Behind the technology: how do AV systems work?

AV Systems
Written by Albert Finch

We might not realize it, but AV systems actually control a lot of our daily operations. These systems keep us connected and entertained, from our TVs to our BlueTooth speakers all day long.

However, many don’t understand how these systems work or where they’re used. Unfortunately, there’s no universal answer to ‘how do AV systems work?’ because AV systems refer to a broad range of technologies. While we can’t tell you how every AV system works (because we’d be here until 2030), we can explain how the AV systems that power your presentation equipment work.

Today, we’ll explain what AV systems are, why they’re important, where they’re used, and the secrets behind the AV technology you use to elevate your presentations, conferences, and so much more. To find out key information about your AV systems, keep reading.

What are AV systems?

Before we get into the specifics of how AV systems work, it’s crucial that we first understand what AV systems are. AV systems refer to audio-visual technology. These systems display visual content like videos or photos, and audio equipment such as microphones and speakers all count as AV systems. Essentially, these systems are the medium through which we receive sound and enjoy visual content.

However, AV systems are an umbrella term. These systems can refer to potentially thousands of pieces of technology that emit AV content. Everything from an interactive whiteboard to a wall controller is considered as an AV system. Chances are, if a piece of technology is either responsible for or plays a part in the distribution of audio and visual content, then it can be classified as an AV system.

Here are some prominent examples of AV systems:

  • TV
  • Speaker Interactive monitor Video wall Computer
  • Blu-ray player Radio
  • Motion picture Projector

Why are they important?

So, why are AV systems important? Well, as we mentioned, they make the world go round. Several crucial industries rely on them for their operations. From marketing to conferencing, AV systems are key players in distributing vital information.

Without these systems, global businesses wouldn’t be able to communicate with each other. As more companies adopt a hybrid or remote operation model, AV systems are vital to staying connected. Think about Times Square in Manhattan, New York.

We’re willing to bet that the first thing you picture is the bright billboards with advertisements. What if we told you that these advertisements wouldn’t be possible without AV technology? That’s right, AV technology allows the distribution of these images, and systems like LCD, LED, and rear-projection video walls display these in such high quality that they stick in consumers’ minds.

In summary, they are responsible for almost everything we consume as media or entertainment.

Where do we use them?

Aside from mass tourist attractions, AV systems are involved intimately without day-to-day lives. You’ll likely have several systems in your living room alone. However, it’s not just entertainment that relies on them. The business world also relies heavily on the success of the AV market, so these systems are littered around offices. Here are a few examples of locations that rely on them:

Control rooms

Control rooms are a hub of activity and rely on the efficient distribution of information to function effectively. For this reason, control rooms rely on AV equipment for dynamic displays and optimal control over their information flow.

Professionals can visualize their business operations with the help of AV systems, allowing them to have greater visibility and control over their everyday actions. You’ll usually find prominent technology like video walls, controllers, matrix switchers, and processors at play to control complex AV setups.


Let’s face it, presentations are sometimes enough to turn our stomachs, but these are vital features in everyday business. However, presentations wouldn’t have half of the impact that they do if it wasn’t for AV technology.

We tend to use interactive whiteboards and projectors to help us visualize and communicate crucial information in presentations; therefore, they rely on them. Better yet, presentations to mass audiences at trade shows rely on more extensive AV equipment like microphones and speakers to connect more effectively with an audience.

Conference rooms

Conference rooms are a prime example of where AV technology comes into its own. Conferencing equipment keeps us connected and allows us to have an in-person experience, even if we’re a thousand miles apart.

AV systems encapsulate everything from the conferencing platforms you harness to the webcam you use to show everyone your face. More extensive conference room setups that involve interactive display mechanisms or video walls may also incorporate more complex display equipment to isolate screens, display web-based content, and so much more!

How do AV systems work?

So, now you have a comprehensive understanding of what AV systems are, let’s discuss how they work. This question is tricky to answer, as they refer to a wide range of technologies. So, let’s narrow it down. We’ll discuss three technologies that we consider the most integral to a dynamic, interactive, and professional display.

Video wall controller

A video wall controller is a vital piece of equipment that helps to control a video wall. A video wall is a collection of monitors used in partnership to give the illusion of a single screen. This more dynamic and innovative display option differs from standard displays like monitors and whiteboards.

To function, these video walls use video wall controllers to manage several input and output signals. This AV system is a computer chassis that controls many monitors, allowing users to simultaneously display different content snippets. Users can drag and drop content, map output, overlay windows, and preview their input sources.

Video wall processor

A video wall processor is another integral piece of technology central to a video wall’s successful operation. This technology transforms input signals into viewable content for a video wall, ensuring you can see and understand footage.

A video wall processor uses multiple sources like monitors, satellite players, and media players via HDMI cables, processing these for display across a video wall. Users can scale their content up or down depending on their preference, assign user rights for operation, and optimize resolution.

Matrix switcher

A matrix switcher is a must-have piece of equipment for any size video wall project. This equipment is an all-in-one system that

switches between input signals and scales, converts, crops, and formats content for your video wall.

One of the most attractive qualities of a matrix switcher is that it can perform several controller and processor tasks from one easy system, providing users with greater accessibility for more complex projects.

On top of this, users can generate effects like fading in and out from static backgrounds to create more innovative and dynamic displays.

More from us: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Facebook Ad Agency in Hong Kong

Final thoughts

AV systems do a lot more than keep us connected. They’re a central feature of our entertainment and businesses and an extension of our lives, so we must acknowledge their complex yet impressive operation. Several AV systems, like those that control video walls, can allow us to create more dynamic displays to meet our key business objectives. Still, to do this, we must understand how they operate.

About the author

Albert Finch

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