This is what a classroom layout has looked like for hundreds of years… until now.

December 14, 2016
  A teacher in front doing most of the talking, students in perfectly aligned rows doing the listening. This is what a classroom layout has looked like for hundreds of years… until now. Desk arrangements from elementary schools to Universities have taken a break from the tradition and embraced the approach by tech companies and start-ups, which focuses on collaboration as well as encourage the use of technology as a learning tool instead of a distraction. Usually we didn’t have much say in seating arrangements, either you were put in alphabetical order or a ‘first come, first to pick’ situation where the shy kid would quietly sit in the back and the smart kid with all the answers would dominate the front row, but that would leave students will little room for interaction between them. Things got worse as passing notes while the teacher turned her back turned into constant distractions with students checking their cell phones underneath their desks. In a world where technology is an integrated part of our lives and sitting to listen is a struggle, what does an effective modern classroom look like today? It’s looking more like this: The use of several huddle spaces in a large room encourages students to work together while also keeping them focused. And instead of confiscating cellphones, students are encouraged to ‘BYOD’ or Bring Your Own Device to share information from their tablet or laptop. The right AV equipment created a connected classroom, integrating technology as a quick and easy to use tool to enhance the learning experience.  Installing for example large LCD screens, say a 50 inch NEC-E505, placed at the head of each huddle space,  where you can have a clear view of material  being presented by the teacher, no more struggle to read a projection screen or finding text way too small on a video being shown in the front of the room, students have an HD monitor right in front of them where they won’t miss a thing. Add to that the use of a camera, like a Vaddio Clearshot 10, students have a clear view of their professor and/or classmates, and teachers have a clear view of all the students. These are just a few of the tools that are currently enhancing classrooms across the world, ready to learn more? Contact your AV Planning experts by calling 800-409-3587, email us at [email protected] or fill out the contact form below:

The 1960s Huddle Room – Vintage Office Spaces

December 7, 2016
The Vintage Huddle Room If you think workplace collaboration is tough, take a look at how real the struggle was in the 1960s….   BYON Forget BYOD, no device or tables or iPads, you had to Bring Your Own Notepad and forget about your Creston scheduler or pop up notifications, you had to keep your eye on the clock and make sure your pencil was sharpened before class your meeting.   THE HUDDLE Let’s huddle around… yup, there was actually huddling in a 1960s huddle room. It’s not like we could project our statistics on a wall or email everyone our report, we had to get out of our seats and huddle around our co-worker.     FACETIME No, it wasn’t the book of the month club, you had real face-to-face interaction. But hey, at least there were no distractions…   THE BARE MINIMUM We mean like ZERO distractions… perhaps it was a minimalistic approach? Except for the ash trays, we got to make sure there were plenty of those.   WORK-TUBE Soon, we got our very own monitors installed in our huddle room. Possibly the first computer-equipped meeting room, an idea by Douglas Engelbart, the American engineer and inventor who is considered the grandfather of the mouse and video conferencing among many, many other collaboration tools we use today.   TECHIES Goodbye minimalism, by the late 70s and 80s, we replaced our bulky typewriters with bulkier computers, come on you have to admit this groovy tech crowd was onto something…   Took us a few decades but hey, eventually we got it right! Let your AV Planning experts bring you back to the future by designing your very own modern huddle space by calling 800-409-3587, email us at [email protected] or filling out the contact form below:

Bringing IT and AV Together

December 6, 2016
Bringing IT and AV together – The standard technology you might already have that holds the solution to your audio & video networking woes. As displays become common, not just for collaboration, but also a necessity to present information in common areas, the need for quick, efficient solutions is in demand. What if a standard technology, you might already have, be your solution for Audio and Video networking woes? Say you’re ready to network your AV, you’re looking to connect rooms, common areas, and users using Audio and Video… but, you’re not quite ready for a full out traditional copper or fiber expansion. You might already have the solution in your existing ethernet infrastructure. IP based technology is ideal for digital signage or Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), commonly known as streaming media, that works right through your existing ethernet system, all you need is the right tech to make it all work together as a network. Let’s take a look at just a few key benefits of Crestron’s DM AV Network solutions: No Distance Limitations Using your existing ethernet infrastructure, you’re able to distribute content and information not just between rooms but across buildings to public spaces or presentation rooms. It’s easy to multicast through your network, this is especially ideal when it comes to displaying information like digital signage or notices from one side of a campuses or office building, to another. Flexibility Gone are the limitations and costs of digital matrix switchers. While switchers are a common way to share content from multiple video components  such as a video conferencing or media servers to more than one display,the number of outputs are limited. A virtual matrix eliminates the need for a centralized switcher, making it a flexible solution. Take for example common areas where you might find the need to switch between say a 4K/60 DM input and an HDMI feed, the right Crestron encoder/ decoder can automatically connect, scale and display from your source. Easy Expansion The best part is you don’t have to commit, you get what you need and easily add you go along. Say you have overflow rooms, or additional meeting spaces to include down the line, all you need to do is add decoders. You can even have a two-way interaction when paired with multiple rooms with the right extender. Today’s technology can even include desktops and mobile devices.   As with any solution, you’ll have to check your specs to see if you have enough bandwidth for your traffic, but let AV Planners take care of that. We’ll take a look at your existing system and compare time and cost benefits over a traditional copper or fiber solution for the best option based on your network AV needs, so contact your AV Planning experts by calling 800-409-3587, email us at [email protected] or fill out the contact form below:

Video Conferencing round the–Thanksgiving table?!?

November 21, 2016
Wouldn’t it be great if we could videoconference our thanksgiving dinner? We’d save time and money avoiding travel, we could wear shorts and flip flops under the table, and we’d have a TV style production video to watch and cherish for years to come—errr ok so maybe it’s not the greatest idea, but video conferencing in the work place can save company funds on travel costs and with the latest facial recognition technology, you won’t miss a single remark from attendees. The truth is video conferencing technology is at it’s peak, professional-grade audio and video make collaboration a breeze, so you can truly forget about the tech and focus on the meeting.   Take for example one of our favorite collaboration tools by Polycom, the RealPresence Group 500 Series, a enterprise-grade collaboration solution whose content and video technology is raising the bar for tracking technology and data collection so you don’t miss a thing.   It begins with it’s groundbreaking video experience, take for example it’s Eagle Eye Producer and EagleEye Director features. This might sound crazy but its innovative technology zooms in on whoever is speaking, and it’s not just following noise, the camera actually recognizes eyes, noise, and mouth to determine who is speaking then automatically frames the shot to that person. When other participants join the meeting, it’s facial-tracking algorithm detects them and begins to frame all guests as they enter the room and even take into account their body language and movements to accurately frame them as they speak.   Gone are any dizzy or disorienting camera movements, the Polycom EagleEye IV camera seamlessly adjusts much like a television production, which switches from a close up to a wide establishing shot of the scene, then back to a close up when speakers trade off speaking. The equipment gets a view of the room and adjusts to find faces then tracking and framing them perfectly using 1080p image quality, 12x or 4z zoom, and 180 degree panning. The camera also comes with an optional wide-angle lens adapter to help make sure everyone is on screen and not bunched up to get into the shot. The adapter expands the already wide, 65-degree viewing angle to an impressive 85-degrees. If you have a smaller room, the Polycom EagleEye Acoustic is a smaller solution which is easy to set up that doesn’t skimp on image quality. But it’s more than just a video set up, the Polycom RealPresence works flawlessly with Skype for Business and integrates with all other collaboration devices. Did we mention you can also keep track of participation analytics?!   When you see how flawlessly and smooth your cameras starts switching between speakers and following them around without a problem at the office, you might actually consider getting one installed in the family dining room for next year’s thanksgiving….🤔   If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of video conferencing for businesses or Polycom solutions for your workplace, contact us at AV Planners by calling

A Visual History of Computer Monitors

September 22, 2016
A Visual History of Computer Monitors   1960s The ‘‘Glass Teletype’’ came about in the early 60s, it was text only but much faster and much more convenient than paper and so it became the main interface between a user and computer for nearly 2 decades.     Late 1970s Apple’s Steve Wozniak was one of the guys behind the Apple I, it was the first time a CCTV video monitor was used as a display, video outputs! Pretty cool huh?     1983 Get ready for the nostalgia to start hitting… the Commodore 1702. The COLOR composite video monitor with it’s high(er)-quality image included early S-Video connection and really made your Commodore 64 look awesome! You know, to play Jumpman and stuff.     1987 512 by 342 pixel bitmapped graphics!!!! Yup, with it’s high-resolution, it was the sharpest and accurate color available, it was the Macintosh II and it changed everything.   1987 Doogie Houser knows what’s up, showing off his IBM 8513 VGA monitor, yup, the very first VGA monitor that soon became standard in most analog video monitors after that for a long while.   1990s Beige. Nothing to see here folks… just beige. Beige everywhere. 😩   1997 Still a lot of beige going on but ViewSonic was among the first to show off the color LCD monitors that took up less of your desk space and used up less electricity.   2010s The more the better, this was around the time we wanted more. Multiple monitors weren’t just for photographers or editors, the workplace began to see many displays working together on one desktop.   2016 Touch screen! It would be weird to have a screen you can’t touch. Our obbession with smart phones soon transferred over to monitors. They are fast, durable and dependable. Now they take up less space AND you can even go keyboard optional. Just take a look at the Planar PCT2235… don’t you want it!     We’ve come a long way but you’d still be amazed at the newest tech, just give AV Planners a call to learn more., 800-409-3598, email us at [email protected] or fill out the form on the side to learn more about the Pro-G Audio line, wireless hardware that can keep up with you.  
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