On August 23rd, at 2 PM the Technology Manager’s Council of InfoComm will hold a quarterly conference call. This call is particularly interesting because we have invited the Independent Technical Service Providers Council (ITSP) to join us in the call. Several of us in the planning sub-committee had a conference call with them last week and are very excited about how this council can work together with ours.
The council is made up of service providers who are willing to work with institutions directly, rather than through a consulting firm or architectural firm. Also, they are SERVICE providers rather than equipment providers. So, have you ever needed a few extra hands to handle those last minute installs in the summer? This council can point you in the right direction. Have you ever run into a design process that is a little over your head? You can directly hire people from this group to help you with that design, without feeling like you are being sold on a particular product.
So, what if you are very interested in joining in on the call, but are not a member of the Tech Manager’s Council? Well, join the council! All it takes is a visit to the Tech Manager’s site http://www.infocomm.org/cps/rde/xchg/infocomm/hs.xsl/10063.htm and fill out the application form. In addition to being able to take part in the quarterly meeting, you will have access to a large group of your peers for networking.
One of the things I love about my job (and this industry), is that it is never the same. I can truly say that from day to day I never know what new project is going to be requested of me and my team. Every day is like Christmas morning, you never know what is in that wrapped box.
At the end of 2011, Bates College announced our new President. We wanted to make a splash, so we kept the name secret until the last minute. Our communications offfice wanted to stream the event, and wanted a nice production. That led to the purchase of a NewTek Tricaster, contracts with Content Delivery Networks, and all types of coordination with firms we hired for the video portion. Some may have complained about the short notice (we had about 9 days) but for me it was a thrill. Check out what we did.
And that is only one example. We have also started projects in classroom capture (using the new Crestron Capture HD platform and Sony Vaddio Cameras), are in the process of transitioning to digital (I think I could write a book, never mind a blog on this issue) installed a digital signage network on campus (we use the server version of Tightrope Media Systems) and continue to find ways to support our users in their daily use of campus equipment. For all I know, tomorrow, I may be asked to design an audio and video installation for a field house style gymnasium, with terrible acoustics. Oh wait, that was last Friday I got that request.
No day is ever the same for someone in a job like this, and I think that is why we love it. However, I have to go now, I have to do some research on scissor lifts for that gym project. Merry Christmas!
Since 2001, AV-1 has grown into a global community of thousands of leaders and learners, teachers and techies from more than 500 institutions (K-20, corporate, municipal, and military), all sharing a genuine commitment to measurable success in the art and science of communications and learning technologies.
AV-1 is where we seek guidance and freely share our experiences and our tools, so that our colleagues need not reinvent the wheel. It is the rising tide that lifts all boats. Continue reading
Many of us suffer from anxiety when running a live show of any type. We constantly run though our minds of all the possible problems and we plan ahead for anything that can go wrong.
However, I wonder, who else has ever suffered from anxiety during a show for which you are not even responsible. Whether it is at a local basketball game, a church service or even watching the Oscars last night, I find myself a little stressed out. At the basketball game, I hear some feedback and think, oh man, that headset mic is too hot, they gotta bring the gain down. During the Oscars when they shut off the mics when a thank you speech goes on too long I think, man, I am glad that I did not have to shut that off during this gal’s one moment! At the church service when a mic crackles I wonder if they are going to turn to me and ask me to do something.
Am I alone in this, or are there others out there who suffer from this affliction?
I have been working with the new Crestron Capture HD. So far, I am very impressed. What I like most about it is that there is not huge backend required to use it. A simple USB thumb drive will suffice. Therefore, the initial cost is much lower than anything else on the market. What I am not nuts about is that it records in .ts. This format is a real pain to work with. So far, all I have really found that plays nice with .ts is VLC.
In an ideal world, we might leap at the chance to dig into new technologies that promise breathtaking video resolution with minimal tweaking, however digital transitioning also brings the potential to disrupt and/or bankrupt services at a time when few operations have capacity to spare for a major overhaul of RGB-based analog video systems.
Recent discussions regarding the transition from analog to digital video transport suggest that many feel that they have little control over this technological sea-change. We conceived our Analog-to-Digital Transition survey in order to put a finer point on the current “state of digital”. This is the summary of what we learned. Continue reading
Recent discussions regarding the transition from analog to digital video transport suggest that many feel that they have little control over this technological sea-change.
In an ideal world, we might leap at the chance to dig into new technologies that promise breathtaking video resolution with minimal tweaking, however transitioning also brings the potential to disrupt and/or bankrupt services at a time when few operations have capacity to spare for a major overhaul of RGB-based analog video systems.
Please take a moment to respond to the following eight questions so that we may will put a finer point on the “state of digital” — particularly as we approach summer upgrade season.
The Big Picture…
This survey departs from previous anonymous surveys by asking for your email address. We ask this in preparation for AV-1′s upcoming budget survey series in which we hope to gain a better understanding of prevailing budget and lifecycle practices. An undertaking of this magnitude will take more than six or eight questions, so rather than try your patience, we have devised a plan for a series of short-but-sweet surveys on key operational areas. We hope to use your email address as an internal “key field” to re-assemble your responses across multiple surveys so that we can begin to map data to institutional demographics (i.e. Midwest private liberal arts college with 10,000 enrolled). As always, your survey responses will remain anonymous.
A recent survey on AV-1 questioned technology manager’s experiences with RS-232 control of their projectors. The results revealed widespread, intermittent RS-232 problems especially with serial-controlled projectors.
90% of survey respondents indicated that at least once a month their projectors have “locked up” and stopped responding to RS-232 commands. Ill-timed, random malfunctions of this sort can result in event interruptions and loss of end user confidence in presentation systems and support services.
Translation: This is a serious issue that must be resolved. Continue reading
Have you ever asked a question to which you were certain that you already knew the answer? On this week’s survey, we thought we had done just that. Expecting to hear that one particular brand of projector, when coupled with one particular control system manufacturer would cause periodic problems with RS-232, we relished the “reveal” moment when we could proclaim, “It was Colonel Mustard in the parlor with a knife!” Sadly, we hadn’t a clue.
Recently in a thread on the AV-1 forum, many members indicated that they had encountered difficulties with projectors locking up. In these cases ‘locking up” was defined as the projector not responding to any commands, either via RS-232, IP or IR. We wondered if it might be possible for AV-1 to assist in some way.
We thought that if our community could identify specific products, or a combination of products that are experiencing these issues, perhaps as a community (of 600+ IT/AV people) we could approach the manufacturers and explain the problems and see if they could develop a solution. Please take a moment to complete our projector/control system malfunction survey.