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  • Careless Projector Mounting
    Careless Projector Mounting

    Careless Projector Mounting

    This projector is attached to a block of wood which is, itself, attached to the ceiling with bungee cords. If the projector and wood block were to fall, they would cause serious injury to anyone below. Power and audiovisual cables are unorganized and the television receiver is hanging by its power cord.
  • Incorrect Cable Splice
    Incorrect Cable Splice

    Incorrect Cable Splice

    This cable splice is an example of the out of sight, out of mind work ethic. If this cable was meant to be used for computer networking, it is likely that it would cause severe performance issues if it worked at all. For a phone connection, which it is most likely intended, it is probably functional; however, the quality of the signal is possibly degraded.
  • Shoddy Rack Wiring Causes Cascading Failures
    Shoddy Rack Wiring Causes Cascading Failures

    Shoddy Rack Wiring Causes Cascading Failures

    A mess of cables like this makes it difficult to work on the rack and also can lead to cascading failures. Adjusting cables or components in one location is likely to put stress on other cables which can cause damage or disconnections. Fixing one problem leads to additional problems. It is not just inefficient, it is costly.
  • Poor Cable Management Risks Damage
    Poor Cable Management Risks Damage

    Poor Cable Management Risks Damage

    This mess of cables on the floor is not only unattractive, it will cause premature failure. Anyone seated at this desk will step on the cables. If their feet become tangled, they could tug the cables. Either of these will cause damage or disconnections.
  • Screen Is Placed Too Low
    Screen Is Placed Too Low

    Screen Is Placed Too Low

    By placing this screen on the lowest part of the ceiling, it must extend too close to the floor. The solution is to either display a smaller image or to fill the screen with the image and allow furniture to obstruct the view of some audience members. Ideally, two screens and projectors would have been used to ensure that everyone in the audience could see.
  • Dangerous & Sloppy Projector Mounting
    Dangerous & Sloppy Projector Mounting

    Dangerous & Sloppy Projector Mounting

    This projector was likely an upgrade from a previously mounted projector. There is a mount that protrudes from the ceiling; however, the projector is attached to the mount using zip ties which degrade structural integrity. Power and video cables pass through a crudely-fashioned hole in the nearby ceiling tile. Above the projector, the ceiling tile has been damaged either during installation or, more frighteningly, by the heat that is ventilated away from the lamp during operation.
  • Dangerous Projector Mounting
    Dangerous Projector Mounting

    Dangerous Projector Mounting

    This projector is hung from the ceiling using a pair of conductors from an ethernet cable. These wires, each less than three-hundredths of an inch in diameter, are barely adequate to hold the projector under normal circumstances. During a seismic event, this projector is likely to end up on the floor. Additionally, by mounting the projector so closely to the ceiling tile, the lamp is not being properly ventilated which will lead to overheating and premature failure.
  • Fur Downs Can Make An Audience Squint
    Fur Downs Can Make An Audience Squint

    Fur Downs Can Make An Audience Squint

    This animated GIF shows the impact that a fur down (or soffit) can have on your audience members' ability to see the image on the screen. With the screen mounted on a 12-foot ceiling, an audience member with average sight could easily make out the image from 48-feet away. Add a 2-foot fur down, however, and anyone beyond 36-feet will have trouble discerning all of the information on the screen.
  • Mess of Cables
    Mess of Cables

    Mess of Cables

    Wiring like this is nearly impossible to work on. When it is possible to work on it, it is painfully inefficient. Making a change to one cable is likely to damage or disconnect other cables which can cause cascading failures.
  • Hotspot On A Whiteboard Projection Screen
    Hotspot On A Whiteboard Projection Screen

    Hotspot On A Whiteboard Projection Screen

    Using a whiteboard as a projection screen causes hot spots like the one in the center of this image. The location of the hot spot will vary depending on where an audience member is positioned relative to the screen. Hot spots make it difficult or impossible to decipher all of the content being projected. Projection screens are engineered to eliminate or greatly reduce hot spots.
  • Light Fixtures Block The Screen
    Light Fixtures Block The Screen

    Light Fixtures Block The Screen

    In this room, different light fixtures could have been used or these fixtures could have been placed further apart. As they are placed here, they will limit the size of image that can be projected.
  • Sloppy Wiring Causes Performance Issues
    Sloppy Wiring Causes Performance Issues

    Sloppy Wiring Causes Performance Issues

    This system has not only been lazily wired, the way the receivers are stacked on top will cause issues with wireless microphone signals.
  • "Just Push the Red Button"
    "Just Push the Red Button"

    Just Push the Red Button

    Even with a control system, individual remote controls are used for advanced functions. Without a control system, however, it can be difficult to operate even the simplest systems. It is likely that only one or two employees understand how to use this system.
  • Open Racks Are Not For Audiovisual Systems
    Open Racks Are Not For Audiovisual Systems

    Open Racks Are Not For Audiovisual Systems

    The cable routing between these audiovisual components is shabby, but using an open rack like this can also cause problems. Sensitive audiovisual signals can be affected by electrical interference without the shielding provided by an enclosed equipment rack.
  • Manual Combining Systems Are A Pain
    Manual Combining Systems Are A Pain

    Manual Combining Systems Are A Pain

    This combining system requires the user to manually reconnect microphone and speaker cables for each different room configuration. When complex systems like these are not intuitive, there may only be one or two employees who understand how to work them. When these employees are not available, the system may be unusable.
  • Poor Wallplate Coordination
    Poor Wallplate Coordination

    Poor Wallplate Coordination

    On this project, the IT cabling provider failed to coordinate wallplate placement. This led to an abnormal harness in which the ethernet cables must extend several feet away from power and audiovisual connections.
  • This is NOT A Dimming System
    This is NOT A Dimming System

    This is NOT A Dimming System

    Configuring lighting in this room must be a pain since none of the switches are labeled. Reconfiguring room lighting during an event is probably not practical. Even a basic dimming system can simplify operation by giving the user presets which can be called automatically.
  • Screen Selection Is Important
    Screen Selection Is Important

    Screen Selection Is Important

    This screen (installed by others) covers most of the window, but a significant amount of light still shines below. The ambient light decreases contrast and apparent brightness. A longer screen could be lowered closer to the floor which would eliminate a great deal of the ambient lighting. At this point, a new screen fabric must be ordered or window treatment must be applied.
  • Reckless Structural Mounting
    Reckless Structural Mounting

    Reckless Structural Mounting

    The power cable for the projector mounted below has been routed through this structural pipe. This can provide a more attractive look where the cable comes out, but cutting the structural pipe has left it weakened. This mount is likely to fail if there was a seismic event or other stress.
  • Coordination Is Crucial
    Coordination Is Crucial

    Coordination Is Crucial

    It is difficult to imagine where the coordination broke down on this project. Even if an image could be projected onto this screen without a shadow from the chandelier, it would be difficult for many in the audience to see. It is obviously not practical to remove the chandelier each time the projection system is used.
  • Cables Crudely Enter and Exit Rack
    Cables Crudely Enter and Exit Rack

    Cables Crudely Enter and Exit Rack

    These cables aren't just a mess, they are pulled taut which makes it difficult to move the rack. This also puts more stress on the cables which leads to premature failure. Leaving the ceiling tile removed can cause heating and cooling inefficiencies depending on the type of HVAC system being used.
  • Lazy Speaker Connections
    Lazy Speaker Connections

    Lazy Speaker Connections

    It would have taken just a few minutes to remove the red spade connectors from these wires and strip the wire ends to connect them to the green phoenix connector. The additional, unnecessary connectors could introduce noise into the speaker system.
  • Poor Floor Box Coordination
    Poor Floor Box Coordination

    Poor Floor Box Coordination

    With proper coordination, a deeper floor box could have been installed and this audiovisual input module would fit properly. The smaller floor box also leaves less space for cables behind the wallplates which makes it difficult to work and can lead to problems down the road.
  • Shameful Lectern Wiring
    Shameful Lectern Wiring

    Shameful Lectern Wiring

    When poor wire management is exercised under a lectern, it can be particularly damaging. As the lectern is moved, cables become twisted and pinched. These cables will experience performance degradation and will have to be replaced prematurely.
  • Undersized Floor Box
    Undersized Floor Box

    Undersized Floor Box

    This floor box was not properly sized for the number of connections it needs to support. Because of this, ethernet connections are not connected to a plate; instead, they extend into the middle of the floor box. It is unlikely that this floor box can be covered while it is in use. Over time, the ethernet cables will become damaged and they will eventually have to be replaced.
  • Apathetic Rack-to-Field Wiring
    Apathetic Rack-to-Field Wiring

    Apathetic Rack-to-Field Wiring

    The cables coming from this rack into the ceiling have been wrapped in cable mesh which provides a more attractive look; however, the ceiling tile through which they pass has had a portion crudely broken off to make way for the cables.
  • Angled Projector with Keystone Correction
    Angled Projector with Keystone Correction

    Angled Projector with Keystone Correction

    Although most projectors provide keystone correction, this is not an ideal solution. Keystone correction turns off pixels on the internal LCD or DLP chips. This means that on the narrowed edge of the image, pixels have been turned off on the outside. Pixels from your PC or other input device are then removed/compressed to make them fit within the narrowed row. This lowers the overall resolution and degrades quality.
  • Wall Plates Do Not Match
    Wall Plates Do Not Match

    Wall Plates Do Not Match

    With proper coordination, the connections on these two wallplates could have been combined onto a single plate. Even placed separately, the plate finishes could have been matched to provide a better aesthetic. Also degrading the aesthetics, the brushed aluminum plate is attached to the wall with white screws while the white plate is attached with gray, metallic screws. The labels on the brushed aluminum plate are likely to fall off eventually which will make connection of microphones to the proper input into a guessing game.
  • Crude Wallplate Installation
    Crude Wallplate Installation

    Crude Wallplate Installation

    From the outside, this wallplate might look fine. Without a back box, however, the connections are subject to damage and electrical interference.
  • Screen Conflicts with Workstations
    Screen Conflicts with Workstations

    Screen Conflicts with Workstations

    Furniture placement in this room was not decided on until later in the project. This led to workstation furniture being placed in obstruction of the screen.

There are considerable differences between the way our company works and the way other audiovisual firms work. We often use a restaurant analogy to explain the difference.

If you provide two restaurants with the same set of ingredients and ask for the same dish, you are unlikely to receive two meals of the same quality. Each restaurant has different tools, different levels of training and experience, and different techniques: these variables can lead to contrasting outcomes.

We have seen the sloppy work of our competitors and spoken with customers who have dealt with the aftermath. The systems are not intuitive, they require more support from your technical staff and from the firm that installed them. You may end up with just one or two employees who understand how to operate the system.

We understand when our clients have concerns about up-front costs, but choosing the wrong audiovisual provider can lead to a total cost of ownership that is dramatically higher.

Project Coordination

Most firms carry out basic project coordination. This typically includes conducting “hand-off meetings” between sales and technical staff as well as attending required project meetings with clients and other stakeholders.

Many firms, however, take a passive approach to project coordination. Instead of actively tracking milestones, they will wait until you or your contractor calls to tell them that the job site is ready for them to complete their work. This means they must scramble to pull together resources which can lead to construction delays.

Without effective means of storing and sharing communications between the firm’s staff and clients, information like system requirements and special requests can become lost. Often, you must communicate your needs first to sales & design staff and then again to installation & technical staff. Depending on how many different staff are involved in each phase of your project, you may have to re-state your requirements and requests many times throughout the process.

Design

System design for other firms often consists of compiling a list of equipment. Compatibility and connectivity may not be closely examined. Equipment may be selected based on profit margins and may never have been used by the firm before. Many technical considerations are left to be resolved later in the process.

Fabrication

Our competitors often lack the facilities to carry out fabrication in-house. Instead, equipment is drop-shipped to your job site and fabrication takes place there. Since fabrication often requires a clean space, it may not commence until later in your project when you may be trying to make up for time lost by other contractors.

Storing valuable audiovisual equipment on-site can lead to security issues. If storage space is limited, this equipment may need to be moved several times which risks damage and uses labor hours.

Fabrication on site may mean that installers are not fully equipped to complete a project. Improvisation often occurs in this scenario and can lead to errors, project delays and service expense down the road.

Software

Most audiovisual firms do not have full-time control software developers. Instead they rely on third-party contractors who may never step foot on your job site. Control systems often lack significant automation, rather they have a page for each device. To complete a simple task such as viewing a laptop input, several steps must be carried out.

First, you must navigate to the projector page and press on. While the projector warms up, you go to the screen page and press the down button. Once the projector warmed up, you must return to the projector page and press the correct input button. Next, you go to the switcher page, turn it on, and select the proper input and output. Finally, you visit the amplifier page to adjust the volume. In addition to navigating this confusing interface, you may need to manually turn on equipment—often in a particular sequence.

Our systems eliminate these baby steps and we automate every step that is practical. We like for you to be able to push one button and begin your presentation!

Installation

Installation typically takes place at the same time as fabrication. Some cabling may have already been pulled in during earlier phases of your building project; however, even this step often takes place later in the process when most trades are mostly or totally finished.

Depending on the construction timeline and the project scope, installation can require multiple trips at different stages of construction. Dust can be an enemy to sensitive electronics and projection equipment, ultimately shortening lifespan. We do our very best to protect your investment by delaying delivery of critical components until your new facility is secure and free from dust.

Quality Control

Quality control may be an afterthought for our competitors. If your system doesn’t work the way you want, they may try to “explain it away” to avoid equipment and configuration changes. When they do fix problems, it may be only after you have agreed to an expensive change order: remember they are selling you the list of equipment you agreed to buy, not a whatever-it-takes solution.

Acoustical engineering may not be included with your system. If it is, you may be paying for costly, third-party consultants. When the firm has in-house acoustical technicians, they frequently do not use high-quality equipment like we use during calibration. Sound levels may be set “by ear,” which can make your system too quiet or too loud for your audience.

Training

Training can also be an afterthought. After a run-through of system functions with your team. It may be up to you to read manufacturer manuals in order to operate your system.

Support

Calling for help can be an ordeal if the audiovisual firm is using different components and configurations in each system they design and if they are not maintaining proper documentation. Regularly, firms only have one or two staff members that understand your system; typically the same staff that installed and configured it in the first place.

If the staff that installed and configured your system are no longer employed by the firm or if they installed your system more than a year or two before, the firm is often unable to support you without an on-site visit. Once they arrive, they will have to spend time studying the system to understand how it works before they can begin diagnosing and repairing problems.

Solutions are often “hacks” that change the way your system operates and make it even more difficult to troubleshoot in the future. Since on-site visits generally cost you more than phone and e-mail support, inefficiency can lead to costly invoices.

Our experience and standardized approach allow us to support systems over many years.

Contact Us

Call us Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm at (501) 758-8029 or toll-free at (888) 758-4728. Otherwise, fill out the form below and we will contact you promptly.
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