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From trade association to standards body: InfoComm spreads its wings

“Standards development is an integral part of the development of professions seeking to be recognised as legitimate and distinct,” says InfoComm executive director Randal Lemke (pictured). “As the AV industry works closely with industries that use standards, such as architecture, IT, telecommunications and more, it became obvious that AV standards are necessary to grow the profession to the next level. InfoComm has already assembled a substantial body of knowledge through the development of its courses and Best Practices manuals, which makes becoming an ANSI Standards-Setting organisation a logical next step.”

The AV standards InfoComm intends to develop will focus on the physical measurements of systems performance – not just in video criteria such as contrast ratios, but in related fields such as audio sound pressure levels. The emphasis will be on system performance, not on individual product or technology standards. With these standards, InfoComm hopes that designers will be able to specify the output performance of systems and subsystems for customers, so that when an installed facility is put into use, system performance can be verified against these standards.

InfoComm is adamant that while it will lead the Standards-Setting activity, the standards it creates will benefit the whole industry and its customers. It says the standards will be developed through a disciplined ANSI process to reach consensus among everyone involved with AV systems – though it pointedly does not mention the participation of any other trade associations, such as NSCA or CEDIA, with whom InfoComm has recently had a spat regarding the development of training standards in the US.