In the world of audio and video technology, a control room looks like something out of a movie, with wall to wall displays churning out data and experts at their consoles pouring over the data. These command centers are found in many industries, and they are generally relied on to provide insight into company operations. In fact, such command centers are often the nerve center of a company, whether they are monitoring pipeline operations or keeping track of incoming communications. But without the proper technology providing audio and visual data in real time, it would be impossible for the experts at these facilities to do their jobs. This is where an A/V integrator plays a valuable role for its clients.
Audio and Video Technology in the Control Room
A command center is heavily reliant on its interface technology to respond to alerts as they pop up. There is no room for error in catching alerts in real time, so a command center has to be designed in a way that facilitates action. A/V solutions can help make that happen, and a proper A/V solution includes the following components:
- Multiple large displays, or a single video wall – Displays are the critical element of a command center, as they provide real time information to everyone at once. With multiple displays, engineers and monitoring personnel can customize the data they keep tabs on. Some examples include maps, pipeline and equipment status, surveillance points, schematics and various process oversight mechanisms, like SCADA applications. As SCADA applications are used in a number of industries, quality displays are required universally. Displays can also be tuned to news media or company media to predict changes in operational conditions.
- Zoned audio – Zoning audio outputs throughout the command center ensures that alert tones and media audio is only directed to the people who request it. This is especially useful in command centers that are built with an observation deck, as management personnel can tap into audio without disturbing other personnel.
- Modern workstations – Workstations are where personnel do their jobs, responding to alerts, service requests and scraping data for further review. A company may invest in their command center’s display technology, but if it doesn’t keep its workstations up to date, it will be difficult for engineers and oversight personnel to handle operational needs. A popular approach to workstations is to fit them with multiple high resolution monitors to expand each user’s effective working space. This can help personnel scrub through information faster and manage larger amounts of data without committing errors.
- Display control settings – A set of displays can be difficult to handle without the proper settings, and A/V integrators ensure these are part and parcel with a display bank. Settings include input and channel programming, timer settings and display layout settings. Touch controls are typically used to change settings, ensuring that users can easily change display layouts and inputs with minimal effort.
Both audio and video are essential for control room operations, so a company should not settle for inferior technology. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced integrator, a company won’t have to.