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An AV Control System Links Man and Technology

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]No AV solution is complete without a control system, especially if the technology will be used by many people, each with their own level of technical expertise. At first glance, control systems aren’t much to look at, especially compared to other, visually impactful AV technologies. But control systems are critical in ensuring the system operates as it should, without frustrating the user and while remaining within defined parameters. In short, control systems do much of the integrating during AV integration, connecting the system’s elements and the people that use them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Why Every AV Solution Could Benefit from a Control System

There are many reasons why control systems should be a part of every AV solution. They include:[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_column_text]

Rapid, intuitive controls

This is what an AV control system should offer above all else: an easy means of operating the room’s AV equipment. Without a control system in place, the learning curve greatly steepens, even for modest huddle room conferencing solutions. A control system gives users a starting point, so they don’t have to guess at how to utilize the system.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_column_text]

Endlessly customizable

AV control systems are programmable, and in the hands of a skilled AV professional, they can be customized for any setting. AV integrators work with their clients to detail who will use the system, the controls they are likely to need, and how to arrange them for ease of use. Integrators use this information to customize the control system, which means the essential controls will be front and center for users.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_column_text]

Convenient presets

Control systems can be programmed for equipment presets and tied to a single input or button. When the preset button is hit, the system automatically configures every piece of equipment, like microphones and displays, to provide an optimal audio and visual experience. Several presets can be defined so that presenters can switch between them with ease. Presets are also handy for AV solutions that will be heavily used. If a previous presenter messed with the system’s configuration, hitting a preset will bring it back in line.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_column_text]

Reduces IT workload

ObjectStyle, a software solutions developer, put together a survey of IT professionals and found that IT projects fail more than 50 percent of the time due to a lack of time and resources. Anything that can be done to save IT’s time is worth it, especially for companies that rely on IT for larger scale projects. AV control systems are one way to do this because their simplicity will stop some of those help tickets. Users don’t have to rely on a technical expert to handle the AV system, freeing up IT personnel for other tasks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1641336101959{padding-right: 60px !important;padding-left: 60px !important;}"]

Faster meetings

If meeting members can access the controls they need faster, it will speed the meeting up and get everyone back to their regular work. According to a Harvard Business Review, 71 percent of senior managers consider meetings to be inefficient and unproductive. This is usually a problem with how meetings are organized and executed, but control systems can help. Since control systems are so easy to handle, they ensure presenters aren’t hung up on how to handle the technology. There’s no stopping and starting, which means the meeting moves along quickly.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Who Makes the Best AV Control Systems?

There are several manufacturers that produce AV control systems, but among them, it’s Crestron and Extron that lead the way. Both are respected, experienced members of their industry, and their solutions are proven. Some of those solutions include:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1641336578575{margin-right: 20px !important;margin-left: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}"][vc_column][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1641336435980{padding-right: 30px !important;padding-left: 30px !important;}"]


Crestron develops an impressive range of AV technology, including video conferencing, digital displays and control systems. Its latest addition to the industry is the 4-Series, which replaces the 3-Series. It one-ups its predecessor in more than one way, though, because the 4-Series offers 15 times the processing speed and four times the memory. That’s a big jump in power, and the 4-Series is built on an open development environment that uses industry standards, so it’s secure and adaptable. With the 4-Series, programmers have access to standard tools to build their own C# programs. The 4-Series can be deployed on distributed or centralized architecture, and its code is chunked into a few smaller programs instead of one large application. That makes troubleshooting, uploading and development easier to manage. With the 4-Series’ versatility and power, it can be scaled up or down as needed. From huddle rooms to entire university campuses, the 4-Series is designed to control hardware and software that’s appropriate for the application.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="25"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1641336578575{margin-right: 20px !important;margin-left: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}"][vc_column][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1641336646848{padding-right: 30px !important;padding-left: 30px !important;}"]


Extron is another major control system manufacturer and is known for its vivid TouchLink control screens. Extron also manufactures an array of control processors, like its IPCP Pro series. The IPCP Pro series supports Extron’s TouchLink Pro touch panels and industry standard communication protocols, like HTTPS, SMTP, DNS, DHCP, ICMP, SFTP, SSH and several more. The IPCP Pro series also allows for central deployment, so all relevant files can be uploaded to the central control processor. As other system devices are brought online, the IPCP Pro series will automatically transfer the files over to those devices.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="25"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1641336578575{margin-right: 20px !important;margin-left: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}"][vc_column][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1641336879153{padding-right: 30px !important;padding-left: 30px !important;}"]


AMX manufactures an array of central controllers, control boxes and control accessories, including lighting controls. Its Netlinx NX line of integrated controllers is designed to control an array of devices located in one or multiple rooms. It’s scalable up or down, from huddle rooms to large enterprise installations. The NX line is built with enough ports to service the needs of technology-heavy organizations, as well as sophisticated security features, making it an ideal choice for government facilities. AMX also develops a line of control boxes, specifically its EXB products. Each EXB control box can be tied to an NX controller, so integrators can structure control networks for efficient handling. If devices are located too far away from a central controller, an EXB can effectively extend the range of the control network.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]No AV solution is complete without a control system, as it keeps everything linked together and communicating with each other. More importantly, AV control systems make it easy for people to interface with the technology and focus on the most important thing at hand—the meeting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]