How is audio-visual technology helping businesses?

The business world is constantly changing and in recent years we’ve seen a shift in the ways in which businesses are run. The workplace is no longer a single physical space where all employees are present since a large percentage of businesses have employees and clients scattered across the world.

This causes issues with communication. With employees scattered across the globe, how are businesses able to ensure that they maintain a good level of communication with clients and employees, and keep them fully involved with the performance of the business? The solution is audio-visual technology. AV technology facilitates communication in numerous ways which increases productivity in the workplace and enables international corporations to maintain close relationships with overseas departments, ensuring that each department works cooperatively and efficiently. The following types of AV are particularly useful if you are looking to improve communication within your business…

Video Conferencing

The fast paced nature of business means that decisions need to be made quickly and communication needs to be fast. Video conferencing facilities allow for businesses to instantly connect with others as and when needed, and even when they are on the go. The benefits of video conferencing include more efficient meetings with the exchange of non-verbal communications and a stronger sense of community among business contacts, both within and between companies, as well as with customers. The face-to-face connection allows participants to develop a stronger sense of familiarity with clients/colleagues they may never actually meet in person, which helps to improve working relationships.

Other benefits of video conferencing include lower travel costs, especially for employee training, and a reduction in the amount of time spent on projects as a result of improved communications among team members.

Interactive Technology

SMART whiteboards are a great way to engage with others in brainstorming sessions and they help to reinforce the learning process since they offer a clear and captivating means of presenting information to others. People respond well to visual aids as well as being able to collaborate on ideas, meaning interactive technology is the perfect solution for certain meeting spaces.

Digital Signage

Digital signage is an effective way to display and promote content around your organisation and is swiftly becoming one of the largest areas for growth within the B2B audio visual sector. Content can even be disseminated from a central location and sent to screens in other offices owned by your business.

Digital screens can be used to share values, information, examples of work, staff information, and important industry news. Signage is also extremely useful for visitors to your organisation since screens positioned around waiting areas can be used to showcase important information about your company, such as recent projects and successes.

Home Cinema Projector Guide

Setting up your own home cinema has never been as easy as it is today, but there are a few things you need to take into account in order to get exactly what you’re looking for.

This guide will discuss a few important things you need to consider when making your choice…

Resolution

The most common resolution for home cinema projectors is currently 1080p, however there are now 4K ultra HD projectors which have a much higher resolution. 4K delivers the best results for home cinemas since on most screen sizes you won’t see the individual pixels, meaning it produces a smooth, high quality image.

However, don’t forget that your source material will make a big difference to the quality of your projected image. High quality sources are best viewed on projectors that do justice to high definition source material. Therefore, if you’re investing in 4K content such as Blu-Ray, then you might want to consider investing in a 4K home cinema projector to get the most out of what you’re paying for. 

Contrast Ratio 

This is the ratio between the white and black areas in an image. The larger the contrast ratio of a projector, the greater the difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks a projector can deliver. In practice, higher contrast ratios mean a better image because there is a higher level of projected brightness, which means your image appears less faded.

Brightness

Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. Home theatre projectors generally start out at about 1000 lumens and range upwards to 2500 lumens and more. The number of lumens your projector needs depends on your viewing environment. It is better to have the room dark with as little ambient light as possible since this will not require as much brightness. 

Throw Ratio

Throw is the distance between the projector and the projection surface. Throw ratio is the relationship between that distance and the width of the projected image. For example, if a projector has a 2:1 throw ratio, then for every  2 feet increase in distance, the projected image will widen by 1 foot.

Therefore, depending on how far away your projector will be, you should make sure the throw ratio is sufficient to fill the surface you’ll be projecting onto.

Lamp Life 

Finally, don’t forget to consider the ongoing maintenance and cost requirements of your new home cinema system. Most home cinema projectors typically have a lamp life of between 2,000 and 5,000 hours, but this refers to the "half-life" of the lamp which is the point at which the lamp is half as bright as it was when it was new. Longer lamp life means lower maintenance costs as you won’t need to replace the projector lamp as frequently. 

However, if you want to avoid maintenance costs, laser projectors are an increasingly popular alternative championed for their cost efficiency and high quality images.

What to look for when selecting new products 

As AV suppliers our inbox is always inundated with messages from suppliers pitching us the 'newest and best' products.  

Unfortunately, nearly every one of these products are complete garbage and as a result these days we spend more time deleting messages than actually reading them. 

In the ever-changing technological landscape, it has become more important than ever to go out and find new products rather than waiting for them to come to us. It's simply unviable for our business to continually sell or install the same products we have in the past. 

This isn't to say it's essential to go out and find a product that will revolutionise the AV industry and the way you work, new products come in all shapes and sizes, therefore a new product might just make your work more efficient or easier. 

Lee Distad [Rave Publications] has identified some key considerations we feel are essential for any AV company purchasing new products to take on board. 

  •  Is it easy to install or difficult?  

The number one thing to take on board when considering purchasing a new product is whether the product will speed up our installs, reduce waste and deliver value to the client. 

  • Does this new brand exemplify the technology it uses?  

A second consideration should be whether the product is simply another off the shelf product. Or is the product a leader within its own category? As Lee Distad points out, although you should place emphasis on promoting your companies own expertise and not on the shiny equipment that you use, AV pros typically work with brands that are the leaders in their category as these brands are where they are because their products are the best at what they do. 

So remember, whilst some products may have an attractive looking profit margin, this isn't enough! You need products that are going to provide your clients with the best looking, and most effective installs. 

  • Find out how this new brand works with your existing control system

"It’s one simple sentence, but it matters a lot. Does your control vendor write modules for it? Is there an existing community of nerds with a knowledge database you can mine? Are you going to have to write everything from scratch?"- Lee Distad

Arguably the most important step is finding out how potential new products might affect your existing systems, if you don’t your engineers will most definitely let you know! 

 

We hope this blog has helped shed some light on the sort of questions you should ask yourself when purchasing new products! Comment what you managed to take from the post and what you'd perhaps like to see next time...