Non-Technical AV Presentation Issues Solved


when-youre-giving-a-presentation-and-you-click-on-the-2895876Have you ever launched full-swing into a great multimedia presentation, only to have the technology fail in the middle of your talk? Have you been left wondering, “Why won’t my video play?” or “Why won’t my file open properly on this computer?” We know we can’t always be there to help, so we’ve developed this guide with our best tips to help you make sure your own presentations go off without a hitch.

You’re prepared for your big presentation, with backups in hand, but what do you do if you encounter problems at setup, and don’t know how to fix them?

The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that everything will work just the way you expect it to. Computers are fickle. Our number one tip is to test all the technology you’ll be using in the venue in the exact configuration you’ll be using it at the event. This “dress rehearsal” will help you find any technical bugs, and will help you feel confident that your event will go as planned. After rehearsing, you can focus on giving a killer presentation and feel confident that all your technology will work as planned.

Here are our top tech tips for presentation problem solving:

Before you leave the office

  • If you are sending your slides ahead by email, bcc your personal email address to make sure the attachment comes through ok.
  • If bringing your slides on a USB disk, use a USB drive that has nothing else on it. You don’t want the AV tech to go through all your personal files looking for the right presentation.
  • Always have a backup copy of your presentation in Dropbox or another cloud storage sites, and/or in your email, just in case your USB drive gets lost or corrupted.
  • Bring your own computer and any adapters you will need in case the conference-provided computer will not work. Make sure you have adapters to VGA, DVI, and HDMI, as different venues may require different connections.
  • If your presentations have audio, verify with conference organizers that an audio connection will be available for your presentation room – often that will not be hooked up unless you ask for it specifically.
  • Avoid relying on online content. If you really need an Internet connection for your presentation, make sure you specifically request it on the presentation computer. Try to bring offline copies of any material you need.
  • If live Web content is critical to your presentation, and you cannot bring an offline backup, bring a mobile hotspot, or a cell phone with tethering enabled, just in case.
  • When you communicate with event organizers, specify if you need Presentation View (with your notes) or if you need a Mirrored desktop. Most computers can be set up either way, but the event’s AV team will need to know in advance to set that up.
  • If you have complex graphs in your presentation, save them as static images (.jpg or .png), in case the presentation computer does not render them correctly.
  • If you are using a Mac to create your PowerPoint slides, make sure you test your slides on a PC before you leave the office. Pay special attention to transitions, graphs and media files. You may not have the option to use a Mac onsite.
  • If you are using Keynote to make your slides, make sure that the organizers know you will need a Mac with that software to give your presentation. Make a backup of your slides as both a PDF and a PPT just in case. Test both on a PC before you arrive.

Dealing with Embedded Media

  • Videos and embedded media are involved in 90% of the presentation problems we deal with at events.
  • Make sure if you create a presentation with video or audio in PowerPoint, that you embed the files into the .pptx file, and don’t just link them to a file on your computer. That said, ALWAYS bring a backup copy of any embedded media, just in case it didn’t embed properly.
  • Make sure you have your video as an external file in more than one format. If it’s a .mov file it will most likely NOT play in PowerPoint on a PC and if it’s .wmv it will NOT play on a Mac.
  • If you are presenting on PowerPoint 2010 or 2011, make sure you have the media in Windows Media format for a PC or Quicktime format for a Mac.
  • If you are presenting on Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365, bring the files in .mp4 format with H.264 encoding for best cross platform compatibility, but make sure to bring backups.
    • Copy the presentation and all its associated media onto the presentation computer – do not run it off a USB drive. If that comes unplugged or your drive fails, your media will not play.

Onsite

  • Load your slides at least two breaks before your talk. Do not expect to plug in your USB drive as you’re being introduced. TEST your presentation when you load your slides into their final destination.
  • If you have embedded media, load the slideshow and all associated media into its final location on the presentation PC before you test it. And once you test it, do not move it to another folder on the computer. The files may become unlinked.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth 10,000 embedded videos. Or something like that…

For AV hardware or integrated solutions contact us at SpaceCoast AV Communications

Getting Ready for the Big Game: A 3-Step Plan Are


football-game-1Are you ready for the Big Game? Ready to take in all its glory as if you were in the stands sitting on the edge of your seat immersed in the action? Ready to impress family and friends with a jaw-dropping experience that leaves them, well…jealous?

And, no, we’re not talking about your awesome Kegerator or those hot, tangy, succulent wings everyone loves. We’re talking about a killer audio/video setup that not only “transports” you to the stadium but puts you on the field. A setup that let’s you feel the action – the bone-crunching thuds of a goal-to-go pileup, the brutal kidney-punch of a sideline takedown, the roar of the crowd when the announcer shouts “touchdown!”

The best of today’s home entertainment technology can get you closer to the game than ever before. And in some ways, a topnotch AV system can deliver an experience that’s better than being there. So if you’re tired of the small screen and tinny sound, it’s time to time to take things to the next level with an AV setup that will serve not only sports but also movies, music, and TV.

Here’s our three-step plan for upping your AV game.

1. TAKE A TOUR OF AV-LAND.

If it’s been a while since you’ve bought a TV or sound system, you might want to talk with one of our experts or pick up a magazine like Sound & Vision to get a feel for what’s new in AV. You’ll quickly see that a lot is going on.

If you’re serious about taking your AV game to the next level, find a home technology professional in your area and have him walk you through options in your price range. A pro will guide you through the maze of AV gear and present ideas on how to integrate it into your room – or hide it away.

2. GO FOR A BIG SCREEN.

And not just any screen but the biggest screen you can afford (as long as it’s not too big for the room you have in mind). Take a close look at the new 4K/Ultra HD sets, the best of which deliver stunning pictures at prices that are getting lower every day. OLED TVs – known for their vibrant, lifelike color – are also worth a serious look, but there are fewer options and they tend to be quite a bit more expensive.

If you have the physical space and budget to go bigger than, say, 70 inches, consider a theater-like projection setup where screen sizes start at 100 inches. There’s no better way to get in the game.

3. DON’T SKIMP ON THE SOUND.

Forget soundbars and cheap home-theater-in-a-box systems. Go for a bona fide surround-sound audio system with a full complement of speakers and a real subwoofer. For the best experience, you’ll want a 5.1 system, which means three front speakers – left, center, right – two rear surround speakers and a standalone subwoofer.

Speakers come in a wide variety of types and sizes, including models that can be mounted in (or on) the walls and ceiling for a stealth look. Professional guidance will go a long way here.

Following these few simple steps will put you on the path to an at-home game experience that you might not have imagined possible.

To learn more about home entertainment technology and options, consult a SpaceCoast AV professional today.

On the 3rd day of an AV Christmas


Welcome back to the 3rd day in our series of the 12 days of an AV Christmas.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me and LCD and Plasma Flat Panel TVs

ImageLCD and Plasma flat panel TVs continue to be hot, hot, hot! Prices have come down significantly this year, with many 42-inch size LCD and Plasma televisions selling well below $999. You may see some extremely attractive door busters on LCD and Plasma sets the day after Thanksgiving.

However, you also see that there are many TVs labeled as “LED TVs” – but don’t get sucked into the hype that makes you think that these are a different type of TV. So-called “LED TVs” are actually LCD TVs that use a type of backlight system powered by LED lamps.

In addition, with the maturing of LCD technology and more efficient production methods, screen size availability of LCD TV, once relegated to below 37-inches, are now quite common in sizes up to 50-inches and larger, with some manufacturers offering 70-inch sets, and Sharp offering 80 an 90-inch LED/LCD TVs. Large screen sizes in the 42-inch and up range was territory once dominated by Plasma televisions, but with the increasing availability of LCD TVs in larger screen sizes, they are dominating store shelves. However, that does not mean that you should not consider a Plasma TV. Plasma TVs generally offer better black level performance and motion response than LCD TV, and come in sizes up to 65-inches (for consumers – professional sizes go up to 150 inches).

Also, just as with Blu-ray Disc players, an increasing number of LCD and Plasma TVs are incorporating Smart TV capabilities, so if you desire this feature on your TV, check to see if the TV you are considering offers it.

Another feature to consider on a TV is 3D. Contrary to what you may have heard, 3D is not “dead”. 3D is now just one of a number of options that are available on many TVs. Also, all 3D TVs can display regular 2D TV images as well. Check out my Complete Guide to Watching 3D at Home for more details.

To complement the 3D TV feature, there are a growing number of 3D Blu-ray Disc movies available (about 230 titles as of September 2013),  some occasional 3D Cable/Satellite TV program feeds, as well as 3D content that can be streamed or downloaded from the internet, such as Vudu and 3DGO!

If you are interested in a 3D TV for the holidays either for yourself or as a gift purchase, definitely keep on the lookout for package deals that may include a TV, Blu-ray Disc player, and/or extra 3D glasses – TVs that use the passive glasses 3D viewing system, as you will see offers anywhere from two to six pairs of glasses included with the TV – and if you need more, they are very inexpensive. The TVs that require active shutter glasses may only include up to two pairs with the TV, and sometimes none are actually included. If you are shopping for a family, definitely watch for the best deal on 3D glasses. Just remember that you cannot use passive glasses with a TV that requires active glasses or vice versa. Check out the details.

For information on what you need to know before you buy an LCD or Plasma TV, whether you opt for a basic TV, Smart TV, or 3D TV, as well as some buying suggestions,you can give us a call at 321-257-9700 or send your questions to us at info@spacecoastav.com

If you need to have your flat panel wall mounted, installed or configured. Give us a call for a free quote. 321-257-9700 or send your request for quote to sales@spacecoastav.com. One of our team members will contact you.

Before Investing in Home Automation-Key #4


EVALUATE YOUR HOME NETWORK

structuredwiring

While  automation can be installed in any dwelling, the strength of your network and wiring is extremely important. The type of wiring recommended for a home automation system is called “structured wiring”—a wiring foundation that provides an effective communications infrastructure for home networking and telecommunications.

With new construction, plans can be made in advance so you can figure out where you want all of your Ethernet connections to be, and you may want to run additional cabling throughout your home for future expansion. With an existing home, the installer will want to minimize the number of holes that will need to be cut in the walls.

Next week, we’ll look at the final key to consider before investing in a home automation system.

Questions? Ask the here or email  SpaceCoast AV Communications at info@spacecoastav.com

Exclusive: Launching Sky Star TV Online


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logoPleased to announce eWave TV’s  The Sky Star Channel will be launching on Halloween. Tell Your Friends and Family You saw it here first…

Robert Joy of CSI:NY stars in the Horror/Comedy, “The Master and Me”

Key # 3 ~ Before Investing in Home Automation…


ImageWhile home automation solutions can be simple enough for everyone in your house to use, your system will be a complex design, linking multiple devices in your home to make it possible for them to communicate over a network. Naturally, this is the kind of work that requires a professional with the tools, training and experience to understand how to get everything working together. We call this professional a Sr. Design Engineer. Certified after rigorous training, your Design Engineer is equipped to work closely with you, from designing and installing your system to teaching everyone in the house how to use it. We can  also provide ongoing support and upgrades after the system is up and running.

5 Keys to a Successful Home Automation Investment, Key #2


Welcome Back to Key #2 in this 5 part blog. Yesterday, we looked at whether or not you have the right home. We came to the conclusion that Home automation systems can be installed in all types of homes, from the newest, most modern houses to those that have been standing for years.

Today, we want to determine what you want to automate:

So your second key to ensuring an awesome return on your home automation investment is to consider your lifestyle. Ask yourself what automated solutions would make your life easier and more pleasant. Do you want to get rid of the stack of remotes for all your audio-visual equipment? Do you want the ability to listen to your music collection virtually anywhere in your house? Do you want all of the lights in your house to go off when you leave? Do you want to be able to check on your home from anywhere in the world to make sure it’s secure?

ControlWhether wired or wireless, you can automate practically any electronic device in and around your home. You can automate your swimming pool or spa, inside and outside lights, electronic gates, sprinkler system, garage doors, music, movies, television, heating and cooling, security system, door locks, security cameras, and on and on. The possibilities are virtually endless.

 

Woudl you like to have one of our Sr. Design Engineers Contact you to answer any questions you might have! YES! Please Contact me Today