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Data Projections Makes SCN’s 2022 Top 50 Integrators List

Data Projections Makes SCN’s 2022 Top 50 Integrators List

HOUSTON TX – Data Projections has once again made SCN’s Top 50 Integrators List in 2022. “At Data Projections, our goal is to serve our clients with the highest possible level of audio/visual integration to better facilitate and enhance their own missions and successes. To be recognized multiple times by a publication with the caliber of Systems Contractor News as one of the top fifty integrators in the nation is welcome confirmation that we are a vital part of the AV industry,” said Matthew Zaleski, President of Data Projections.

“It is always an honor to receive this SCN distinction, but in many ways this particular recognition means even more as our society emerges from a pandemic,” Zaleski continued. “I think it illustrates we have successfully assisted our clients in bridging the gap between a pre and post COVID world without significant disruption to meaningful and effective communication.”
Being recognized as an industry leader is nothing new for Data Projections. Over the years, the company has received prominent certifications and been recognized by the Better Business Bureau for their services.

“As an AV integrator, we are grateful for recognition from our industry peers, but at the end of the day we are most thankful for clients who choose to entrust their AV vision and goals to us,” Zaleski concluded.

About Data Projections:
Founded in 1987, Data Projections has grown into a leader in the audio/visual solutions industry. With offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Data Projections focuses on the businesses and institutions that also call Texas home. Data Projections offers its clients the ability to connect with others, collaborate in innovate ways and simplify even the most technically complex processes. Visit www.dataprojections.com to learn more.

Episode 12: How To Choose a VTC Camera. Harder Than You Think

Cameras are an integral part of the corporate and education technology experience in today’s world. While this is something most of us can agree on, the challenge becomes what type of camera and set up is best for each unique space’s technology needs? To make the most of camera views, microphone reach, and production capabilities, one of the smartest things a client can do to enhance the experience is work with a professional integrator.

What Types of Cameras Are Used Today for Audiovisual?

Decades ago, most people considered camera usage for audiovisual to be primarily camcorders, which eventually progressed to phones. Technically, these two types of cameras play into the broadcast news arena, but not so much in commercial AV.

In commercial AV, the following types of cameras are the most commonly used for audiovisual purposes:

  • When it comes to audiovisual for education K-12, camcorders and phones tend not to be the primary go-to for technology. In this scenario, the main type of camera used is one that is installed and mounted on a wall, ceiling, or tripod as a fixed installation that does not move around.
  • PTZ, or pan-tilt-zoom cameras, are sometimes used because of their ability to zoom in and back out, and also shift from left to right.
  • All-in-one cameras have a sound bar camera and microphone. It can look similar to the sound bar that many of us have at home for our TVs.
  • Document cameras are used to put a picture of a document onto a screen. These types of cameras are typically used in classrooms or courtrooms.

The bottom line is that a camera used in commercial AV today is one that offers multiple types of connectivity.

The Best Types of Cameras for Optimum Connectivity

When it comes to technology today, the two primary types of cameras used are:

  1. HDMI
  2. USB

HDMI cameras generally feature better methods of transporting data longer distances. Particularly if there is more than one camera in a given room or space, integrators prefer these cameras because it more easily transports data over long distances and it more seamlessly switches between multiple cameras.

USB cameras offer software driven features and flexibility that HDMI does not. If utilizing only a single camera or if a specific type of smart technology is needed for the space, integrators may recommend USB camera usage.

Because HDMI and USB cameras are used for different needs, it is not unusual for both technologies to be used. For example, if a space utilizes an HDMI camera, it may eventually be needed to convert to USB so that it can be used on a person’s laptop or be used on a video conferencing platform. So why use HDMI if you may have to convert it? The primary reason is versatility.

An integrator can break out HDMI into multiple signals. This allows one signal to be sent to USB devices for video conferencing and the overflow to be sent to the lobby or even another conference room. This capability only works for spaces that use multiple cameras.

The key to finding the best type of camera for optimum connectivity in your space is to work with a professional AV integrator to help you create the specific kind of experience you want, whether that be strictly for video conferencing or for a grander production scale.

Controlling a PTZ Camera to Offer Different Viewpoints Within a Space

PTZ cameras typically work off of a manufacturer remote to move it up, down, left, right, and preset or fixed positions. Sometimes it may be possible to do a wide angle shot of a room that captures the audience or participants and another camera that focuses on the presenter. If using an HDMI camera, these images can then be stitched together.

In addition to showing two different viewpoints at one time, HDMI cameras will allow an integrator to manipulate the sizes of the images to perhaps make the footage of the presenter larger than that of their audience, if the client so desires.

The best way to know what viewpoints a client will need with a PTZ camera is by having them work with the integrator to discuss what kind of footage they envision of an event. It could be:

  • Presenter only
  • Classroom only
  • Picture in picture
  • Moving the camera
  • Stitching two images together

This information gives an integrator the data they need to set up the right type of technology within a space.

Usually, cameras look to see if someone is within a preset area or a digitally drawn space in the camera. Programmers can set an area to pick up movement without producing a terribly jerky motion. Microphones can trigger a signal to cameras that there is sound-based movement there and to catch that area. Most soundbars look for a person being in a physical area and then if they are talking, they can zoom in on them.

Each client has to decide if they want stationary presets or a production that requires a program operator.

How to Create a Pleasant Camera Experience for the Far End User

In conference and boardrooms, the main goal is to frame the picture so the far side can see the entire group and be able to focus on specific people who are talking. This can sometimes create a dizzying effect for some viewers, and to help mitigate that, AV integrators:

  • encourage clients to review demos before installing the technology
  • ensure the client is comfortable with the technology, which increases proficiency
  • review the space and environment to address any problems that could hinder the picture, such as sunlight from windows

Part of creating a more pleasant camera experience is to know when it is time to trade from a true PTZ camera to a sound bar. To make the best choice, it comes down to the physical size of the room. All-in-one cameras can be better for small and narrow spaces, and they are USB devices.

The breakover is deciding if a client wants more than one camera and the size of the physical room. Often the room dimensions will lead the way as to where to start in terms of valid camera choices for the effect a client wants to achieve.

If you are interested in evaluating what type of camera technology would be best for your classroom, boardroom, or corporate area, it is highly recommended to work with a reputable AV integrator. The professionals have the capacity to give life to your vision with the ideal camera setup.

How To Keep Virtual Meetings Productive

Virtual meetings may have started from a place of necessity, but as many companies move forward with hybrid work environments with at least some remote participants, it is a clear signal that virtual meetings are here to stay. One of the biggest challenges with this setup is how to keep virtual meetings productive and engage participants. The solution can be three-fold: putting engaging practices in place, enlisting the help of an AV integrator, and using the right technology to facilitate it all.

How to Keep Virtual Meetings Productive

In a virtual meeting, it can be all too easy for bored participants to look like they are staring at their computers when they are actually streaming videos or playing a game of Solitaire. The solution is to implement new practices to keep individuals engaged and participating throughout virtual meetings.

If determining how to keep virtual meetings productive has been a challenge for you, consider employing some or all of the following tips:

  • Stay face to face. Most virtual meetings ask participants if they would like to turn on their computer camera for the meeting. While applications offer the choice of a camera, it is best for businesses to request that the video feed remain on for the duration of the call. This helps hold participants accountable and keeps them involved.
  • Eliminate distractions. Whether a remote employee is at home or working from a nearby coffee shop, distractions are everywhere, largely in the form of background noise and scenery. Consider asking participants to use a green screen effect to limit visuals of things happening around or behind them. Keeping participants on mute until a discussion period opens or someone virtually raises their hand may be the best way to eliminate unwanted interruptions and background noise.
  • Create accountability. Consider having each virtual attendee have a specific job for the duration of a call such as an attendance taker, note taker, etc. While this can seem elementary, it keeps individuals involved and in tune with the call as they each complete their specific task.
  • Be bold. To keep a virtual meeting productive, it may help to think of putting together a presentation for the topic. Be bold with graphics, color usage, and special effects. The more interesting a presentation is the less tempted participants will be to tune out the presenter.
  • Make it a need to know basis. Time is valuable, even while on a virtual call. Show event participants that you are respecting their time by including only useful information in the presentation, and when applicable, presenting supplemental information in the chat.
  • Let participation be fun. Do not just ask individuals to pay attention and participate in a virtual meeting, give them an exciting avenue to encourage them to do so. Some of the most popular ways to engage individuals is to ask them to participate in a poll to keep interest.

How an AV Integrator Can Help

A professional AV integrator can help businesses establish remote virtual meeting spaces that not only make communicating more feasible, but that also integrate seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure.

This step is key in making virtual meeting technology user-friendly, sustainable, and cohesive. Integrators are able to not only set up a proper system designed to fit a customer’s budget and make their virtual meetings productive, but they can also put together staff training to ensure that individuals understand how to use the technology to their advantage.

What Types of Solutions Can Help with Productive Virtual Meetings

Customizing a videoconferencing system designed to meet the unique needs of a business while being mindful of the budget constraints is a specialty of reputable AV integrators. Their knowledge is invaluable when it comes to knowing what digital technologies will work the best for each client.

Some of the more popular technology solutions for productive virtual meetings include:

  • Cameras: A high-quality audio-visual camera should do more than just facilitate video. Look for a camera that limits noise interference while providing excellent audio, is compatible with multiple devices, and offers multiple views. Some of the most popular companies providing cameras that assist with productive virtual meetings are AVer, Logitech, Lumens, Poly, and Vaddio.
  • Feedback suppression devices: While there are things such as a room’s acoustics that cannot easily be changed to decrease audio feedback, companies like Biamp and Poly are offering products that offer feedback suppression. Biamp Crowd Mics, an app-based solution, allows text and voice capabilities during a meeting, as well as moderator control options and a poll-based participation feature. Poly Headsets are other devices that ensure clearer communication and works well with other platforms such as Zoom.

If a virtual meeting is a part of a hybrid work environment, the following technologies can also be helpful for businesses to employ:

  • SimplyConnected ZoomRooms: A ZoomRoom allows employees at a place of business to set up interface opportunities with colleagues and clients that are working remotely.
  • Simply Connected Huddle Package: The Simply Connected Huddle Package works much the same way as a ZoomRoom with the exception that it generally caters to a smaller group of on-site employees communicating with remote clients or colleagues.

No matter what type of technology solutions you use for virtual meetings, having an AV integrator assist with it all from start to finish may be the most important factor. If you are struggling with how to keep virtual meetings productive, schedule a consultation with a trusted and reputable AV integrator today for a smoother tomorrow.

How Is Modern Video Conferencing Technology Improving Business?

Conference Room
Video conferencing technology and solutions are becoming the mainstream, and nearly 90 percent of companies use multiple conferencing platforms according to the 2018 State of Video Conferencing Report. Adding video to the conversation gives people visual information like body language and facial expressions, which helps meeting members stay engaged and recall what they heard.

It’s been decades since video conferencing technology was introduced to businesses, so it’s not a new solution. However, there are new video conferencing technologies and trends that are making this solution even more successful. Continue reading “How Is Modern Video Conferencing Technology Improving Business?”

How Can A Digital Whiteboard Enhance A Classroom Or Boardroom

How a Digital Whiteboard Can Change the Classroom and the Boardroom

Whether delivering a critical presentation, employee training or a complex math lesson, a digital whiteboard provides the perfect medium to do so. Digital whiteboards are being rapidly improved upon, and current generation models provide incredible functionality, usability and versatility. If your organization relies on visual communications to any extent, a digital whiteboard is a smart choice. Continue reading “How Can A Digital Whiteboard Enhance A Classroom Or Boardroom”

Will Adding Technology To My Daily Routine Make It Harder/Longer For Me To Accomplish My Daily Tasks?

In some work settings, it may feel like every day is a herculean effort just to stay above the water. It’s probably more common than people think, as productivity is a difficult thing to capture and optimize, which means some employees take on backbreaking burdens, while others are just floating by. Where can technology enter this picture, and will it make the typical worker’s daily tasks harder or easier to accomplish? Continue reading “Will Adding Technology To My Daily Routine Make It Harder/Longer For Me To Accomplish My Daily Tasks?”

How Video Conferencing Can Bridge The Distant Gap

As the ways to do business continues to expand, and the limitations on business caused by location and distance continue to shrink with the help of easy to use, innovative, integrated solutions.

Historically, businesses have moved from a time where every interaction with a remote location meant a heavy travel schedule. As the internet gained steam, businesses came up with ad-hoc solutions that often involved the daisy chaining of solutions together to make a workable but not optimal solution. For example, a popular method was the utilization of WebX or Go To Meeting and putting people on speakerphone. This is far from an integrated solution. Continue reading “How Video Conferencing Can Bridge The Distant Gap”

From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Google’s Jamboard Eases Transition From College to Corporate

As millions of students graduate college this spring, Google could not have timed the release of their new Google Jamboard any more perfectly, to welcome them with a familiar interface as they arrive on the doorstep of corporate America. And the best thing is that they did it with their usual Google flair, and the Jamboard is downright fun! Continue reading “From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Google’s Jamboard Eases Transition From College to Corporate”