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Order Your VariQuest Supplies Online! New From AVI-SPL

AVI-SPL is your resource for the best visual learning equipment including accessories and supplies for VariQuest’s Poster Maker Systems, Laminators, Cutout Makers, Design Center, Labeling Systems and more.

To better serve our customers, we’ve opened our new online store! This new site offers a one-stop shop to quickly and easily order VariQuest supplies with a credit card or purchase order. The helpful tracking system keeps you in the loop so you can monitor when your orders will arrive. In addition to refreshing your supplies in a snap, you’ll be on top of what the latest specials are, find bright ideas on how to use your visual learning tools and help you to become a VariQuest expert with the helpful tips and troubleshooting pages.

For our product specials and offers, click here. »

AVI-SPL is authorized to sell Varitronics products and supplies in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Maryland, Washington, DC and Fairfax County, Virginia. Currently online sales are for k-12 or higher. If you are a non-educational customer, please call (866) 559-9192 for price and to purchase.

Order VariQuest Supplies online

Or contact us at (866) 559-9192.

The Control Room of the future? You decide.

By David Jones, Sales Manager Control Room Group.

A friend of mine who works for a manufacturer that we represent asked me what I thought the control room of the future will look like. To broaden my response, I put the question to our sales team. After some discussion, it occurred to me that we had ignored our most valuable resource if we truly were interested in the control room of the future – those that are using the control rooms of the “now”.

The Control Room of the Future

As a provider of 24/7 mission critical control room systems, my experience is that control room design is driven by the technology immediately available to us at the moment the design goes from mind to paper. When you think about it, that is a very narrow perspective.

Would our system design perspective be broader if we worked 24/7 in a fully operational control center knowing exactly what was needed to make the control room more efficient and productive – the control room of the future? I think it would.

So if you presently have a control room of any shape or size I have a favor to ask of you. Please send me an email at describing your present control room. Please include details like when the control room was installed, the size of the room, which technology is used and what you like and don’t like about the facility. Then tell us what you want your control room of the future to look like, again including information such as size, technology, functionality and anything else you’d like to mention.

To show our appreciation for your input, I’ll trade you a cool piece of Control Room Group swag for your email.

Let’s go forward to the future!

STEP Green AV Rating System Unveiled at InfoComm 2010

By Michelle Oswald, VP Marketing Communications

At InfoComm 2010, the new, flashy buzz was about Cisco and 3D. At the same time, in the world of not necessarily new, and perhaps not as flashy, but certainly as relevant, was the ever popular subject of “Green AV”.

For the past several years, InfoComm has dedicated some part of its programming to covering the subject of “Green AV” – and every year the question of what that means – exactly – has not been well defined. Certainly, we would all like to reduce our carbon output, save energy and be able to offer something truly unique and valuable to our clients, but defining Green AV, and larger still, where the AV world fits into the world of Green Building in general, is almost like creating a whole new language, then trying to teach everyone to speak it. It’s a process that takes time, perseverance and definitely, patience.

On Friday, June 11, a new rating system – STEP (Sustainable Technology Environments Performance) – was unveiled at InfoComm that truly takes a big step in the right direction. The new framework was developed by a consortium of subject matter experts representing AV manufacturers, consultants and integrators that have been working collaboratively with InfoComm International on establishing standards for what it means to be practicing “Green AV”.

Anyone familiar with the USGBC’s rating system for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) will appreciate the new STEP system. While STEP employs some of the same rating system concepts as LEED, such as broad subject categories and points valuation for specific achievements, the rating system itself is all about the AV integration process. The new STEP system categories include: Program Phase, Architectural and Infrastructure Design, System Design, Systems Integration, and Operations. Points are earned based on factors such as equipment recycling, use of reclaimed/existing equipment, utilizing teleconferencing (video, audio or web) for at least 50% of project team meetings, and delivering project drawings/specifications electronically vs. paper, for example. Like LEED, which is a voluntary, consensus based, market driven approach to building, STEP will also be a voluntary program between InfoComm members and their clients.

The STEP program will be formally launched in early 2011. As AVI-SPL has already launched several sustainability initiatives, we are watching this program with great interest and are excited about the potential for truly defining “Green AV” and what it can mean to our customers, by providing the ability to provide unique, top quality communications solutions that provide energy savings and waste reduction, and fit into our customers’ own sustainability efforts.

To learn more about AVI-SPL’s sustainability initiatives, visit our Green AV page. »

To learn more about AVI-SPL’s recycling programs, click here. »

Michelle Oswald Michelle Oswald is the Vice President of Marketing Communications at AVI-SPL and has been working in the AV industry for 10 years. She is preparing to take the LEED Green Associate exam in the next few weeks. She has been leading the key sustainability initiatives at AVI-SPL, including AV equipment recycling, waste reduction and utilization of greener sales and marketing tools.

TelePresence Could Save Businesses $19 Billion Over the Next 10 Years

A recent study by the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international organization dedicated to greener business practices, estimates that US and UK businesses could save $19 billion over the next 10 years by using TelePresence technology instead of taking business trips, according to the San Jose Business Journal.

The study said organizations could see $400 million in savings the first year alone, easily offsetting the cost of their initial investment.

TelePresence technology doesn’t just help the companies’ bottom lines, it also greatly reduces their carbon footprints. Over the next decade, TelePresence could cut those organizations’ CO2 emissions by 5.5 million metric tons. That’s equivalent to taking 1 million vehicles off the road for a year.

An individual business with four TelePresence rooms can reduce its CO2 emissions by 2,271 metric tons over five years, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 400 cars, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

The study said TelePresence technology also provides non-monetary incentives for employees, including increased productivity, better work-life balance and faster decision making.

Read the full study here »

To learn more about how TelePresence technology could boost your organization’s bottom line, call (866) 559-8197.

How do you install a 700-lb Panasonic display? Very carefully.

View from the third floor
View from the third floor

By Jeff Fink, VP of Sales

Note to Self: Never assume anything. Especially if a 700-lb, 103” monitor is involved.

When a client wanted to upgrade the AV equipment in his 3rd-floor Washington, D.C. boardroom, we determined that a 103” Panasonic plasma display was the ideal solution.

Our team has delivered and installed large screens into buildings all over DC for years. Surely this client’s building, like all the others, would have a freight elevator or at least a few large stairwells, right?

A crane hoisted the Panasonic display to the window
A crane hoisted the Panasonic display to the window


Not only did the building lack a real freight elevator, but the stairwells were narrow with low-hanging pipes. A simple delivery quickly became a real challenge.

We called in the experts – piano movers and building engineers. Our group came up with a solution: Take a window out of the building, close one of the nearby streets and hire a crane.

A half hour later, the display was in the room.

No install is too difficult for AVI-SPL.

To learn more about our products and services, call (866) 559-8197.