We talked briefly about the IDEA screen from Da-lite last week. This is a fun piece to add to your AV system including conference rooms, classrooms and meeting spaces. This interactive screen can be used as a whiteboard with dry-erase markers as well as a projection surface. The special finish minimizes “hot spots” projection onto a regular board would cause. You can now easily project work sheets and use the markers to fill and mark the projection without creating multiple slides to show. It can be a creative, workable, changing surface to inspire the creativity your team needs in the moment! All IDEA screens are also magnetic allowing for expanded creativity. This is an easy, fun dynamic to change up your meeting space and provide the clear projection and versatility you need for any occasion.
If you missed last week's article, check it out for a recent install where we used the IDEA screen.
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.
Continueing our series of articles on cableing, this week we are talking about Serial Digital Interface (SDI). SDI is a video signal used to send uncompressed, un-encrypted digital video signals. It can also include embedded audio. SDI signal was first standardized in 1989. Since then the standard SDI signal has upgraded to HD-SDI (1080i/720p), 3G SDI (1080p), 6G SDI (4k @30hz), and 12G SDI (4k @60hz).
The longer distance you are trying to run the signal or the higher the quality signal you are trying to achieve, will require a higher specification of cable and BNC connector. Now, just upgrading the cabling in your system will not necessarily give you a higher SDI signal! An important thing to keep in mind is that to be able to produce a signal such as 12G SDI video, every single component in that system must support that as well! So, you may have the right camera and cable, but if your video switcher can only receive HD-SDI, that will be the highest quality you will be able to use.
We recommend, especially when building a new system or revamping an old system, to make sure the core components, like a switcher or a video router, is at the final desired SDI signal level. Then you can begin to upgrade the components going in and out of the system as your budget allows. If you aren't sure about your system's SDI ability, don't hesitate to ask! That's what we're here for!
In the video world over the past 20 years there have been many, many different types of cables and connections used to pass signal from one medium to another. From composite video to VGA and DVI, and now to SDI and HDMI. But while we have heard of these cables, you may wonder what are they? And what do they do? Today we’re going to talk about HDMI and SDI. In future articles we will talk more about passing video signal over Cat6a cable using HDBaseT. If you are wondering what that even means, just keep a lookout for the upcoming article to learn all about it. ;)
Let's start with HDMI cables! HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface and is the most frequently used HD signal for transferring both high definition video and audio over a single cable. Really, it's pretty amazing! HDMI is typically used for connecting devices such as TV’s, wireless presentation devices like an AppleTV or huddle space integrator like Klik Boks, and is generally considered a consumer level video cable. It's easy to find HDMI or mini HDMI in an average home today on computers, tv's projectors, etc. One of the big advantages with HDMI at the homeowner level is simply that it is a single cable solution for combining both video and audio. It has replaced many of the analogue solutions which required separate video and audio cables creating a tangle of confusing wires in spaces that were supposed to be easy and uncomplicated for the average person to use. One of the big disadvantages to HDMI cable is that you can only run most HDMI cables up to 25’. Though this isn't generally a problem for the consumer, it can create difficulties in other areas.
Our other popular Video Cable option is SDI. SDI stand for Serial Digital Interface. What does that mean? SDI is a standard video signal used by professional, broadcast grade cameras. SDI cable has the ability to transmit HD video signal over a much farther distance than HDMI. SDI also has the ability to pass audio as well. SDI cables are made up of two components, 75ohm coaxial cable and BNC connectors. Now, not all SDI cables are the same. Different cables can carry different quality signals over specified distances. Just because one cable fits or is long enough, doesn’t mean it will work at all, or even that it will work properly! The higher the quality of the video signal you are sending, may require you to either go a shorter distance with your cable or you may need to use a higher grade cable. In a later article we are going to discuss SDI video signal, the different quality, and some of the solutions that SDI offers.
Video cabling can be more complex than audio cabling and it's important to have your expensive and sometimes sensitive equipment connected properly. If it's not, it can cause you all kinds of problems and glitches or produce a poor quality video. Cable is cheap in comparison to video equipment, so take the time to see if your problem can be fixed with an easy cable switch before giving up on your gear. We hope you are learning more about cables! If you have specific questions you'd like to see answered, email or find us on social media!
Here’s something new for you to check out! The Superlux IS-103 is a complete wired intercom system that provides clean, clear communication for video, film, broadcasts, house of worship and schools! This Superlux is a great low cost solution for auditorium and church staff communication between positions. It uses simple XLR mic cable and can support up to ten belt packs so you can keep everyone in the loop!
Comfortable, lightweight and easy to use, this could make communication seamless for everyone involved in your project. We love finding and providing affordable options for our clients for all your needs. If you are looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to ask!
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?
Something you shouldn't live without!
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.