Control rooms must process an enormous amount of information simultaneously to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted operation of their services. Through the use of fully integrated audio-visual equipment, control rooms are able to access, analyze, and act on information in real-time, thereby improving productivity, reducing maintenance costs, and eliminating inefficiencies.
The advancement of integrated AV systems has introduced a variety of technological options and room design features that AV managers must consider before embarking on the enormous project of building a command and control center. Yet, even with the vast array of AV tech available, there are still some basic things that are necessities to make it all work.
- Video Conferencing
The right integrator will help you tailor your conferencing setup to particular operator needs and business functions. These will likely include either conferencing equipment and software for individual workstations or an expansive system that covers the whole room. Having a quality USB camera, microphone, and speaker is all that's needed for desktop video conferencing. The best option for microphones and speakers in control rooms is often headsets.
The operational considerations become more complex when it comes to video conferencing rooms. In many control rooms, the types of microphone(s) and camera(s) to deploy depend on the specific purpose and function. A platform-neutral and secure video conferencing solution, launched from a centralized PC or dedicated bridge, will meet your needs and is ideal for any mission-critical environment.
- Content Streaming
With remote and hybrid working gaining traction during the COVID era, as well as the continued decentralization of control rooms, it is essential to be able to share information and content quickly. Content streaming is a secure and affordable way to maintain situational awareness throughout your headquarters and across state and international borders when critical information needs to be conveyed.
Streaming content can be accomplished in many ways, but the most flexible platforms allow information to be shared from the control room to remote stakeholders as well as into the operation center from anywhere. High-speed Internet access, plenty of bandwidth, and a web browser are all that is needed to receive or send content.
- High-Resolution Digital Signage and/or Desktop Monitors
A system that integrates data from end-to-end sources requires more screen space. Organizations have traditionally added more monitors to an operator's workspace rather than simply increasing its size or resolution. It is easier to view multiple data points on a single screen when using a higher resolution desktop monitor with a larger aspect ratio. There are various sizes for desktop monitors available on the market and they should be selected based on several factors: work surface space, number and types of inputs, feature sets that may be useful for an operator, and overall sightlines within a control room. Likewise, if one centralized screen is employed, it should be of the highest resolution for optimal viewing by all operators in the control room.
by Joseph Davis, Managing Editor, Content Creation, AVIXA