Unintended Obsolescence

October 15, 2008

Unintended obsolescence for technology is a natural result of progress, where some things cease to be functional as the result of a particular event.

Three (3) years from now, very few commercial buildings that are complete, under construction or in the design phase will have the ability to share multimedia content due to their installed infrastructure.  Some of their systems are on the way to obsolete. 

Why?

It comes down to the protection of ownership rights.  To protect the owners of multimedia, a technology known as High Definition Content Protection (HDCP) will be implemented in 2012.  HDCP will affect video, music, Internet content and presentation material for computers, TV, Blu-ray players, digital signage and a host of other devices.  Once multimedia content is protected by HDCP, these devices will not work properly.

Simply stated, this protection changes the technology requirements to support HDCP.  Only those that plan for the coming changes will be prepared.  And very few have planned for this.

From the property owner or architect’s viewpoint, the issues to consider are the infrastructure (what cable is installed) and the required equipment.  Equipment can be changed or added, but infrastructure is a different story.   High bandwidth secure HDCP content specifically requires fiber optic or specialty cable.  And, very few buildings have either installed.  Few people are planning for it.  It may not be wrong to suggest that few even know this is an issue.

NTI is aware, understands and can provide a solution.  The solution is a determination of need, distances, and budgets.  It is not a ‘one size fits all’.   It is a convergence of technologies, technologies for which we have provided planning and design services since 1998.

We wanted to alert our clients, and prospective clients, to this potential concern.  Unintended obsolescence may  be a natural result of progress but knowing it’s coming allows us to plan and prepare for it. While we would certainly hope you would hire NTI, we strongly urge you to hire someone to address this issue.  And should you have questions, or care to discuss this, please call me.

by Allen Schulte, CTS

NTI

 

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