Collaborating Designs – How Audiovisual technology and Open-Concept workspaces need to collaborate

Companies are constantly changing and evolving to keep up with today’s trends. A great example of this change is the ongoing push for open or collaborative space. Facilities managers, designers and architects have been asked to tear down walls let the sunlight in and provide comfortable spaces where employees want to work. Thought Designers and Architects face their share of challenges such as organizational hierarchy, engrained company culture and the overall fear of change. With that said companies are coming to the realization that change is inevitable. Innovative office furniture systems, improved lighting, faster data networks and dependable wireless communications have fast-tracked the open space movement. Gone are the cookie cutter spaces, offices with doors, high walled cubicles and windows reserved for offices only. Those relics have been replaced by floor to ceiling windows, skylights and low-rise cubes huddled into work groups with common areas. Today many companies have embraced Open Space designs and now are looking to audiovisual companies to improve the space by adding innovative technology.

One of the obvious challenges that AV designers are faced in Open-Concept design is ambient light. In traditional spaces Conference rooms where behind four walls. Sunlight is not the enemy in today’s designs and is encouraged to enter the space through large windows, skylights or sun tunnels.  For AV vendors or in-house AV technology managers the need to meet with the Facilities planning group is now paramount. If that is not possible then be prepared to invest in a light meter and some prayers in order to justify the added expense of retro fitting technology. The addition of high quality window shades, brighter projectors and better quality projection screens will help improve the situation. Do not under value the  added benefits of a control system. A well designed system that is  connected into the lighting and shade controls is an added benefit that can really shows its worth when given to a creative programmer.

Open-Concept designs are extremely susceptible to unwanted sound and noise. Simple steps such as shutting off speakerphones, wireless phone & PC headsets and giving employees the option take calls in purpose-built conversation spaces are steps in the right direction. As the need for open space increases so should the need to address acoustics in the planning stages of site design.  Engaging an acoustical engineer early on in the planning phase is a major step to ensuring that sound is addressed and that the right steps can be added later on to further “tweak” the sound.  Additional steps such as sound masking systems, improved speaker technology and acoustical panels will bring additional sound control to the overall space.

 The traditional four walled conference spaces are now located out in the open. A major attraction to these types of spaces is that they free of reservation systems, informal, simple and inviting. As an end-user I imagine a great collaborative work space as a combination of comfortable seating, ample work surface and technology. Unfortunately technology is still the first to be “cut out”.  A table with four seats and whiteboard does not constitute a collaborative work space in world where we are immersed in technology 24×7.  It’s the year 2012 why do end-users have to justify having a permanent display or projector in any meeting space?  Has the “display” not reached the same mythical status as the dry erase board and the conference phone?  They just magically appear with every meeting space.

 The Open-Concept design is challenging AV professionals to become creative again. It’s time to rethink the four walled conference room and literally go outside the box.  If it wasn’t  a challenge it wouldn’t be fun and if it isn’t fun then you are in the wrong line of work.

Quick Shout: Infocomm rolls out a New Membership Structure

Infocomm Announces New Membership Structure

InfoComm is simplifying its membership structure and expanding the amount of free and discounted education offered to members. These changes will go into effect early 2013.

For More Information please visit:

InfoComm International

Click Here


Your turn to Shout back! I’m on a virtual quest for common Myths…

I’m currently working on new a couple new articles. One article, in particular,  I wanted to get some feedback from the people in AV. The article I’m working on is about common myths or lies in the AV Industry. What I am looking for are examples of the following:

  • Career path myths such as a Good AV Tech will Make a Good AV Project Manager
  • There is a “Supertech” in every company. Ironically “Supertech” is permanently locked into that role for the rest of  their career….are you “Supertech”?
  • Are on site AV technology managers still viewed as “TV Cart Pushers” or the “high school AV Squad” by AV Companies, Corporations or IT groups.
  • Are the AV & IT groups really coming together or is the “great convergence” just specific to hardware & network. Are there still visible lines “drawn in the sand” when it comes to roles & accountability?

I can understand how people may feel uncomfortable placing their stories in the comments section so feel free to contact me via email at or we can set up a call to discuss.

Thanks again and I look forward to your feedback.


Quick Shout: New AV Training Links Added

  • Audio-Technica
  • Electro Voice
  • Ford Audio-Video Systems
  • Frazier Speakers
  • IED – Innovative Electronic Designs
  • SurgeX
  • CustomRetailer
  • Yamaha Commercial Audio

Stay tuned !


Quick Shout: Crestron is Accepting Applications for Summer Interships

I wanted to forward this tweet that I saw on Twitter. Here is a great opportunity for college students looking to pursue a career in AV. Internships are a great way gain Industry Exposure and Experience. I encourage anyone in college pursue an internship. It’s a great way to preview real world experiences in real world settings.


@Crestron_HR via twitter:

HR Career Fair season is in Full Swing and Crestron is accepting Application for our summer internship program! CLICK HERE



Quick Shout: Upcoming Cabes To Go webinars

USB for A/V Applications

Thursday, February 23 at 1:00pm EST

Universal Serial Bus is more than a way to connect your keyboard to your computer. USB is being used to control a multitude of devices such as scanners, printers, interactive white boards, camera mounts, automated lifts and blinds and other devices. USB also transfers files and is common in sharing music, video and data. What are the limitations of USB? What are the speeds and how do you know whether your USB connection will work to the desired level? Participants in this program will leave with a full understanding of the genesis and evolution of the USB standard, best installation practices and challenges and the future of data connections. Along with audio and video, USB is fast becoming one of the most important A/V project connections. Don’t be left behind.

Click here to sign up today!

Understanding In-Person Sales Techniques*
Thursday, March 29 at 1:00pm EST

How do you know what’s being said, when nothing is being said? Sales relationships demand an environment of mutual communication. Learn how to direct a conversation, how to interpret non-verbal cues and how to get your point across while respecting the communication bias of the target.

Selling is more than closing. Good selling, that promotes solid and repeatable business growth, is dependent upon the ability to influence. Influence requires complete communication, and complete communication takes into account the haptic, proxemic and NVB aspects of an interpersonal interface.

*This course does not qualify for BISCI or AIA Continuing Education credits.

Click here to sign up today!

Quick Shout: THX Video Hands On Setup and Calibration Training. Feb. 28th, 29th and March 1st at Epson America in Long Beach California.

THX Video Hands On Setup and Calibration Training

February 28, 29 and March 1 at Epson America, Long Beach California.

Please join Epson, THX and a group of working Hollywood Video Technicians

Epson is excited to be working with THX to bring you a unique opportunity to join with several working Hollywood studio based video technicians during a THX video calibration training. Learn active and passive 3D, 4k video, studio calibration, video system optimization and more. This is a three-day hands on workshop with video professionals who are more passionate about making professional quality images than about making a quick buck. for information and discounts and opportunities exclusive to Epson partners.


Gregg at THX

(207) 624-2685

Building Your AV Support System

Building Your AV Support System by Christopher Neto

As a technology manager you may have contract help assisting you with the daily support schedule and maintenance. Internally you may report up through IT or Site Services, but where do you go when you need assistance? For many in the technology management role you are the last time of support for technical issues. You may also be only in your department so questions about career goals, training or personal development are left to you. What options are available to the AV tech? Here are a couple suggestions.

If your company outsources AV support from an outside company inquire about their training and technical back office support. Chances are they provide technical services to the staffers and may extend that support to you as a “value add.” If your contract is with an AV centric staffing company then they may have an internal training program setup for the onsite techs. I have sat in on training classes provided by the contract service providers. Not only was it educational but it provided an opportunity for you to sit with your site support team, work together as a group and demonstrate some of individual strengths within the group. Another benefit of hiring an AV centric company is that they also have resources with resellers, distributors and product manufactures that can assist you and the staff.

Building partnerships with a product manufacturer is probably the most import piece of advice that I can share with you. Some AV manufacturers will also provide training directly to their customers. In instances where your company has standardized on a particular product manufactures have been very responsive in assisting the site support staff in implementing and maintaining the equipment. Not only does this benefit the manufacturer by watching their products perform in a real world situation but they will also have access to unfiltered customer experiences. The smart company takes those issues back to R&D and works out the bugs. For you the customer you now have access to designers, engineers and programmers who want to see you and their product succeed. Further exploring the manufacturer partnership leads to a greater depth of product knowledge and training that the webinars and sales pitches won’t give you.

I personally developed relationships with most of the manufacturers that supplied products to my former employers. Due to the ever changing vendor carousel and the involvement of procurement departments I couldn’t control the supplier or vendors of our products. As a technical team our responsibility was to find the right product and assist procurement in finding an authorized reseller for the selection process. It was obvious that we needed to be involved with the manufacture in this case in order to keep current with the updates and high-level support. Our interaction with the manufacture provided them with better sense of how their products were being used by the end-users and in some cases they discovered new opportunities that their products could grow. Watching their products take bumps and bruises really became beneficially to the account managers who would then report back to their management for future product updates and development.

Another area where you can find help is online by using social media. By joining LinkedIn, Twitter and Google social networks you now have open access to people across the globe. The advantages go beyond having your resume and profile out on the internet. Joining and participating in LinkedIn AV groups, for example, brings the benefits of hot news items, opinions and real world applications. Chances are someone in the group has had similar experiences with technical issues or may see the same issue but from a different angle. Though you will wade through a lot of posts eventually you may or may not find the specific answer to your question that you’re looking for. If that happens then do not be afraid to post to the groups. By posting the question you have now reached out to thousands, in some cases, and eventually your answer will in the form of a post or via email. But by not posting your question then you’re missing out on the whole advantage of networking group and social media. Seek out groups where the members are posting daily. These groups will tend to be the most responsive to questions and along the way you may make some network connections. Great examples of active AV groups within LinkedIn are the InfoComm Group, the various CTS groups, AV Industry Professionals, ProAV, Professional AV and their sub groups and the AV Technology Magazine groups just to name a few. Search them out and do not discount the niche groups that cater to more specific AV topics such as AVB, telepresence, or control systems.

Industry associations are still the most focused source of expertise out there. Yes, many members are on the social networks but associations are the common group that unites AV professionals. Industry groups like InfoComm were built for technology manager as well as the vendors, manufacturers and consultants. Their industry studies, educational opportunities and their own internal network of groups and councils provide a wealth of information. The Technology Managers Council within InfoComm meets regularly. More importantly, they share information on a daily basis. That information can be anything from product tips, new ideas, training information and survey participation. Associations put a lot of time and development in standards and documentation to help the industry further develop. They can serve as a conduit to the rest AV industry and the resources available to you.

The information is out there whether you have a question about a product or career advice. Use your available resources and along the way you may uncover some other opportunities you didn’t know existed.

Original post featured on

Quick Shout: Drawing a Crowd with Interactive Digital Signage Live Webinar 2/29/12

Live Webinar:
February 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM EST

Presented By:  Digital Signage Magazine
Sponsored By:  NEC

Digital signage continues to break new ground with bigger, brighter displays, increasingly advanced deployment logistics and dynamic content you can’t take your eyes off. However, nothing seems to have created as much buzz, lasting impressions and word-of-mouth amongst consumers as those installations that tout high levels of interactivity. While these setups attract crowds and provide endless amusement, a copious amount of planning, technology and ingenuity go into creating these “how did they do that?” solutions.
In this webinar, presenters will provide a behind-the-scenes look into interactive digital signage, touching on the types of interactivity available, hardware necessary for successful deployments and best practices in the industry.
The webinar will focus on:

  • Defining interactive digital signage
  • Wayfinding, order kiosks and other touchscreen applications
  • Video wall interaction via cameras and facial recognition
  • Audience analytics
  • Success stories


Richard Ventura

Director of Sales-Vertical Solutions, NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc.


Chris Beauchamp

Chief Executive Officer, Monster Media


Quick Shout: More Sites and feedback

Two more training links were added today.
  • Audio Pro International
  • Vidyo

Thank you for the visiting website. Please  send me your comments and let me know what you think of the site and any feedback on how I can improve it would be greatly appreciated.

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Thank again for all the support,