First you need to define how the users will interact with the AV system. A good starting point is to determine the end user’s competency with technology. Consider the following examples:
- non-technical end users may need a simple user experience with limited options, and increased automated sequences
- “power users” may be comfortable with added complexity with extra options and flexible automation preferences
- technicians may require an additional set of diagnostic functions available to troubleshoot the control system and allow the application of temporary settings for an event or monitoring.
The following are some simple solutions for consideration when looking to meet functional requirements for a user. It is important to understand that there are always multiple ways to meet user requirements, and your control systems strategy will determine the starting point for deciding the most appropriate method.
- a system with one or two sources may be best achieved using occupancy sensing or scheduling, auto-switching based on signal detection and control directly from the room’s interactive display
- a keypad/push-button user interface with onboard control processor may be suitable for a simple AV system capable of selecting devices, turning a display on and basic source volume control
- a touch panel user interface is preferable for an AV system with input switching, multiple output destinations, microphones or devices that require specific control
- a central server may the appropriate place to control a fleet of small systems based on automated scheduling from enterprise systems and triggers from a BMS that drive actions locally within the room
- the local touch panel in the room may be augmented by providing a web or app -based version to the scheduled users mobile device, giving them access to a basic set of functionality to control the room just prior to and during their session
At times, specific device controls may exist that are easier to provide via a dedicated device than to fully integrate with an AV system. For example:
- a pan-tilt-zoom control may be best achieved with a dedicated PTZ joystick or software in a simulation control room
- a visualier’s power state may be controlled by system startup/shutdown on a push-button controller, but the device’s on-board fine motor controls are used directly by the user.
- A dedicated video conferencing control system may provide a better user experience than integrating it with a third-party control system’.
In these types of scenarios, the key consideration is the end user’s experience, a consistent set of controls and tools and an ease-of-use that requires no or minimal explanation.