av solutions

Pro AV Tips: Avoiding acoustic feedback in meeting rooms

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Quite often, meetings come to a screeching halt thanks to a gnarly sound called feedback. Feedback is an annoying and potentially damaging squealing or humming sound that is extremely distracting during meetings. Apart from it being a distraction, it may force the participants to stop the meeting and address the issue thereby affecting productivity.

While feedback loops are a common occurrence and unavoidable when working with audio technology, there are ways and means to limit or control it. In this blog, we explain why feedback occurs, its impact on meetings and tips to avoid and eliminate it.

What is feedback?
Feedback occurs when an audio signal emanating from the loudspeakers is introduced in the in the microphone’s signal chain both in phase and at a suitable level. This signal is picked up and gets looped through the system. The signal is then amplified again and played back through the loudspeakers. One or more frequencies may begin to ring or howl and produce a terrible and unpleasant noise.

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Every audio system has a maximum amount of gain or volume that can be applied before feedback is introduced which is known as gain before feedback. Some of the key reasons for feedback in meeting rooms are high gain levels, improper placement of speakers and microphones, number of open mics (NOM), and room acoustics among others.

Tips to reduce feedback in meeting rooms

  • Move the microphone closer to the sound source
    Poor microphone placement increases the amount of gain required in order to capture sound. The higher the gain, the closer you are to introducing feedback loops. This can be avoided by placing the microphones closer to the sound source or participant.
  • Reduce the number of open microphones
    Every time the number of open microphones is doubled, the amount of available potential gain is reduced by nearly three dB. Additionally, unwanted noise is introduced into the system which presents additional paths for potential feedback loops to occur. If possible, you can encourage users to mute their microphones when they are not speaking.
  • Move the loudspeakers closer to the listener
    When the loudspeaker is away from the listener, higher volume is required to achieve optimum coverage area. You can opt for distributed ceiling loudspeakers to ensure even coverage. Additionally, you can use delayed surface mount loudspeakers to provide a suitable level to participants seated further away.
  • Use directional microphones
    Omnidirectional microphones are designed to capture sound from all directions, on the other hand, microphones with cardioid or super cardioid capsules offer higher directionality in terms signal pickup. Strategically placed directional ceiling or surface-mounted microphones help minimise any unwanted noise from entering your system and maximises the amount of gain available.
  • Consider signal processing
    Many modern dedicated signal processors offer built-in feedback reduction and Acoustic Echo Cancellation. This process introduces feedback into the system and then applies notches in the equalization to reduce those troublesome frequencies. Although this can also be done manually with a parametric EQ, in meeting room it is based to opt for a DSP with feedback reduction. Not only do they minimize feedback, they also improve the intelligibility of sound.
  • Consider acoustic treatment
    Each room has certain frequencies that are more resonant than others. Hard and reflective surfaces such as glass window panes or hardwood tables contribute to that reverberant field. You can use absorption material to reduce the amount of reverb and reverberant field. This ensures that more direct sound is reaching the audience, thereby requiring less gain to ensure good intelligibility. Acoustic treatment also helps in controlling unwanted ambient sounds.

For the best audio-visual system design and integration in India, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

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5 Tips for Creating a Successful Digital Signage Experience

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Today, there are a myriad different technologies to help you study, shop or even travel. One of these technologies is digital signage. With so many options available, how can you create an absorbing experience for your brand using digital signage solutions? Read this guide to find out…So, here goes…

1) Plan your digital signage offering well: Installing a digital signage solution without a plan, is like trying to find a location without a map. Installing every bit of technology without following a plan leaves you with many parts to manage and a difficult system to monitor. It will probably result in a mismatched digital installation. You should look at the big picture aesthetically to ensure that you are telling a consistent visual and display story.

2) Ensure that the digital signage experience you provide extends beyond your physical store or office: In-store digital technologies close the gap between an online and offline shopping experience. For example, certain stores install a 24-hour interactive window display, allowing customers to window shop whenever they want. Customers can also buy items using touchscreen technology, which are then delivered the same day by the retailer. This kind of technology allows customers to choose between an in-store experience and a quick delivery, depending on their preference. This kind of digital experience also enhances the engagement of your in-store customers. However, you should carry the same level of engagement with customers who prefer to shop outside of your brick-and-mortar location.

3) Create trust on social media: A recent research study has discovered that 74% of customers in the United States rely on their social networks to make purchase decisions. If your brand is not captivating customers and creating trust on social media, you are missing a huge opportunity to generate web and foot traffic. For example, as a retailer you can create and install a digital signage solution in your retail location that displays social media posts relevant to your brand. This reinforces that your brand is engaged with customers in the social world.

4) Use technology to make the experience convenient and unique for your customers: Many retailers are offering their customers a personalized shopping experience using the latest in digital signage technology. One such experience is a virtual fitting-room technology that allows customers to try on clothes without having to untie shoes or slink their way out of skinny jeans. Many retailers are also using iPads on the sales floor to allow shoppers to look up inventory levels, purchase online, or purchase directly from the sales floor. These options let your customers shop on their own terms. They also provide your customers with a new and engaging way to shop without slowing them down. In the final analysis, your digital strategy should provide added convenience for shoppers.

5) Keep up with your customers: The in-store retail experience has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The journey is no longer about only print ads and static sale signage, but is a multifaceted digital experience that integrates social media and in-store technology. Customers expect the latest and greatest in digital signage solutions if they are to engage with your brand long-term.

These are the top 5 things to keep in mind when trying to engage your customers with digital signage solutions. You can be a clothes retailer, a travel company, or then, an online tutoring company. Whatever you business, if you are not using digital signage solutions, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. If you center your digital experience around your customers, success is guaranteed. Here’s to a seamless and successful digital signage experience…

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Benefits of Smart Automation in Homes

We live in an era of immense and unprecedented technological progress; everything we do is with the help of technology. One cannot quite imagine a life without it. It has become the source of employment, interest, industrial working and thinking. So why should our homes, where we spend the larger part of our lives be bereft of the benefits that high- technology can bring? Homes can be a place of comfort and luxury at the same time; home automation systems with their audio- video solutions, remote sensing technology and so on, do just that. Continue reading

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How AV Solutions Lead To A Less Tiresome Work Environment

It is difficult to work in an environment where you are concentrating on more than one task at a time, and the technology is not advanced enough to help you manage multiple tasks. But then, isn’t working all about multi-tasking? So, how do we deal with stressful issues, like creating the right presentations to productively handling daily business meetings?   Continue reading

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