Q&A With Robert Griffin Jr., Cabela's Audio Video System Design Engineer - AvNetwork.com

Q&A With Robert Griffin Jr., Cabela's Audio Video System Design Engineer

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Meet Your Manager: Q&A With Robert Griffin Jr., DSCE, DSDE, Audio Video System Design Engineer, Cabela’s World’s Foremost Outfitter

AV Technology: Do you do in-house AV installation? If not, who is your systems integration partner?
Robert Griffin Jr: We currently use a mix of local low-voltage contractors—whomever actually wins the bid for new locations. NEC is our display partner for all of our digital signage needs and they have teams throughout the country that install all customer-facing as well as back-of-house monitors and TVs. We are looking at several national AV contractors to partner with as Cabela’s moves forward with the expansion of our retail footprint throughout the country. We see the need to have a central monitored AV system that can also be serviced through a national grade contractor familiar with our audio and video goals.

Should tech managers attend InfoComm?
I believe anyone that has a hand in technology, whether AV related or not, should attend InfoComm. This is the best venue to see new and emerging technology and get hands on with the latest and greatest. Also if you are looking to expand your knowledge base their classes are second to none. Even if you cannot get to the shows there are always ways to learn and find out about new technology through their website as well as numerous updates they send throughout the year. Where else do you get a chance to learn from the industries best and brightest?

How is AV/IT convergence impacting your day-to-day work, if at all?
Quite a few years ago, I took a position within the casino industry. The title was low-voltage infrastructure manager and fell under the IT director. This was truly the first time I felt more like an IT person rather than an “AV” guy. I quickly had to pick up on technology such as routers, switches, cores all familiar terms but ones I had no knowledge of. As AV and IT have truly converged via IP based technology, you absolutely have to have a base knowledge of these systems to make large campus or nationwide systems work. You should become good friends with your IT manager. I plan on getting an IT degree to further assist me in the future, as well.

What AV equipment/gear are you most interested in procuring for your facility in the next year?
I am planning on standardizing the audio systems throughout our stores in the US and Canada. We currently have 40 stores and close to 40 different systems due to never having a true direction when it came to sound. We are also going through a very large growth in terms of digital signage. The current customer wants that interactive type environment when shopping. We see that need and are in the process of meeting that goal. In the very near future we will have a very large digital signage network centrally controlled from our headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska.

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