Why seek the help of a systems integrator for a convention like NAB?

Try to stick with a systems integrator that represents an industry-wide, all-inclusive complement of equipment.

For someone looking to begin serious research into any range of audio and video equipment purchases, shows like NAB can be, to put it mildly, overwhelming. It's like going to New York City for three days and blindly searching for all the best restaurants without any restaurant guides. Yes, you may stumble across one or two very good places, but your chances of hitting a great place at every meal greatly increase if you consult the experts beforehand.

And your investment in a meal is considerably less significant than one in equipment, so it pays to consult with people who do this every day. Good systems integrators are committed to maintaining close relationships with their customers, so customers are always kept up to date on promising new technologies.

While integrators have no ties to specific manufacturers, we are in frequent communication with them and know the ins and outs of their product ranges and overall mechanics of their companies. Try to stick with a systems integrator that represents an industry-wide, all-inclusive complement of equipment. Not being tied to specify any particular brand name or product line keeps the process fluid. It allows the systems integrator to act quickly in response to what the customer needs.

Good systems integrators keep current on all the latest developments, know the players involved and are tied in to noted industry professionals. Chances are that they've recently worked on a project similar to the one you're calling about. Whether large or small, broadcast or webcast, corporate or a fixed venue installation, systems integrators are trained to address a broad range of integration issues. And this does not always mean a large-scale facility design and construction. Select systems integrators are also called upon for research, consultation and financial planning services as well as smaller-scale bench repair services.

Systems integrators perform a myriad of tasks, including designing and installing Internet streaming systems, microwave systems, automation systems, satellite earth stations, post production facilities, mobile television vehicles, network operation centers, systems maintenance, training operators, pre-building systems off-site and financial planning.

And with broadcasters throughout the nation making the digital transition, systems integrators can easily clear the way down that path because they've been there many times before. Qualified systems integrators will get you safely and efficiently through the digital path due to their attention to detail and experience leading others in exactly the same direction.

Speak with a respected systems integrator prior to NAB. I guarantee the show will prove significantly more productive than it would otherwise. It will be like having the top New York Times restaurant critic personally escort you to the best restaurants in Manhattan.

J.T. Duggin is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Digital System Technology, Inc.