For more than 25 years Advanced AV has been a partner to a number of the most popular technologies in the AV, IT and collaboration markets.

From Cisco to Polycom and NEC to Christie, we have long been loyal and committed to working with great vendors who develop great products.

In the 1990’s one of the product categories that really took off for audiovisual spaces was the integrated room system. Whereas before, carts supported many technology spaces and projectors (mostly due to price), with the lower prices and higher quality of projectors came a robust interest in permanent technology installed into meeting and learning spaces.

As more and more devices became part of the system. Items such as VHS, DVD, computers and more, the mere number of remotes became cumbersome and this drove the requirement of something intelligent that could offer easy control of all of the devices in the room.

With this came the birth of the logic based control system for audiovisual systems.

Over the next 20 years two companies would dominate this market, the first being AMX, which was the first and the second being Crestron, which is now the biggest.  Later on other entrants came into the market, most notably Extron, but as a whole the control market has evolved with the IT market and now much of the room control has moved from analog and IR to primarily IP control.

For the most part the players in the control market have stayed the same, but this past week for the second time in less than 10 years the first player in the control game has been acquired.

Back in 2005, AMX was acquired and taken private for the first time by Duchossois Industries. The group was best known for their garage door business and their involvement in the horse racing trade. However, they were committed to AV and later made investments in Milestone and Da-Lite which have now merged forces and been largely sold off.

This week AMX found its way back to an industry legend as Harman International, best known for JBL Speakers purchased the control and switching company for ~365 Million dollars. This purchase will bring AMX back inside the walls of a publically traded organization.

What Does It Mean For Users?

While the sale came as a surprise to some in the industry, we speculate that the sale to Harman will mean good things for the company.

With a large variety of synergistic product lines and services, Harman will likely seek ways to incorporate the AMX offerings and technologies into other parts of their business. Additionally this will fill a much-needed void for any company in the AV industry and that is the switching and control of digital video and audio signals.

However, as a whole we see the transition as largely business as usual. Harman being well known as a holding company that maximizes the value of its business units, will find the most valuable components of the AMX business and will work to grow those while potentially phasing out areas that have been ignored or shown little promise and potential.

To learn more about the acquisition check out this article from The Business Wire. In the meantime we will be sure to update all or our clients as more news is available and of course on any affect that this transition has on your AMX systems.