Conference Room AV Systems  



Six Trends For

Conference Room AV Systems

Posted: April 21, 2014

If it’s been a while since you last purchased an audiovisual system for a conference room, a lot has changed. Chances are, if you’ve begun your research, you already know this and may be feeling overwhelmed with the many options available. Whether you are installing a system in a new conference room or upgrading an existing one, here are six key trends for AV:

Room Automation – Gone are the days of systems that don’t talk to each other. In the past, it used to take at least 15 to 20 minutes to get ready for a meeting. Today, a conference room can be completely automated through one central control system and in some cases operated with an iPad or iPhone.  A central control system brings simplicity to running a meeting and allows room control with one easy-to-use display panel. From the panel, the meeting organizer can roll down a screen and blinds, turn on a display monitor, dim the lights, turn on the projector and even place a video conference call.  

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Technology – With the surge in various communication devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops, conference rooms need to be equipped with technology that allows meeting participants to present, collaborate and share content in real time across multiple devices. New systems can easily access and display a full range of material in multiple formats on any portable device. Presenters can collaborate using smart phones, tablets or laptops to share files, videos or presentations.  This collaboration is accomplished through wired connections from the device to the display or wirelessly through the use of devices such as Apple TV, Chromecast and downloaded apps.

Audio, Video and Web Conferencing – With the growing need to connect remote meeting participants, today’s conference rooms can be designed with the virtual meeting environment in mind. Requirements include the ability for participants to see each other in HD video with accompanying audio, and interact with presentation content. The goal of a video conference solution is to make participants feel as if they are sitting in the same room with each other and not miles apart. Some of today’s most innovative camera designs have built-in intelligence to facilitate communication. For example, advanced systems include a tracking camera that zooms in on the person who is speaking based upon sound and motion.

Touchscreen Display – Interactive display systems are now moving into the conference room and provide for highly interactive and more productive meetings and training sessions. Flat panel, touchscreen displays range in size and work naturally by using touch gestures to write and manipulate content. Many even allow two people to interact with content simultaneously. These displays offer a premium visual experience thanks to LED technology, while capturing and sharing the product of the meeting.

Conference Table Connectivity – While conference room tables have been designed for many years with connectivity outlets, the older versions simply cannot handle today’s advanced connectivity needs. As the move from analog to digital continues, additional connection ports such as HDMI and/or DisplayPort (DP) should be included as an option.  The design of these systems allows cables and connections to be easily stored out of site when the room is not in use.

The End of Analog – With the move to newer digital standards like HDMI and DP, finding a television with a VGA (15 pin PC) connection is getting tougher. The newer standards provide a high-resolution picture and incorporate audio – VGA is video only. Also helping drive this trend is the USB 3.0 standard on laptops and PCs. For laptops without an HDMI or DP port but that are USB 3.0-equipped, an adapter can be added.

If you’re in the market for a new AV system for your conference room, keep these six trends in mind. Investing in the newest technologies will bring a new dimension to your meetings and increase collaboration and productivity.