Audiovisual Design Archives - Level 3 Audiovisual

Audiovisual Design

Audio Visual Design & Consulting Services

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Audio Visual Design & Consulting Services

There are as many different professional AV solutions as there are uses for them. With such a wide array of audio visual solutions available today, and as that number increases with the ongoing evolution of technology, audiovisual design and consulting services provide expert interpretation of needs and selection of AV solutions that fit the application and budget of a client.

How can professional AV solutions save me money?

Tracking and understanding the ever-increasing array of audio and video technology offerings is a full-time occupation. There are countless consumer-level solutions that are meant to be used in the home, and then there are professional AV solutions that are designed and built for robust and reliable use in enterprise applications. Many consumer products cannot withstand commercial use in an office, retail, hospitality, or healthcare application, and will require replacement after they fail. In these cases, it’s best to select professional AV equipment that is built for long hours of use and has been designed with proper inputs and outputs for enterprise audiovisual connections and commercial display standards.

To ensure that you invest in an AV system that works for you now and in the future, it’s advisable to work with an AV designer who can deliver a reliable professional-grade audio visual solution that is customized to work specifically for your application.

What is audiovisual consulting?

A professional AV systems designer provides audiovisual consulting services to help determine which audio and video technologies will best match a client’s specific application. Through a detailed needs analysis and thoughtful discussion about communications and presentation goals, an AV system design is developed to achieve those objectives.

Audio video consulting takes into account any current use of AV systems, and provides design analysis for upgrading existing technologies or providing new AV solutions to meet evolving demands. This AV systems design process helps to ensure ease of use, efficient operation, and the optimal selection of professional-grade audio visual equipment that will provide reliable results.

After an audiovisual consultant has produced an AV system design for a client, that technology specification is then put out for bid. In this “design/bid/build” scenario, project bids are submitted by professional AV integrators, and one firm is selected to install the equipment.

How is the Design-Build process different from an audiovisual consultant?

Where audiovisual consulting is focused on providing enough detail for a contractor to bid on the installation of the project, design-build allows for the technology consultants and installation team to be under one roof. The design-build process interprets technology needs, produces designs, refines those designs until budget and function are agreed upon and then allows the installation team to integrate the technologies into a client’s facility.

Design-build services are provided by professional audio visual solutions integrators who have the expertise of engineers, programmers, project managers, installers and a service department within the same organization. They initiate the design process and follow through with technical installation procedures to complete the project and activate a solution for use.

In any of these AV design and consulting scenarios, an AV integrator may offer ongoing service and support of systems after the design and integration phases are complete. As the client becomes familiar with the system and use of the audio visual technology evolves, the AV designer can integrate and maintain new upgrades.

Audiovisual Design: How do AV engineers play a role in my design?

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What is an AV Engineer?

An AV engineer in the past, had a skill set more focused on (surprise, surprise…) the audio and visual aspects of presentation and communication systems. Properly specifying components like speakers, amplifiers, audio processors, microphones, projectors and displays, were all in the wheel house of the AV engineer. Then control systems entered the space, and those engineers started to add knowledge on how to control many aspects of the system from button panels, then custom designed touch screens. These control systems ran on proprietary communication lines for a while, then they started to add standard network and IP connections. Now the AV engineer needs to understand networking, routers, switches and access points, and especially how to work with IT managers in charge of the customer network. This also comes into play when working with video conferencing codecs, like Cisco and Polycom. Next the “soft codec” was brought to the conference and meeting room arena, which is a term used to describe video conferencing applications running on “BYOD” devices, like laptops. Video conferencing services include Zoom, Skype for Business and WebEx. Now the AV engineer needs to deeply understand incorporating USB devices into their designs.

Sound like a lot to understand? It is.

The AV engineer has morphed into an integrated systems and communications technologist. He or She needs to understand best practices, and most importantly, the interoperability of many components and systems in order to create an experience for the end user that is powerful and effortlessly simple to use. Oh yeah, the AV engineer also needs to understand the user experience (UX), because intimidating and difficult technology never gets used.

How do we keep this all straight? One approach is to use teams and checklists.

Audiovisual Design & Engineering Teams.

AV engineers by nature have very different backgrounds. Some used to be live or studio audio engineers. Some have college degrees in engineering, some have degrees in art. Some never went to college, but years spent in the industry school of hard knocks learning the pitfalls of “AV design and deployment” is schooling enough. Understanding that the knowledge spread across an engineering team is more vast and deep than any one person can hope to learn in a lifetime allows for the team to learn from each other, and provide subject matter expertise across the many, many disciplines required to engineer a complete solution. Information sharing does not happen by accident, or without a structured effort set forth to continually educate the team.

Checklists add Quality Management to our AV Solution.

Choosing a quality management system (QMS) to implement within an AV engineering department requires a lot of time and commitment from the team. Understanding where system designs can run into trouble, and putting those items to a review checklist, makes sure that known design errors don’t happen on the front end. This is critical in ensuring a “zero defect” system gets deployed for the customer and is exactly what they expected. The AV9000 QMS set forth by industry organization AQAV takes aim at poor quality.

How do AV engineers play a role in my design?

The individual engineer and the environment in which they work will ultimately drive the solution for the issues you are trying to solve for your users. But in general, without a deep understanding of the various technology fields mentioned previously, the absolute best solution for your user, your budget and the perceived success of your project can’t even be brought to the table.

 

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