With computers, a simple icon is often placed on the desktop to allow the user to go exactly where he wants with the single click of a mouse. One click opens the program and the file, perhaps even to a specific point in the file. AV Control Systems accomplish the same thing in a presentation room. A similar "single button" operation can open the way for even the most technology adverse individuals to operate even the most complex equipment - and look like a pro in front of the audience.
Why add a Control System
A presentation room may well be equipped with such numerous and varied devices. PC's, DVD's, CD's, USB's, VCR's, Document Cameras and Conferencing Systems can can bring an impressive array of capabilities to communicate effectively. Some companies spend valuable time and money in an effort to train personnel to operate such equipment - only to find that the tools are not being used, or that the IT or AV department is constantly being called in to assist.
A control system eliminates much of the problem. Much like a click of the mouse on your computer desktop, anyone can push a single button that sets "opens up the correct file", in this case a series of commands that change the room environment to whatever is needed at the time.
Single button controls, such as PROJECTOR ON and PROJECTOR OFF can replace the complicated (and often lost!) IR Remote Control that came with the projector. And with the control system, we don't need to just send commands to the projector. We can set up the room completely, when adding to our PROJECTOR ON button, we also tell the screen to come down, the lights to dim to the appropriate level and the blinds to close - and no training required, even for a guest presenter!
Now that the projector is on, a single button can turn on any device. If a DVD is to be shown, one push of DVD ON button can turn on the DVD player, switch the input on the projector, turn on the sound system, open the DVD tray, and now offer the operator control buttons - perhaps limited to VOLUME UP, VOLUME DOWN, PLAY, PAUSE, STOP, FF, REW, and EJECT. Simple!
An effective Control Systems must be designed so that personel from any and every department can operate the system with minimal training and minimal support from IT. It should also offer the advanced presenter more flexibility when he or she chooses to access it. And how about allowing the IT or AV department to monitor the equipment in the room at any time, checking the status of computer lamps or maintenance intervals. And be sure to add energy saving capabilities by incorporating a system that shuts itself down when not in use for some time. In fact, it can even turn off the lights and the Air Conditioning, if you'd like.
Say goodbye to media rooms with 3, 4, 5 or more handheld remote controls - which get lost and where batteries run dead, or are just plain confusing - and give thought to a Media Room Control System from City-Tel Communications to solve the problem.