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Securing AV Systems
Source: PRO AV Magazine
Publication date: October 1, 2005
By Tim Cape, CTS-D
Before the digital age of AV, security for an AV system meant either adding a locked door for the whole system or physical security panels on individual pieces of equipment. Audio equipment, in particular, such as equalizers, compressors, and amplifiers needed protection against anonymous tweakers. Some of these panels even had keys of their own. But with today's AV systems, it's no longer that simple.
Before DSP and networking took hold in AV, there was digital control of analog devices, primarily using the big three control technologies: RS232, IR, and relays. Because the control signals only went from the control system processor to each device on dedicated wiring, and control system programming was a relatively rare and esoteric art, there wasn't much security required in these systems except for the same old audio device protections. Later, with the advent of analog devices with built-in digital control at the front panel, physical security panels became less necessary in some cases. The front panel could simply be locked out while the analog device behind it kept working.
Now we have other concerns. DSP has become mainstream — at least for audio systems. And Ethernet, both wired and wireless, is now mandatory for almost any pro AV system. Spread spectrum, Bluetooth, and other wireless technologies are also showing up. All of these options have added more flexibility in pro AV systen.
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