My #Anker charger is one of my favorite finds. With frequent stays in hotel rooms, VRBO's and just hanging around different conference halls and venues, I need a way to charge all my day to day stuff with ease. The#ANKER charger allows me to plug my phone, my watch and all kinds of other stuff in at the same time on a bedside table or desk and have one small plug that can plug into any outlet i run into. This brings me to some of the devices I love that charge via USB. This year at Christmas my wife bought a USB rechargeable flashlight for me; it's amazing. I am always needing flashlights while looking through AV systems and though I have owned several, they never got used more than my phone flashlight because the batteries were always dead. The USB on this flashlight allows me to top off the charge the night before I go and use it for at least a few days before I simply plug it back in.
Once you get your design finished it might feel like everything else will go quickly and you’ll have your new equipment in a matter of a few weeks, but, sadly, nothing is ever quite that simple. Even approving a simple replacement part has a whole process behind it. So, today’s tech tip is about timing your AV equipment orders to make sure you’ll get what you need when you need it.
Let me give you a glimpse into what happens behind the scenes here at Lambda!
Right: Looking so professional as we work on an order.
Once you approve your design and equipment order, we begin to put together part lists for each of our amazing distributors. Once the Purchase Orders are created, they
are sent to the vendors who check on each item for availability, processing time and if anything is back ordered. Once the order is processed, it is finally sent for shipment.
As soon as we receive all the items for your order we open and test each one to ensure we are installing quality products in your building! We want only the best for you! Once we know we have everything, that it is all working, we order the cabling, structuring and any special tools needed to install it all for you.
So, ordering equipment can be a big process and though we do our best to keep timing short for you, items can be back ordered or damaged in the mail or have multiple other problems. Some items are only made upon order, such as speakers, and are finely handcrafted for you and only you! Keeping these things in mind when you place your order will help you to plan ahead about your install and hopefully decrease the stress of wondering when you will receive your new equipment.
You might think it’s silly to place an order three months before you’ll need it, but it’s always better to be ahead rather than trying to rush or force something that might not be possible. So, if you are thinking about doing anything for Easter this year, now would be a great time to plan and talk with us about your ideas. We’ll be able to help you come up with a schedule and if what you are hoping for is possible to achieve in your time frame!
AAFCU Case Study
Meeting rooms in recent years have made a major transition in space needs. Gone are the days of a central computer at a podium or lectern in the corner or a large rack of automation equipment. The purpose is no longer for a single executive to speak to a room of employees. Meeting rooms today are dynamic environments with a number of people presenting in a live and cooperative environment.
This is where we began with AAFCU a local credit union in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their IT staff came to us with the challenge of cleaning up an aging mess of wires and updating technology to turn an often-used board room space into an environment for creativity and corporate inspiration.
The first goals set were to clean up the existing hardware that had been ad hoc over the years for conferencing. Next they wanted to update viewability around the conference table for better engagement of all employees. The staff at Lambda Audio Visual set out to understand the problems of the conference room and it's designated uses and put together a solution to make the room usable for a new generation of meetings.
Meetings in the proposed room contain anywhere from 5 to 25 people and with the configuration of chairs around an circular table, clear visibility of the screen was not always possible. The projection at the front was underpowered and the screen small, so that those at the front of the room were unable to see the screen at all. We were able to solve this in two ways: first by improving quality of projection at the front of the room with a new 1080P resolution, 5000 lumen Sony laser projector. This easily doubled the brightness and clarity at the front of the room. Second, coupled with a new IDEEA screen from Da-Lite it also allowed the space to be used as a white board. This white board has a matte finish creating a surface that minimizes projection hot spots and creates a great writing surface all at the same time. At the back of the room we added a 75” Television from Samsung mirroring the projection feed and allowing for everyone around the table to get a great view of the presentation without putting a kink in their necks.
Conference calling, important in many conference rooms was not left out in this space. The staff at AAFCU had a high need for this capability to be easy to use and clean. With board members across the country and goals of working with other businesses across the community, conference calling is a capability they used often and hoped to make simple for quick use.
We chose to implement a ceiling-based system for cleanliness. Adding boundary microphones from Shure into the ceiling created even coverage of the room to pick up quiet voices and adding inset speakers from SoundTube to present clear call audio back to the room. To tie it all together we brought in a top of the line audio processor from Symetrix. Symetrix allowed us to do several fun things simplifying the calling experience for the staff. The audio processor includes auto mixing functionalities to balance the audio coming from the room microphones without needing to adjust anything manually. It also includes an auto echo canceling to filter audio coming from the speakers so that it will not echo back in the call. The Symetrix processor also included the ability to add a VOIP card compatible with AAFCU’s Cisco phone calling system and an easy sheet to help the IT staff in tying it into their systems.
With all of this great technology in the room we then needed a system to make it easy to use for the average staff member and to allow ease of use with a variety of different laptops, phones, and tablets. Enter the Atlona Velocity system! We have talked about Atlona before and we loved how it turned out here! Our team couldn’t be more impressed with how easy to configure and affordable this “Automation” system is. In previous years, meeting room automation technology was bulky, expensive, and required expensive programmers to make modifications. It was not easy to explain or use. The Velocity system is web based, extremely affordable and scalable! It was easy for our team to add each device and have workflows automatically created on a touchscreen for easily turning the room technology on and off and dialing a call.
If you have meeting space with issues, outdated technology, or one that you are looking to increase usability in, give us a call or drop us a line on social media and let us make your meeting space a space of engagement and collaboration with people and technology. We want to help you to feel inspired and productive every time you sit down to meet.
I have taken it upon myself this Christmas to bring you a Christmas card! After all, seeing as I’m the one who proudly bares and displays the sheep, I mean lamb-(duh!)-it seemed appropriate for me to be in charge of the Christmas letter! Let me introduce myself: My name is Kirby, the immaculate Trailer. That is, I was, until Ryan recently decided to give me a piercing with a 2x4. It hurt just a little.
We started out the year on the run as we finished a 21 room upgrade with Center for Creative Leadership. Ryan, my proud owner, was more than busy. Training new staff, managing Trevor, bidding jobs, managing Trevor, traveling for installs and conferences, managing Trevor…you get the idea! It’s true, there is no rest for a small business owner. Ryan and Trevor have also have added many more audio, video and lighting trainings to help churches get the most from their equipment. It’s exciting to get new equipment and information into your hands! We love to see you succeed. We also added several more corporate jobs this year. We all loved the work and fun install at Air Academy Federal Credit Union and the video install we did at Air Academy High School
Elizabeth, our Accounting Manager and HR, had a busy year as well. Let’s be real, working with a certain new employee has brought an increased work load to her plate. But she’s a Boss and handled it like a pro! She even planned for the team to make it to Florida for Gather Church’s new building install and back without dying! It was a miracle! Trust me, Trevor almost pulled out the Batman mask one too many times! I had the privilege to carry her well organized snacks and meals for our two week job and even got a security upgrade to help guard the fruit snacks.
Trevor, our Shop Manager and Sound expert, is becoming my new best friend. He takes care of me the best and is in charge of loading up my friends Inigo Montoya, Fezik and Vizzini. Those guys are quite impressive to the clients. They carry all the tools and Lambda tech tip secrets! That is, unless Ryan borrowed something and forgets to put it back… Did you hear? Trevor got SMAART trained this summer! I’m not sure what it did for him, but they say it’s good for the company. We’ve had fun doing audio jobs and SMAART tunes for Lander Church, Clayhouse Church, Austin Bluffs Evangelical Free church and Summit church! Great sound always makes you look more professional. We even created a traveling audio system for Front Range Alliance Church East who rents a gym on Sundays.
Jewell, our Admin Assistant, is enjoying working with the company. Usually I just see her run by on her way to morning meeting, but I hear she keeps things a little better organized in the office now days. Somehow, she even managed to do ordering and communication for our biggest job this year all the way from Italy. Good thing our blog and News Letter didn’t get sent out in Italian. She also has lots of fun working with our vendors and updating the blog and newsletters. I hear the Fun Gear and Tech Tips posted on Social media is an easy way to learn about AV the simple way.
Darcy the Ridiculous Dog chases Hank the squirrel every day. She should just give up. Hank will live on forever! Her other main job is to attend staff meetings and make sure Ryan gets his exercise opening the door for her to go in and out. Yeah, it’s fun to watch
We’ve done a lot of exciting things at Lambda this year! We expanded a lot! Trevor, Jewell, Tych, Anigo, Fezik, Vizzini and myself all joined Lambda this year! And we couldn’t be happier! We have a lot of fun here at Lambda and we hope you've had fun working with us too! We are excited to keep working together and we are excited to work with each one of you in the coming year!
May God bless you richly and may your Christmas filled with much Joy!
From our Family to Yours!
Kirby, and Everyone at Lambda!
PS Could someone stop Darcy from chewing on my tires?
Equipping You To Be the Best!
Have you ever wondered how some of those special features work on your AV equipment? Here at Lambda AV we are dedicated to making your AV experience the best it can be! In our efforts to do this, did you know that Lambda offers classes and training sessions at your convenience? Yes! We do! We would love to help you and your volunteers better understand any AV equipment you have. From lighting and video to sound systems we've got you covered!
Training sessions are created for your specific needs. Lambda offers training for a few hours on any system. We also offer half day training and full day training with a free lunch provided! If a full day of training and a tasty meal isn't enough we also offer training with a checkup beforehand. This includes updating your system and fixing any connection issues you might have. Sound specific training can include your band or we can come set up multi-track recording, if your system is compatible, and practice using those tracks. The opportunities and options are limitless! There is no point in having new gear if you don't know how to use it to it's best ability. Let us show you all the tips and tricks we know!
If you are interested in knowing more about our classes and training, give us a call for a free consult.
Get back to having a simple meeting. When you walk into a meeting you simply want to open your laptop, and get down to business. Now with Atlona you can have your meeting and won't have to worry about how to share information between devices. The HDVS-300-C-KIT was designed to eliminate the clutter and system complexity in meeting rooms where USB cameras and microphones are incorporated into professional AV systems by putting just two devices and a single category cable into the room instead. This kit is also great in hybrid rooms where a traditional HDVS system is required for in-person meetings as well as videoconferencing.
The Atlona AT-UHD-HDVS-300-C-KIT provides a complete integration solution for meeting rooms and conference areas by using PC-based conferencing codec. This little kit includes AV switching, USB and HDMI extension, an integrated system control, and an enterprise-grade PTZ camera. The Altona Kit simplifies conference room device management by using a system that provides two USB connectors for host computers. Two built-in USB hubs, one on the transmitter and one on the receiver, allow for numerous devices as well as microphones and speakers. For the HDMI inputs, the KIT is compatible with sources and displays up to 4K/UHD @ 60 Hz.
It's time to cut the clutter and get back to business meetings that are productive! Don't worry about your system integrations any more! Try out this little Atlona KIt. Stay tuned for more information as we install one of these on an upcoming job!
In the audio/visual world one of our biggest fears is that something might go wrong or not work at the worst possible time. One of the ways we have found to minimize the chances of this happening is through a pre-event checklist. Whether producing or directing an event, mixing audio, or even just operating a camera, having a checklist to confirm everything is working properly can save headaches during the event.
If you are using volunteers, who may not work with that piece of equipment regularly, this can also help you empower them to learn that area or piece of equipment. Keep the checklists simple and make sure if the operator doesn’t use that specific equipment regularly that they can still understand it and use it as a guide to help them. Use your checklists as markers of what should be working and what someone should be seeing regularly.
Spending a few minutes to create a checklist for different pieces of your systems can save you lots of time before and during your events!
We receive lots of questions on a weekly basis of how to make computer and other signals work with professional video switchers. Frequently, when connecting a computer signal to a video switcher the signal must go through a scan conversion. Professional video switchers operate off of a frame rate usually of 29.97 or 59.94 rather than 30 or 60. This is a holdover from legacy TV systems where an offset was left to make room for color information so the signal could still be compatible with black and white. When you connect a computer signal using a simple HDMI to SDI converter it outputs 60p frame rate instead of 59.94 which makes it unable to be understood by the switcher. In order to fix this you need a scan converter. Even more useful would be a scan converter/ scaler combo. We have pictures of several of these useful devices from @datavideo @atomos and #blackmagicdesign. Message us if you have other questions on the very detailed and techie topic of getting video signals to work in your professional video switcher!
In an effort to continuously be learning and improving our craft, we are excited to tell you that Trevor, our Shop Manager and Sound Tech, became SMAART certified! SMAART stands for System Measurement Acoustic Analysis Real-time Tool. What the heck does that mean? SMAART is a software platform that is used to view the frequency content of signal or measure the response of our electrical and electro-acoustic systems. Much like medical instruments for doctors, this tool helps us examine our sound systems with minute detail to diagnose and so any problems that may be occurring. At Lambda AV we not only want to provide you with the best equipment, but we also want to be able to provide clarity on how your system is affected by the environment that you are operating within. You can learn all about SMAART at rationalaccoustics.com. We will soon be running a special for you to check out this fun gear in action! You won’t want to miss this!