Greetings and felicitations

Hello AV-1’ers. Hello world. Welcome to my first effort as an “AV-1 Insider”, a new feature here on AV-1 whereby a group of us will periodically bring you our thoughts or observations, or maybe just toss a question out there for the “group mind” to discuss – something longer than tweet, but typically shorter than a big fluffy blog post.

I know, I know, you are probably thinking: “Ooooooh, he works at UCLA!” I wish I could say the work lived up to the mystique, but our primary responsibility is AV in the classrooms. Most of them are decidedly more functional and utilitarian than anything else. With our limited campus space, plus the state budget being what it is out here, large building projects involving classrooms and fancy AV system design have been rather rare.

In fact we will only now hit 100% – 196 rooms – with full AV systems this summer if everything goes as planned. We have been trying to add 6 rooms a quarter the last few years, doing all the work here in-house.

As soon as I figure out how to do it, I hope to begin linking to and commenting on articles I come across. I read a lot. It’s how I try to keep up with this little corner of the madly spinning AV world that we call home.

As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged. This is a participatory environment. Just remember – if it’s not yet blindingly obvious – we are not professional writers. We do what you do. Most of us work somewhere in the higher-ed AV world. We are fellow geeky tech nerds. Most of us still have more VCRs and videotapes in our rooms than we would ever care to admit to in polite AV company. Besides, we’re volunteers. We are doing this purely for the fame and glory. (Note to self: review life choices.)

So welcome to these odd new little corners of the AV-1 site – windows into our respective AV psyches. I anticipate this one will be a bit eclectic and disorganized, but always interesting and good for a little fun – just like a good garage or basement.

Class Capture

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.

Webinar: AV9000 and Quality Assurance

This posting is for informational purposes. AV-1 believes in applying best practices toward quality assurance and supports any opportunity for members of the AV-1 Community to gain a better understanding of emerging standards.

On Wednesday, March 7th at 11:00 a.m. EST, the Association for Quality in Audio Visual Technology will provide a free webinar entitled, What is AV9000 and How Do I Apply Quality Assurance in AV Technology? Led by Mario Maltese, CTS-D, CTS-I, CQT, the session will discuss Quality Assurance as a formal discipline, Cisco’s adoption of the AV9000 Standard, and the benefits of embedding AV9000 language into RFPs.

A Q&A session will follow the presentation. Continue reading

Survey Analysis: In-house Systems Install

More than 120 technology managers and directors responded to our questions about prevailing issues that affect the choices we make when planning to bring new learning spaces online. All respondents were directly involved in some aspect of learning space development (i.e. planning, design, procurement, project management, quality control, installation). As evidence of AV-1’s commitment to keeping surveys brief, the majority completed the survey in less than ten minutes.

What follows is our analysis of five key elements explored in the survey.
Continue reading

Tiner’s Take on Customer Service Through Controls

“Our rooms talk to us,” says Scott Tiner, Assistant Director for Classroom Technologies at Bates College. In his recent InfoCOMM webinar titled Leveraging Existing Technologies to Create Exceptional Customer Service Tiner mapped out the importance of tapping the usage-tracking capabilities of the technologies we already have in place in order to maximize not just customer service, but also to contribute valuable data to institutional planning.

This is important stuff. Networked control systems can do much more than just dim the lights and raise the volume, all current systems provide hooks to a database in which every button-push and device-selection is recorded and time-stamped. Furthermore, graphic touch panels offer the added benefit of serving as real-time trouble-shooting tools that can minimize session interruptions and empower users to “fix the glitch” before it turns into everyone’s problem. Continue reading

Report from InfoCOMM 2011

Orlando, FL. While attending InfoCOMM 2011, we asked key industry insiders to speak directly to the AV-1 community and to share their views of the most critical issues ahead. The following articles include brief video clips from individuals possessing uncommon insight, intuition and experience.

While this is by no means an exhaustive report, we hope that you find these views useful to your due diligence and decision-making.

[Editor's note: Interviews are provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as an endorsement. Neither AV-1, nor the author have received any form of compensation in exchange for these posts.]

This list is shown in last-in-first-out (LIFO) order. In the coming weeks, additional interviews and articles will be posted to the top of this list.

Table of Contents


Mark Valenti, The Sextant Group, discusses the up-side of a down economy as an inspiration for outside-the-box tech planning.

Ernie Bailey, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, speaks about the importance of cross-training to get the best out of AV and IT support staff.

 
Jody Forehand, Luidia, on the cost-effective approach of adding components as-needed.

Jackie Deluna, AMX on the importance of social proof for mission-critical technologies.

John Heffelfinger, Crestron, on the value of end-to-end technology solutions. 

Andrew Edwards, President of Extron, on the zen of simplification and support.

Andrew J. Milne, PhD, Tidebreak CEO, on the meaning and impact of collaborative learning environments. 

Mario Maltese, Audio Visual Resources CEO, on the impact of the AV9000 Standard and the future of zero-defect projects.

What’s your view? Are we seeing the big picture? Leave a reply below or discuss it with fellow AV-1 members on the AV-1 List.

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Luidia

This interview is part of AV-1′s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

The folks at Luidia built their business around the nifty eBeam whiteboard capture device. Seems oh-so-simple now… stick it to any whiteboard and record your board notes straight to the computer… but when they started out, the general consensus was that you needed a big honking piece of dedicated equipment to get the job done. Continue reading

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Ernie Bailey, Univ. of AR

This interview is part of AV-1′s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

Ernie Bailey has played a key role in the development of multimedia learning space at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. He served as chairman for InfoCOMM’s Technology Managers Council and contributes to other key industry councils. Continue reading

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Sextant Group

This interview is part of AV-1′s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

16-years ago, Mark Valenti left a good gig in broadcasting to start the AV design firm, The Sextant Group. The idea was simple: bring broadcast-quality precision and production values to the broader market. Twice recognized as one of the best places to work, the firm has made a name for itself in high-profile tech planning and design projects despite being not-the-lowest-price proposal on the table. Continue reading

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Crestron

This interview is part of AV-1′s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

Over the past decade, Crestron has redefined the traditional boundaries between electronics manufacturers. In 2000, the company embarked on an ambitious course, redefining itself from a manufacturer of control systems to an indomitable provider of integrated presentation systems — systems designed to interconnect and automatically communicate with each other.
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