The audio and video standards that a school kid or client or parishioner will put up with in educational facilities, the corporate world, or houses of worship have gone up pretty high, pretty fast due to the fact that these kids and clients are accustomed to high-def TV at home and the great ease of use and high quality that comes with the average DVD player or gaming unit. Making learning fun has always been effective, but we're in an era and industry where it's to be expected. The same goes for making a PowerPoint presentation compelling. It requires the most current hardware and networking. It only makes sense to project a company's financials using the most impressive technology on the market, or else the inferior resolution will be what a prospective client comes away with from the meeting, as opposed to the impressive market predictions.
That's where the systems integrator steps in and puts two and two together. That's where old-hat technologies in one field find new life in another-opening up new opportunities and synergies and cross marketing.
In the business section this month we get caught up on the latest of the blurring lines of AV and IT on page 40. In every case of cross-over, it crosses back to the systems integrator who stands to do business. If a systems integrator has extensive networking skills and is Cisco-certified, the Cisco qualification would be pretty useless without the AV credentials.
It works both ways. A place of entertainment or recreation has to add education to its credits in order to stay afloat. In order for an aquarium to be more than just an exotic fish resort, it has to educate while entertaining as discussed in the systems snapshot on the new Georgia Aquarium (page 50). This is accomplished with informative pop-ups triggered by touchpanels. In this case a new aquarium puts to use the latest AV technologies to teach while displaying the wonder of the deep seas.
This being our entertainment/ theme park issue, we've got some installation stories from Colonial Williamsburg with town criers and sound reinforcement hidden in colonial trees (page 54), to the Wild Wild West frontier with a Six Gun Theater (page 53). For the full experience of being transported to another place and time, it's necessary to keep the technology out of sight.
Audio has always been a big part of the equation, and InfoComm is balancing the show with a healthy dose of sound support this year. The 2006 show will offer an additional audio demonstration room, bringing the total to 12. There will be 225 audio exhibitors this year and SCN's own Steve Thorburn will be teaching three classes on acoustics and loudspeaker and speech intelligibility (see page 30).
This month's Inventor Profile on page 72 takes a look at Roland, a company that is legendary in the world of audio and music and recently expanded its scope to the systems integration world. By starting the Roland Systems Group U.S. about a year ago, the company is able to bring a special focus to users, installers, contractors, and architects of audio and video systems.
This is the sort of expertise required for the kids, clients, and parishioners who will judge the message by the medium. As a gathering place for all those involved in the newest AV technologies for commercial and institutional spaces, InfoComm is where this concept is put into nuts and bolts and lumens and pixels.