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We’ve all seen on television and in movies those high-tech board rooms and control rooms with people who, despite being located worlds apart, appear to be in the same room. We’ve seen lights dimmed and videos start with the touch of a single button, large presentation boards that reveal information when lecturers drag their index fingers across, and we’ve seen people passing files, and even videos, back and forth between computers and to and from cell phones.


While these audiovisual systems may appear futuristic, they are used today by businesses, schools, retailers, arenas – everywhere people communicate. On the surface, such systems appear very expensive. Yet the number of organizations using them is huge and growing every year. Those who are integrating audiovisual systems into their businesses know something that many don’t – the best-designed audiovisual systems actually save money.


Reducing travel means huge savings. Consider that the estimated cost of a domestic business trip is $1,100. A company purchasing a videoconferencing system can recoup its investment in about 2 dozen trips, while also reducing its carbon footprint. Videoconferencing is one of a host of green technologies that saves green.

Office supplies are also reduced using digital presentations. Whereas the low-tech meeting required stacks of photocopies, the high-tech meeting uses projectors and screens. The presenter can email the presentation (and associated annotations) to participants or post it to the Internet to share with anyone, anywhere. It’s quicker than physically distributing paper, it reduces the use of copiers and ink, and it’s another way of staying green.

Some AV products protect other equipment. Control systems are flat-panel touch screens on a wall, desk, or lectern that control all equipment in a room as well as the lights, drapes and audio. These may seem like extra luxuries until you realize that one benefit alone is they serve the functions of remote controls – remotes that can be lost or damaged and need to be replaced. Regarding loss, certain AV systems alert managers if a projector, flat-panel monitor – any expensive equipment – is moved from its designated location. These days, audiovisual systems play a vital role in theft prevention. Control systems also add to a building’s sustainability. By automatically controlling drapes, HVAC and lights, these AV systems can promote energy efficiency.

One relatively new development is using AV for safety, especially for organizations spread out among different buildings. The same type of large flat-panel screens you see giving arrival and departure times at airports or advertising new designs in a clothing store window are now used for instantaneous large-scale communications. These digital signage systems can broadcast information within one building or to any number of buildings, anywhere in the world. If there is a danger, be it fire, hurricane, tornado warnings, or emergency of any kind, management can use the signs to not only alert people at the affected facilities, they can explain how those people should proceed, including appropriate exits to take. State-of-the-art audiovisual systems will also allow these same messages to be sent simultaneously to select cell phones.

The way to realize savings using audiovisual systems is to make sure the systems are designed by professional audiovisual companies. The system designers know how to make sure a system isn’t too sophisticated (and more expensive than it needs to be), or not sophisticated enough (reducing potential productivity). They know how to consolidate equipment functions to get the maximum use out of each investment. The professional audiovisual company will select equipment that works together, they’ll train people how to use it, and they’ll keep it up and running. In times like these, when saving is crucial, investing in technology is a vital key to a profitable future.

To learn more about the audiovisual industry, careers in AV and more, please visit


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