What Makes Digital Signage Better than Traditional Signage?

One of the technology solutions that Experience Audio Video offers is digital signage. This high-tech approach to signage has been gaining quite a lot of ground in the last few years. But is it really worth the investment?

You may be skeptical of digital signage. After all, people say it can get expensive, and technology failures can be embarrassing. What makes it worth investing in? What makes digital signage better than traditional signage?

In a word, it’s more dynamic. Allow us to elaborate.

Dynamic Engagement: Digital Signage Is Brighter

Digital signage is far brighter than traditional signage. Brightness grabs attention, and isn’t attention the point of your signage in the first place?

When you want to grab people’s attention, bright, light-emitting digital signage is a great choice.

Dynamic Messaging: Digital Signage Is Easy to Change

Second, digital signage can be easily customized and changed in the moment. In this way it’s exceptionally dynamic.

If your signage needs change, even briefly, you can easily reconfigure digital signage to display the message of the hour. With traditional signage, changing your message takes some serious work. You have to order new signs from a vendor and wait weeks for them to arrive. Or you end up scrawling something on printer paper and taping it to the sign— not exactly elegant or professional.

Dynamic Animation: Digital Signage Moves

Lastly, digital signage is an improvement over traditional signage in that your signage can come to life. Take advantage of the fact that digital signage is video-capable. Create animated flourishes for your signs if you have the capability. Or at least experiment with basic animations and transitions in your favorite presenter software.

See for Yourself

We hope we’ve convinced you of the value of digital signage. But in this case seeing could be believing. Contact us today for a free demo and quote.


Projectors: Bulb Replacement or New Unit?

In conference rooms and other locations throughout your facility, you have a handful of digital projectors. Here at Experience Audio Video, we’ve watched projector technology come a long way in the past couple decades. Today’s machines are impressive and quite reliable.

But even the most reliable projector will eventually experience degraded performance or may even stop projecting entirely. When this happens, you’re faced with a choice: try replacing the bulb, or just buy a new unit?

Option 1: Replace the Bulb

The first option is to try replacing the bulb. After all, the bulb is a consumable component. The manufacturer intends for users to replace projector bulb assemblies after a certain number of hours of use.

This is certainly an option. The problem is that the bulb itself can be fairly expensive. If replacing the bulb doesn’t fix the problem, you may have wasted a few hundred bucks.

According to one projector specialist, the one situation in which replacing the bulb is the clear first step is when you hear a “pop” or can visually tell that the bulb has popped or exploded.

Option 2: Replace the Projector

The second option is to replace the entire projector. The average price for projectors has dropped greatly. On the surface this is a good thing, but the reason for the price drop is that many cheap, low-quality players have entered the market. Component failure rates are high. These projectors aren’t designed to last.

If your projector didn’t cost much, chances are it’s in this category. If it’s failed or is malfunctioning, your best bet may be to replace the unit outright.

Option 3: Have the Projector Serviced

The third option is to have your projector serviced. Dust can build up in vents, and small internal components can fail as a result. Having your projector serviced is one way to extend its life. And if it turns out the bulb really does need to be replaced, your repair person can take care of that, too.


Conference Room Tech: Which Projector Type Is Best?

If your business is like most, you have at least a handful of digital projectors in your tech arsenal. Maybe your only use for projectors is in your conference rooms, or perhaps you use projectors for all sorts of interesting digital displays. Wherever you are on the spectrum, it’s helpful to understand the different types of projectors available today. The team at Experience Audio Video is here to help with a quick guide.

Two Projector Types: DLP and LCD

The first thing to understand is that there are two main types of projectors: digital light processing (or DLP) projectors and liquid crystal display (LCD) projectors. Both perform similarly, but there are several distinguishing factors.

DLP Projectors: Great for Video and Theater Applications

DLP projectors are the best choice for video-oriented applications. They excel at producing smooth motion and deep blacks, and they produce a great high color contrast. However, they are noisier than the competition and can’t get quite as bright.

LCD Projectors: Sharp and Bright for Business and Data Applications

LCD projectors tend to be the go-to for more traditional business-oriented applications. They can produce a brighter and sharper overall image, perfect for cutting through the industrial lighting found in most offices.

A Third Premium Option: LCoS

There’s a third technology available, though it’s not as widespread. Liquid crystal on silicone is a premium projector technology that combines the advantages of both DLP and LCD technology. If you have some headroom in your budget, LCoS can be a great way to upgrade your projected visuals to a truly impressive level.

Got Questions? We Can Help!

This overview just scratches the surface of all the considerations that go into choosing the right projector. Do you have additional questions? We can help. Get in touch today!


A 2020 Resolution: Upgrade Your Audio

Ah, the new year. Fresh off a holiday season full of too much eating, people everywhere are resolving to do better in 2020. Gyms are filling up — for a month or two, anyways — and fast food drive-thrus are feeling a little lonely.

The team at Experience Audio Video can’t help you with those kinds of resolutions, but we do have a suggestion for you! Why not make a 2020 resolution for your business? This could be the year you finally get around to remodeling that space or upgrading that piece of tech that’s a little long in the tooth.

Our recommendation? Make 2020 the year that you resolve to upgrade your audio systems.

Upgraded Audio Aids in Communication

One great reason to consider upgrading your audio systems is the way it can help in communication. Speaking of drive-thrus, we’ve all had the experience of going through one where the speaker was just a disaster. You could barely understand the distorted, tinny voice that was coming through.

If your business involves a large space (perhaps a retail, warehouse or manufacturing floor), you likely have some sort of intercom system in place. (If you don’t, we think you should, by the way! And we can help.)

But what good is an intercom system if subpar audio quality makes it hard for people to understand what’s being said? Upgrading your audio can aid in communication throughout your facility or business.

Upgraded Audio Improves the Customer Experience

Second, upgraded audio improves the customer experience. It’s hard to quantify this difference, but you’ve probably felt it before. It’s the difference between visiting a tired chain coffee shop with a run-of-the-mill sound system and enjoying immersive music at a high-end local shop. One is just OK, while the other is truly impressive.

Ready to learn more? Contact us for a free quote.


2020 Trends: Conference Room Technology

As the new year kicks into full gear, it’s time to take a look at the trends that are heading our way. Here at Experience Audio Video, we’ve been keeping up with trends in healthcare audio-visual technology for multiple decades. We continue to serve our valued clients in this way in 2020.

Today we’re talking about conference room technology. These are a few of the conference room technology trends we expect to see in 2020.

Smart Tech Keeps Getting Smarter

We’ve talked before about how smart conference room technology can simplify your life and power up your conference abilities, and we expect this trend to continue in 2020. Smart conference room tech will keep getting smarter. We also expect it to continue getting smaller while at the same time getting more capable and more powerful.

The bottom line here is that if you’re still manually controlling all aspects of your conference room tech, it’s time to take a look at what’s available today. You could save time and work smarter by implementing a piece or two of smart conference room tech.

Miniaturization Continues in the Conference Room

Miniaturization isn’t new for 2020, but it’s poised to be a big theme of the year.

What do we mean by miniaturization? A few years ago, you might need a half dozen devices to cover all the conference room functions you need. Today, you likely only need one. And it’s half the size of any of the old ones. Smart all-in-one conference room controllers can handle your landline conference audio as well as internet conference audio. They can push a video feed to your projector (even wirelessly!). They can even dim the lights and pull the shades, provided you have the right automation equipment in place.

We offer smart conference room tech from multiple vendors, including Crestron. Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation and demotoday.


2020 Trends in Audio Visual Technology for Healthcare Facilities

As we begin the new year in earnest, Experience Audio Video is looking ahead. Audio visual technology continues to evolve, and savvy healthcare facilities know how important it is to keep up. With that in mind, here are the top trends we’ve identified for healthcare audio visual technology in 2020.

Trend #1: Digital Display Prices Continue to Drop

Digital display prices have been dropping, and we anticipate this trend continuing strong in 2020. The changes are staggering, really. In the consumer space, just a few years ago 4K TVs were cost-prohibitive for nearly everyone. Now big box stores are regularly selling them for under $500. The same goes for computer displays.

Of course, commercial grade digital displays will always command a premium over bargain-brand equipment for home use. But whatever the level, the trend remains the same.

As prices keep dropping, reevaluate whether your budget will allow you upgrades in this area. These could include digital signage, conference room video and even customer-facing TVs (if those are relevant for your industry).

Trend #2: Artificial Intelligence Grows in Capability

Our second trend for 2020 is in the area of artificial intelligence, or AI. AI-powered applications are growing more powerful by the week, it seems, and audio visual technology is no exception.

In the business A/V space, smart conference room technology will continue to get smarter, more capable and more intuitive. Existing smart control systems may drop in price as new players or new versions hit the market.

Trend #3: HD Isn’t Cutting It Anymore

As prices for 4K and even higher resolution displays drop, people will get accustomed to seeing 4K and better imagery. Soon, HD will begin looking as dated as VHS tapes did when DVDs hit the scene.

If you want to keep ahead of these trends, consider making 2020 the year you upgrade. And if you’re ready to do so, we’re here to help.


Got TVs in Your Facility? Here's Why a Head-End System Makes Sense

Does your healthcare facility have multiple TVs throughout one or more of its facilities, TVs that are for patient use? If so, you should be running content to those TVs using a head-end system. Head-end systems powered by DirecTV are one of the technology solutions Experience Audio Video offers, so we want to help you understand why and when a head-end system might make sense for your business.

What Is a Head-End System?

Generally speaking, a head-end system is a means of receiving and distributing either cable or satellite TV signals (along with FM radio signals, if desired). The technologies differ for cable and satellite, but the general principle is the same.

In both types, content feeds from the cable or satellite distributor into a central unit (the head-end unit) and is distributed to many TVs throughout a building. Using a head-end system, many televisions can independently access pay TV channels without configuring each connection independently.

Common Uses for Head-End Systems

Head-end systems are commonly used in environments with lots of TVs, unsurprisingly. These include businesses in the hospitality and healthcare industries, educational institutions, and in some situations multi-unit housing (like a large apartment complex). Really, any business with multiple TVs in multiple spaces can benefit from this technology.

Why a Head-End System Makes Sense

The main benefit of a head-end system is simplicity. A 300-room hotel doesn’t want to configure 300 independent cable connections. It doesn’t make financial or logistical sense for them or for the provider. Imagine a high-rise apartment building with 400 satellite dishes decorating one wall of the building.

If your business needs more than 2 or 3 independent feeds, then a head-end system could be the right choice. If you’re not sure, we can help you decide. Get in touch with us today!


Lobby Looking Tired? Refresh It with Digital Signage

The lobby of your healthcare facility is vitally important. It’s the first thing people see when they arrive. It tells patients a great deal about you, and it sets the tone for what they should expect throughout their visit.

Far too often, though, healthcare facilities underinvest in their lobbies. Perhaps the thinking is this: lobbies don’t generally make money by themselves, and they don’t provide a ton of functionality for your staff.

Given how crucial your lobby is to the patient experience, though, you can’t afford to let it go. You need to keep it looking fresh.

If your lobby is looking tired, one extremely easy way to refresh your look is with digital signage. The team at Experience Audio Video has helped numerous clients do just this already, and we can help you, too. Here’s what you need to know.

Digital Signage Injects a Modern Feel Without Blowing the Budget

First, quality digital signage injects a modern feel wherever it gets installed. And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelmingly expensive upgrade.

Remodeling your entire lobby with a sleek, modern aesthetic may be well outside your budget right now. But have you seen the price of TVs these days? Large 4K displays are shockingly cheap compared to just a couple years ago. Adding digital signage can be a very cost effective way to modernize the look and feel of your lobby.

Digital Signage Allows for Customized Messaging

Second, digital signage allows you to easily customize the messaging in your lobby. Your logo and brand messaging get top billing, of course, but consider the possibilities. VIP clients coming for a visit? Give them a customized welcome (even incorporating their logo) using your digital signage. New branding initiative or ad campaign? Display elements from your campaign on a rotating basis using your digital displays.

The possibilities for engaging, dynamic display content are nearly endless when you deploy digital signage in your lobby. Contact us today for a customized quote for your space.


Facility-wide Intercom System: Worth the Investment?

If your healthcare facility occupies older facilities or ones that weren’t purpose-built for what you do, it’s possible that your facilities aren’t equipped with a facility-wide intercom system. You can see a real use for one, so you’re stuck with a question: is a retrofit and install worth the investment?

And if you’re in the process of planning a new build, you may be facing a similar decision. Yes, it’s easier to include a facility-wide intercom system when planning from the ground up, but still: is it worth the investment?

At Experience Audio Video, we’ve helped numerous commercial clients through the calculus on decisions like this one, and we can help you, too. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether a facilitywide intercom system for your business is worth the investment.

Frequency and Urgency of Use

Consider first how frequently you’d use such a system (or, if you already have one in your current facility, how frequently you do use it right now). Some healthcare facilities use intercom features multiple times a day, and in that case it’s an obvious decision. Others use them quite infrequently or hardly ever use them, and for those healthcare facility the benefit of having an intercom system may not be worth the investment.

Urgency of use is another factor. There are some healthcare facilities where having an intercom system is a matter of safety and security. In those situations, it doesn’t much matter how frequently the system is used. If it’s a matter of physical safety, your choice is clear.

Other Benefits to Your Business

Beyond frequency and urgency of use, consider what other benefits your business might realize with a facilitywide intercom system. Likely you can identify tasks that would be more efficient with one, and there may be a quality-of-work-life increase, as well.

Ready to Learn More?

If you’re interested in learning more about installing an intercom system at your business, give us a call today!


How Often Should You Evaluate Your Conference Room Tech?

If your hospital is like most, you’ve got a conference room or two as a part of your facility. And every conference room has some smattering of A/V technology. As with everything tech-related, your conference room tech has a finite lifespan. Eventually it needs to be replaced.

We do everything A/V related your healthcare facility could need here at Experience Audio Video, from entire new facility installs to small in-place updates (like a conference room refresh). When it’s time to evaluate and update your conference room tech, we’re here to take care of you.

Perhaps you’re wondering how frequently healthcare facilities like yours ought to go through this process. We can help with that, too. The Experience Audio Video team has the experience necessary to help you evaluate how often you should evaluate your conference room tech.

General Rule of Thumb

Our general rule of thumb is that you should take a conference room tech audit every three to four years. This is about the right time frame where you can keep things fresh without any one piece of equipment looking too outdated.

Now, we’re not suggesting that you’ll need to gut your conference room A/V tech this frequently. This is simply an audit. You want to evaluate what’s come on the market since you last checked and consider what equipment is getting sluggish or unreliable.

Adjust for Your Industry and Style

Industries and businesses differ, we realize, so our rule of thumb may need customizing. We recommend you start with our rule of thumb — an audit every three to four years — and then scale it up or down based on business factors.

For example, if you’re a tech-forward business with gleaming, futuristic office space, three to four years is too long. And if tech isn’t a big part of your office culture, it’ll be ok to wait more years between evaluations.