November 14, 2010
AV Systems, Part 1: Planning for Growth—Meeting Your Present Needs
by Michael Young
Chances are, if you have a limited budget of $20-30,000, then you have no choice but to go with a “low-end” system. However, if you have been using such a system already, you know that there are "gaps" that entry-level systems will never fill. You may have come to the conclusion that you need a system that enables you to manage not just videos, but the entire learning environment: inventory, communication with students and colleagues, and data collection. If you find yourself using five or six different software packages from different vendors to manage your learning center, then you are frustrated that they don’t “talk” with each other. If your recording areas do not require more than one or two simultaneous recordings, then there are systems available in the mid to upper $30k range that offer learning center management tools accessible via the web, so their use can be accessed from anywhere (your office, or debriefing area) and not just at the control station.
Don’t have the budget to do better than a basic system? That is really alright. Lower-end systems can teach you a lot about what you want and what you really need. Even if you don’t have the big bucks now, you can save a lot of money and headache in the future by thinking through what your ultimate requirements are.
· Research the major players in Simulation/SP AV:
o What type of camera do they use? (network [IP] cameras, or analog cameras)
o What camera models are they recommending?
o What microphones are they using?
o With what simulators do they interface?
Compare each vendor’s offerings and see if your lower-end system will work just as well with the cameras and microphones that the full-feature systems will require; it will be just that much less you will have to buy later.
Join me on the blog every Wednesday for more on AV Sytems. I welcome your comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.