SoundVision

Captivate Your Audience with Digital Signage

What does your potential new client or all-star candidate see when they enter your lobby? Imagine presenting them with a stunning videowall that conveys your brand, piques their interest or entices them to interact! Make an impact by greeting them with a digital signage display, dynamic video wall or interactive wayfinding display. You’ll be setting your brand apart from the competition! And you’re just getting started…

The Dynamic Digital Marketplace

With its ever-changing content that can hold the interest of viewers, digital signage plays a very important part in digital marketing whether a corporate environment, retail store, educational institution or healthcare facility. Static signage is a “one and done” experience for the viewer, whereas constantly changing content on a display keeps viewers engaged longer and decreases perceived wait times.

What is Digital Signage?

There are two basic elements of a successful digital signage application; hardware and software. The hardware component, which may be a projection system or, more commonly, a display such as an OLED or Direct View LED, and a Media Player. The software provides the platform for the content. On more sophisticated deployments there may be sensors that provide metrics on content engagement or Bluetooth connectivity for a more interactive experience.

The display is a critical component of a digital signage application. The display needs to be large enough for viewers to comfortably view the content and bright enough to overcome the light levels in the space. Since the typical digital signage display is in use an average of 12 hours a day (with some commercial applications requiring 24×7 uptime), consumer TV’s should not be used as they are not rated or warranted for this type of application.

Digital signage players provide a way to show dynamic video content. A player can show multiple video “windows” on the screen that translates into multiple messaging (or advertising!) opportunities. Additionally, they can receive real-time streams from weather channels, stock markets, traffic reports and more. As a signage system designer, we will work with you to understand the type of content you need and the software you use to provide the best signage player for your applications.

Sony created a great resource on digital signage. Check out “A Handbook on digital signage.”

Content, Content, Content

Captivating content is key to attracting viewers. It is recommended that new signage deployments not rely on basic applications such as “power point” or a built-in picture player that may be included with the display. Content delivered in this manner is stagnant and viewers do not stay engaged. Instead, content software allows you to take full advantage of the media player, while providing real time tools for announcements and other “ad-hoc” content applications.

The pros at SoundVision can help navigate the various applications and display choices and determine what you need to effectively communicate your message to your customers, students, parishioners, patients or staff. Call us today and let’s get started!

We are a Google / Nest Authorized Partner

Innovative Design, Revolutionary Results

Which is the right solution for you? At SoundVision, we believe in simplifying life through technology, but that technology solution is different for everyone. Just as no two homeowners are alike, no two technology systems are either and that’s why, as Lake Norman’s premiere technology systems integrator, we offer a variety of solutions from leading manufacturers so that we can custom tailor each solution to meet the needs of each home.

In designing a home automation system, we start with a thorough needs analysis that documents your wants, needs and must haves. We’ll review your life-safety and security needs, network infrastructure, and more to engineer a solution that suits the needs of you and your family. So, whether you need automated door locks and a camera system, or a fully integrated home automation system to control your motorized shades, indoor and outdoor lighting, audio and video, we’ve got you covered.

Staying ahead of the curve

To be the best in design, installation and service for our customers and to meet the rigorous demands of the manufacturers’ lines that we are privileged to represent, our engineers, programmers and installation technicians undergo continuous education and hands-on training. We participate in industry and manufacturer-led sessions and continually seek new and innovative solutions to bring to our overall product offering.

We are proud to be one of the very first partners in the whole country with revolutionary lines such as Google Home and the Google Home Hub and the Nest line of products including the Nest thermostat, hello doorbell and camera system. Nest Protect is a life-safety pioneer. It not only detects smoke and carbon monoxide, but “speaks” when there’s a problem and can even text your phone.

And you may not think of a home technologies integrator when buying a door lock but think about that keyless touchpad being integrated into your home control. Yale keyless door locks are as beautiful as they are functional, safe and convenient. We can integrate them into your home’s system so that they operate with your home’s lighting and shades and be controlled from your home’s keypads and touchscreens or from a convenient mobile app.

Among the choices in voice control, Josh.ai adds a layer of artificial intelligence that makes accessing your systems seamless. Josh can control everything from your Yale door locks to your Sonos audio!

With so many amazing choices in smart home technologies, how do you know which is the best fit for you? It’s not just about the choosing the right stuff, it’s about making the right technologies work together. Give us a call and we’ll help navigate the myriad collection of high-tech gear, define the features and applications you’re looking for, and put together the perfect combination for you. “Josh, call SoundVision!”

 

 

 

Why you should be building (or living in) a smart MDU

As cities’ populations grow and the need for building upward grows, the trend toward multi-dwelling units (MDUs) has exploded. Not only are these MDUs in demand for the builder and buyer alike, but they’re increasingly more exclusive, high-tech and luxurious. The good news is: with technology from Control4, this level of modern luxury is affordable.

Our advice: Include smart home automation in the blueprints
The best way to incorporate smart home automation into your units is to include it in your plans from the beginning. Structured wiring, strategically-placed outlets and connectivity designed for the best internet connection, power capability and equipment placement increases the value of your units and allows for minimal interior design disruptions – ensuring your vision comes to life without having to worry about unsightly wires or bulky equipment getting in the way of the details. By wiring before the walls go up and considering features like built-in speakers, storage for entertainment features or a whole-home control center at the front door, design and convenience stay the center of attention.

Smart MDUs mean safety, connectivity, convenience and more
Buyers have placed convenience, connectivity and energy efficiency at the top of their must-have lists when it comes to shopping for their homes. By incorporating smart home technologies like climate control, automated shade and lighting control, they can improve their energy efficiencies, whether they’re at home or out-of-town.

Smart home automation also offers endless options that increase safety – from cameras at the lobby door to smart locks to timed settings for your shades and lights – that protect both the occupants and the building itself. Some systems can even alert residents and building staff about fire and water damage before they become a widespread or serious issue. Now, residents can know what’s happening in their homes, while it’s happening.

Make it easily customizable
One thing is for sure – anyone buying a home wants to make it feel like home and there’s no better way to accomplish that than offering a smart home system that’s customizable to their needs. Custom climate control, security features and entertainment systems with personalized moods and functions make your buyers happy. Even better, consider implementing connectivity to the concierge desk and any entry points like doors, automated gates and garages to ensure your residents are only a touch away from communicating with property staff and their visitors. All of these features are even more attractive when residents are able to connect them to their personal cell phones and tablets.

By making your MDU’s smart, you can increase the value of your MDU, while also making it more attractive to buyers. Moreover, you’re more likely to retain your residents if you’re ahead of the trend, as there’s less for you to update later on. Talk to us about how we can help you with the best tech for your next MDU!

 

 

 

 

 

The Best In-Home, and Outdoor, Setup for the World Cup

This summer is the stuff dreams are made of for sports fans, with the FIFA World Cup, the US Open and the College World Series all taking place. Before huddling in your living rooms around your old TV to cheer on your favorite team, make sure you’re hooked up with a prime audio-video setup, which is key for the most immersive, bright and connected viewing experience for you and your guests this season.

 

You have an overwhelming number of options. Should you opt for LCD or OLED technology? Or maybe a big-screen 4K projector is more your speed? And which audio setup will deliver that immersive audio experience? What’s more, it’s important to consider which cable or streaming service to use.

 

Regardless of your setup, a few things are clear: for the ultimate viewing experience, you’ll need a large screen with the most clear, bright picture possible and fluid motion displays, a clean setup with no clunky speakers or wires distract you from the on-screen action, and strong network capability along with the technical support you need to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

 

If you’re ready for the ultimate realistic experience, a home theatre with custom seating, a large screen projector with 4K HD and surround sound will help you feel thrown into the game. If a TV-based setup is more of what you’re looking for, some key features to look for are motion smoothing technology and color accuracy, as well as bright picture, since most of the matches are during the daytime. But if you’d rather be outside by the pool, maybe an outdoor setup equipped with weatherproof speakers and televisions is your solution.

 

Whether you’re a dedicated fan looking for the most high-tech, immersive experience possible or you’re simply hosting your first watch party, you need an experienced team of professionals to help ensure your home is equipped with the best technology and support to make you feel like you and your guests have been transported into the stadium.

 

 

 

How to Choose the Best Display for Your Conference Room

Effective communication and collaboration relies on the participants’ ability to comfortably engage with the shared content. Content needs to be clearly visible and any text being displayed must be legible from any seat in the room. Determining the proper display size, type and placement is key in creating an engaging collaborative environment conducive to successful meetings.

Considering the technologies early in the planning phase will allow for the most flexibility in design options and provide the best possible outcome. An analysis of the requirements and goals will help in determining the ideal display for the space. Working in collaboration with the designer and project stakeholders to factor in the room’s furniture and its placement, calculations of the room’s dimensions, viewing distances and angles can be made. The types of content, the room’s ambient light, the options for mounting in-wall and in-ceiling displays or projectors, the control system and budget will be factored in as well.

Viewing Distance Drives Display Type

The distance of the furthest participant is a key factor in determining display type.  There are various methods to determine proper viewing distance and screen size. The commercial AV industry association, AVIXA (Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, formerly Infocomm), offers the specification “ANSI/INFOCOMM V202.01:2016, Display Image Size for 2D Content in Audiovisual System. The standard uses multiple calculations that factor content, viewer positions from multiple locations, image size, font size, ambient light, off-axis viewing, the human eye’s range of sight at various angles, and more. These standards apply not only to presentation spaces, but to more complex applications such as auditoriums, training venues and Security Operations Centers (SOC) as well.

Calculating for Content

For huddle spaces and small-to-medium conference rooms, calculations using a multiplier factor can provide a close estimation of display size that can help guide the design. Screen size and distance calculations are greatly impacted by the content being presented, however, because the type of content dictates the multipliers (or factors) used in the calculation.

For corporate environments where presentations including PowerPoint, Excel, Word or Webpages will be shared, a large image will enhance user engagement by allowing participants to read the content more clearly and comfortably. To calculate for this scenario, use a multiplier of 6 times the display’s image height (based on 1920 x 1080P resolution) to determine the furthest seating position. If data-rich content such as CAD drawings, Word or Excel documents or Web pages are to be shared, a factor of 4 should be used for added clarity. In boardrooms and conference rooms using video conferencing such as WebEx or Skype for Business, a multiplier of 4 is also recommended since it is a mixed-use application with multiple windows within the display image.

If the shared content is primarily videos, calculating screen size and viewing distance is more lenient using a multiplier of 8 times the display’s image height. For example, if using a 55″ Monitor (27″ high screen height), the maximum seating distance would be 18’ (8 X 27 = 216”).  Again, this is for video viewing and not necessarily a comfortable distance for viewing text-based content. In a mixed-content environment, such as a conference room, the text-content calculation should be used as the default. Another alternative offering great flexibility without compromising design is installing both an on-wall LED display as well as an in-ceiling projection screen. This scenario offers sleek aesthetics coupled with the ability to transition to a large format screen based on more detailed content.

The 45° Rule of Thumb

Viewing angles are a critical consideration, especially with wide rooms or where multiple displays may be required to provide easy viewing from various positions. As a general rule-of-thumb, participants should be within 45 degrees from the center of the screen and the top of the screen should be positioned within 30 degrees above the audiences’ eye level. AVIXA’s standards are much more detailed, but this general guideline will help set the expectation of screen size and positioning for initial design purposes.

Aspect Ratio

Widescreen aspect ratios of 16:9 and 16:10 are currently the most common, with 16:9 becoming more prevalent. Laptops have landed on 16:9, but most new displays and projectors can properly scale a 16:10 image to 16:9 and visa-versa. Any incompatibilities in native resolution and screen size/ratio can be addressed by the system designer.

By providing a screen that maximizes your content, your participants will remain engaged and your meetings will become more productive. Do you have a meeting space that could benefit from a more engaging video experience? Call us for a complimentary on-site assessment and let’s get started!

 

 

 

 

Sound Masking, Simplified

A variety of elements can be employed to address noise control and speech privacy for added worker productivity, comfort and confidentiality. Collectively referred to by the architectural community as the ABC’s of acoustic design, solutions can either absorb, block, scatter (officially called “diffusion”), or “cover” sound. An effective solution may include involve one, two or a combination of all three methods. Designed to cover noise, sound masking checks the “cover” box.

In contrast to acoustic treatments which absorb noise, sound masking is actually the addition of sound created by digital generators.  Sound Masking is an ambient sound that’s engineered to the match the frequency of human speech, targeting conversational noise and make it less distracting by rendering it unintelligible. Sound masking is not white noise and does not cancel sound or eliminate all speech noise in an environment; it simply reduces how far conversations can extend and be clearly understood by others. Its frequency varies significantly from the irritating, garbled static of white noise. Instead, it is engineered to match the pleasing frequency range of the human voice. When implemented properly, sound masking will simply fade into the background of a workplace while simultaneously making speech more difficult to hear and, more importantly, to understand.

Sound Masking, as a means of contributing to speech privacy, is a desirable solution for financial institutions, doctors’ offices, law offices, hotel lobbies and more. By rendering speech intelligible, it not only protects the privacy of students, clients and workers, but can contribute to HIPPA compliance of patients’ confidential information.

Sound Masking: How and when to Activate

It’s human nature. You’re sitting in a room and suddenly something “turns on”. Is it the HVAC…an appliance…? You’re now aware of it. Instead, if you were to enter that same space after it was already “on”, you very well may not even notice it was on at all.  That’s how sound masking should be considered. Rather than activating it while the room is occupied, workers will find it more pleasing if it’s activated while they are away and walking in once implemented. For the best ongoing results, activate and deactivate automatically while the space is unoccupied.

Sound In-Sync

For environment having widely varying noise levels, an “active volume control” can be added to the system to measure the conversational speech levels and adjust the system’s output as the noise levels rise and fall. With the system staying in-sync with the environmental noise and, therefore, performing at optimal levels, the occupants would be unaware of any variance in sound level. Manual volume control, on the other hand, is not recommended and defeats the transparent operation of the system.

Acoustical treatments are another solution for noise control, providing barriers and sound absorption which lessen overall noise levels and reduce reverberation from hard surfaces but, unlike sound masking, does not contribute to speech unintelligibility.

So, what’s the right combination of noise control solutions? Do you want to make your office environment more comfortable and productive and your waiting area or private offices more secure? Call SoundVision today to schedule a complimentary consultation for your space.

http://www.soundandcommunications.com/reversing-abcs-acoustics/

Additional Reading:

Good Acoustics Are Crucial, Commercial Architecture Magazine

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