks of this approach and cited an example from last year. “There was the pipeline that suffered a ransomware cyberattack. There is so much of this hacking happening. What will happen when it’s discovered that your unauthorized network was the malware’s entry point? Why take that chance?”

To hear more of this fascinating and thought-provoking discussion, listen in to the full episode here.

AV User Experience in the news 

Follow these links (at the bottom of the episode page) to see recently published news articles related to the Convergence topic. “The Benefits of Cloud-based AV Management,” “IP Network Convergence Requires That AV Pros Gain IT Networking Skills,” and “AV and IT Must Collaborate for Successful IP Network Convergence.”

What’s next? 

Join us every other Tuesday at 1 PM ET (New York) for a fresh episode of SDVoE LIVE! in SDVoE Academy or on THE rAVe Agency’s LAVNCH platform.

Upcoming SDVoE LIVE! shows

Join us on Tuesday, February 8 for our next episode, “Pro AV Requirements Capture: Are You Asking the Right Questions?” Get the latest info at


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