Compelling Reasons to Rely on AV Professionals Rather Than Doing It Yourself
In the commercial audio visual integration industry, our primary role is to learn about your business objectives and translate them into integrated technology solutions that facilitate communication. In its most base form, we are providing equipment that works together to produce light and air. It sounds simple enough. However, an AV designer makes very calculated choices on your behalf about every individual system component to ensure that you meet those objectives by using a communication and presentation solution that does what it needs to do AND is also reliable, durable and easy to use.
We understand that retail stores sell 950” 8K TVs for $300.
We are aware that you can get a 15.1 surround sound system for $250 and trick your guests into thinking they are in an IMAX theater when they are really in a low-ceiling basement of a house built in 1965.
Facetiousness aside, while there is some cross-over and certain applications in which you can utilize consumer technology in an integrated commercial system, equipment and technology available in retail stores and commercial-grade audio visual solutions are not the same, just as doing it yourself as opposed to working with professionals will yield very different results.
Let’s review a hypothetical example to illustrate how and why. We are designing a conference room that is thirty feet deep and twenty feet wide for an architecture and engineering firm. The room has floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall and a conference table that seats sixteen. We know from our client-focused interview that they often need to display detailed drawings and schematics, they want the TV to show the company logo and marketing information when not in use, and they need to be able to host audio conferences with clients and partners.
Without a professional to make recommendations for this client, they might opt to purchase a 60” flat panel from a store or online retailer, as well as a star phone and an off-the-shelf AV receiver with included speakers. Let’s say you are the IT or facilities person tasked with putting it together in the room. As you attempt to do so, you run into a multitude of problems:
This is a somewhat hyperbolized scenario, but I am drawing on actual experiences to illustrate that while you can probably DIY an AV system, the perceived lower cost of doing so results in a much higher back-end expense:
The impact is that the system is hard to use, does not allow users to have productive meetings, is not designed for the intended use, and doesn’t make a good aesthetic impact on prospective clients who come in for presentations.
The best way to avoid this scenario is to consult with a professional audio visual integrator who can listen and offer a variety of solution options that prevent such issues by leveraging commercial and “prosumer” quality equipment, as well as design and integration expertise. In the hypothetical example above, an experienced integrator would recommend a larger image size and a display that is rated to be used for more than 8 consecutive hours a day. Connectivity would be built into the table, cables would be hidden, a control system present, and integrated conferencing capabilities using microphones and speakers would be present. It may require a higher up-front investment than the Best Buy DIY solution, but you will save on the back-end in many ways: the system looks great in the room, meetings start up quickly and on time, everyone can connect, see and be seen, hear and be heard, and IT and facilities can focus on mission critical duties – this is where the value lies in working with a professional firm that knows how to leverage consumer and commercial technology to design and build an integrated system that gets you the results you require.
Article written by Lisa Dase