Staff UP for a project, season, or year long.

Site Surveys – Service Calls – Augmented Labor – Full Service – See how we can help »

Small Room. Big Benefits. Gain huge insight on small huddle space audio challenges and how to solve them.

Offices have been trending towards the “open office” model for quite some time, usually with one or two dedicated conference spaces. These spaces were usually large and most likely had use restrictions on them, sending the employees back to their open office to work on a project. This is a less-than-ideal situation because the open office environment introduces distractions and isn’t conducive to collaboration. Team members don’t want their meeting to disrupt their colleagues, so what’s a team to do?

Huddle rooms to the rescue!

Yes, we’ve heard and read about huddle rooms for a few years now. They certainly make sense for the scenario listed above. An easily accessible space for team members to meet, away from their colleagues, that fosters collaboration. Typically seating just 3-5 people, it’s an efficient use of available space. Remote workers cite a “more inclusive” feel when working with team members who are in a huddle room, as opposed to a large conference room, which has a more formal vibe.

 

How to make the huddle room a true collaboration workspace.

In addition to the huddle room as space in and of itself, it can provide additional functionality to the enterprise. By incorporating the right technology, the huddle room can transform into a true collaboration workspace for both local and offsite team members. Use of soft codecs within the enterprise affords the user greater flexibility for scheduling and meeting location. Technology in the huddle room should provide the same ease of use.

In a collaborative conferencing situation, team members may be moving around the room or at a whiteboard, with their backs to the camera and mic. The microphone on a typical laptop doesn’t provide adequate coverage of the room. It barely sounds acceptable when the user is on-axis to the mic. Horrible audio is fatiguing to the listener on the far end, and ultimately decreases productivity. The solutions should improve the audio fidelity coming from the room. Fortunately, Almo has a number of solutions to fit any budget and technical requirement.

 

We have the right products designed for huddle rooms.

AMX, part of the Harman group, offers the Acendo Vibe. Connected via USB or Bluetooth, the vibe has JBL onboard speakers and microphones, CEC control and the option of a 120-degree wide-angle camera.

The Biamp Devio was purpose-built for the huddle room. After running the system’s mic auto-setup, three 120-degree mic elements actively track the speaker in the room with incredible clarity. One USB cable connection from your computer is all that’s needed to push video to the local monitor, send audio to the monitor via HDMI, send to low-impedance speakers from its onboard 20-watt amp, or send the audio to a room system via line-level outputs. Connect the room’s telephone headset to the Devio and that extension can also bridge into the call. The Devio has USB connections for a camera and other peripherals as well. The company IT department can pull room usage information across the network via SMTP traps available within the Devio. An onboard web server as well as downloadable software allows configuration of the device.

And … don’t forget about local audio! Choose from a variety of speaker manufacturers and options from Atlas, JBL and TOA.

Questions? Give me a call! I’m available to help you with your project and answer questions you may have.

Steve Alexander, CTS, PCVE, CCNA
Business Development Manager 

888-420-2566 x6648  |  [email protected]

ELECT A NEW WAY TO BE PROFITABLE WITH GOVERNMENT AUDIO SOLUTIONS

You’re certainly familiar with working in the small to large business space, but what about working with your local government? Government entities are constantly engaged in tech refreshes of their facilities. The cycle takes a bit longer because public monies are being spent; therefore, most projects are sent out to bid. If you’re willing to work through the bid process you’ll be rewarded with a client that will definitely pay their bill at the end of the project!

Government opportunities in audio can come from anywhere: state legislatures, city councils, court houses, boards of education, water authorities, local transportation authorities, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

A secure system is a must.

These bodies have some unique requirements. To insure the integrity of the process, the system must be secure, either as a stand-alone system or if on the network, segmented with appropriate network controls such as a separate VLAN, firewall rules, and occasionally a dedicated physical network to move data from point to point.

Most government meetings have a set agenda that must be followed with procedural requirements. A complete system will allow for agenda mapping, voting, documentation and document sharing as well as local and facility-wide/WAN distribution. Legislative chambers have set protocols for participants to discuss and vote on key issues. Data collection ensures accountability on policy making.

Additional requirements for many meetings include controlled microphone activation, electronic voting, audio recording and archiving, and an agenda report. Some require the ability to display agenda and voting information to the audience, video tracking triggered by push-to-talk microphones for live streaming, and paperless document display.

ALMO has partnered with manufacturers uniquely qualified to fulfill these requirements.

Beyer Dynamics’ Quinta wireless conference systems’ product range includes gooseneck mics, revoluto array mics, and a wireless handheld mic unit that has the same functionality as a mic unit. For the government client that requires additional meeting management, Taiden offers a complete solution including voting, document management, video tracking and display. Both systems can provide simultaneous interpretation with additional hardware and appropriate software.

ALMO has the video, distribution and control systems solutions, and the relationships with our manufacturers’ technical support teams to ensure our customers a complete solution for their project.

Interested in finding out more? Call me!

Steve Alexander, CTS, PCVE, CCNA
Business Development Manager 

888-420-2566 x6648  |  [email protected]

Why Audio in the Conference Room is NOT a One-Size-Fits-All Solution

These days, video conferencing is a daily activity. What was once the prevue of only “C suite” executives is now available to everyone in the organization.  Conference rooms are becoming ubiquitous, and come in all shapes and sizes. Small, medium, or large – each size conference room has its own set of challenges that require different types of AV integration products and solutions.

Let’s break this down a little:

  • Let’s start small—AKA the huddle room. It’s estimated that worldwide, the number of huddle room installs will be in the six-figure range over the next few years. Huddle rooms are smaller spaces where AV/IT infrastructure is minimal and BYOD is the norm. It’s a collaboration environment. Folks need the ability to easily connect their computer and share content locally as well as remotely. Biamp has the solution for the huddle space environment, the Devio. A one cable connection from your computer to the Devio is all that’s required. The heart of the system is its’ beam –tracking microphone, which follows the conversation around the room.Crystal clear audio anywhere in the room is possible, thanks to the auto-setup feature which calibrates the mic and audio with the acoustics of the room. Connect a USB camera to the device and HDMI output from the Devio to a monitor and you’re all set. Two models provide interface capability with existing phone systems via the rooms’ phone headset output. The Devio even has a Bluetooth enabled version. AMX also has a player in this space, the Acendo Vibe. Included are JBL speakers and mics and a wide-angle camera to see everyone in the room.

Did you know that Almo Pro A/V offers a SOUND OPTIONS audio sourcing and engineering group? SOUND OPTIONS gives accessibility to favorite audio brands and technical expertise all through a single resource. Learn more here.

  • Medium sized rooms, AKA the “GRANDE,” are the perfect candidate for the Phoenix Stingray. This distributed array auto-mixer features mic-line inputs and can be configured as a stand-alone SIP client. The unit can be daisy-chained to add additional mics. The device can bridge two audio calls from different interfaces, has direction-finding and beamforming software which provides the ability to steer the directionality of the devices’ microphones. Speaking of mics, Phoenix has a number of mics certified to work with the device, such as the AKG CHM 99 hanging mic and the Beyer Dynamic Revoluto RM 30.
  • Large rooms — AKA the “big boy/executive conference room,” requires products like the BSS Soundweb London family of DSP processors is the way to go. The unit can come in a fixed I/O configuration or as a chassis, with a number of signal processors and I/Os in a variety of networked-audio configurations and slots for a variety of input/output cards. Available protocols include Cobra-Net, Digital Audio Bus, Dante, and AVB. The units are configurable through HiQnet London Architect.

Conferencing Taiden, AKG, and Beyer Dynamic are designed specifically for the conference room space that requires chairman/delegate assignments, remote mic control, voting, and can incorporate simultaneous interpretation as well. These systems are found in the conference rooms of Fortune 500 companies worldwide.

Taiden

AKG

Beyer Dynamic

In addition to these solutions, ALMO has the full line of Beyer Dynamic and AKG microphones, Ashly, Atlas, Crown, JBL amplification and speakers, Panasonic PTZ cameras, switchers, and a variety of video distribution options.

Small, medium, large…got a project in the works? Ring me up! We’d love the opportunity to help out!

 

Steve Alexander, CTS, PCVE, CCNA
Business Development Manager 

888-420-2566 x6648  |  [email protected]

 

NDI: The Secret Sauce for Your Next Campus or Enterprise Project

An integrator came to us asking a familiar question. His customer, a small church, was asking for a way to live stream their services to homebound parishioners. After a site survey, the integrator priced the project, which came in way over budget, mainly because AC power had to be run to the camera positions, needed a code inspection after the AC was run, etc. He came to us looking for an alternative solution. We introduced him to Panasonic’s new NDI cameras, which provide all connections via one cable. The integrator re-worked his numbers, came in under budget and won the job.

 

Integrators are becoming increasingly familiar with audio over IP networks and offering it as a solution for their customers. Audio buses like Blu-Link allow devices to talk to each other over local area networks. It’s a great way to transport audio across the campus or enterprise. With the introduction of New Tek’s NDI (Network Device Interface) in 2015, getting video across the network has become much easier as well.

Why NDI?

NDI is a flexible solution that supports low-latency, high-quality frame accurate video over standard Ethernet networks. Multicast support was added in 2017, allowing group communication to many destinations simultaneously. Multicast is a bandwidth-friendly solution.

Let’s geek out for a minute: To deliver high-quality video, NDI relies on its own proprietary compression algorithm that reduces streams at a 15:1 ratio. Measurements in the lab show 16 video scan lines latency, while most real-world implementations show one field of latency. The NDI encoding algorithm is resolution and frame-rate independent and supports resolutions up to 4K and beyond. Gigabyte Ethernet is required to successfully implement NDI across the network. More information can be found here.

 

NDI Technology… now in PTZ cameras.

Panasonic has included NDI technology across their line of PTZ cameras. Models include the AW-HN38,AW-HN40,AW-UN70 and AW-HN130. The cameras are available now. With NDI, the cameras are automatically detected to become available for use in NDI-based production environments, negating the need for additional configuration.

Delix Alex, Product Manager for PTZ Camera and IP Networking Systems says, “A single cable enables simplified video production without sacrificing quality or feature-set, in addition to the inherent features of Panasonic’s PTZ line-up including a family of controllers, image quality and smoothness in movement.”

Three key benefits of NDI:

  1. NDI will transform video workflows.This technology will enable the integrator and end user to do more on a smaller budget. For the integrator, that means more budget can be allotted for additional AV products or services to support those products and provide ongoing revenue opportunities.
  2. New equipment is not necessary. Customers who already own Panasonics’ lineup of PTZ cameras can visit New Tek’s website (tk/ndi_panasonic) to upgrade and enable NDI functionality.
  3. Only one cable is needed. One cable connection is the gold standard and with a POE switch—no AC power is required. Control over IP is possible with NDI. One can connect to a control room’s switcher or control and monitor PTZ operations via PC, MAC or mobile terminals. This allows for control across the campus or across the world. NDI also carries multichannel uncompressed audio and bi-directional metadata.

Interested in NDI? Contact me at [email protected] for more information or join us at our fall E4 AV Tour coming to Boston in September and Nashville in October. Panasonic will have NDI cameras and the new AV-HLC100 switcher on display.

 

Steve Alexander, CTS, PCVE, CCNA
Business Development Manager 

888-420-2566 x6648  |  [email protected]

ALMO’s audio solutions shine in the Lone Star state.

Sound Options, our new pro audio division, debuts in Dallas during the E4 AV Tour.

Goin’ to the big “D” and I DO mean Dallas! The second stop of ALMO’s E4 tour rolled into Dallas April 24. Integrators and resellers brought themselves and their customers to check out the latest offerings from ALMO’s partners, earn AVIXA RU’s and participate in our many training and product workshops. The event was bookmarked on both ends with Gary Kayye from Rave Publications starting the day speaking about AV over IP. The great Randy White, Dallas Cowboy icon, closed out our day with shared stories and insights on life and football.

New on the floor at Dallas was our Sound Options booth, showcasing the ever-growing number of audio manufacturers partnering with ALMO.Sound Options is the single source you need for all of your favorite audio brands, along with the kind of technical support that only ALMO can provide. To help us launch this exciting new initiative, we had a great talk with Gary Kayye —you can watch it here.

Other folks stopping by the Sound Options booth had the opportunity to test drive Beyer Dynamic’s Classis RM30 and MPR 210 array mics and Phoenix Stingray auto mixer while listening to them through Beyer DT-770 and AKG K240 MKII headphones. The AKG HP12U handled headphone audio distribution with aplomb.

In addition to our live demo, the Taiden HCS-4338ND/50 wired gooseneck conferencing mic and HCS-5300DE/80 infrared wireless mic were both on display. Revolution Acoustics’SSP6 multiducer had a lot of folks asking questions about this technology; bending wave physics creates a planar wave front that radiates evenly throughout the room, allowing the multiducer to turn many materials into a speaker. Neat stuff!

Ashly’s PEMA 4125.70 amplifier and FR-8 network remote were also available for attendees to check out. The FR-8 and FR-16 are the answer to facilities that host live performances but don’t have a dedicated audio engineer. Max levels and mutes can be programmed per channel, keeping it simple for the amateur operator.

Attendees also had the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a set of Beyer Dynamic DT-770 headphones. Our lucky winner was chosen and the 770s are on the way to their new home in the Dallas area!

Another highlight of the show was “The Ultimate Conference Call Experience.” It featured Biamp’s Devio huddle room solution, allowing attendees to see and—more importantly—hear the Devio in action. Calls were made to Biamp’s Beaverton, Oregon headquarters, and folks in Dallas could hear the Devio beamtracking mic in action as Biamp engineers walked around their conference room. Avocor provided their VTF-6510 interactive touch screen monitor, mounted to a Chief PRSU portable flat panel stand. The Vaddio ConferenceShot 10 PTZ camera delivered crisp, clean video while wireless connectivity was provided by the Barco Clickshare CSE-200.

To those who missed the show, you’ll have two opportunities in the fall. We’ll be in Boston on September 21 and Nashville on October 26. I look forward to seeing you there! In the meantime, I’m available here right now to answer all of your audio-related questions.

Steve Alexander, PCVE, CTS

Specialties: Installed Audio, Professional Audio & Video Production, Broadcast, Video Conferencing, Projection, Audio Recording, IP Signal Distribution, Networks

Steve has over twenty five years working in the professional audio, IT and video conferencing space. He has witnessed first-hand the convergence of audio visual, computer networking and control technologies. Steve is available to answer questions regarding system design choices and to help you ensure industry best practices are followed.

If you’d like more information on any of the featured product, please feel free to contact me using the contact information below.

 

888-420-2566 x6648  |  [email protected]

Pin It on Pinterest