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AV Buyers Guide

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WALK INTO ANY CONFERENCE ROOM and you are sure to find multi-media technology set up to facilitate collaboration. Whether a meeting is held face- to-face or a via web/video conference, the need to …

WALK INTO ANY CONFERENCE ROOM and you are sure to find multi-media technology set up to facilitate collaboration. Whether a meeting is held face- to-face or a via web/video conference, the need to easily access and display electronic information is critical to a meeting’s success. To facilitate the use of multi-media technologies, many organizations are updating conference rooms to support the latest in audio visual (AV) solutions. These solutions are designed to support a myriad of applications, including in-room presentations, audio conferencing, and video collaboration.

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  • 1. Audio Visual Buyers Guide Allow Teams to Collaborate in the Most Effective Way Possible WALK INTO ANY CONFERENCE ROOM and you are sure to find multi-media technology set up to facilitate collaboration. Whether a meeting is held faceto-face or a via web/video conference, the need to easily access and display electronic information is critical to a meeting’s success. To facilitate the use of multi-media technologies, many organizations are updating conference rooms to support the latest in audio visual (AV) solutions. These solutions are designed to support a myriad of applications, including in-room presentations, audio conferencing, and video collaboration. Audio Visual Environments Audio Visual Integration “When the technology is not properly integrated in a room, delays can occur and distract participants from the business matters at hand.” AUDIO VISUAL SOLUTIONS CAN only work reliably if the technology is properly integrated. The ability to effortlessly shift between multiples sources of content such as PC, SMART Board, or video is critical to a smooth meeting experience. When the technology is not properly integrated in a room, delays can occur and distract participants from the business matter at hand, hindering the meeting’s progress and effectiveness. In addition to integration, the actual room environment must be considered when designing an optimal meeting space. Poor lighting or acoustics can leave participants uncomfortable and unfocused, decreasing the productivity of a meeting. The location of a conference room within the building is also important, especially if it is in a highly traffic area and susceptible to distracting background noise. A successful room design not only focuses on the appropriate audio visual technology, but the design of the meeting space itself. Meeting Space Considerations Room Acoustics PROPER ACOUSTICS ENSURE AN OPTIMAL audio experience for both in-room and remote participants. Acoustics are determined by characteristics such as the room’s overall size, ceiling height, surface materials (wall/floor/ceiling), room shape, and participant seating locations. Noise Criteria (NC) curves should be used to determine whether an existing room’s acoustics are within an acceptable range. Room Lighting THE LIGHTING OF AN AV INTEGRATED conference room will determine the quality of the image that is viewed by remote participants during a video meeting. Incorrect lighting depicts a dark and possibly distorted image to the remote viewers. Light levels, direction, color temperature, table and wall color and finish all play an important role in video image quality. In addition, proper room lighting will ensure the highest level of comfort for local meeting participants. Room Furnishings THE TYPE OF FURNITURE USED can have a significant impact on meeting quality, especially when video conferencing is part of the solution. Furniture that minimizes the glare on video conferencing cameras should be chosen; such as light colors and non-glass tops. In addition, proper seating arrangements must be designed to provide optimal viewing and comfort for each participant.
  • 2. Audio Visual Buyers Guide Room Openings (Windows & Doors) WINDOWS AND DOORS CAN LET in excess lighting and noise that can become distracting. Black-out or other shades can eliminate excess light and reduce the glare in a room. Additionally, doors that minimize outside noise should be selected to reduce background distractions. Audio Visual Technology Considerations Display Technology THE CORRECT TYPE OF DISPLAY is determined by room size, budget, room aesthetics (including lighting), and customer expectations. The display technology chosen will have an impact on the budget, and will play a key role in the overall effectiveness of the audio visual solution. Options include plasma, LCD, and rear and front projection. A small screen can support a larger room dimension when solely displaying video content. However, when displaying PC and presentation content, a larger screen is required for optimal viewing. An AV vendor can recommend the proper display technology for the particular room. Flat Panel Displays: PLASMA: In a plasma display, gas is used to excite light photons, which produce color on the screen. While plasma screens provide the highest and most accurate representation of color, they are generally heavier and consume more energy than other displays. LCD: The technology to produce an LCD picture is slightly different from a plasma display. Each pixel has three colors: red, green and blue, plus a backlight. The liquid crystals, when energized, block certain colors from showing. This blocking effect produces the desired color. LCD displays are lighter than plasma displays and generally consume less energy. Projection: REAR PROJECTION: With a rear projection system, a projector is placed in a control room and the image is bounced off of a series of mirrors onto the rear of the projector screen. Rear projection allows the projector to remain hidden, eliminating any projector noise, and is less sensitive to ambient light. FRONT PROJECTION: In a front projection setup, the projector is hung from the ceiling or hidden in a drop-down platform. The image is then projected directly onto the front of the screen, eliminating the need for a rear projection control room. However, this setup becomes more susceptible to ambient light and does not hide projector noise. Audio Technology PROPER AUDIO TECHNOLOGY IS determined by room size and acoustics. Larger rooms will need more speakers and microphones to cover the space and ensure proper audio quality. Additionally, rooms in high traffic areas may need sound masking solutions to reduce distractions and unwanted noise from outside the room. SPEAKERS: Options include ceiling speakers, plasma/LCD mounted or wall mounted. The best option for most conference rooms is ceiling speakers as they provide the most uniform distribution of sound. MICROPHONES: Microphones are used for audio and video conferencing, and for in-room voice reinforcement. There are several choices of microphones, including in-table, on-table, or in-ceiling. SOUND MASKING: Sound masking technology masks the intelligibility of speech and other sounds through an unobtrusive background noise, similar to airflow, disseminated through ceiling mounted emitters. This helps mitigate any privacy concerns by ensuring sound does not “leak” into hallways in addition to reducing unwanted background noice. ECHO CANCELLATION: Echo is the result of microphones picking up audio from the speakers and returning it through the audio system resulting in remote participants hearing their own voices. Echo cancellers, along with adjustments to the type and placement of furniture, can help prevent echo.
  • 3. Audio Visual Buyers Guide Video Conferencing ONCE CONSIDERED A LUXURY, video has become standard in most conference rooms. Video systems involve wall-mounted displays and camera(s) and a hardware device, known as a codec, to drive that system. Generally the codec and supporting equipment is rack-mounted and kept out of sight. An AV vendor with extensive video conference experience can seamlessly integrate video conferencing into any conference room. Video Sources THE NEED TO DISPLAY DIFFERENT VIDEO and content sources generally occurs throughout the course of a meeting. Sources can include PC content, DVDs, Blu-Ray, cable/satellite, and more. A matrix switcher allows customers to route multiple video sources to multiple video outputs or destinations. Additionally, a table hatch can be installed, allowing for convenient access to power, video connections, and network connectivity. Control System A CONTROL SYSTEM INTEGRATES the operation of all components in a room into one easy to use device. Proper configuration allows users to interact with one control panel instead of twelve different remotes; essentially, the push of a button on the touchpanel control system will send out instructions to each component of the room. For example, switching from a video conference to a presentation or interactive white board, or adjusting the lighting, shades or volume within the room. Control systems vary in size, functionality, and physical characteristics. Choosing an AV Solution Center THERE IS A LOT TO CONSIDER when designing and implementing an AV meeting space. The integrator that is chosen to design, implement and support an integrated room will have a direct impact on both the successful functionality of the room, as well as the user’s ability to obtain the highest return on investment (ROI). At a minimum, an AV vendor must have: DESIGN EXPERTISE: The vendor must understand the unique room requirements and design a solution that best addresses these requirements, in addition to any technical and environmental challenges within the project. DEDICATED PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Strong project management is critical for projects to be completed on time and on budget. A good project manager must have strong communication skills and be able to work with electricians, carpenters, general contractors, and other trades. TECHNICAL CERTIFICATIONS: AV technology is complex and constantly changing, therefore the vendor must staff fully certified AV designers, technicians and support personnel to ensure the proper installation and support of the room. In addition, an AV vendor should stay current on the latest trends and technology in order to provide a lasting partnership. CONTROL SYSTEM PROGRAMMING EXPERTISE: A control system is at the heart of any audio visual solution. The AV solution center should have in-house programming capabilities so they can tailor the control system to the user’s particular room and needs. An AV integrated conference room or environment can help an organization collaborate more effectively and thoroughly increase the productivity of employees. With so many technical, physical, and aesthetic choices, it is necessary to seek a vendor with an excellent track record of successful projects to ensure the room delivers the most powerful collaborative experiences possible. www.ivci.com ©2013 IVCi, LLC 050113 601 Old Willets Path Hauppauge, NY 11788 Tel 800.224.7083 Fax 631.273.7277

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