Jul 10, 2023

Tips for maintaining AV system integrity

By AV Magazine in Sponsored story, Systems May 30, 2023 0

Nobody enjoys walking into a room to discover the AV system isn't working as expected. Learn how to create a better AV experience by improving system design and management without the pain.

Walking into a room to discover the AV system isn't working as expected is not a great experience. Troubleshooting begins and you realise someone has plugged a device into the wrong channel on the mixer, or worse, a key device is missing.

Why does this happen?Inherently putting our devices on the network makes changes somewhat less likely than when connecting devices point to point in a room. Since all devices get plugged into network switches, and routing audio and video is done in software, "unplugging" a device takes it offline. Once plugged back in, subscriptions resolve and the system works again.

This is an easier fix than trying to trace several different cables plugged into multiple devices. Placing switches and other equipment users do not need access to behind locked doors helps prevent chances of the unplugging bandit striking.

Now that we’ve secured the physical cables, how do we prevent changes to subscriptions in software, or at least make it easy to return the system to a known state?

If the in-room computer doesn't need network access to the AV devices, putting it on a separate VLAN prevents unwanted access to the devices in Dante Controller. With the switches physically secured, we can make sure no one is gaining access to the network with their own laptop to make changes.

Having presets saved on a per room basis prevents taking out your whole AV network when restoring a single space; the fewer the devices in the preset, the faster it will load.

Increase security and track changes easilyWith Dante Domain Manager, even when you open Dante Controller on a computer in the same VLAN as your devices, nothing will show up until you log in with your user credentials. You can give users different privilege levels from read-only access, to being able to change subscriptions, to full configurability, ensuring only authorised users can make changes. Since even experienced users might make unexpected changes, the Audit Log in Dante Domain Manager tracks all changes to the system, allowing you to revert the system to a known state with ease.

An often-overlooked feature of Dante Domain Manager is the ability to export all enrolled device details as a .csv file, which can be imported into an asset or inventory tracking database. Device details such as manufacturer, model, name, firmware version, and IP address are all tracked in a single convenient location. In addition to the default device information, there are blank fields on the device details page to fill in location, description, and comments that will also be exported.

Once we’re using networked AV, by locking down the physical and logical connections, we prevent many changes from even occurring in the first place. Utilising system presets means restoring to a known state is possible with just the click of a button.

Harness the full power of networked AV to make maintaining growing AV systems a little less painful.

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Why does this happen? Increase security and track changes easily AV Magazine