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Trying to decide on what audio visual technology to use can quickly lead you down a rabbit hole. There’s always a new, best, latest and greatest product with extravagant and over-the-top features, but that product may not be the best solution for you. In fact, there is no single “best” solution. The right AV solution for you is one that empowers your employees and facilitates collaboration, discussion, and innovation.
Over the course of my career, I have designed and overseen hundreds of AV installations. You’d be hard-pressed to find a conference room layout I haven’t thought of, but the interesting part is the “regression” I’ve been seeing in AV technology over the past couple of years. People are dialing the technology back down. They don’t want all of the bells and whistles, they just want it to work.
We’ve all been in the situation where you have a 10:00 video meeting with a client. So you walk to your huddle room at 9:55 and try to connect, and try again, and again…. And again. Eventually, you have to call in someone from IT to help you before you’re finally able to connect, 10 minutes after the meeting started.
Or even worse, you have to do a presentation but instead of walking in and getting started you spend fifteen minutes fiddling with all of the wires and buttons trying to pull up your PowerPoint. How can all of this be so difficult at work when it’s so easy at home? You can FaceTime and screencast with the click of a button, ONE button!
Thus, the new trends in AV have come to light.
Fewer Inputs and Outputs
The more displays and input options you have the more buttons you have to push to get started, and what’s the point of having all that anyway? Most of the time presenters stay in the same place the entire time they’re presenting. So give them a single, easy to see connection in an easy to access place. This simplifies the control system and decreases the steps required to get on the screen. Now you don’t need an aerospace degree to pull up your PowerPoint.
You may have multiple inputs and outputs but how often do they really get used? Typically there are common and consistent uses for rooms. If everyone at the company has an HDMI port that’s probably your go-to way to connect in a huddle space. So go ahead and change the default settings to reflect that. This way when the system turns on you’re ready to go, instead of having to push a dozen buttons to get there.
Incorporate a Little Automation
Control systems are getting easier and less expensive to install. An occupancy sensor that turns the display on and switches to the most commonly used input in the room can really save some time and trouble. If that’s beyond your budget, a simple “one touch” or “power on when connected” solution can work well.
In years past we needed to be able to accommodate analog and digital sources, multiple operating systems, wired and wireless connections. However, now we’re seeing that companies would rather roll out standard devices and tell users how to connect than deal with the headache of having all the options. This can limit access but it shortens the process to connect.
The latest trends in AV are teaching us something that we tend to forget: sometimes less is more. Life is easier if you simplify the systems and let technology work for you. It’s a company’s responsibility to decide on a solution and standardize the technology, once they do they find it's much quicker and easier to connect.
If you’re sick of your workplace technology working against you then it’s time to give us a call. We can help you design a solution tailored to your needs.
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