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Save Money in the Long Run with an AV9000 Certified AV Integrator

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If you’ve ever invested in technology only to learn later that it needs to be rewired, reconnected, or even replaced, you know that can be both frustrating and expensive. You may end up spending more by having to replace cables, tear out walls or ceilings, or even find a more effective solution altogether. It’s especially discouraging if you hired a company to help but you still didn’t get the results you needed.

If that’s happened to you, you’re not alone. According to The Association for Quality in Audio Visual Technology, Inc. (AQAV), poor quality AV solutions and integration costs more than $15 billion a year worldwide in rework, lost hours, and repairs.

Safeguarding against such waste or inefficiency is difficult when you’re not an audiovisual expert—that’s why you hired one in the first place. Learn How AV9000 Quality Assurance Can Help Your Organization

Choosing the Right Audiovisual Technology Partner

Fortunately, the AV industry has quality standards that help you choose the right company and ensure you make a wise investment. One such protection is AQAV, a non-profit corporation “dedicated to improving the operational art of designing and installing audiovisual technology.” Their AV9000 standards, training, certification, and audits ensure that all certified technology companies provide quality solutions that meet the same standards and follow the same best practices.

AQAV uses standards developed by organizations like AVIXA (the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association), SynAudCon (Synergetic Audio Concepts), AES (Audio Engineering Society), SMPTE® (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), to provide standards that assure consistent quality across industries and around the world.

So how do you know you’re choosing a company that cares about these standards and will follow them to make sure you don’t pay for their mistakes down the road? First, start by asking potential integrators some questions.

Questions to Ask

  • Is your company AV9000 certified?
    If the answer is no, ask why not and what quality standards they follow.
  • What certifications do your technicians have?
    Individual integrators should have certifications, like CTS (Certified Technology Specialist), or others that directly support their role.
  • Do you have a company quality policy and process? And how do you ensure your team adheres to them?
    Integration companies should have these in place and be able to share how they ensure quality solutions.
  • What if I have a question or concern during or after the installation?

The integration company should be able to provide you with a contact who will address all your questions and concerns at any point.

The Benefits of Partnering with an AV Integrator

The selection process is so important because you’ll see several benefits from working with a company that makes quality assurance a priority. They’ll work to:

  • Design and install systems for an optimal user experience and operability
  • Ensure your projects are completed on time thanks to standard processes
  • Catch defects in solutions before they are put into use
  • Follow up to resolve issues with your solutions
  • Prevent system failure so you have less downtime and fewer repairs
  • Provide upfront information about long-term maintenance and upgrade costs
  • Maximize your investment with efficient installation and prevention of issues down the road

Next Steps

Finding the right audiovisual technology partner is the first step to creating the environment you want at your organization—and in making sure your money doesn’t get wasted on poor quality solutions and services. Learn more about why an AQAV-certified audiovisual integrator will help you get the results you want by exploring this whitepaper.

Top Five Ways to Trick Out Your Boardroom

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Have yourself a boardroom with a pretty table and need to figure out how to make AV fit into your space?

Here are some boardroom automated control ideas for all brain types:

 

1. The Collaborator

You like to get people involved? We get it. Let us find you the right collaboration engine for you to share one, two, four, or even more sources on a single or multiple displays for your boardroom.

  • A little extra something: We can even give you the ability to moderate what sources are allowed on screen, choose your favorite collaborator to feature full screen, and mute the guy from HR that just seems to be sharing cat videos on his iPad.

 

2. The Minimalist

So you want simplicity and just want things to work? Why not let the control system work in the background? Install an occupancy sensor and tie it to the control system. This will allow the system to turn things on when walk in and automatically shut things down when you are gone.

  • A little extra something: Don’t know where the presenter will be sitting in the boardroom? Easy, install multiple input locations around the boardroom table and the system can automatically switch to wherever you plug in.

 

3. The Demonstrator

Do you feel at peace with a pen and a whiteboard during meetings? Why not install an annotation engine into your board room and draw to your hearts content. You can even save what you have annotated and distribute to your meeting participants. Annotation can be engaged or shutoff at the click of a button on the control system.

  • A little extra something: For the stand-up desk employees, you can install touch right into the main display at the front of the room and let them go to town. That’s right, even that 98 inch display you have been eyeing has a touch enabled counterpart to it. For the “I’m fine right where I am” employees, how about a touch monitor on the board table? Anything you draw shows up on any assigned screen in the room.

 

4. The Audiophile

Forget the 150 inch LED video wall at the front of the room, your heart is connected directly to your ears. How about high quality line array speakers at the front of the space for program audio? In fact, lets throw in a low profile ceiling mounted sub-woofer as well. Fully adjustable and controllable via the control system. Do you want to share your PowerPoint or just watch Gladiator today?

    • A little extra something: Doing conferencing in your board room? How about auto-mixing low profile microphones mounted in the table? They can even be programmed to light green when they are on and red when they are muted. Perhaps you would install a snake skin wallpaper before EVER letting ANYONE drill into your table? Ceiling microphones it is then. We can even make them drop from the ceiling when conferencing is engaged. It’s cool. Trust us.

 

5. The Long-Distance Relationship

Need to have a conversation with someone but text just doesn’t seem appropriate? How about installing a video conferencing system into your boardroom? Skype for business, Webex, GoToMeeting, traditional Polycom/Cisco conferencing is all at your fingertips. Not to mention without the need for thirteen remote controls. Just grab the touch panel and engage with a single or even multiple other users at the same time.

  • A little extra something: Why not save the best for last? Install automated camera tracking and control. When you talk, the control system finds you and frames you as the presenter. When Fred talks on the other end of the room, the system switches to a wide shot of the board table until the 2nd camera finds Fred. When it does, boom, Fred is front and center. It’s like a magic trick, but with less wands, and more 1’s and 0’s.

Would you like to have your cake and eat it too? No problem, let us combine all of your favorite control features and functions and create something truly amazing for your space.

Level 3 Audiovisual named as education partner for AQAV.

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AV9000 training now has a new home, on the West coast!

Mesa, Arizona – June 13th – AQAV announced today it will be naming Level 3 Audiovisual as an approved training center for AV9000 CQT classes on the West coast of the U.S.

“It has been my ambition to bring basic Quality Management Principles to the Audiovisual Technology industry, as other industries have done, primarily for the benefit of the consumer, and therefore for the benefit of all who manage, procure, manufacture, design, install, program, and service that industry”, said Mario Maltese, Executive Director for The Association for Quality in Audio Visual Technology, Inc. (AQAV). “By offering AV integrators the option to become CQT certified through a “University” type of setting on the West coast, such as that at Level 3 Audiovisual, our hope is to increase the amount of quality installations that will ultimately benefit the end user”.

”I am honored at the opportunity to take what Mario has laid out, as an AV9000 leader, and implement these quality assurance processes into other AV integrators operations workflow”, said Jeremy Elsesser, COO at Level 3 Audiovisual. “The implementation of AV9000 into our own operations has eliminated many problems people normally run into when completing large scale AV installations. We hope that teaching other AV companies the benefits of implementing an AV9000 workflow into their operations will increase both their revenue as well as the customer’s satisfaction”.

Level 3 Audiovisual has expanded its facility to over 20,000 sq. ft. and plans to offer classes in their facility by the end of 2016. Audiovisual integration companies, corporate media managers and/or enterprise AV managers who want to be trained in AV9000 will now have a West Coast option rather than flying to the East coast where AQAV is headquartered.

“The benefits a company will experience after implementing an AV9000 workflow will be huge and immediate. Having racked, terminated, tested and commissioned the project equipment before taking it to the field ensures a reduction in field hours, a faster install time and relief from dealing with surprise errors and equipment failures,” says Jeremy Elsesser.

AQAV is non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the operational art of designing and installing audio visual technology. Engineered audio visual systems continue to become more complex and difficult to integrate. By focusing on the quality management of these systems, and of those who design and install them, we can benefit the AV industry and all its stakeholders: including clients and users of AV technology, AV designers and installers, equipment manufacturers, related construction and architectural firms, and the environment.

Level 3 Audio Visual is a full-service audio-visual provider, specializing in the design, sale, integration, service and support of professional audio-visual and video-conferencing systems. Our goal is to assess our clients’ business needs, introduce cutting-edge technology into their existing systems and produce results that increase efficiency, revenues, communication, awareness and savings.

Founded in 1996, Level 3 AV quickly established working relationships with a wide range of corporate clients. We continue to provide technology solutions for corporate boardrooms, training facilities, enterprise level integrations and command-and-control centers.

Green AV Technology

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Green AV Technology & the Power of Building Automation

April 22, 2016 marks the 46th annual Earth Day. What started as an annual day of peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental policy reform has become a day of action, celebrated in almost 200 countries. In some communities, the celebration continues for an entire week, known as Earth Week. Across the world, citizens will be planting trees, cleaning up litter, turning off electronics to save energy, using public transportation, walking or biking, and much more. But what about the other 364 days of the year? What else can we do to safeguard our planet for future generations? Can we literally build a better tomorrow?

The green av technology buildings of tomorrow are designed to be sustainable, adaptable, and efficient – but they are more commonly referred to as “Green.” What does it mean to be Green? Green buildings consume less energy and water, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases into the environment. The most widely-used and recognized certification for such buildings is the LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED was developed in the mid-1990s by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Since then, the LEED standards have constantly been evolving to better reflect and incorporate new construction methods and technology. Today, there are over 80,000 registered and certified LEED projects worldwide, representing around 13.8 Billion square feet of building space, with an additional 1.85 million square feet becoming certified every day.

LEED has grown from its origins as a single building standard for New Construction to a comprehensive system of standards including but not limited to the following categories – New Construction, Major Renovation, Core & Shell, Schools, Retail, Healthcare, Commercial Interiors, and Homes. Any building can be Green – and almost any building project can be LEED Certified. New construction projects are first registered with USGBC/LEED, and accumulate a number of points based on their design, construction, operation, and maintenance. The number of points a project earns determine its certification level. Within the current LEED standard, there are four levels – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Automated Smart Lighting

Smart energy technology plays a big part in the achieving and maintaining LEED standards. Since lighting alone represents about 38% of the total electricity usage in commercial buildings, more than any other building system, Lighting Control Systems are a must in Green building design. One company that has been at the forefront of Lighting Control, energy savings and sustainability is Lutron. Joel Spira, the company’s founder, invented the first practical and affordable solid-state electronic dimmer back in 1959. Lutron estimates that its dimmers alone save nearly 10 billion kWh and nearly $1 billion in energy costs every year. Today, Lutron offers what is known as “Total Light Management”, which includes devices and automation solutions for Lighting Control, Motorized Window Treatments, Daylight Harvesting, Energy-Efficient Lighting Fixture Ballasts and Drivers, and Environmental Sensors. In total, Lutron’s solutions can contribute to 46 out of the 110 possible points in LEED.

A vast majority of commercial spaces are over-lit, which wastes a significant amount of energy. Interior lights are often running at full power when there may already be an ample amount of natural light in the space. While typical office lighting levels are ideal for paperwork tasks, they can be 2-3 times brighter than what is ideal for computer usage and presentations using projectors or displays. Lutron’s integrated lighting control systems reduce energy usage by dimming and controlling light fixtures. These systems are available for every type of space, and scale up from single rooms to entire buildings and campuses.

A standard dimmer will use 4-9% less energy than a standard switch, even at 0% dimming. When dimmed, even greater savings can be achieved. On average, dimming a standard incandescent or halogen light source reduces energy use by 20%, and will allow a bulb to last up to 20 times longer. Maintenance and operating costs are drastically reduced.

Automated Smart Shades Can Save Lot’s of Money

Motorized shading systems save energy by reducing and reflecting direct sunlight, which reduces heat gain within a space and the load on HVAC systems. Shade fabrics can be fitted with a white or silver backing to further reflect incoming sunlight. Fabrics generally fall into one of two categories. Sheer (or dim-out) shades allow a certain amount of light to filter through, while still reflecting direct sunlight and UV rays away from a building’s interior. Blackout shades, along with integrated side channels and sills allow no light to pass through, dramatically reducing heat gain and eliminating glare within a space. By using separate rollers with both shade fabrics, the proper amount of natural daylight can very simply be controlled and maintained.

Daylight harvesting leverages Lutron’s native integration across all of its product lines to manage both the electric lighting and natural daylight within a space. For example, on a sunny day, the system will automatically dim or turn off the interior lights and open the shades, constantly making adjustments to both systems based on the position of the sun and the fluctuation of exterior lighting levels. By maintaining the proper balance between the two light sources, companies can save energy while still offering the proper amount of light.

With the onset of more energy efficient bulb and fixture types, such as LED and CFL, dimming has proved to be a challenge. These bulbs do not operate the same way that traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs do. Lutron’s Ballasts and Drivers allow these bulbs and fixtures to dim all the way to 1% in some cases, which further saves energy and provides the additional benefits that come with dimming, such as longer bulb life, and lower maintenance and operating costs.

Lutron offers a wide variety of environmental sensors which do everything from single room control to integration with their larger, building-wide systems. Daylight Sensors constantly measure the amount of light in a given space, and serve as the basis of a Daylight Harvesting System. Lighting levels are automatically adjusted based on the amount of available daylight. Occupancy and Vacancy Sensors automatically detect when someone enters the room and switch the lights on. When the room is no longer in use, they ensure that the lights are never left on.

Lighting control is only part of the equation, however. Most modern offices are fitted out with Large Screen Displays, Projectors, Printers and Copiers, Personal Computers, Server Racks, and more. All of this equipment represents another 20% of electricity usage.

Many commercial electronics carry the Energy Star label, which means that they adhere to a strict set of standards when they are powered On, Off, or put in to Sleep mode. On average, electronics that are Energy Star certified consume 25% less energy. Since they use less energy, they can also contribute to LEED certification, in addition to Energy Star certification.

Smart Audiovisual Technology for Green Buildings

Projector technology has evolved in recent years to include Laser Light Sources, which do not use a traditional bulb. Since there are no bulbs to replace, the total cost of ownership is much lower than that of a traditional projector. There are several other advantages, such as higher brightness, and much longer lamp life – more than 20,000 hours in some cases, and nearly instant on/off – no “warm up” or “cooling down” period required. They can also run at half brightness which saves energy and further extends the projector’s life cycle.

These commercial electronics are often tied into larger integrated systems, and that is where control system manufacturers such as Crestron, AMX, and Extron can further contribute to energy savings. In many ways, this is the pinnacle of smart energy technology – the point at which all of these separate systems communicate and work together to conserve energy. Control systems provide a single interface from which a company can monitor and control all of its technology systems – Lighting, Shades, HVAC, and AV. In addition to constantly working towards introducing more efficient products themselves, these companies can take control of any 3rd party Displays, Projectors, Amplifiers, and more, scheduling them to turn off at the end of the day, or integrating with Lighting Control Systems’ environmental sensors to power them down when a room is unoccupied. Devices and controls can also be “locked out” to prevent unauthorized usage.

Building a better tomorrow means much more than just constructing green buildings. We must consider how these buildings will be used, who and what will occupy them, and how they will impact the environment. Modern offices rely heavily on technology, and since technology is always changing, it can be easy to take for granted. Those of us in the AV Integration industry are constantly looking for ways that this same technology can be leveraged to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a more sustainable future for all of us.

 

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