Intelligent Meeting Spaces

Your employees’ work styles are changing to match the interactive and collaborative technology now available to them. Sure, they still make phone calls, but more and more of their interactions with coworkers and clients include using video, so that it feels like everyone is sitting in the same room. So how do you upgrade your meeting spaces to accommodate this shift in in the working environment?

Provide your employees with the tools they need to be productive. Technology such as wireless collaboration capabilities from any device allow participants to easily share their ideas. Products like Crestron AirMedia and Kramer VIA  change meeting spaces into a BYOD environment by allowing participants to use their Android or iOS devices to share content to the room display.

Provide the meeting spaces your employees need

You may find that having three executive boardrooms and no huddle rooms or open collaboration spaces is inhibiting your employees. If the average meeting size is two to six people, smaller huddle spaces offering video and collaboration will work best for their meetings. The Crestron Mercury is an all-in-one tabletop solution that combines conferencing and collaboration tools into one easy to use console, making it perfect for huddle rooms and small meeting spaces. Some of the features include a full open SIP conference phone, room scheduling, built-in microphone and speaker, and built-in AirMedia for wireless presenting.

Don’t be afraid to use existing equipment or enhance it

For example, an existing whiteboard can be paired with an interactive short throw projector to provide a projection surface that allows for interactive content sharing and writable surface for meeting notes. Manufacturers such as Optoma and Epson provide interactive short throw projectors for this application.  Or, take the next step and go with fully interactive displays that pair with a number of collaboration solutions.

Automate your work environment

How can you automate your work space?  How about opening up the shades to take advantage of that warm afternoon sunshine? Or, have the shades lower at that time of day to cut down on display glare? Have the lights and presentation system turn on when someone enters your executive boardroom and turn off after a certain amount of time of motionless activity.  With Crestron Fusion, you can automate your HVAC, lights, shades, and AV equipment to work optimally for your work space, making your meeting spaces intelligent.  Crestron Fusion networks your multimedia, environmental, and room-scheduling technology to help you monitor, manage, and control your systems. Optimize how you use your rooms and save time and money while making the most of your resources.

How We Can Help

Whether your audiovisual need is part of a new construction project or an upgrade to an existing system, Hillman Audio Video can help. We proudly partner with companies like Crestron, Kramer, Optoma, and others, to provide the enterprise solutions our clients need. We take what we do seriously and have a team of passionate and dedicated employees that work to implement the best solution for your audiovisual technology needs.

Food for Thought: Restaurants Want You To Eat With More Than Your Mouth

When a new restaurant opens, there is a lot to consider beyond the menu. Of course you want delicious food and outstanding service, but arguably more important is the ambience.  Are you looking for a place to watch live sports? Are you looking for a relaxed atmosphere with great background audio?

Believe it or not, a great dining experiences needs to involve solid audiovisual planning.  Here are a few things to consider when outfitting your restaurant:

  1. Audio – Do you want to share the same audio everywhere, or different zones? How high should the speakers be hung, and where? How powerful do these speakers really need to be?
  2. Displays – Do your screens need to be interactive, or are they for displaying content only? What sort of resolution do you need on these screens?  Projection versus panels?
  3. Surveillance – Where do the cameras go? How powerful do they need to be?  How long do you need to keep recordings?
  4. Control systems – How is everything controlled… from volume to which channel is on which TV to lighting to overall ambience.

Regardless of whether you are renovating an existing restaurant or building a new one, it is vital to consider the end user’s experience when planning the audiovisual system. As you can see from the list above, there are a number of things to consider, and this is really only scratching the surface.  For instance, if you will be using LCD/LED displays as menu boards, the displays need to be large enough for the words to be legible, as most menu boards are located behind a counter and towards the ceiling. If you are using LCD/LED displays for a live sports atmosphere, consider large displays so the image can be seen from people sitting far away, or even a video wall so all viewers can enjoy the content.

How We Can Help

 Hillman AV can help you with your restaurant audiovisual needs. We work with some of the top up-and-coming chains in Canada, and we have designed, installed and serviced dozens of restaurant audiovisual and surveillance systems of all sizes and types. We take what we do seriously and have a team of passionate and dedicated employees that work to implement the best solution for your audiovisual technology needs.

AV Pro(fessional) vs. AV Con(sumer)

It seems anyone can install a display or audio system, right? In fact, you’re thinking that you can probably do it yourself!  “Yes,” you say , “that 65″ TV from the living room WOULD look great in your office lobby! Plus, it is less expensive than the professional display I was researching.  Surely the TV and a professional display are essentially the same thing, right?”

Well, if you mean they both display images on a screen and have a basic level of connectivity, then yes, they are pretty much the same.  As well, keep in mind depending on the application, that may be all you need.  However, when you need a solution for your commercial application, we here at Hillman AV would suggest something a little more robust.

Let’s quickly review the two main differences between consumer and professional products.

The first is the operation runtime of the product. Consumer products are designed to operate for a few hours at a time. Professional products are designed to operate up to  24/7, especially for applications such as digital signage or command and control centers.

The second difference is warranty. Most consumer products have a warranty of one year, where professional products have warranties that range from 1-3 years. This is important to note as most manufacturers – consumer and professional – will void the warranty if the product is used 24/7 and it is not rated for that amount of runtime.

So how does this relate to Hillman AV? We are a professional systems integrator. Our philosophy is to be at the forefront of the audiovisual industry and provide the most up-to-date and reliable system to our clients. One way we do this is by maintaining strong relationships with the top professional audiovisual manufacturers, providing us with both consumer and professional solutions.

Another way we separate ourselves from from other integrators is our industry knowledge and commitment to internal education. Technology standards are constantly changing, and we encourage our team to adapt and learn about them. The majority of our technicians carry an InfoComm CTS certification, which is recognized worldwide as a leading AV professional credential.  Learn more about the CTS certification here.

How we can help

At Hillman AV we take the time to get to know our clients and the challenges they want to solve. We take the time to provide the correct technology solution for our clients while adhering to industry best practice standards. Whether your audiovisual need is part of a new construction project or an upgrade to an existing system, Hillman AV can help.

Audiovisual Peanut Butter and Jam?

Audiovisual and Construction

Think of these two industries as a peanut butter and jam sandwich. The construction industry, the bread, and the audiovisual, the filling. Now, we all know how to make a PB and J sandwich, right? It would be weird to try and put the PB and J in the middle of the sandwich after the bread has been put together, with the crusts already cut off, sliced diagonally, right?

Well, in real-world projects, this is what happens more often than not. The audiovisual contractor is often brought onto site last after all of the other trades have been working for weeks or months, which can cause issues and project delays if ceiling tiles need to be removed for speakers and projector placements or if electrical outlets need to be moved to accommodate the audiovisual design. How can we get these two industries to begin communication in the initial phases of the build? One way to bridge the gap is for audiovisual companies to build awareness of the importance of audiovisual being involved further upstream.

One way that Hillman Audio Video is looking to do this is by attending the first-ever Saskatchewan Construction Week ( This event is held from April 3-7, 2017 and will host many events and activities that focus on the construction sector.

Fun fact: 8,000 Saskatchewan-based businesses are involved in the construction sector.

How does audiovisual play into Saskatchewan Construction Week? Our very own President, Jarrod Hillman, will be part of an exclusive panel, speaking to around 120 people actively involved in the construction industry. Jarrod will lead the discussion about audiovisual and what the future of audiovisual is over the next 10 years.

Want to learn more about how construction companies, architects, interior designers, electrical engineers, and general contractors can get the audiovisual contractor involved in the beginning of a project? Read the “Is There Audiovisual?” ( that explains the importance of getting your project’s audiovisual needs incorporated early on.

How We Can Help

Whether your audiovisual need is part of a new construction project or an upgrade to an existing system, Hillman AV can help. We take what we do seriously and have a team of passionate and dedicated employees that work to provide a smooth and effortless result for you.

Working with a professional systems integrator like Hillman AV can help you incorporate the best solution for your audio visual technology needs, in the appropriate phase of the project.