Audiovisual (AV) systems have the capacity to optimise business, transform learning, inspire new marketing techniques, and change the way consumers see a brand. AV tech is breaking new ground around the world and inspiring innovation in many different industries, from healthcare to education.
As an audiovisual integrator, part of our job is to help you understand the benefits of designing great AV systems that meet your technological, aesthetic, and budgetary needs.
End users and decision-makers, IT departments responsible for managing or even installing AV systems, and professional integrators alike can all benefit from working with an AV designer. This ensures the systems specified are a perfect fit for your space and your business requirements.
So, what are the essentials of Great AV Design?
There are many things that affect the electrical, mechanical and structural aspects of a great AV system.
AV design (done right) takes into consideration these requirements, from the placement of the screens and loudspeakers to the control system deployed.
Of course, these requirements vary from industry to industry—and even from venue to venue. If you are looking at video-conferencing for example – there are many things to consider from price to the individual Product Software. (Zoom Rooms work well as do Microsoft Teams Rooms but both have their differences…)
However, even as these requirements change, the fundamentals of good AV design remain the same across projects.
The First Steps Towards Successful AV Design
The first steps are not always straight-forward. Developing AV design for a business, classroom, restaurant, hotel, or retail outlet can be complicated. It involves many moving parts and players to be successful. The first step toward designing your AV system is to draw or acquire the blueprints of the venue, including floor plans and ceiling plans. By knowing the terrain – you can plan accordingly.
From there, we’ll also need equipment details, schedules, and risers. Finally, we would need technical AV system drawings, showing control system user interfaces and signal flow. It is here that having an experienced AV Designer can prove invaluable.
Diving into Design: What You Need to Know
An AV system is only as good as its design. Different rooms and usages require different AV designs to work seamlessly for their intended purpose.
AV Design for Schools, for example, connects students with remote instructors, introducing them to ideas and people to which they would otherwise not have access (Essential during a global pandemic!)
AV systems for the classroom should focus on stimulation, excitement, and engagement, as well as learning and enrichment. The design could include document cameras, visualizers, electronic whiteboards, and video conferencing technology to connect with global students.
On the other hand…
Something more commercial like a retail outlet for example… may require distributed sound systems to create a specific ambiance through music, paging systems for emergencies, and digital signage for branding.
So while there are certainly differences in mind to consider, most AV system designs must accommodate the following non-negotiables:
The 5 Things AV System Designs must Remember
- Display size, type, and placement.
It is integral to calculate the most suitable screen size for the location and viewing angle. A bigger screen isn’t always better—it’s more important to match it to the size of the room and its overall purpose. Huddle Spaces are different than Town Hall Spaces and would require a different display solution.
Image Resolution is also worth-remembering. As resolution standards move toward 4K and beyond, it’s becoming best practice to future-proof systems with the highest resolution LED screens or projectors the budget allows.
Today’s video walls allow for innovative design solutions, while augmented reality technology and VR can take a system to the next level in a higher education or retail environment.
- Assess the project’s audio needs.
While the visual aspects of AV design tend to be the most exciting, you can’t forget the “A” in AV. We must always consider the speaker locations, microphones, amplifiers, processing, and the level of audio quality you need, as well as what the system will be used for.
- Keep power requirements in mind.
The location of outlets and power connections to ensure your system will work for your room are also a consideration. This is important for power conditioning and power isolation to get the most out of the system and protect the delicate components from power surges and sags.
- Optimise control panels.
Great AV systems have easy-to-use control systems for lighting, audio, and video components. Depending on your budget, the AV system should ideally include complete automation of the systems, along with remote monitoring. The system should have an intuitive touchscreen user interface for easy adoption… this can be even complemented with mobile control from a smartphone, iPad or tablet.
- Focus on user needs.
How is the UX? AV systems should streamline operations, engage learners, enhance communications, or contribute to the branding of your organisation. In general, AV should enhance the lives of the users in some way.
It should make tasks more convenient, more enjoyable—or both. Even the most technologically advanced AV systems won’t achieve these goals if the design doesn’t focus on the users’ needs and desires and offer features in a format that’s easy to learn and use.
If you can’t operate the system to the potential you need, it becomes frustrating and you might even consider not using the system at all.
With these elements in mind, we strive to meet the AV needs specific to the clients own individual situation.
Even the most technologically advanced and high-quality AV will offer poor returns if it is not part of a larger and well-thought and executed design.
So, with all that in mind, are there any new or exciting development worth noting?
2021 Example: AV Design for Co-Working Spaces
With the upheaval of the covid pandemic, there have many changes on so many levels of society. One of the big ones of course is workplace culture and the rise of remote working. As a result, there has been a move towards a decentralisation of workplace locations. With many co-working spaces now appearing right across the country – this brings opportunities for many local and rural locations.
With that is the opportunity and challenge of getting AV Design right for these new co-working spaces. The fundamentals of AV Design are still the same even for remote working hubs. Each location will require a tailored approach. However, it is not something that can be skipped over lightly.
The upside and benefits for many families and local businesses is massive if the technological needs of its users can be met. By not getting this right – there is a missed opportunity and cost…
With expertly designed AV, you’re in the position to create a connected, collaborative world.
So regardless of whether you are setting up the next co-working space or looking to revitalize your current office set-up…..if you have any further questions about your AV Design & Setup – please get in touch with us.