Blogs

Skip Navigation LinksHome
Audio, Lighting, HD Video, and AV Control Systems Design

Audio, Lighting, HD Video, and AV Control Systems Design A common characteristic of the modern economy is disruption. Disruption is defined as “the taking of an established industry with its inherent advantages, and breaking-down barriers for the masses.” While we’ve all seen the effects of this when we hail a ride from Uber or make a purchase from Amazon, it is also very true in the way which technology has been made available for all organizations. Small, Medium, Large, and Enterprise organizations now have many of the same tools available for them to both compete with, and grow their businesses. Many of these commercial tools - like their consumer counterparts - invite collaboration, promote ease of use, and typically use audio and video systems to increase their adoption. Networking companies like Cisco use WebEx Team and compete with Zoom and StarLeaf for the best of breed cloud performance. Audio Visual equipment from industries leaders like BiAmp and Shure have turned the corner to integrate Audio and the Network, using standards like DANTE (Digital Audio Network Through Ethernet), in order to provide for the next generation of connected devices. This new age of technology exponentially expands the performance and reduces cost for those experts on both audio and networking. While complexity seemingly may grow when you scale-up your solutions, audio and visual systems no longer need to be difficult to manage. Ease of use is now the primary objective and requirement. Creating Scalable Solutions Let’s say you’re a small startup that’s looking to grow and improve your office in preparation for client visits: One of the first things you’ll need is a meeting or conference room where you can present your latest projects to your investors and clients. Doing so often requires a very capable LCD projector from a reputable company like Christie Digital. However, the products they offer can vary in both price and use, which is why it is so important to create scalable solutions. As you add more AV devices to your business - be they audio interfaces in a studio, touchscreens for classrooms, or even a building-wide PA system - Captus Systems can help you design and build the perfect solution for your needs. What’s even more important than simply using the system, is the ability to CONTROL IT. That’s where companies like Extron come-in handy with their audio and visual control interfaces, switches, and other user-friendly systems. Enterprise Presentation Rooms Our specialties are in both conference and presentation rooms. Not only can we help you design a smart and comfortable room in which to hold your meetings, but we can also provide you with the correct AV control systems and technologies in order to make it practical as well. We know the importance of making that good first impression to your clients, because you don’t get many opportunities to do so in the world of business. We work together with industry leaders such as Planar Systems, Extron, and QSC in order to deliver high-quality digital AV control system solutions. From all-in-one tabletop solutions such as the Crestron Mercury, to systems like the Crestron NVX that can manage and distribute digital AV and control signals across your entire office - we’ve got scalable solutions to meet your exact needs no, matter how large or small your operation is. We specialize in offering high-end solutions for architects and designers, facility managers, general contractors, and also IT and media services managers. We serve several different types of industries, including those in the corporate, legal, financial, healthcare-related, and educational fields. With all that said - whether you’re in need of a service to help you to renovate existing lecture halls at your college or university, to create a brand-new AV control system to assist patients in your healthcare facility, or you’d like to design a luxury conference room to impress your clients - we’ve got the perfect solution for you!


Meridiam Audio Visual and IT Build Out Success Story

The Audio-Visual & IT engagement of Captus Systems, at build-out, consists of a variety of manufacturers including Crestron, Extron, Barco, Cisco, Starleaf, Apple, Clock Audio, Draper, NEC, LG, Chief, Atlona, Etc. The Boardroom features Crestron control via Apple iPad utilizing a Crestron app GUI residing in a LuxePort base station on the conference table. The room is outfitted with a Draper projector lift and screen that includes a separate lift for the front camera that is deployed only when StarLeaf Video Conference is needed. Chief, a division of Milestone AV Technologies, was selected for the mounting of all displays throughout the floor as well as PAC526 In-Wall Back Boxes. Vaddio cameras are integrated with the Starleaf Group Telepresence 3351 codec providing feed to the front projector when the room has maximum occupancy or the side displays when a smaller group is gathered based on presenter preference for room configuration. The Telepresence room utilizes the latest Cisco WebEx Team Room / Spark Room 70 System for its sleek design. Captus Systems then registered this Cisco WebEx Team Room / Spark Room 70 Systems with the StarLeaf Cloud for seamless StarLeaf control and integration through the Cisco Touch10 panel. The Small Conference Room, for simple presentation, utilizes an Extron MediaLink Controller (MLC 63) Decora Wallplate for control of the Barco Clickshare, AppleTV, table inputs & Cable Receiver. An Executive Office, Café & Reception Area all consist of LG Commercial Grade Displays equipped with AppleTV’s & Barco Clickshare setups. The IT infrastructure includes all Superior Essex Category 6 UTP Plenum Cabling with Ortronic faceplates, TracJacks & patch panels with Chatsworth Products (CPI) ladder racks for cable management.


Inspire your audience with a sophisticated, top-notch technology enabled Auditorium with Multimedia Presentations

The Modern Auditorium Inspire your audience with a sophisticated, state of the art technology enabled Auditorium that’s capable of delivering any Multimedia Presentation with power and ease. Capturing the attention of people in an auditorium has never been easy. By definition the auditorium is a large space where the presenter and the audience are separated, by design. Challenge 1: draw everyone's attention to the front of the house. Often you have only one person taking control and commanding the attention of the entire room. Other events are driven by several presenters; sometimes from a dais. Whether your auditorium is in an educational institution or a corporate facility, the goal is to get people to listen and participate. Often this has as much to do with the technology and tools, as the content and delivery. Auditorium technology has come a long way in recent years, and sophisticated technology can do a lot to transform your space and events. The modern presentation is multimedia by definition and incorporates lots of different techniques for a captivating experience. The Modern Multimedia Experience With an auditorium enabled with the latest technology, you can conduct more than just an effective event for your audience; now your event will be memorable. The very least that many people will expect from a presentation today is a PowerPoint slideshow projected on a large screen, perhaps with the help of an interactive board. But with a fully equipped auditorium, the event and presentation will be transformed in ways that was just dreamt about a few years ago and no longer requires deep pockets. Easily bring the multitude of visual content, together with crystal clear audio to captivate and engage the audience. With conferencing capabilities, quality has never been better, nor has the ability ever been easier, to conduct a state-of-the-art interactive presentation, remotely, from anywhere in the world. So whether you're trying to engage donors, get students to pay more attention, or simply to inspire the audience, now the tools are readily available and cost effective. Interactive Experience People don’t want to just sit and be lectured to. Just watching a presentation can be a daunting task in some organizations. The modern experience wants to bring people in. Engagement is becoming more of a priority every day. The connected, modern auditorium enables people to contribute from their seats, adding to the experience of all attendees. Lecturers, presenters and now anyone else can be a presenter and broadcast their information (or opinion) to the wider audience. BYOD / Personal devices, such as phones (IOS, Android) laptops and tablets can all be managed to become part of the event. Microphone technology is now an IP network discipline; allowing for greater flexibility, and clarity with fewer touch points. Dante Audio (digital audio through ethernet) is a combination of hardware and software protocols has changed the game for those professionals trained to deploy its benefits. Participants are able to make contributions, speak up and join in with conversations (sometimes from apps on their own devises) that are heard in the room and on the far-side. Audience engagement available to everyone with ease. Unshackle your auditorium from the confines of the 19th and 20th century’s footprint into a shared collaborative space; where the format, presenters and content is as varied as the topics. Assisted Listening - Audio Induction Loop System - ADA Mandated People with a hearing disability are increasingly using hearing aides capable of a T-coil (Telecoil) setting. Spaces available to the public are required by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) to have access to the audio systems within the public space. While many spaces make assisted listening headsets available by request, the modern experience allows the user to be in control. Spaces designed and engineered, early with induction loop systems, taking into account the physical infrastructure (walls, steel beams, reinforced concrete, wireless interference etc.) can include everyone in the space without unsolicited attention or stigma sometimes associated with having to ask for assistance. Control - Video, Light, Sound & Experience Control is King. Ease of use is paramount. Control is available to every aspect of the technological experience: Video and audio systems, lighting, emergency systems, HVAC, window treatments, acoustical wall coverings, occupancy sensors, all of it. While the control of all of the assets may feel like you’ve been bestowed with power of the wizard behind the curtain, the purpose is to your remove distractions, focus attention, and enable engagement. Captivate, inspire and make it memorable more easily with preset control scripts that perform dozens of commands with a single button push, triggered from an occupancy sensor or by schedule. Captus Systems provides electronic window treatments and shading control which is especially important in a room with an abundance of natural light. Depending on the final architectural layout, Sound masking can be added. Sound masking allows the people in rooms adjacent to an auditorium (or loud space) to focus on the task at hand. Connected Spaces Making your auditorium as connected as possible allows your audience to interact with you and each other. It also ensures that they have access to essential information that they might require while attending a lecture, lesson, talk or presentation. Ensuring that IT and AV elements are smoothly connected is essential for a modern technological auditorium. The tools are available, the technology is sophisticated and scalable and Captus Systems Design and Engineering Team are prepared to design the best solution for you and your auditorium within your budget confines. Captus Systems designs ensures that the technology will work well and the experience will exceed expectation for years to come. Captus Systems brings you technology from Cisco, Crestron, Christie Digital, Planar, Extron, BiAmp, and QSC.


Enterprise Audio Visual Design and Consulting

Enterprise Audio Visual Design Large and small enterprises have a lot on their hands when it comes to implementing and maintaining the environments responsible for the modern meeting space. The perfect audio-visual experience is now required everywhere. Whether new construction or refresh it all begins with flawless design. As an architect, designer, facilities manager and IT Specialist or someone tasked with those responsibilities it’s essential that you get everything right. The right choice of camera and its placement means everyone is seen, correct microphone choices and placement means those who are supposed to be heard are heard. The right cooling on the rack means maximum life expectancy of the deployed rack components. The goal is to have it go according to plan AND budget. So first you need a plan. Captus Systems, is an award-winning designer and provider of AV and IT solutions to Corporate and Academic Clients. Our clients industries are a microcosm of international & US based business, higher education and not-for-profit organizations providing diversity in use-case and design. While there are similarities between the needs and systems of a New York based international cancer institute and the multi-national publishing leader it’s the approach and selection of standards that marks the difference and in many ways the success. The enterprise audio visual design services we offer can be split into three different categories: Design & Consulting The initial consultation is completely free. This is where our experienced team will consult with you and your team to exchange information, ideas and best practice in audio, video, network and lighting designs. Our consultative approach is designed to ensure that the intended goals of the project are learned and shared with all concerned parties. Is there equipment that is to be redeployed? Has the end of life road map of redeployed equipment been shared? The Captus Design Process (CDP) will determine all the relevant details. The end result is a design that exceeds expectation of designers, IT professionals, users, executive team and finance. Our solutions are custom designed around our client’s needs. A defining characteristic of the CDP is that every design will be unique. You will not find a recycled design that has a discontinued product. System Delivery and Support Service We have delivered and serviced hundreds of enterprise AV systems and consequently, we offer support and service for all types of systems; Cisco, AMX, Crestron, Digital Signage, Cloud Services (WebEx teams, Zoom, StarLeaf etc. Service is designed to make life easier with fewer things to worry about; “like if the microphones in the 24th floor Large Conference Room are functioning for the Monday call” AV Managed Services Captus Systems offers comprehensive AV managed services that can be monitored by your team or ours. Today’s modern enterprise includes hundreds of integrated rooms and environments that are in almost constant use. A single room being down can cause havoc to the schedules of dozens of individuals costing thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Partnering with Captus Systems means maximum uptime & productivity. Audio Visual Design for Many Different Enterprises We’ve worked alongside numerous clients in very different settings. Some of the work we’ve done includes setting up enterprise AV systems in churches, museums, corporate environments, educational premises, and performance venues. Our teams experience spans the years of explosive industry growth, from analog to digital, from digital to network. At Captus we are ready to prepare you and your team with what’s coming next. Welcome to AV2.0


Why Captus and Cisco?

Spark Meetings are dead. Long live Webex meetings. Prior to this convergence, we had Cisco Spark with its own type of meeting – the Spark meeting, but we still had Webex with its own Webex meetings. Users could join Cisco Spark meetings only from the Cisco Spark app, and Webex meetings from the Webex app. Users could join Webex meetings from Cisco Spark if they were clever, but they did not get any of the critical meetings features. With this convergence – it’s all simplified. Everything is a Webex meeting, with a common set of features – roster, meeting controls, PSTN connectivity, and so on. All Webex meetings are joinable from either the Webex Meetings application or the Webex Teams application. Webex Teams supports a new type of meeting, called a Webex team meeting, which takes advantage of the participants in a space to provide a highly secure easy to use new type of Webex meeting – the team meeting. The Webex backbone network now powers all meetings. Prior to this convergence work, both Webex and Cisco Spark had meetings capabilities, but they were quite disparate. Even in the back end, Webex meetings were supported by servers sitting in the Webex data centers, and interconnected with the powerful Webex backbone IP network. This IP network provides global transport between customer ISPs and our meeting servers, optimizing for video quality. Cisco Spark meetings were powered by servers in public clouds, and weren’t making use of the Webex backbone. Now, with this convergence, the Webex backbone is used for all meetings, regardless of whether they are joined from the Webex Meetings app or the Webex Teams app. We have meeting servers in both public clouds and in our own data centers. The Webex backbone interconnects with both of them. This means that customers get the best quality, lowest latency experience possible. This is particularly important for video, since the Webex backbone was purpose built for video meetings. Control Hub gains powerful features for Webex analytics and troubleshooting. Prior to this convergence, the Cisco Spark management tool – Control Hub – provided some basic analytics for Cisco Spark. Webex customers used a different tool – the site admin – and had a good set of analytics capabilities there. With this platform convergence, the Control Hub now supports customers using both Webex Meetings and Webex Teams, and its analytics functions for Webex Meetings have taken a significant jump forward. Hybrid Media Services is now called Video Mesh – and works for all Webex meetings. Prior to this convergence work, Cisco Spark had an amazing capability called hybrid media service. This service allowed a customer to deploy servers on premise which could be used for the audio, video and content share streams for Cisco Spark meetings. But, they worked only for Cisco Spark meetings. With this convergence, these hybrid media nodes can now be used for any Webex meeting type – regular Webex meetings, PMR meetings, and Team meetings. Users joining those meetings from SIP endpoints, our cloud connected video endpoints, or the Webex Teams app, will connect to these media nodes when joining any of those meetings. With this convergence, we’re also renaming hybrid media services to video mesh, in recognition of the truly disruptive and now broad applicability of this capability. The industry’s first secure multi-company Collaboration solution. Specific to Webex Teams, the backend convergence has enabled us to deliver this industry first. It is increasingly common to work outside the boundaries of your company, and our competitors solve for this by allowing guest accounts to be created on their team collaboration instance in the cloud. End users need to ask for administrator intervention to create guest accounts, they need to maintain multiple accounts, and they need to log in and out of the app when they want to collaborate outside of their company. This is a huge pain, but it also creates a huge security risk. Guest accounts enable users to share information outside of their company in a way that cannot be tracked by compliance tools. This means that an employee can accidentally – or purposefully – share confidential information outside the company, and the company won’t be aware of it, and won’t be able to take steps to remove the leak. We have solved this problem with Webex Teams. All Webex Teams users reside in a single, shared cloud instance – each with just a single account. There are no guest accounts. B2B collaboration is built in so users can work with everyone, both inside and outside of the company, from the same application, without asking their IT guy for help. In addition, this means that each company can make sure that their employees don’t share confidential information outside of the company, and if they do, it can be detected and remediated. Webex is the industry’s first Team Collaboration solution to deliver secure multicompany collaboration. As you can see, the convergence of Cisco Spark and Webex is not just skin deep – it goes to the platform level and brings an amazing set of benefits to our customers.


Captus in the Community

On June 16th, Captus Systems, will joining Adelphi University in supporting and celebrating student success at the 18th Annual President's Gala. SATURDAY • JUNE 16, 2018 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM Garden City Hotel | 45 7th Street, NY Adelphi’s annual President’s Gala, the University’s largest fundraising event, supports student scholarships at Adelphi. Each year, the University provides more than $50 million in scholarship assistance to its students, including more than 5,000 undergraduates from across the country. At the President’s Gala, individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the University and the larger community are recognized. This event draws the region’s top civic, business, and community leaders, as well as Adelphi trustees, alumni and friends, students, administrators, faculty and staff, to celebrate our honorees and the University. Link to Libraries 2018 President’s Gala please click here For more information about Adelphi’s President Gala, please visit here Receive updates and connect with us on Facebook


How to choose the best Audio-Visual Design and Build Integration company

All AV companies are not created the same. Selecting the right Audio-Visual Design & Build Firm will be one of the most important decisions you and your team will make. And while it may seem challenging, it doesn’t need to be that way. Not anymore. The need for Audio Visual technology has grown to become one of the most important disciplines within the commercial, healthcare and higher education industries. How important is AV to you and your organization? The answer can be found by determining how much distress your organization has when PowerPoints don’t display correctly on the Samsung 4K LED, when people can’t be heard on a Cisco SX80 video or audio call or when users call to say “…Crestron is not working” and I need someone here “NOW”. Odds are your organization uses technology everywhere, has a younger and dispersed work force comprised of employees and 3rd parties, requires agility, communication across many time zones and platforms including, Skype for Business, On-Premises, Cloud, mobile, PC, rooms etc. Security, once the responsibility of a 3rd party vendor who provided a uniformed presence at the perimeter, has felt its effects to every device and RJ45 jack in the organization. If you are still reading, you and your organization are one of the many organizations who have concluded that to be effective and competitive you need a coherent Audio-Visual technology strategy and partner to help you to implement that strategy. Step 2, How do you find the best team to bring the most value to your strategy and your projects? There are many considerations to take into account, some of them incredibly hard to pinpoint, all with the goal of clearing the fog. Thankfully, we have outlined some best practices you can use to identify the right team & fit that will suit your company’s and project needs. Team Expertise and Knowledge A firm is as good as its team. This is even more true for the Audio-Visual Industry where the technological envelope is constantly being pushed to new limits of: More, Faster, Cheaper, Now. Deep Knowledge is the ability to gain a variety of information on a variety of topics, or going in deep on a certain subject or topic. Used commonly in the study of the universe, its definition applies directly the Audio-Visual Industry. An expert Audio-Visual Engineering team includes individuals with the knowledge of audio and video signal flow and now requires the added deep knowledge of systems, equipment, networking and security, previously only found in the best firms of the IT world. (Think Cisco) Knowledge is basis of a strong team; finding a team that disseminates the unnecessary from the business critical, as it applies to your strategy, is essential to clearing the fog. Professional Audio-Visual systems strategy teams require the ability to continue to gather knowledge in multiple areas, organize that knowledge to allow for it to be distributed to the relevant team members through the company’s internal best practice and process to educate and promote individuals into leadership positions that promote more knowledge transfer. Work with a team that is a deep as it is wide, in knowledge and understanding. Best practice includes, best hire practices, best employee retainage practices and best training practices and understanding ideas that challenge the status quo. If the AV Company staff is thoroughly vetted, reliable and possesses a long-standing reputation of integrity in the industry, then that company is certainly the one to focus on. Technical certifications are important. The Audio-Visual Company that is either a direct dealer or approved distributor means the Audio-Visual company’s staff has most likely already met each manufactures criterion to represent their brand & therefore may help you identify which one is better for you. Certifications help an AV Company provide long term value, on-time delivery, quality installations in addition to a solid career path for their employees. Here are a few certifications from the leading manufactures of Audio-Visual Components and industry associations to look for: AVIXA: (formerly InfoComm International): CTS, CTS-D, CTS-I Creston: DMC-E-4K, DMC-T-4K, DMC-S, CTI-P-101, CTI-P-201, CTI-P-301, CTI-FUSION-P, CTI-CSD, DM-NVX Extron: Extron Control Professional, Extron Control Specialist, Extron XTP Systems Design Engineer, Extron XTP Systems Technician BiAmp: Tesira SERVER/SERVER I-O, TesiraFORTÉ, TesiraLUX, Vocia, VoIP, Audia for Technicians QSC: Q-SYS Level 1, Q-SYS Level 2 Cisco: CCNA Collaboration, CCNP Collaboration Reputation Reputation is important. It is also the right way to see whether a company’s style, approach, ethics and philosophy is a good fit for you and your team. Read the reviews, talk with people that worked with the companies previously and, if possible, visit the sites of their completed projects and ask questions. If they are established in the industry, they should be proud to show off their work, providing the confidence to move to the next step. Technical Compatibility, Interdependency and Operability Many companies rely on “cookie-cutter” templates, that lack additional knowledge needed to provide a comprehensive solution. Cookie cutter will not pass the bar for the modern AV / IT systems which is integrated at many levels of the organization. In the Audio-Visual industry, Compatibility, Interdependency and Operability include the Electronics and Infrastructure, Solutions within the installed space, legacy systems and user groups. Every piece of equipment doesn’t work in every application. Every application is not correct for every organization. Knowing what works and what doesn’t in unique circumstances is obviously critical and now is added to the Audio Visual / Unified Communication discipline. It’s a higher bar that many unqualified integrators can’t reach. Examples of this higher criterion are everywhere. (1) the impact to the network when audio and video is distributed over segments of the infrastructure. (Dante and AES67 requires a higher level and degree of compatibility between devices, switches, and clients’ infrastructure). (2) Securing devices and the individual users to what can be shared on the Unified Communications platform. Deploying a robust SSH layer has become increasingly important and should not be overlooked in an AV system. Room and Space Compatibility This is where AV has an opportunity to work with the architects and designers. Simply said, after the equipment has been pre-confirmed for the application, then the AV Designer and AV Engineer must work to make sure that the actual equipment is compatible in the room, space and furniture. Sure the rack will “fit in the credenza” but does the Shure MXA910 Ceiling Array fit into the optimal position of the Reflected Ceiling Plan? Is there a HVAC vent effecting the performance of the microphone? Is credenza properly ventilated for the rack components? Will the microphones that are being drilled into the table be obstructed by the doors on the cable cubbies? These are few of the questions that require the attention of a qualified Audio-Visual Engineer and Project team. Most importantly, as it relates to compatibility, is the proposed solution compatible for the actual end-user of the space? If the Audio-Visual team has taken the time to ask the right questions of the user community, they will find out if there is a preference for wireless lavalier or wired microphones, room schedulers to keep the peace, a white board solution that is able to record the presentation and so on. Compatibility is important! Process – Process- Process - Final Deliverables and the Closeout Process Is there a documented process throughout the delivery of the system? How well does the AV company provide and respond to the multiple RFI’s and RFQ’s that are common across many departments (Facilities, IT, Security, Executive Committee, etc.) in the Audio-Visual Industry? How is the final deliverable shared & what is included in the “Final Deliverable Submittal”? Are the Final Deliverables provided on a CD AND huge binder, (still a common practice) or has the AV company employed the best practices of using a shared a portal which remains transparent throughout the project and final delivery process? Is the closeout process straightforward and process driven providing meaningful information or is it a document dump (also an all too common practice)? Does the AV company provide a serialized equipment list with MAC addresses, complete sets of as-built drawings & editable programming and DSP code? It is obvious that the answer should be resounding YES! Don’t let your End-Game process of the project close out be marginalized. A great End-of Project system is a terrific indicator that your post installation service experience will be as well. Pricing and Warranty Everything come down to price. No revelation there. However, Best & Final may not always reflect all the criteria of a thoughtful and thorough selection process. And while staff expertise, compatibility, pricing, certifications and a long-term partner relationship take longer to asses on the front end, an informed decision maker and team will make better decisions with higher successes every time. The AV firm that possess the qualities outlined below is an asset especially when considering the alternatives of using an unqualified firm without the knowledge and expertise to design, deliver and support your Audio-Visual Systems and Environments. Warranty, while secondary to many, is another important part to consider. While each manufacturer warranty on the hardware may vary (Crestron 3 – 5 years depending on vertical), the AV Company Warranty on the system, the wiring, the programming, the operation and usability, reflects how confident they are in their staff workmanship & the overall finished product. Service Service Service We have saved the best for last. It all comes down to service. It’s as true for Audio Visual as it is for any project you’re planning to undertake. If the team you are assembling is unresponsive, unprepared or otherwise incapable of resolving the issues at hand for lack or attention then that is the experience you will remember. Proving a positive exemplary service experience in a modern commercial Audio Visual unified communication environment is truly a team effort.


Securing the AV Network and System

This is a good news blog, not a cautionary tale. For many years the AV community has been focused on ease of use, user experience, schedules, lower cost, and touch panel layouts as a function of construction and delivery. With this approach the industry has delivered some extraordinary results that surround us every day. Our dreams realized, we now have Silicon Core Video Walls that change from Art Scene to Interconnected Executive Boardroom with Cisco SX80 Speaker Track Systems, Shure Dante enabled MXA 912 celling array microphones, Wireless Mersive Solstice Pod Inputs and Controlled by a Crestron DMPS3-4K with only a Fusion Scheduling Interface and Occupancy Sensor; No visible wires and seamless user experience. Along with the experience comes the pre-eminent AV service model of a 1-year warranty period, that still spells out specifically, bi-annual cleaning the filters on the Digital Projection E-Vision 4500 data projector and more vaguely describes the AV enabled network equipment that should be focused on. The DM-NVX-350 DigitalMedia™ 4K60 4:4:4 HDR Network AV Encoder/Decoder, with 10/27/2017 Firmware - DM-NVX-350_DM-NVX-351_DM-NVX-350C_DM-NVX-351C ver.1.3450.00029 is just another black box and not necessarily as a place for continual attention. So, while the future seems to have arrived as expected, it has brought with it a host of vulnerabilities that require attention not inherently part of the AV mindset. I’m talking about the dreaded Network Security. CAPTUS was founded for just this very moment in time. Good News. Many of the newest products and firmware releases from Crestron, SVSI, Extron, Altona, AMX and others have addressed vulnerabilities in previous releases and products that interact on the network. A prime example of this is the Crestron DigitalMedia NVX that uses the SSH protocol vs Telnet protocol. This added layer of security provides encryption to devices and “boxes” with RJ45 jacks that were under the radar and not considered a problem for many years. And while this is an excellent start it means that there are still potentially thousands of open doors that may be visible to the outside world keeping many CSO, CIO and CTO up through the night. Many, but not all, of the larger enterprise clients have taken the necessary steps to ensure a solid defense to an omnipresent threat but the AV Industry has been slower than the IT community to adopt the new higher-level standards for securing the network. But make no mistake, the risk is real to everyone and it demands immediate action. Especially at risk is the Small and Mid-size business who may have a higher percentage of legacy vulnerable products and may have more limited resources. This risk extends to satellite offices of the larger enterprise where the AV procurement may be handled by an office manager or facility person who may not have the support or skills to implement the proper security protocol yet has been doing the AV for years. Thankfully this too is changing and CAPTUS is here to deliver by extending the warranty period and providing a qualified partner for the long term. Our team of qualified, certified network AV specialists are distinguished by their knowledge and adherence to the CAPTUS process which means nothing falls through the cracks.


Increase Worker Productivity with Sound Masking

It’s about 10:45am on Monday… and it begins. “What’s for lunch…? Did that email really go to spam? What’s the dial-in for the 11 o’clock call? Why is it so hot on this side of the office and so cold by Reception” Just another day at the office… and all these comments OVER the slurping coffee drinker, the phlegmy sneezer and clashing Pandora’s because really who can agree on anything besides Christmas music. Distractions, distractions, and yes - more distractions! Who thought an open office floorplan with cement floors was a good idea in the first place? I guess from a collaborative viewpoint - bringing down walls to make people talk to promote teamwork and nurture innovation – yeah maybe. But is it really paying off? Many recent studies show that all of these daily distractions lead to lack of focus + unhappy workers = lack of productivity! Per the Journal of Environmental Psychology - "benefits of enhanced interaction didn't offset disadvantages in open-plan offices." Another by the Asia-Pacific Journal of Health Management - suggests this type of floor plan produces an increase in noise, conflict, stress, and turnover. Additionally, a 2008 Basex study estimated that distractions cost businesses $587 billion. Unwanted noise is a problem that corporate America is dealing with every day. It may dramatically effect productivity having an oversized effect on today’s Information Workers; earbuds in or not. Noise interruptions heard during deep thinking and complex work means that the workers will be out of sync for longer periods of time. Studies have shown that work places with multiple or regular interruptions are most likely to have long-term negative effects on performance, productivity and mood with an overall effect on the entire team. Ok – so there we go… Now what do we do? The answer may be found in the way we design the modern work space taking into account of Sound Management. Aka Noise Control. CAPTUS Solutions: Our AV / IT communities impact is limited to the one which is most successful; sound masking. Sound masking experts are usually brought into the process after certain design elements are set in stone. While the design community recommends several strategies for speech privacy, CAPTUS focuses our expertise on the technology used for non-intrusive speech privacy known as Sound Masking. As per the Cambridge Sound Management website: “Sound masking is the process of adding background sound to reduce noise distractions, protect speech privacy and increase office comfort.” “Sound masking is specifically engineered to match the frequencies of human speech and to sound comfortable, even pleasant, to the human ear. When implemented properly, sound masking should just fade into the background “hum” of a workplace while simultaneously making (ambient) speech more difficult to hear and understand.” Sound Masking is a cost-effective way to provide an increased level of worker focus, reduce distractions, reduce stress & overall provide an increase in productivity. Sound Masking has been around for over 40 years, and is already widely used in Fortune 500 companies, smaller businesses, healthcare & government institutions – modern sound masking systems are in increased demand due to this open floorplan craze. Ironically, adding sound to a space does make the space seem quieter. It’s true – believe me. In conclusion, while being in the loop on EVERYTHING that happens in an office certainly may fulfill your curiosity, there’s work to be done. Please contact Captus System today for a free quote on a Sound Masking solution.


Audio Visual Engineering – A Unique Specialty
Audio Visual Engineering – A Unique Specialty

CAPTUS Design Process (CDP) - Audio Visual Engineering – A Unique Specialty CAPTUS was founded for just this very moment in time. CAPTUS believes improving client expectation, and construction team expectation begins with better process, better communication and technical tools. CAPTUS approaches AV projects from an IT core. AV is IT. AV and IT rely on the market to inform direction and advancement. Very few people understand this very simple statement the way that CAPTUS does. The CAPTUS Design Process and Team removes the tunnel-vision and replaces it with better communication, detailed coordination and productivity all without adding cost. The CAPTUS Design Process includes best practices and benefits found in the IT model of ITIL The ITIL process provides discipline, clarification and prioritization of the investments in the services used to deliver the systems being demanded by the business. ITIL has been influential in evolving the process of systems delivery architecture within the success of IT. ITIL focuses on helping organizations deploy, improve and develop over time. Sounds great, right? CAPTUS has adopted the processes and best practices within our organization closing the loop and adding oversight rarely seen in the AV world. For years, the “AV standard” has fallen short of meeting the higher expectation across the project spectrum, from IT, Facilities, C-Level, Architects, and the construction community. It is at pivotal times like these (in the construction and technology delivery landscape) that the famous Einstein quote is again applicable: “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” CAPTUS does not believe that cookie-cutter standards are going to solve the problems we face today or tomorrow. Frankly, we believe that cookie-cutter standards should only be applied to cookies. This is why the CAPTUS approach is: Start - Review – Modify – Test - Implement - Repeat Welcome to AV 2.0 At CAPTUS we are delivering that new kind of thinking. What will the future look like? The systems we deliver today need to meet expectation, deliver value today, tomorrow and for years to come. While 2017 was a wildly successful year for CAPTUS and the industry as a whole, we find that the vast majority of systems delivered in 2017 look far too similar to what was delivered 15 years ago. Yes. The NEC display is larger, the resolution is 4K or higher, the Crestron touch panel is sleeker, the Middle Atlantic rack is smaller, the Cisco and Polycom codec is faster and enabled with more features, the AMX interface is standardized, the Skype for Business (SFB) is on every desktop and Smart device, but the physical rooms, table interfaces and more importantly, how we engage with the systems still looks and feels the same. And that’s just the rooms. In many cases the specifications are submitted with the a 10+ year old boilerplate. Rhetorical Question: Is this what we want the rooms to look like? Do we demand change? Do we want systems to look different in 10 years? Do we want the delivery and operational processes to evolve with the users? Do we want more accountability? And Lower Cost? If so, then the CAPTUS approach to deliver the new “thinking” is timely. CAPTUS is learning from our engagement with the design community, and business leaders to deliver the next wave of innovation at this very moment in time.


1 2 3 4 5  ...