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Audio Visual Bend Blog

Making Room for AV

April 28th, 2021

Photo and Graphic Design By: Kate Couch with Canva

Picking an AV rack that’s right for your setup.
 
Written By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando
 
In past articles, we’ve mentioned how AV can be an eyesore or a design statement. This flows into lots of areas AV. Something that’s become more popular in recent years is cable design or cable management. With technology becoming more and more popular in more aspects of the workplace and in your home, cables tend to clutter up a space. The same goes with audiovisual cables, equipment, and behind-the-scenes stuff that keeps things running. There’s a solution to this called an AV rack. An audio-visual rack is basically a storage shelf designed to hold audio-visual equipment and manage cables. They make some really cool ones that have interesting designs and they make the less cool metal ones you might see in a closet behind the desk. Choosing the right AV rack is important so your AV setup in-home or in your company can last you several years and be easily accessible for maintenance. But how do you choose the right one?
 
Deciding where you’re going to place your AV rack and how big is going to be is the first step. If you choose an AV rack that’s too large your equipment might not fit properly in it making it harder for you to use and harder for other people to use and service. In addition to this, if your AV rack is put in an area of your home or office that’s hard to reach or frequently cluttered with things, you pose the same problem as before. It’s good to talk to the person who’s installing your audio-visual system and ask them what size AV rack they think you need. It’s good for the client to plan out a good area of your commercial space or home that is easily accessible, not frequently cluttered, but also is in a good spot for the AV setup itself. Taking these things into an account will set you on the right track for getting the right system.
 
Some other things to consider in addition to size and space are RU count, which is the “rack unit count” that is in the same category as sizing and your local AV professional can help with this.
 
Make sure to take into consideration what your plans for a space and for the AV in the building are for the future. Planning ahead of time can save you money in the long run since you’ll be avoiding having to redo everything to fit your new needs.
 
Did you include Storage? People frequently forget to add storage onto their AV racks. Whether it’s for additional cables, remotes, batteries, wires, tools, etc it’s more important than you know. Whatever you might need to store with your other audiovisual equipment can frequently slip the mind and when you’re done with the setup and you have nowhere to put these things so you’re screwed.
 
Equipment BTU is also an important one that can easily slip the mind. Equipment BTU is the measure of how much of the heat produced by the equipment makes it into your home. This is important to consider when placing your av rack. Making sure you have proper ventilation and airflow to prevent overheating and short-circuiting. In addition, consider the network infrastructure.
 
You want to keep in mind when choosing a design of a rack how it’s used. Where is the access, (front, rear, sides, depth) how will that fit in your space? Where is the power access and how easy is it to manage. Do you need it to swivel or be a pull system.? Is it better if it’s fixed to a wall?
 
 
If you consider all these things you should be good for a long-lasting easily accessible AV rack and set up in your commercial space or home. Make sure to reach out to your local AV company (like AV Bend) for installation rates and for more information on AV storage and racks.
 
*This article is Tony Sprando of AV Bends intellectual property. To use or reference this article please contact: Tony@avbend.com*
 
To know more about Tony and his professional profile see these:
 
 
 
 
To know more about Kate and her professional profile see these:
 
 
 
 

The Internet of Things (IOT)

April 20th, 2021

Photo and graphics created by Kate Couch with Canva

What is the IOT and how will it affect AV?
 
Written By: Kate Couch
 
Earlier this month we mentioned how we would be going into depth about the Internet of Things. What is the Internet of Things? Simply put the Internet of Things is: device, connection, and data collection. It also is the number of devices connected to the internet. With everything from scales, TVs to your refrigerator “everything” nowadays is a smart device, meaning that it has the ability to be connected to the internet. The idea that everything will soon become connected to the internet or how many things are connected to the internet is called The Internet of Things or IOT.
 
Currently, there are 27.6 billion gadgets connected to the internet according to multiple sources. People also predict that by the end of 2021 there will be 46 billion devices connected to the internet. These numbers are insane And according to an article done by Sloan in 2018, there were 17 billion devices connected to the internet so in three years an roughly additional 10 billion Devices were created to be able to connect to the internet.
 
Audio-visual has a huge play in IOT mostly because audio-visual falls under a lot of the categories of these gadgets. Microphones, sound systems, TVs, projectors, smart audio, and lighting equipment, all of these things are now connected to the internet. Earlier in an AV career, a considerable amount of these things would not be connected to the internet. There was no need for your projector to connect to the internet, it connected to your computer which connected to the internet. There is no need for your light bulb to connect to the internet or your microphone but now all these things do and it heavily affects how we do things in our industry.
 
A huge part of IOT is data collection. The idea of data collection scares a lot of people. It goes back to the age-old belief that the government is wiretapping your homes and now for most people that is in-home assistant devices like Alexa. There is no proof for this theory that the government is listening to your conversations even when you do not interact with your home device. However, there is still data collection behind those things. In a corporate office, this can be extremely useful for a multitude of reasons.
 
The nice thing about data is it’s universal so even though it’s only collecting one type of data it can apply to many different areas. If you want to cut your electric bill cost down you can look at the data your smart devices have collected to see where you’re wasting electricity. If you want a performance scan on your projectors or your audio equipment you no longer have to have people come out and tell you that your equipment is outdated or have them troubleshoot. A lot of times now the beginning steps of troubleshooting can be done from your phone. Many of the smart things we see in our homes will soon be incorporated into the corporate office.
We talked about this on our blog a couple of weeks ago. The idea of having a smart home can look much like having a smart office. The ability to control lighting, sound, what doors are locked, who’s in who’s room, all from the small device that fits in your back pocket.
 
This data collection in addition to being used for clients of AV homes and offices can also be used for audiovisual team members themselves. Through this constant data collection, you can see how your customer’s equipment is performing or understand the needs of your client better through data collection of other smart devices in their home. The options of data collection through IOT are endless and it’s honestly the most astounding part. Even though it’s cool that all of your devices can be connected to the internet the part that really stands out, unlike any other time in history is the data collection. This is the first time in human history that we can collect and retrieve data so fast. To instantly get the analytics on any device we have almost no matter what it’s used for… it’s revolutionary.
 
IOT is a large subject that we will be going more in-depth within later weeks. But the takeaway today is that the Internet of Things is a vast, interconnected world that doesn’t just affect AV it affects nearly every industry, in every aspect of life that involves a device.
 
*This article is Tony Sprando of AV Bends intellectual property. To use or reference this article please contact: Tony@avbend.com*
 
To know more about Tony and his professional profile see these:
 
 
 
 
To know more about Kate and her professional profile see these:
 
 
 
 

Zoom Setups

April 13th, 2021

Graphic Design by, Kate Couch Photo by, Canva

Finding the right equipment for your virtual meetings.
(Click on the title to see linked websites)
Written By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando
 
Many companies are now using the application Zoom for virtual meetings. This solves a lot of problems and even post-pandemic will probably be used on a regular basis. Virtual meetings are extremely efficient and helpful for traveling or non-local employees. However, getting the proper set up so you can have efficient meetings is crucial. Gathered below is a list of video and audio equipment made specifically with virtual meetings in mind. Maybe you’ll find one that’ll be just right for your company. Most of these Products do require AV installation. Make sure to reach out to a local AV company ( like AV Bend!) to find the right products and set-up for you.
 
Price $
 
The Meeting Owl Pro is a 360-degree camera, mic, and speaker device for meetings. You would set this device on the center of the meeting table and when someone was to talk the camera would spin and face that person. There are multiple cameras inside of the head so the spin would not be drastic. Is described as an extremely immersive experience making meetings easy to have and there is no need to crowd together in front of a single angle camera. It can connect with their other technology that makes meetings easier known as their meeting headquarters which is a tablet that connects to other products and a host be the Hub of the meeting. It is ideal for large room meetings with lots of members and people who want something that is easy and efficient. It comes with a two-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
 
Price $$
 
Logitech teamed up with Zoom to create what they coined is Zoom room Solutions which is a bunch of products specifically designed to help with Zoom meetings. They have packages that are called Zoom room packages that come with cameras, microphones, and host hub tablets. They have way more information on their website but it can go from something as simple as a camera as a one angled camera microphone duo that can sit on a desk all the way up to multiple cameras in a full set up if you choose to go with something like that you may be better off having an audiovisual company install it for you. They have over a dozen products for you to find the right one for your company. Logitech Zoom room solutions are best for people who need a wide range of options and to use Microsoft and PC software.
 
Price: Require individual quotes
An IP-based platform for AV control, plus room scheduling and AV asset management. It does not have a microphone or camera setup, however, it is a great way to control a Zoom room that already has an audio-visual technology plan integrated into the room. It is also good for any other technology you want to connect with. This is a bit more intricate of a system and would require an audio-visual company to set it up and get it started in your workspace. If you plan on using Zoom or other audio-visual technology-based programs long-term this is a good option for you.
Price: $$-$$$
Legrand has a very large selection of high-quality cameras used for all over a room. From the ceiling to the walls, on tables, and in other areas, they have a camera that will fit. They have something that not a lot of other companies have, ceiling microphones. Ceiling microphones are super convenient for people who need a lot of table space and want something that is aesthetically pleasing and out of the way. Legrand Has some of the most high-tech setups and product options but do you require a lot of planning and an AV team to set up. If you want something that you plan to be semi-permanent, sleek, and high-quality Legrand is the company for you.
Price: $$
Extron is a camera mic combo that comes with a control tablet similar to other companies. It is good for small to medium-sized companies that don’t have people that don’t have more than five or six people in a meeting at a time. They have excellent audio quality and aren’t as simple as the Owl Labs, but not as high-tech as some of the others. It would require some professional AV set-up, but very minimal compared to what other products need. It’s also a good option for Apple users as they cater to that specifically in addition to Microsoft/PC. If you’ve got a small space with, limited budget but still want something that has high quality this is a good option for you.
 
 
Price: $$$
 
The Crestron Workspace solutions UC-B30-T is a camera microphone combo with a control panel and built-in wall mount for the system and TV/ Monitor. This is one of the spender solutions on the list, however, it’s an extremely easy process to set it up and the materials are high-quality. It’s ideal for meetings under 10 people who don’t need a lot of fancy camera angles or microphone setup. If you have a company that’s fast-paced and wants a solution that’s going to be, quick, efficient, and still have excellent quality this is a great solution for you. Unfortunately, they only cater to Microsoft users.
 
 
 
Price: $-$$
 
Stem audio has some of the sweetest microphone and speaker solutions on the market today. Using Shure audio combined with the designs needed for virtual meetings they created 5 products for users to choose from. If you already have a good camera setup or are doing virtual meetings via Audio Only stem audio is definitely something to consider. They’re on the cheaper end for such high-quality audio equipment.
 
The pricing of the solutions that we listed also varies based on how easy or difficult they are to install. Once you get an idea of a couple you might be interested in it’s best to reach out to your local AV company (like AV Bend!) to see how much it is going to cost you to solve the specific problems that you have with virtual meetings. Luckily over the last year, a lot has been designed and put out on the market so whether you have a budget over $1,000 or under $1,000 there’s going to be something that will work for you.
 
To know more about Tony and his professional profile see these:
 
 
 
 
To know more about Kate and her professional profile see these:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“Alexa clean out my desk”

April 6th, 2021

Image and graphic design by, Kate Couch and Canva

How will smart devices be used in the corporate world in years and months to come?
 
Written By: Kate Couch
 
Last year the corporate office took a large turn as many of us had to begin working remotely from home. This created an entirely new world for audiovisual- Zoom. Zoom as most companies are aware is an online video conferencing platform that is for personal, educational, and corporate use. Since this is now one of the primary ways that offices and businesses have meetings a lot of them have been needing a dedicated space or what we at Audio-Visual Bend call a zoom-room. These zoom-rooms have become very popular over the last year and many corporate offices have incorporated them into the workspace. It can look like only an audio-visual setup or accompanied by complete acoustical treatment. But with this drastically new technology becoming popular so quickly it poses the question, what other highly technological things will be introduced into the corporate world in the upcoming months and years?
 
The statements, “Alexa schedule my meetings for next week” or “hey Google what conference room is open?” Might sound a little outlandish, they’re actually both current technology used in the corporate world. Starting in 2018 Amazon launched Alexa for business which is an Alexa platform designed for more business-type use, scheduling meetings, general questions around the office, dimming lights, etc. It’s a very unique idea that something we use in our homes could also be so useful in the office. These AI personal assistants are now available to anyone no matter their title of job. With Alexa for business, Alexa can communicate with the Amazon Echo devices (full-size, dot, or other) assigned to each room and answer you with something like, “The conference room near the IT deck is empty.” You can also say things like, “Alexa, book me a conference room” with the time and date. You can also schedule it out further or see if any are available right away.
 
This new tech is extremely efficient but also goes to show how much audio-visual will be part of almost every corporate business in years to come. Virtual conference rooms, acoustical treatment plans, high-tech phone systems, Wi-Fi, and possibly even Echo and Alexa setup and design could all be things that are more common in years to come. It currently hasn’t caught on as well as it probably will in the next year, In Unit4’s 2017 Enterprise Tech End-User Sentiment Survey, they found that 38% of professionals affirmed that they use a digital assistant like Alexa for personal reasons; only 11% use it in their professional lives. They asked that 38% if they would trust a digital assistant like Alexa for a work-related task, 54% thought they would. This shows the interest is there and it will just take time for it to trickling into our offices and workspaces.
Because of what has happened in the past year all corporate offices have been forced to rise to the level of tech. Unfortunately, we will see a lot of small businesses fall behind because they can’t keep up with it. The idea that everything is going to be high-tech and connected to Wi-Fi is called The Internet of Things or IOT. On our blog, we will be doing more articles in the weeks to come on this topic. The internet of things is going to affect the corporate world and a very large way and it’s going to affect Audio Visual in even a larger way; as we both have to incorporate it into our offices but also be able to incorporate it into others as our clients. So follow along if you want to know more about IOT and high-tech things that audiovisual will be incorporating and general corporate offices will be incorporating in the future.
 
To know more about Tony and his professional profile see these:
 
 
 
 
To know more about Kate and her professional profile see these:
 
 
 
 
 
Sources:
 
 
 

Audio Visual Glossary 

March 31st, 2021

Audio Visual Glossary 

Photo by: Money Mart

Written By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando 

 

Whether you’re new to the audio-visual world or an old pro, a glossary of words to help you understand what we’re referencing in our articles and communications with you is a helpful tool. Below is some common audio-visual lingo with its proper definitions. It’s broken up into different categories, video, audio, av it, lighting, and general.

 

Video 

 

ANSI  – American National Standards Institute. Where does it apply? ANSI, lumens in relation to a projector the brightness of a projector.

 

DLP  – Digital Light Processing(c) by Texas Instruments. A projection system that has technology based on the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). It uses thousands of microscopic mirrors on a chip focused through an optical system to display images on the screen.

Front screen projection  – a system that employs a light-reflecting screen for use when the image will be projected from a source in front of the screen.

LCD – Liquid Crystal Display.

LCoS – Liquid Crystal on Silicon

LED – Light Emitting Diode.

Viewing angle – the viewing angle determines how far off the axis (screen centerline) a viewer can still sit and still see a quality image. This is no greater than 45 degrees off the projection axis.

Zoom lens – lenses that allow the operator to adjust the focal length for sizing or distance.

Lumen – a measure of the light quantity emitted from a constant light source across one square meter.

Matte white screen – evenly disperses light 240 degrees uniformly, both horizontally and vertically, creating a wide viewing cone and wide viewing angle.  Below is a common site for buying screens

https://www.legrandav.com/categories/screen-surfaces?#sort=relevancy&numberOfResults=20&f:Brand=[Da-Lite

 

Codec– There are two kinds, soft codec, which would be google hang out, web x, or zoom they live on my butt or are “butt-based.” Conference or hardware codec would be a conference call hosted by the person indicating the call, poli-cons.

native resolution – The number of rows of horizontal and vertical pixels that create the picture. The native resolution describes the actual resolution of the imaging device and not the resolution of the delivery signal.

Nit – the metric unit for the screen, or surface brightness.

Pixel – an acronym for picture element. The small element used to build a digital image.

Ratio – the comparison of two quantities. Aspect ratio 16:10 16:9 4:3 

Rear screen projection – a presentation system in which the image is projected through a translucent screen toward the audience; projecting an image through a translucent screen material for viewing from the opposite side, as opposed to front projection.

Resolution – 1. the amount of detail in an image. 2. the number of picture elements (pixels) in a display.

Scaler – feature in a display device that changes the size of an image without changing its shape. Scaling may be required when the image size does not fit the display device.

Throw distance – the length of the projection beam necessary for a particular projector to produce an image of a specified size. It’s common to use a throw distance calculator like the one linked below https://www.projectorcentral.com/projection-calculator-pro.cfm

Mixer – a device for blending multiple audio sources.

Audio 

 

Bi-directional polar pattern  – the shape of the region where some microphones will be most sensitive to sound from the front and rear while rejecting sound from the top, bottom, and sides.

 

Boundary microphone  – a microphone that relies on reflected sound from a surrounding surface.

 

Cardioid  – a heart-shaped region where some microphones will be most sensitive to sound predominately from the front of the microphone diaphragm and reject sound coming from the sides and rear.

SPL– Sound pressure level. Sound pressure or acoustic pressure is the local pressure deviation from the ambient atmospheric pressure, caused by a sound wave. In the air, sound pressure can be measured using a microphone, and in water with a hydrophone. The SI unit of sound pressure is the pascal. See more here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSRwM2yy3co 

Delay– an audio signal processing device or circuit used to retard the speed of transmission on one or more audio signals or frequencies.

Dynamic microphone  – a pressure-sensitive microphone of moving coil design that transduces sound into electricity using electromagnetic principles. Linked is the Shure SM58 one of the most popular dynamic microphones on the market today. Shop

Echo cancellation  – a means of eliminating echo from an audio path. Learn more from this website below https://wiki.analog.com/resources/tools-software/sigmastudio/toolbox/adialgorithms/aec

Feedback  – 1. unwanted noise caused by the loop of an audio system’s output back to its input. 2. in a control system, data supplied to give an indication of status, i.e., on or off.

Gain  – 1. electronic signal amplification. 2. the ability of a projection screen to concentrate light. + gain b4 feedback  

Lavalier – a small microphone designed to be worn either around the neck or clipped to apparel.

Midrange – loudspeakers that reproduce midrange frequencies, typically 300 Hz – 8,000 Hz. high mid and low 

Mixer – a device for blending multiple audio sources. 

Monophonic – uses input from all microphones and relays them from the electronic control system to the loudspeakers using a single path or channel.

Notch filter – “notches out,” or eliminates, a specific band of frequencies.

Omnidirectional – describes the shape of the area for microphones that have equal sensitivity to sound from nearly all directions. Like the SM58 as well as a directional microphone 

Phantom power – a direct current (DC) power source available in various voltages. Commonly found on audio mixers and interfaces required by most condenser microphones. 

Point-source – a sound system that has a central location for the loudspeaker(s), mounted high above, intended to cover a large area; typical of a performance venue or a large house of worship.

Shotgun microphone – a long, cylindrical, highly sensitive, unidirectional microphone used to pick up sound from a great distance.

Speakon(c) – specialized connector used to hook up speakers without causing a short circuit; allows connection of speaker while working, or hot.

Array speakers – Or line array, A-line array is a loudspeaker system that is made up of a number of usually identical loudspeaker elements mounted in a line and fed in phase, to create a near-line source of the sound. A vertical line array displays a normally wide horizontal pattern useful for supplying sound to the majority of a concert audience. They are usually curved and have stacks of rectangular-shaped speakers. 

Polar pattern – (or pickup pattern); the shape of the area that a microphone will be most sensitive to sound.

Radiofrequency (RF) – generally refers to signals such as radio and TV broadcast signals, or radiofrequency control signals; the range of frequencies used for electrical transmission.

Radiofrequency interference (RFI) – the tendency of a radio transmission to interfere with other electronic signals. Radiofrequency energy is radiated by all electrical equipment – when it is a strong enough signal it becomes interference in audio systems.

Subwoofers – loudspeakers that reproduce lower frequencies, typically 20 Hz – 200 Hz.

Super-Cardioid Polar Pattern – the exaggerated heart-shape of the area that a highly directional microphone is most sensitive to sound.

Boundary Microphone– placed on a table to pick up sound. Used in boardrooms and other environments where a number of talkers must be “picked up” and where the microphone needs to remain unobtrusive. It uses the table to increase the pick-up. “Preferable wood sources” 

TRS – Tip, Ring, Sleeve – a three-conductor design of a phone connector that can be terminated as balanced or unbalanced.

TS – Tip, Sleeve – a two-conductor design of a phone connector used for an unbalanced circuit.

Unbalanced circuit – transmits the audio signal on a single conductor that is referenced to the ground. +balence circuit 

Woofers – loudspeakers that have low frequencies, typically 20 Hz – 200 Hz.

Lighting 

 

Footcandle  – abbreviated as Ftc, it is an English unit of measure expressing the intensity of light illuminating an object. The illumination from one candle falling on a surface of 1 square foot at a distance of 1 foot.

Lux – a contraction of the words luminance and flux; metric version of footcandle.

 

Acoustics

Diffusion  – The scattering or random redistribution of a sound wave from a surface. It occurs when surfaces are at least as long as the sound wavelengths, but not more than four times as long.

Ambient noise  – a sound that is extraneous to the intended, desired, intentional, audio; background noise.

Direct sound  – also known as near-field, is a sound that is not colored by room reflections.

Distributed sound  – a sound system in multiple loudspeakers separated by distance and typically operates in a lower sound pressure level than a high-pressure system. The loudspeakers are most often suspended over the heads of the listeners.

Distribution amplifier  – an active device used to split one input into multiple outputs while keeping each output isolated, and the signal level constant.

Early reflected sound  – created by sound waves which are reflected (bounced) off surfaces between the source and the listener. The sound waves arrive at the listener’s ear closely on the heels of the direct sound wave

Fundamental frequency  – the lowest frequency in a harmonic series; known as “pure tone.”  White noise- white noise is a random signal having equal intensity at different frequencies, giving it a constant power spectral density. Used for sleep and in healthcare. 

 Pink noise– Pink noise or ​¹⁄f noise is a signal or process with a frequency spectrum such that the power spectral density is inversely proportional to the frequency of the signal. In pink noise, each octave interval carries an equal amount of noise energy. Pink noise is one of the most common signals in biological systems.

 Brown noise– In science, Brownian noise, also known as Brown noise or red noise, is the kind of signal noise produced by Brownian motion, hence its alternative name of random walk noise.

Below is a link that explains the science of white pink and brown noise.  https://www.soundofsleep.com/white-pink-brown-noise-whats-difference/

 

Near-field – A sound that has not been colored by room reflections. This is also known as the direct sound. 

Reflection – light or sound energy that has been redirected by a surface.

AV IT

 

WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network; a network that shares information by radio frequency (RF).

Twisted pair – any number of wires that are paired together and twisted around each other; can be shielded or unshielded.

Cats are sets of cables with each one getting more durable to read about the difference between all of them see this article. https://www.loxone.com/enus/blog/cat7-cable/ 

Category 5 (Cat 5)  – the designation for 100-ohm unshielded twisted-pair cables and associated connecting hardware whose characteristics are specified for data transmission up to 100 Mb/s. (Part of the EIA/TIA 568A standard.)

Category 5e (Cat 5e)  – an enhanced version of the Cat-5 cable standard that adds specifications for far-end crosstalk. (Part of the EIA/TIA 568A standard.)

Category 6 (Cat 6)  – cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet and other interconnect that is backward compatible with Category 5 cable, Cat-5e, and Cat-3. Cat-6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. (Part of the EIA/TIA 568A standard.)

Category 7(Cat7) CAT 7 cable, whilst being the more expensive option, is also considered the most durable, and has a longer lifespan than CAT 5 and CAT 6, improving its overall return on investment, and is the best choice for wiring with the future in mind.

Category 8- Category 8, or just Cat8, is the latest IEEE standard in copper Ethernet cable. It represents a significant leap in data transfer speed over the earlier Cat7 and Cat6a cables. It uses standard RJ45 connectors and is backward compatible with previous standards.

Ethernet  – a set of network cabling and network access protocol standards for bus topology computer networks invented by Xerox but now controlled by the 802.3 subcommittees of the IEEE.

Fiber optic  – a technology that uses glass or plastic threads or wires to transmit information. Now applies to so much more than just data transmission goes through everything that has to do with av and control and it is “inwall” rated because glass is not “inductive” “glass is an insulator 

LAN (local area network) – a computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building. The Internet is a globally-connected network of computers that enables people to share information and communicate with each other. An intranet, on the other hand, is a local or restricted network that enables people to store, organize, and share information within an organization. 

 

Cable shielding– a physical layer in some cables used to protect signals and sometimes used as a return path for current. Three basic types foil, braid, and combination.

 

General AV 

 

Equipment rack  – a centralized housing unit that protects and organizes electronic equipment.

Matrix switcher – an electronic device with multiple inputs and outputs, the matrix allows any input to be connected to any one, several, or all of the outputs. One audio one video 

Rack unit (RU) – unit of measure of the vertical space in a rack. One RU equals 1.75 inches (44.5 mm).

 

Streaming video and audio – sequence of “moving images” or “sounds” sent in a continuous, compressed stream over the Internet and displayed by the viewer as they arrive. With streaming video or audio, a web user does not have to wait to download a large file before seeing the video or hearing the sound.

BTU-Measurement of heat. The British thermal unit is a unit of heat; it is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. It is also part of the United States customary units. Heat is now known to be equivalent to energy. 

 

Still, stumped? Look here for a super long list of terms. https://cie-group.com/how-to-av/videos-and-blogs/av-terms 

 

Thanks For Reading!

 

To know more about Tony and his professional profile see these:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonysprando/

 

https://www.ravepubs.com/author/tsprando/

 

www.tonythevguy.com 

 

To know more about Kate and her professional profile see these:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-couch-a7318220a/

 

https://k8couch.wixsite.com/katecouch

 

Spring Cleaning

March 23rd, 2021

Image and Graphics By: Kate Couch with Canva

When cleaning out spaces and redesigning spaces how to decided what AV systems to reuse and what ones need new life.

 

Written By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando

 

With spring just around the corner and the days becoming more consistently in the 50s it’s time for most people to do their annual spring cleaning. Whether for your home and personal use or for commercial and business use a good spring cleaning is always a good idea. Getting rid of old things and deciding to get new things and redesign them brings up some questions about AV. Many people will frequently come across a decision to reuse the AV or electrical systems that they have in place or whether they need to get a new one.

 

The idea to reuse an AV system is normally the client’s idea, however, the AV installer and the AV designer will all have their own input and ideas about this. When working with a budget it’s always a good idea to try to pinch pennies when you can. But pretending something is in good working condition when it’s not it’s just going to cost you more money down the road. The designer and the installer both have this in the back of their mind ( though the designer is going to try to reuse as much as possible where the installer will not spend as much time on that typically) and the nice thing about AV systems is unlike, say, an air conditioning unit, you don’t have to get rid of the entire thing essentially, you can reuse bits and pieces if they’re still good. You might need new screens or new monitors, but your projector is just fine. You might need new sound equipment, but the soundproofing solution is just fine. It’s important that the AV designer and the AV installer work together to reuse as much as possible while not being overly hopeful about the equipment which could cause problems later on.

 

Our approach at AV Bend is that every job has one thing in common… power.  You need power and it needs to be clean. This means clean, with no buzz and a dedicated ground must be established for the AV system.  I was asked to do a quote for a church and everything looked straightforward until I ask to look at the electrical panel.  They told me “ oh this caught fire once” and it sure looked that way, though it had been repaired. The repair did not include any upgrades or accommodations for audiovisual. On top of that everything shared a common ground. This once easy fix is no longer acceptable. I had to tell them, then I sourced an electrician to get the panel and wiring done the way I needed before I could prepare an AV design and bill of materials list.  This cost the customer thousands of dollars before any AV gear was purchased, but in this case, we had to rip out the old so we could build onto a brand new electrical foundation. This luckily doesn’t happen all that often but If I had just put in the system with what they had before it could have been a fire danger or broken the equipment I put in; which would have cost them more in the long run.

 

The bottom line is that when working with an AV designer, installer, and possibly an electrician deciding what AV system to reuse make sure you have clean power. In addition to clean power a system that’s up-to-date and going to be working with your needs over at least the next couple of years. This way you will avoid the dangers of an outdated or not up to code system.

 

To know more about Tony and his professional profile see these:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonysprando/

 

https://www.ravepubs.com/author/tsprando/

 

www.tonythevguy.com

 

Whistle While You Work

March 17th, 2021

Photo and Art By: Kate Couch and Canva

Written By: Tony Sprando and Kate Couch

 

Like many other people, I enjoy listening to (somewhat loud) music while I work. I can zone out of the background noise and get to the important stuff. I have noticed something recently that it is a shared interest, as I also hear other’s loud music while I work. Naturally, this poses a bit of a noise problem, luckily it can be easier to fix than it appears. With most people working in different environments these days little noses add up and can become unbearable. With some quick identification and problem solving you can fix your noise issue before the next work week. 

 

Music has been proven to help improve the efficacy of work. In a study done by, Tayyari, Fariborz, and James L. Smith. “Effect of Music on Performance in Human-Computer Interface.” “It was found that, while the music did not disturb the overall accuracy of the task output, it increased the subjects’ speed in data processing and overall productivity. The subjects showed a favorable attitude toward music being introduced at workstations.” Music can be help keeping us focused but a hindrance when others do it. The solution might seem to stop listing to loud music. This is not always the case. What people forget is our homes are filled with lots of sounds every day and when they get above a certain DB we notice them and they become disturbing. 

 

No offense to my neighbors but their HVAC unit is loud as all get out. Or the sounds of my children running up and down the halls, traffic, and the occasional annoying bird. This can be the difference between getting stuff done and not being able to get in the zone. So now that we have identified a noise issue where the solution can’t be stoping the root of the noise we have a few options. 

 

Door sealing kit. 

A door sealing kit is going to be the best option when reducing noise in a small room from outside contributors. You can also do this on the windows as well. This will reduce the amount of noise from the outside getting inside and from the inside getting outside. Contrary to a typical acoustical treatment plan where you might have noise reduction materials on the inside; the objective of this acoustical treatment plan is to prevent small, but loud noises, from outside from getting on the inside.

 

There’s a little bit of science to this as well. Which has to do with DB. The DB is essentially how loud a noise is. Below is pictured a chart of the common DB of household noise. Figuring out the DB of certain things around your home will help you when making a goal for where you want the noise level to be. The average household with some or no conversation is between 40-60 DB so if you find yourself disturbed by noise a good goal is to get your room back to 60<. Like we mentioned earlier this can most likely be achieved with a door and window sealing kit. 

Photo By: Sound Proof Guys

Working at home the noise of neighbors, family members, and roommates can sometimes be disruptive. But when the problems identified you’ll find it with the most basic noise issues there is a basic noise solution. 

 

To know about Tony and his professional profile see these:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonysprando/

 

https://www.ravepubs.com/author/tsprando/

 

www.tonythevguy.com 

 

The touch screen behind the touchdown 

February 22nd, 2021

Photo By: Robert H. Pexels.com 

 

Solving problems of outdoor electronic screens and touch screens. 

Written By: Kate Couch with collaboration with Tony Sprando 

Outdoor TVs, touch screens, and monitors are nothing new. They’ve been used for decades to display things like game scores, travel plans, city maps, advertisements, bus and train routes, and general outdoor entertainment. These monitors and screens are rated for outdoor weather. Though these screens aren’t super common in areas that get freezing temperatures (like the Pacific Northwest.) They can still be found in these areas and commonly are necessary. Football and other sporting events have all kinds of outdoor screens: maps for the stadium, scoreboards, and advertisements. Stadiums are one of the most common places that you will see outdoor monitors and touch screens. 

Because of the temperature problem and the harsh weather conditions in addition to the usage of hundreds to thousands of people interacting with the screens, there can be a huge problem when it comes to installing and making sure these screens are being serviced properly and kept in good condition. 

The solution to these problems is an outdoor touch screen enclosure. This concept is known by many names, “touch screen monitor protector” or “outdoor touch screen monitor cabinet.” These enclosures are made from strong materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions and protect the screens and monitors. They’re made from weatherproofing materials in addition to the weatherproofing materials and ratings that the monitors and screens are made out of. This extra layer of protection can prevent ice, wind, heat, and snow from permanently damaging the monitor. 

These enclosures and protections are often times removable since they can be somewhat disturbing to the original intended purpose of the screen. So by these protections being put over

them when the screen is not in use, it extends the life of the monitor. When installing an outdoor touch screen or monitor system it’s important to consider that a client could vastly benefit from having one of these enclosures whether permanent or removable. Ones that are more permanent tend to look like a pergola or a tent design for the main intent of the monitor or touch screen. 

There is some debate and controversy on whether you actually need an enclosure for your outdoor screen TV or monitor. This really depends on the weather conditions in your area. In places like Southern California, it is very rare to see an enclosure since their weather is so consistent. However, you will see things like sun shades to protect weathering from the sun. The question should not be “do I need an enclosure for my outdoor screen” and it should be “what weather is going to impact my outdoor screen?” By focusing on the problem from that angle you’ll be able to easily, efficiently, and cost-effectively solve the problem so your outdoor screen to have the longest best functioning life. 

To know about Tony and his professional profile see these: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonysprando/ 

https://www.ravepubs.com/author/tsprando/ 

www.tonythevguy.com

Double Agent

February 18th, 2021
Photo By: Catholic Spirt
Solving audio problems in commercial buildings with multiple uses.
 
Written By: Kate Couch
 
In last week’s article, we focused on solving audio problems in a residential home. However, AV Bend works primarily with commercial buildings. Though there are a lot of the same principles working and solving commercial problems looks drastically different than solving problems in a home. There are also other things that people forget to consider when it comes to residential vs. commercial clients. One big factor is budget- when it comes to commercial clients the budget is extraordinarily tight. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s more or less than a residential budget but rather there is no room for spilling over. Companies have to meet their quota and stay within the budget. When working with a residential client something that they want might be out of budget it can become accessible if they decide it’s valuable enough to them. That instance rarely happens with a commercial client.
 
Other things to consider when working to solve audio problems in a commercial building is rooms tend to have noises and other things going on that when you go to inspect the area the client may forget to mention. In our last article about solving audio problems, we talked about the importance of listening to a room. Whether you have a residential or commercial client this is still an important practice. When going to a commercial client’s building you need to consider and ask the client what all goes on in this building. Making sure to double-check with the client that there are no monthly meetings they may be forgetting about. Other things may include international calls, occasional Zoom meetings, classes, or if they rent out space to other people. These are all things they can fly under the radar but could be contributing to their noise problems. When going to inspect a commercial area take all these things into account before solving the noise problems.
 
One thing that commercial clients will frequently call AV Companies for is to prepare a gymnasium to hold multiple events. It’s pretty common that a gymnasium also doubles as an auditorium, or is rented out to places like churches or AA meetings, and other gatherings of similar fashion. There is instantly a whole lot of noise problems to solve when a gymnasium is going to be used to double as another space. The classic squeaking of your shoes on the floor seems to emanate from every corner of the room. This can be extraordinarily disruptive if someone was to come in late to a meeting. Just like it is in a residential area it’s important to consider the height of the walls the different angles in the room and the ceiling structure. This is important in a residential area as well. Commercial spaces tend to differ from residential areas because of noise blockers. In a residential space there tend to be things like pillows, furniture curtains, carpeting, sometimes even more carpeting on top of carpeting these things naturally dampen and soften sound in the home. Things that are frequently lacking in commercial spaces. When working with commercial spaces there tends to be a lot more problems to solve because the spaces are larger, they have less furniture in the room to dampen sound, and the spaces tend to have multiple uses. All these things should be kept in mind when solving audio problems in a commercial space. The nice thing about commercial spaces is you don’t have to get as creative with your acoustical treatment plans because it’s a commercial space Aesthetics and multi-function acoustical treatment plans aren’t as important since the spaces tend to be larger and having something that’s a little bit more clean-cut and single-purpose products is totally tolerable in a commercial area.
 
To know more about Tony and his professional profile see these:
 
 
 

The Silence of the lam(p)s

February 7th, 2021
 
Solving volume and noise problems in a home.
noice tony

Photo By: Verywell Mind

By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando
 
When most people contact Audio Visual for noise control and noise solutions they often don’t realize what’s truly contributing to the volume of the sound. When you’re in your home trying to get work done and you can hear the birds clattering outside or someone listening to music in the next room the noises meld together. Clients often think that their walls are too thin. Though this may be true what is actually bringing that noise to your attention is the other contributing quieter noises which in tandem compose that loud hum drumming in your ear.
 
In a client’s home working on solving an audio and volume problem, the first thing our employees do is listen. Much as we talked about in our last article listening is super important when it comes to having a reliable business with a good reputation. When solving volume and sound problems listening is also super important. Walk into a home and ask everyone to be quiet: when the initial noise they can identify is silenced you can open your ears to other disruptive noises. Things like the refrigerator, the dishwasher, heating and cooling, plumbing, creaking of cabinets, a distant train, traffic, and other clicking and fan noises of technology all slowly add up to increase the decibel count in a residential area.
 
Once you can identify these other noises in the home you can then make a structural plan to minimize how much of that your client hears on a day-to-day basis. If you go in and solve the problem that the client thinks they have it’s often a temporary fix that might not even fix the overarching problem. If the client believes that their son is too loud and just wants the room to be soundproofed, you can most certainly do that for them. What they will frequently find is it they still can’t focus because it wasn’t just their son’s loud bedroom that was contributing to their distracting noises, but, it was also the refrigerator and the birds outside. When you listen to a client’s home, listen to the extra noises around their house, you will find very quickly that the other noises contributing often go unnoticed. When recognizing these noises you can make a better plan for the client to achieve a more quiet home (or office) and satisfied with a job well done.
 
At AV Bend we promote listening to a client and listening to their home first before making an acoustical plan. This is why when giving quotes it is super important to go out and do so in person. Someone might call us on the phone and say “my kitchen is too loud because my entire family likes to cook.” Once you are there you may find, as we mentioned earlier, that there are a lot of other things going into that problem. When working with a client it’s important to solve the overarching problem, not just the one that they can identify. After you’ve identified the sounds that are contributing to the problem it’s also important to consider other things about a space like the ceiling walls and angles. These things all contribute to how noise is distributed throughout the home. It’s good to keep in mind that the solution for one home is not going to necessarily be the solution for another. Rooms are noisy for varying reasons and sound emanates off of walls differently based on their material and angles. These are all important things to take into account when building an acoustical treatment plan.
 
After listening to a client, listening to their home, considering the angles and materials in their home, an acoustical treatment plan almost makes itself. When you properly identify the problems, where they are, and how they need to be fixed, you will leave your client satisfied and their home quiet.
 
To know about Tony and his professional profile see these: