In 2002, TomTom created a new product category with it’s Personal Navigation Devices. You know, those square navigation systems mounted to your car windshield with a suction cup.

Just 10 years later, you didn’t see many of those devices hanging over the dashboards of passing cars; just the milky ringed shadow of a forgotten technology.

Today, every smart phone comes with a navigation system. The TomTom solution was hardware defined. It required special hardware to run the navigation software.

Now the solution is software defined. The software doesn’t care where it runs. As long as a few minimal requirements are met, you are good to go.

Software Defined AV/IT

A software defined revolution is underway in AV.

Touchpanels are often replaced with iPads and other smart tablets. Digital matrix switchers are about to have ridden into the sunset to join their analog predecessors.

One-rack-unit network switches have eagerly taken their place.


Freedom (with a price)

Not the Mel Gibson as William Wallace screaming, “Freeeeeedom!”, in Braveheart kind of freedom.

The kind of freedom that lets you run your software on multiple platforms.

On your laptop, in the cloud, on a virtual machine – even on a $35 mini-computer.

The software doesn’t care.

Neither do your real customers – the end-users.

Embracing software gives you the freedom to…

  • Use modern and efficient editors.
  • Adopt and expand upon other people’s work.
  • Take advantage of and contribute to open source projects.
  • Develop and deploy custom solutions that earn recurring revenue.

But with freedom comes responsibility. You need to own the solution.

There will be no manufacturer to bail you out if things do not go as planned.

Training will be different too.
Luckily, the internet is full of information.
Some of it is helpful, some of it is even true. 😉

But in the world of Software Defined AV, information is sparse.

That’s why I make the free tutorials and paid courses here on

And it is why I interview industry pros for their advice on Integrating Technology.

We live in an integrated world full of API’s and data.

Let’s make sure the AV community is a part of it with modern, open software.

Patrick Murray