Read This Before Taking Your AV Outdoors!!
From major sports venues to backyards, people are taking their audio visual tech outside. In order for this to be a success, it’s a must to get the technology deployment and design right. Outdoor AV used to mean shoddy loudspeaker systems and subpar video displays. But today’s homeowners and business enterprises expect more. Addressing weather, installation, placement, controls, and security all contribute to create the best outdoor audio visual experience.
All AV integrators can offer extra value to clients with outdoor installations. In Standardizing AV Technology for Multiple Locations Offer Business Benefits, John Greene makes the case that organizing, monitoring and standardizing enterprise systems helps increase efficiencies. Without access that extends past traditional office boundaries, companies are set to lose value. Plus, commercial applications for digital interactive displays and collaborative technology means a better outdoor experience in the future. Audio visual professionals can keep up with customer expectations and industry innovations by mastering the deployment of these outdoor systems.
Accounting for Weather and Environment
The benefits that make outdoor audio visual installations ideal can also wreak havoc on systems and equipment. High heat and humidity as well as other seasonal weather patterns can be major issues and should be taken into account when choosing hardware products. Also, sealing all products to protect against the elements will help preserve your clients’ investment.
Another environmental factor equally important to consider that can affect outdoor installations is the audience experience. As a result, designs should account for the position of the sun during times of peak use. Surrounding landscape features, wind and nearby noise levels should be factored in during the design process.
Thomas McCormack explains this relationship in his article, Get Your Outdoor Entertainment System Ready For The Summer. According to McCormack, "AV mounted 12 feet off the ground is not conducive to long term viewing. Also, you don’t want to be watching a TV in line with the setting sun.”
Designing the landscape, seating and the surrounding architectural features can be done well before installation. Even with a fairly simple installation, without proper planning the installation will fail. Proper planning to account the unique needs of outdoor audio visual build outs will go a long way to ensure a smooth installation process.
Today’s wireless capabilities can help mitigate common issues associated with outdoor AV. Wireless hardware and technology may be more expensive upfront, but with the added benefits, the enhanced integration capabilities can easily make up the difference. Wireless technology also offers more expansion options so there is less of a chance of a system becoming obsolete prematurely.
Acoustics are always a challenge when planning outdoor audio visual installations. It requires careful consideration of placement as well as specific equipment enhancements.
Traditional outdoor audio visual installations can actually limit space. In Residential Systems – The Integration Guide to Outdoor AV, Llanor Alleyne explains. “The typical setup actually decreases the entertainment area available, and does not enhance the activity being hosted outdoors.”
Rather than use the expansive space effectively, small hot spots usually arise instead. These shrink the usable event space. Installing outdoor speaker systems that are capable of expansive sound is an effective fix. Sonance’s Landscape Series is a great way to make all the space usable and enjoyable.
Ease of use and overall quality are two essential requirements to make an outdoor AV design successful. Along those lines, in 5 Tips for Designing an Outdoor Sound System, the writers provide a guide on how to control an integrated audio visual installation in an outdoor space. Linking and integrating audio and visual sources with a set of integrated controls is a must for success. According to the article, with the emergence of mobile and wireless technology, “you can then access those sources from the control device of your choice.” Waterproof remote controls and smartphone apps offer a high level of functionality that are also easy to use.
Advances in technology allow for portable installations too. These solutions can follow users indoors and out. But larger designs for both home and business need to factor in security as a concern at the design phase. As with the above, security issues can’t dictate the placement and design of the installation— at least not to such a degree that the experience is less than optimal. Raising visual displays and speaker systems can fend off security issues. But they can also ruin the design.
Secure enclosures often help security while offering protection against the elements. Including locking mechanisms, secure placement, and proper alarm protection will secure equipment.
As digital transformation affects both the industry and customer experience, the need for innovative outdoor audio visual solutions will continue to increase. Integrating mobile, WiFi, smartphone technology, the cloud and IoT will help clients better address their business and personal AV needs both indoors and out. The additional benefits of wireless installations and integrated features also contribute significantly to creating an excellent user experience. The ability to access collaborative spaces, AV conferencing and digital transformation tools from anywhere and at anytime make all these spaces more effective for business and personal use.