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AV Wellness at Main Line Health

Advanced AV, with multiple locations throughout the mid-Atlantic region, has taken a holistic approach to meeting the needs of Main Line Health, a group of hospitals and health centers in a northwestern suburb of Philadelphia. The firm, which designs, builds, and installs major collaborative meeting environments around IT networking technologies, has initiated AV equipment standards across the medical group to streamline operation and maintenance and reduce requirements for in-house personnel.

“They have a lot of the same challenges that many organizations have,” noted Advanced AV account executive Eric Bixler. “They have limited AV staff. They’re primarily supported by IT, which also supports the desktops.

Main Line Health maintains several principal hospitals, in Wynnewood, Bryn Mawr, and Paoli, in addition to The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Conference Center for Medical Education at Lankenau Hospital. With the facilities scattered along the historic railway corridor, Bixler asked, “How do they support all these different rooms and locations with limited staff?”

When the health group’s director of information services customer support, Steve Czapla, came on- board five years ago, he soon discovered there was no reliable after-sales service from the existing vendor. After an initial trial project with Advanced AV, Czapla spoke with Bixler about putting service contracts in place across the group, and soon found that “their response times for service are amazing,” Czapla reported.

In addition to the service contracts, Advanced AV is delving into its experience in the healthcare sector to create a more tenable technology solution for Main Line Health. “We’ve been working with them to help them develop standards so that they can have a serviceable and maintainable solution,” Bixler said. “Now we’re in the process of renovating and updating technology so that the end user experience is […]

By |October 14th, 2010|News|0 Comments

We’ve added a new case study

Advanced AV recently worked with the U.S. office of a global specialty biopharmaceutical company to implement a flexible meeting space. Click here for more.

By |September 24th, 2010|News|0 Comments

Is This Thing On?

By Llanor Alleyne

With the advent of wireless microphones and conference systems, the most obvious advantage has been freedom from cable runs, which can cost both time and money. The ensuing design flexibility can be a godsend to consultants, integrators, and clients.

“There are instances where table-installed microphones are just not possible,” said Alicyn Frenchman, sales engineer for West Chester, PA-based integration firm, Advanced AV. “Additionally, ceiling microphones are not ideal due to ambient noise created by HVAC systems. There are times where running cables are not possible or add too much cost to the project. Wireless microphones provide the flexibility for motion without the interference of cables. When designing for audio conferencing, wireless microphones that have been properly set up work wonderfully.”

The embracing of wireless mics and conference systems does come with caveats, however. Due to transmission issues (interference, white noise, etc.) these systems can be lacking in the performance department.“

That wireless microphones have improved in sound quality and reliability is certainly true, but they still can’t match the performance and reliability of a $30 mic cable,” said Ray A. Rayburn, principal consultant for K2 Audio in Boulder, CO. “We use wireless where appropriate to the needed functionality of the system, but don’t view this as simplifying the system design and implementation. Simplicity at the expense of lower reliability and higher cost (both initial and running costs) is usually not a trade-off that is an advantage for our clients.”

Practical Considerations

The bane of wireless technology is interference. Wireless microphones and conference systems are no different. Signal degradation can make a perfectly working system conk out at the most inconvenient time—a consequence the client will not be interested in understanding when they are in the middle of a […]

By |September 23rd, 2010|News|0 Comments

Getting in Touch

By Llanor Alleyene
For technophiles and technophobes alike, nothing beats the ease of pressing or touching a button and having something happen. Able to pull disparate devices together by collating background processes and presenting them up front, dressed in easy to read labels and commands,control systems are one of the most accessible gateways toa variety of technologies. For systems contractors, control technologies and their continuous evolution have expanded business opportunities and increased the level of creativity and flexibility they can bring to their installation projects.

“There has been greater education and familiarity with product integration and control for the end user,” noted Mike Crisci, VP of operations for integration firm, Altel based in Brewster, NY. “As new products and services are offered, the end users are expecting to have integrated control systems as part of their system design. The market, therefore, follows these needs and its growth reflects the end users’ awareness and acceptance of these products and services.”

Great Expectations

Growing consumer awareness has allowed integrators to broaden the dialogue between control systems and the devices that come under their command. Moving beyond simple device on/off functionality, today’s control products are locking into networks and web-based interactivity, a progression that HB Communications VP of Communications,Kevin Collins calls exciting.

“AV and control systems used to be a luxury, but today they are a necessity,” Collins said. “Everything is on the network,and I can’t imagine an office, school or building being built today without ethernet, AV distribution, digital signage, and some sort of ability to control it all from a central location.

“In the past, clients may have wanted technology in just the larger boardrooms or auditoriums, but now every room needs to be connected on the network. IT managers and facilities […]

By |September 23rd, 2010|News|0 Comments

Advanced AV’s Travis Lisk to Co-teach the CTS Prep-Course at Infocomm-2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Advanced AV recently announced that Director of Engineering and Technical Training Travis Lisk is co-teaching the CTS (Certified Technology Specialist) Prep course (GEN112) for the Institute for Professional Development at InfoComm 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The three day course runs June 5 to 7, 2010 and is open to InfoComm members and non-members who are preparing to take the CTS exam.

Lisk, who joined Advanced AV in 1998, is an adjunct faculty member with InfoComm. He brings a unique perspective to the journey of earning a CTS certification. He began his career as an AV installer in the field and steadily worked his way up through the ranks of the company, from service coordinator offering tech support to field engineer conducting onsite design and eventually to quality assurance manager and then director of engineering. “It wasn’t mandatory that I get my CTS certification, but I’ve always been someone who wants to learn more about AV best practices,” says Lisk, who earned his CTS designation when he was a field technician.

Later, Lisk attended Install School Onsite at InfoComm where he passed the exam to earn his CTS-I certification. He was the first person at Advanced AV to earn this higher level of certification. “The CTS certification process is important,” he adds. “Earning a CTS designation opens the door to get more advanced certifications. It means you have proven that you understand and that you practice industry standards.”

Today, Advanced AV has 55 CTS certified AV professionals on staff and is licensed by InfoComm to teach CTS Prep courses to the industry. “Having CTS certified people on staff helps companies to establish a good reputation and the CTS Prep course is vital part of the preparation for the […]

By |July 23rd, 2010|News|0 Comments

Fresh, Fast and Fun: Digital signage brings living color to grocery shopping at Pennsylvania’s Swiss Farms stores.

By Dawn Allcot
Flying eggs. Meandering cows. Dancing umbrellas or brightly colored sunglasses. These are
just a few of the animated images you might see if you drive by (or, better yet, drive through)
a Swiss Farms store. Swiss Farms drive-thru grocer first launched in 1968 and, according to
the company website, many of the customers that grew up on Swiss Farms continue to enjoy
the fresh products and convenience of the neighborhood store with their own children and
grandchildren.

Not What They Remember

But the new flagship location in Millmont Park PA and a fully-revamped legacy store in Drexel
Hill PA are not what early customers remember. A digital signage network with audio draws
customers in, shares important information about sales, and replaces “dead-tree” flyers and
static message boards that listed products for sale.

The store intends to retrofit all 12 of its existing locations and incorporate the new building
design, digital signage and technology systems in all of its new corporate stores, plus any
franchise locations. In addition to opening new corporate locations, Swiss Farms intends to
open at least one new franchise this year, five next year, and 10 in 2012.

New Technology For A New Image

The digital signage and AV installation is part of a comprehensive revamp of the Swiss Farms
image, as the chain seeks to re-brand itself as “the customer’s in-between shopping trip.” The
new Swiss Farms stores emphasize speed and efficiency, and the digital signage network
helps advertise the store’s new product offerings, which include fresh produce, baked goods
and prepared meals, along with other information to help customers make buying decisions.
Most importantly, the digital signage serves to draw eyes to the building, contributing to the
store’s new high-tech image while enticing and attracting customers. If the sight of four cows
meandering across a digital landscape that spans four flat […]

By |July 23rd, 2010|News|0 Comments

Advanced AV Marks 25 Years With A Big Summer Ahead

A quarter century in business today should be measured in equivalent “post-microchip years” to delineate the rapidity of change that occurred over that period of time. Advanced AV of West Chester, PA, is celebrating 25 years of business, and the firm has grown its expertise in tandem with the evolution of technology over the course of its history.
As many in our business will admit, some past years presented challenges, and few of those were as grim as the most recent recession. But those same business people will always use a bit of historical hindsight to predict that things are going to turn around.
In the spirit of an industry which always looks forward in good times and bad, Advanced AV founder and CEO Paul Grafinger said in a recent press release, “After a recent rough patch, we’ve gone through a management change over the past two years that has renewed our focus and that prepares us for what’s to come.”
The company set the foundation for growth early in its history, when it created separate divisions for Advanced AV, Advanced Staging Productions, and MC3 creative services. The changes were a reflection of the times. “At one point in time the market wanted a one-stop shop,” recalled Advanced AV president Michael Boettcher. “Then the market started to change, and the client side started to separate into different entities, with meeting planners in a separate group from those who required integration services.”
Boettcher, who has been with Advanced AV for a decade and ran the service department before taking the helm almost a year ago, concurs that weathering the storms over the years provides the experience required to regain stability in the face of a crisis. “You certainly could panic, […]

By |July 23rd, 2010|News|0 Comments
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