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5 Ways Display Video Walls Beat Projectors

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If you’ve ever had to choose a display option for an office, venue or event, you’ve probably asked yourself this question: Which is better, a flat panel display video wall or a projector video wall? The short answer is, it depends. There are certainly applications where a blended or rear projection video wall might be a better fit. But the longer answer is, while a projector isn’t always a wrong choice, a LCD or direct view LED video wall has plenty of advantages worth considering.

Image quality

If you want a large display, for example in a big, open lobby or foyer, a LCD or direct view LED video wall is a better choice than a projector. With a projector, you sacrifice image quality to size. Video walls, however, are built from multiple displays all working together to act as a single display, so image size can be scaled up—or down—without sacrificing image quality. Video walls also provide brighter colors and greater contrast, further improving image quality.

Flexibility

A front projection system requires unimpeded space so nothing—like a low hanging light fixture, for example—obstructs or interferes with the projected image. Rear projection systems require several feet of structural space for installation, so a room would have to be retrofitted with space carved out of the wall to accommodate it, or the unit simply protrudes into the work space. Video walls, however, can be configured in small or oddly shaped spaces, and the overall video wall image can be arranged in a variety of shapes, including a cube or pyramid. In addition, ambient light doesn’t impact the quality of a video wall image the way it does a projected image, so video walls can be placed outdoors or in areas with a large amount of natural light and the image will stay crisp and clear.

Installation and Maintenance

Video walls are made of thin, lightweight displays. The video wall displays can be easily moved and reassembled in practically no time at all. Video walls also provide an easier and less disruptive maintenance experience. Because video walls are modular any problem— for instance, a burned-out light or pixel—only affects one tile or screen. The rest of your video wall will operate as normal while you make a repair. When a similar issue comes up with a projector, the whole unit goes down and the repair is often expensive and time-consuming.

Capabilities

Projectors do one thing—project an image. Video walls on the other hand are more than a one trick display. For example, video walls can use touchscreens, wands and electronic pens to create an interactive, personalized experience.

Cost

Cost is one place where projectors might appear to have an advantage, but don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. Yes, the initial cost of an LED video wall is 15% to 20% higher than a projector, but those upfront savings are erased by higher maintenance costs within the first five years. LED walls also consume about half the energy a projector does, bringing the break-even point to just two years.

At Level 3 Audiovisual we have the expertise and vision to make your video wall dreams a reality. Let us know how we can help with your next project.

5 Crestron Huddle Room Solutions You Need

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These days huddle rooms are the rule rather than the exception, and for good reason. Huddle rooms help mitigate one of the main downsides of open floor plans—noise and distractions—so employees can focus on productive collaboration. Huddle rooms also provide flexibility and are often a more practical use of space than large, infrequently used conference rooms.

However, huddle rooms are only as good as the audiovisual technology they are equipped with. While most huddle rooms include some standard components—a display, a camera, a microphone, a control system, as well as collaboration software and network access—the quality of those components can make or break your huddle room. And their cost can make or break your budget.

Improving Huddle Rooms with Crestron

Crestron, one of the leading AV design and engineering firms, has several low-cost, high-impact solutions that can help you design an affordable huddle room with powerful and functional technology solutions.

  1. Professional presentation solution. A small huddle space doesn’t have room for a large projector or other presentation equipment that takes up a lot of space. But the quality of huddle room presentations should match what is possible in larger conference and meeting rooms. Crestron’s HD Scaling Presentation Switcher & Extender is a high definition AV presentation solution that can connect to computers and mobile devices and route any media to your huddle room’s display. Built-in scaling means this solution can handle a variety of formats and resolutions, and the compact size means you can install the hardware inside a lectern, under a table, or behind a screen.
  2. Wireless content sharing. Struggling to get devices connected takes time, causes frustration, and is a common cause for meetings starting late. Wireless presentation means you can share content from any device, including a tablet or mobile phone, without having to plug it in. The Crestron AirMedia® App not only lets you share content wirelessly, but it can accommodate up to 32 devices so collaboration is streamlined and immediate.
  3. Cable and device management. A small huddle space can easily get cluttered with too many cables and wires. The Crestron Connect It™ Cable Caddy keeps all your connector cables in one place—including HDMI, VGA, Audio, and Ethernet cables—so you can quickly find the cable you need and connect your devices without any hassle. Once you’re connected, press the button on your interface to instantly display your content.
  4. Centralized control. You can pack a lot of technology into a small huddle room, but if each component has to be managed and controlled separately, the user experience is compromised, and people are less likely to use all available features. The Crestron Mercury® is an all-in-one tabletop solution that lets you control all your collaboration and conferencing tools regardless of the application or platform. With a single touch you can also control room scheduling, microphone and speaker volume, and web-based collaboration.
  5. Unified communications packages. If you are just starting to design or equip a new huddle room, Crestron offers UC packages that include all the technology you’ll need for a highly efficient—and effective—space, including a touch screen, camera, and speakerphone, all powered by the Crestron RL® 2 Codec.

Next Steps

Huddle room solutions are one piece of your enterprise AV system, and they should be compatible with other AV solutions for maximum effectiveness. A Level 3 Audiovisual Crestron expert engineer can help you find the right huddle room solutions and make sure they integrate effectively with your other AV solutions.

5 Ways Protect Your Technology Investment

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Will Your AV Investments Meet Your Future Needs?

Have you ever purchased a new piece of personal technology—a smartphone or a laptop, for example—only to find out a few days or weeks later that a new and improved version is about to drop? In the fast-paced world of personal devices, buying the latest and greatest doesn’t mean that your investment will stay that way for long. It can be frustrating to learn you spent top dollar for something that will be obsolete in a year or two.

In the world of enterprise solutions, technology upgrades require huge investments and technology buyers are responsible for protecting a company’s bottom line by spending money responsibly—not to mention being accountable to a whole lot of users. The last thing you want to do is fall into the trap of spending a lot of money on a system or technology that won’t meet the organization’s needs in the long-term. You can “future-proof” your investments—and avoid unforeseen and unnecessary upgrade costs down the road—by assessing legacy systems and existing solutions, outlining strategic goals and objectives, and researching technology solutions that can meet your current and future needs.

Maximize your tech investments with “future-proofed” AV solutions.

Preparing for Tomorrow, Today

No one has a crystal ball—you can’t make a perfect prediction about your company’s future—but you can make technology investments flexible enough to weather potential technology disruptions and innovations. Here are five things to consider before you make a large-scale AV technology investment.

See future proofed AV integration in action in this video about a health industry boardroom technology refresh. 

 

  1. Make solutions scalable. A scalable solution means it will be easier and more affordable to expand to additional rooms or accommodate new users. For example, you might start a conference room design with only microphones on the conference table. But at some point, as your team grows, you’ll need microphones that can also pick up people who aren’t sitting around the table. If you don’t plan for growth from the beginning, you might not be able to accommodate it when it comes. A scalable solution grows with you instead of you outgrowing it.
  2. Ensure hardware interoperability. The key is to minimize the expense of your upgrade path. Will your AV solution be able to connect to additional devices you might add down the road, such as microphones or enhanced screens? You need a system that meets your needs, but excessive and unnecessary customization can make it difficult and expensive to add components in the future.
  3. Confirm cloud compatibility. The best, safest investment is a standards-based AV system that will support whatever cloud-based collaborations your company uses, including Skype, Zoom or WebEx.
  4. Consider future needs. A technology roadmap that identifies strategic objectives, defines functional needs and priorities and outlines what you will need to stay competitive in the next three to five years, can help you make IT investments with confidence today and minimize upgrade costs down the road.
  5. Develop a maintenance plan. Any AV solution you invest in will have related maintenance costs, but developing a plan for patches, fixes and preventative maintenance will help maximize the life of your systems and avoid choosing a solution that will become prohibitively expensive to maintain as time goes on.

Feeling overwhelmed? Learn how an AV engineer can help you make the right technology investments.

The Value of Future-Proofing

Today’s fast-paced, technology-driven marketplace favors leaders over followers, and the importance of wise, future proofed technology investments across all industries is not lost on IT decision makers. According to the 2016 Trends vs. Technologies Report from Capita Tech Systems in partnership with Cisco, 86% of IT decision makers agree that keeping up with technology trends gives their business a competitive advantage. Soliciting outside expertise can increase that advantage even further by helping you realize the short and long-term benefits that come from well-informed IT and AV investments.

Next Steps
Learn more about how a design build process led by an AV integrator can save you time and money while protecting your investment and preparing you for future growth and needs.

Telemedicine – The Cure for Remote Care

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We Explore some Solutions to Remote Care. Telemedicine.

I recently heard a news story on NPR about Texas and their shortage of psychiatrists and the need for telemedicine in remote parts of the state. This seems to be a common problem in the healthcare industry across the US, not just isolated to Texas.

As a healthcare solutions provider, Level 3 Audiovisual is constantly thinking of ways to alleviate strain on doctors, hospitals, care centers and learning facilities. We feel strongly that telemedicine and video conferencing bring solutions to many problems associated with shortages in healthcare providers. One of the challenges we face is getting our government, individual care providers and doctors to adapt to new technologies and approaches.

Out of the 254 counties in Texas, 185 lack a resident psychiatrist in their county. That averages out to 3.2 million people who don’t have easy access to psychiatric care. Even servicing half of this population with remote telemedicine could have a tremendous impact.

One of the best uses for telemedicine is psychiatric care. Since doctors do not need to be physically present with the patient they can use high definition cameras, smart phones or tablet technology to conduct remote video sessions with patients. This provides a fantastic service to the community by alleviating many pain points that deny psychiatric care in the first place such as the time and cost of travel to remote locations.

A scenario we commonly see that can be enhanced with telemedicine is a doctor who manages several offices. For example 3 offices in different counties. Rather than spread themselves thin by commuting between offices, they can have nurses on staff at each location and dial in when needed for remote care. Everything from administering prescriptions to updating patient records can be conducted remotely and secured in the cloud.

By using this “remote or mobile doctor’s office” a doctor or care facility can have numerous “micro” offices that are run by a smaller staff or a single nurse who assists the doctor when needed.

How else can telemedicine be used? We had a local hospital that was paying upwards of $50,000 to fly patients in for burn treatments from other counties in the state. Now, with telemedicine, a burn specialist can evaluate the patient remotely, zoom in on the wounds in high definition and give the staff proper care instructions without transporting the patient. This has saved hospitals and patients time, money and discomfort, as well as providing immediate, and in some cases, lifesaving trauma care.

But what about billing? Well, most insurance plans now cover telemedicine. It’s just a matter of the doctor, care facility or hospital setting the right pieces in motion to get on board with telemedicine so they are in compliance with regulations and can be reimbursed accurately.

Telemedicine solutions come in all shapes and sizes. From hard wired PTZ cameras to wireless systems on carts to remote controlled robotics with iPads.  Each alternative has its use cases and all can not only save the industry millions of dollars annually but can provide a much needed service to remote communities lacking resources.

Level 3 Audiovisual offers many solutions for healthcare providers that can save you time and money. Call us today for a free consultation.

 

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