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.

Is there Audio Visual?


business, education, planning, strategy and people concept - close up of hands drawing schemes and chart on paper sheets at table

Is there Audio Visual? 

Listen, we need to talk. It’s not that we are upset. We just can’t understand why an integrated component to any finished space is left to last.

You’ve seen it before. Your client’s project systematically coming to life as each trade is provided designs, time, notice and scheduling to accommodate the specific order of completion. Then comes the furniture, the interior design work and “Ta-Da.” (insert sparkle magic sound here).  Hands are shaken, congratulations and back patting all around. And then ”UH OH, here come the AV guys.” Ceiling tiles out, drywall dust up, electrical outlets moved and the cleaners stand in shock as all of their hard work becomes slowly undone by this late edition of Audio Visual.

It’s not that we plan it this way. Honest! It’s a common oversight, one that rears it ugly head too often for our liking. We get caught in the middle of a General Contractor trying to handover a project, while the client has brought us in late to the races. This my friend is what we are here to talk about.

I’m here to talk to you, Architects, Interior Designers, Electrical Engineers, IT and yes even you General Contractors. See, you have an advantage at times. You are at the forefront of a project with a client and the opportunity is in front of you to ask ahead. Is there Audio Visual?  Those four words can save you a headache of dismantling, relocating, messing AND save your schedule. Those four words, “Is there Audio Visual?” can save the client a list of grief but more specifically it can save them costly change orders, loose or exposed cabling, and can ensure outlets, cabinets, artwork, or furniture are all in the right place once the dust has settled.

Like you, we love a beautiful space, we love a functioning work room, a productive classroom, an interactive boardroom and we like them done right. This means collaboration between all parties to really reach a point of true perfection.

We aren’t asking you to determine the clients needs, create an AV design and off you go. That is exactly what we are here for. Use us, use our services. We love to play nice with others.

How does it work?

Keep us in your back pocket. Ask the question to your client, “Is there Audio Visual?”  If it’s a yes, then get us involved, and we will do the dirty work.

When you take the opportunity to work with a company like ours, we begin with the client consultation or “fact finding,” as we like to call it. We will provide a complete set of drawings, this includes plan views and elevation drawings for the builders to include and be aware of any products coming in that they may not have otherwise known about. Once we’ve started, we manage ourselves. Our Project Managers will work closely with you to stay on schedule and keep communication with all necessary parties. We can provide all the information required to make sure that when the space is complete, and the handover occurs, your client will get to move into a beautiful, finished, fully functioning space.

So all we ask is that the next time you are designing, engineering, planning or running a project and you have the opportunity, ask “ Is there Audio Visual?” and then get us involved. The sooner the better.



Jarrod Hillman


Hillman Audio Video Inc.

Audio Visual Update During the Holidays

take-advantage-of-the-empty-roomAudio Visual Holiday Update

This time of year can be very hectic at work and at home. At home, you are trying to remember who asked for what on their holiday wish list, until you realize that it is already halfway through December and you haven’t bought any presents yet! At work, you are trying to close out projects before the year’s end as well as thinking about your strategy for the new year. The last thing on your mind is Audio Visual.

Take advantage of the empty room and update the Audio Visual

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve can be quiet for many companies. Many people choose to take this week off from work to be with friends and family. If you are one of the people who works that week, you can take advantage of the downtime and review your existing audio visual technology.

This week offers you a great opportunity to check out your meeting rooms and conference rooms as they are probably not being used as frequently. Is the technology functioning correctly? Do you have all of the functionality that you need to make your meetings productive?

Create a checklist of equipment that needs to be updated or replaced. Don’t forget to check your emergency equipment stash. Do you have all of the cables and connectors you need to make sure your meetings go off without a hitch?

How we can help

Once you’ve determined what you need to get your audio visual system back up to snuff, you can determine if you need outside help. If you need a new system installed, a programming update, or service and maintenance on your system, Hillman Audio Video 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 Audio Video can help you implement the best solution for your audio visual technology needs.

The Importance of Speech Privacy

Speech Privacy

The Importance of Speech Privacy

Open office spaces are becoming more prevalent. Cubicle farms still exist, but open spaces that allow more collaboration have become the favored work environment. What does this mean for places that handle secure information, such as banks, insurance brokers and other financial institutions? To maintain privacy when dealing with personal information, speech privacy and other sound masking options needs to be implemented.

What Is Speech Privacy?

What is speech privacy? It is when listeners, intentional and unintentional, are unable to understand a conversation they are not an active participant in. Without speech privacy, people hear lots of conversations and chances are high that those conversations include personal or secure information that should not be heard by other parties. Speech privacy makes it possible to reduce the amount of intelligible speech throughout a workplace, keeping private and secure information safe.

What Is Sound Masking?

What is sound masking? Sound masking includes a series of loudspeakers that are distributed throughout an office or building that raises the ambient noise level in a controlled fashion. Installing sound masking systems helps to control the surrounding noise by raising the ambient noise level. Ambient noise is similar to the sound of a running HVAC system or running water. Having a higher level of controlled ambient noise provides your office or building with speech privacy. Without sound masking it is possible for you to clearly hear conversations as far away as 50 feet. The most common installed sound masking systems are in the ceiling; however, they can be installed under the floor, suspended from a ceiling, or even surface mounted into walls or ceilings. Soundmask Canada provides all four systems types for you to choose depending upon the layout of your office space. AtlasIED has a wide variety of sound masking solutions ranging from small self-contained devices to large enterprise-wide solutions.

How Do You Achieve Speech Privacy?

Banks and financial institutions benefit greatly from speech privacy. If your clients feel that their secure information is being compromised, they will take their business elsewhere. So how do you stop that from happening? One way to implement speech privacy is to absorb the sound waves that bounce around the room or office. Acoustical wall panels and ceiling tiles help to absorb sound. Choosing carpet over hard surfaces such as wood or tile helps absorb extra sound as well. Another way to implement speech privacy is to block sound with walls, windows, or partitions. Obstructions like these will break up the sound waves and not allow them to bounce around the office.

Another way to implement speech privacy is to use sound masking. Sound masking will help to cover additional noises without causing distractions. If you have have multiple offices within one building that requires a speech privacy solution, you can install a sound masking system that can be customized to your work space. Many systems can be multi-zoned, which means that if you need the level of ambient noise to be increased for the open space office environment without drowning out the individual offices with walls and doors it can be achieved. If you want to schedule the sound masking system to turn on and off at certain times of the day you have that capability too.

Don’t confuse sound masking with background music. Background music can be distracting, especially if you pick up on the song that is playing, which can remove your focus from the task at hand. Sound masking implements ambient white noise, which can provide the appropriate level of ambient noise to allow you to focus on your task and not the conversation across the room. You may be able to hear that a conversation is happening, such as hearing voices, but you won’t be able to discern the content being discussed, which helps to diminish your distractions.

Working with a professional systems integrator like Hillman Audio Video that understands the importance of speech privacy to you and your clients will help you implement the best solution for your speech privacy needs.

Wireless Presentation & Collaboration Showdown

Wireless Presentation & Collaboration

With Wireless Presentation & Collaboration reaching an all time high, and new features or products being released daily the “bring your own device,” or (BYOD) battle has begun. A broad selection of choices from the Crestron AirMedia,  Barco Clickshare and WePresent with their devices can make it tough for users to know where to start.

One company making big waves recently is Mersive. The release of their Solstice Pod won them the 2015 Conferencing and Collaboration Product of the Year at last years AV Awards and this year, Mersive’s Solstice took home AV Technology’s InfoComm Best of Show Award. Their combination of features, ease of use, innovation and pricing set them ahead of the competition in what seems to be a never ending race. Their combination of features, ease of use, innovation and pricing set them ahead of the competition in what seems to be a never ending race.

Quick Video on how it works:

Spend some time and explore the feature comparison chart’s below to learn what makes them so different.

Contact Hillman Audio Video  to answer any questions you may have on starting to integrate Wireless Presentation and Collaboration into your Huddle Space, Boardroom or Meeting Room.


Wireless Presentation & Collaboration Mersive VS Barco Clickshare

Mersive VS Barco Clickshare

Wireless Presentation & Collaboration Mersive VS AirMedia

Mersive VS AirMedia

Wireless Presentation & Collaboration Mersive VS WePresent

Mersive VS WePresent

Everyone Loves a Timelapse


Project: The Canadian Brewhouse
Location: Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.
Days on site: 21
Number of Video Displays Installed: >50
System Specs: QSC Amplifiers, Symetrix DSP, QSC K Series Speakers, Crestron Pendant Speakers and Sub-Woofers, Chief Mounting Hardware, LG & Sharp Displays .
Other: Custom Crestron Control of Audio and Video system through the Crestron Pro Mobile App
Completed: December 5th, 2015