By Nicole Courtemanche
If anyone follows this blog—and goodness knows, every blogger does wonder if any reader follows their work!—you have read numerous references to songs and movies and television programs that I choose to help color between the black lines and white space divide of the human experience and everyday low-voltage technology devices. It makes it fun for me to write and hopefully for you as a reader to read. Having said this about our connection (a.k.a. blog writer and blog reader), let us move on to a more holistic connectivity, a universal connection, a.k.a. the connectivity between our human experience and—audio/visual (A/V) technology devices. Its universality lies in the fact that A/V technology captures sights and sounds anywhere in the world for us to enjoy wherever we are.
Picture this …
… it’s some year in the 1950s, and television sets are starting to become an everyday household appliance. Families gather in their living room surrounding the TV to watch their favorite syndicated program or news. The family watches the TV appliance, but no one in that time has the wherewithal or innovation to have those on the production set be able to see the family in their living room watching them. As a matter fact, it wasn’t until today’s world that a gathering or meeting room had a reason to need A/V devices to offer those in one or even multiple locations to see those on the opposite side of the screen.
(And if a 1950s family ever knew that one day the television line-up they were seeing could see into their living room, they would think they were watching an episode of the Twilight Zone—and they wouldn’t be too far off!)
Fast forward to today …
The word "hybrid" and A/V conferencing setups
Look up the word “hybrid” and you’ll see it defined as the “offspring” between two things. In animals and humans, hybrid can be found in genetics; in cars, its reference combines electric and gas engines; and in A/V, hybrid refers to face-to-face communication and virtual communication in commercial or public building meeting rooms and at home and/or remote offices.
Post-pandemic hybrid A/V setups that rely on the customization of meeting or gathering rooms are a necessity as some offices allow their workforce to enter their buildings again as an alternative to working from home; or in the case of in-person meetings being required, like in schools or government buildings. Still, there will be some remote participants like in classrooms or public planning meetings. What this means to commercial or public buildings is that their meeting and/or gathering rooms need to have the ability to capture audio and visual elements occurring within the room to then be live streamed over collaboration tool software to those participating at home and vice versa for in-person room participants that need to also see and hear remote participants.
And into the room, walks Connectivity Point (CPDI) A/V customization expert, Adam Krawic. If you come to CPDI for a hybrid A/V setup that is customized for your space, you may also be set up with Adam Krawic as your A/V Estimator. I once asked Adam, “What questions do you want me to ask the client to help figure out the technology you need to estimate for an A/V quote?” He answered rather profoundly (as if he were a Twilight Zone narrator), “Don’t ask about the technology they believe they want or need—they may not know. Find out about the purpose of the room and what they hope to capture by sight and sound in their A/V setup.”
It makes sense too. If you need to capture audio and visual for the people within the room to be able to live stream to those who are remote, you would need monitors and possibly projectors, speakers, microphones, and cameras in different locations, as well as the wiring that supports it, and possibly conduit to support the wiring. For those at home, they would also need a live streaming software collaboration tool and the technology devices that support audio and visual to capture their remote space. Then everyone would need access via a laptop or computer to get to the same live stream collaboration session which also needs to be connected to monitors, cameras and microphones, and speakers.
If you are like myself and do need some conversation starters, may I suggest the following CPDI In-The-Project-Know questions to ponder:
• What type(s) of space(s) are you looking to have quoted?
• What is the intended use of your space?
• What type and size A/V system do you currently have?
• Do you have any drawings of the space?
• Do you have any pictures of the room to share with us?
For more A/V conversation starters, please also reference our handy A/V Checklist.
A/V hybrid customization never seemed so complicated, which is exactly why Adam spoke those wise words—trust me! Leave this hybrid beast to the A/V experts like Adam, folks! We are far, far away past the yesteryear of projectors and slide decks on our innovative, low-voltage technological path to universal connectivity!
Call us. Email us. We are here to help get you started on your hybrid conferencing journey.
Until next time when we will have a guest CPDI colleague of mine helping with the blog. Fun and games will be had when we play, “What is wrong with this [cabling job picture?!”
Image credits (via Wikipedia):
• 1950s TV, Jonnie Nord (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0)
• Dean Jagger as “Ed Lindsay” in The Twilight Zone, The Bureau of Industrial Service for CBS Television