Category Control Room Design

Happy Birthday Control Room Group!

by David Jones, CRG Director of Sales

The Control Room Group (CRG) celebrated its 10th birthday in June of 2011.  Yes, though it’s hard to believe, the CRG is 10 years old.

From an idea sold to the “Boss” over a fruit salad to a thriving multi-million dollar business, the CRG has come a very long way in a short 10 years.  From three employees to almost 50, from a single project (actually

One of the CRG's early projects - US Central Command

 a project and a half) the first year to over 65 projects in the year that just ended, the CRG has shown tremendous growth over the years!

The success of the CRG is directly attributable to the each and every one of people who works for the group.  Without their effort and dedication, it is safe to say that there probably wouldn’t be a 10-year celebration.

A Look Back

While the CRG has changed over the last decade, so has the business environment that we work in.  In fact, many of the changes we’ve seen in the CRG have been dictated by the changes in the market. 

  • We’ve seen display technology evolve from cubes with a giant footprint, to cubes that take up as little as 14” of floor space. 
  • We’ve seen video cubes lighted by incandescent bulbs with 10,000 hours (maybe) of useable life expectancy to video cubes lighted by an LED-based illumination source with 50,000+ hours! 
  • We’ve seen digital devices replace most analog ones, fiber replace copper, flat panel LCD displays of all sizes replace CRT based displays of all sizes and network based processors working in conjunction with an amazing variety of software suites replace simple UNIX or Windows-based  slow and (much worse than slow) volatile “black boxes.”

A Special Word of ‘Thanks’

The marketplace and technology has changed over the last 10 years just as the CRG has, but  there is one thing that hasn’t changed at the CRG: Our dedication and commitment to you — our current and future clients

To our current clientele: Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to work with you over the last 10 years.  

To our future clients: We look forward to having the opportunity to work with you on your control room, physical security or visualization or simulation project over the next 10 years and beyond.  

Let us help you with your next control room project, I’m confidant you’ll find the experience as pleasant and productive as our current clientele has.

Want a Design Package Discount — for FREE?

To celebrate our 10th year birthday we’d like to give our future clients a present.   Send me an email with “Happy 10th Birthday CRG” in the subject line and we’ll give you a 100% discount on a design package for your control room.  Send me an email ( and I’ll give you all the details.

The Control Room Group staff thanks you for the last 10 years, and we look forward to serving you for the next 10 or 20 or more!

AVI-SPL Control Room Group Partners with AGC Networks in India

India – To expand our international reach, the AVI-SPL Control Room Group (CRG) has partnered with AGC Networks to jointly pursue turnkey design/build unified communication business opportunities in the Indian Ocean region. AGC is the region’s leading AV and unified communications integrator, but does not have a dedicated control room team, which made the partnership with CRG an excellent opportunity for both AVI-SPL and AGC.

Indian Ocean Region

“Combining the strengths of AGC and the Control Room Group makes for a formidable force in the market presently served by AGC, and we are looking forward to working alongside our new partners and gaining business in the region,” said Sean LaNeve, vice president of CRG. “With the CRG focus on mission critical control rooms and AGC’s leadership position in the regional unified communication market, we are confident we can provide a superior client buying experience and consequently make a lasting and meaningful impression in the market,” he added.

Speaking on this occasion, Vinod Nair, AVP – AV & Video Conferencing, AGC Networks said, “With this partnership we have addressed the experience deficit in the Control Room business currently prevailing in the Indian Market. Our partnership with CRG will get highly specialized skill set in the Control Room Business into India. At AGC, we believe in working closely with our clients to provide unique and highly reliable solutions across various verticals including power, oil, gas and defense, and our alliance with the Control Room Group is to address customer requirements in these verticals. I am confident that this partnership will further enhance our market position in the Audio Visual space as also maximize our customers’ return on investment through our customized collaboration solutions.”

Click here to learn more about our control room and security solutions >>

AVI-SPL Supports Audio-Video Communications With Unify ME

AVI-SPL recently unveiled Unify ME™, its comprehensive blend of services that holistically supports the audio-video communication needs of all kinds of companies and organizations.

Backed by the Pro AV industry’s most experienced and dedicated professionals, AVI-SPL designs, builds, installs and maintains the communication systems your company needs to succeed.

Unify ME comprises three main service offerings: Cloud-based Services, Support Services and Professional Services. Here is a look at each in brief:

Cloud-based Services

These services let you easily connect with your video communications network, including telepresence rooms, video endpoints and home office workers .

Unify ME™ Connect

  • Network infrastructure setup
  • Quality of Service connectivity
  • Support for traditional and HD calls
  • Remote management connections
  • Business to business exchanges

 Unify ME™ Control

  • Comprehensive room, call and network monitoring
  • Performance reporting
  • Complete conference production
  • Live technical support

 Unify ME™ Communicate

  • Meeting services
  • Multipoint video conferencing
  • Managed conferencing, webcasting, and B2B call launching

 Unify ME™ Content

  • Digital Media as a Service (DMaaS)
  • Minimal equipment investment and infrastructure
  • Highly scalable
  • Online portal for content creation, distribution and management

Support Services

Our Customer Care Program provides comprehensive support for your investment, with three tiers of contract options: One-Year Warranty, Preferred (remote service) and Onsite. We also have optional contract upgrades that provide enhanced levels of service: Exclusive, Preventative Maintenance, First Call Consolidation and Remote Alarm Response.

Customer Care Program

  • Unlimited technical support
  • Onsite service/support
  • Warranty parts repair/replacement
  • Annual business review

 Customer Care Upgrades

  • Exclusive (includes 24/7/365 phone support)
  • Preventive Maintenance (checks the operational health of equipment)
  • Remote Alarm Response (proactive device monitoring)
  • First Call Consolidation (one help desk for customers with multiple support contracts)

Professional Services

AVI-SPL’s professional services ensure  the environment and experience of your video communication systems meet your expectations. Our highly trained teams hold hundreds of certifications from the major vendors, such as Cisco, Polycom, Crestron, AMX, Extron , Smart, LifeSize and many others. As a result, we are well qualified to handle complex infrastructure installations and stage multimedia events that make a positive impact on your audience. Our core competencies include:

  • Emerging technologies
  • Managed implementations
  • Project management

Put our Expertise to Work for You

With AVI-SPL as your partner, you can have the communication systems that are ideally suited to your company. Tell us what you need, and we’ll help you reach your goals.  Call us at 866-825-0311 or 1-813-387-3055 (international). We look forward to hearing from you.

Minneapolis Improves Emergency Operations with Video Conferencing, Monitoring and More

Located just outside Minneapolis, Minn., the Emergency Operations Training Facility (EOTF) helps meet the training and response needs of the Minneapolis Fire Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the City’s Emergency Management Division, along with other regional partners.

“The initiative for an advanced EOC really started to grow in urgency after September 11th tragedies, and quickly gained momentum with the local bridge collapse in 2008,” says Dave Roth, the city’s BIS public safety applications support manager. “In addition, the logistics of planning and coordinating for the Republication National Convention underscored the needs for state-of-the art emergency preparedness.”

Primary Challenge, Advanced Solutions

“The primary challenge was an interesting one: How do you create something that’s state-of-the-art, that does everything you need it to do, and that you know how to operate that only gets activated once every decade?” notes Gerry Pehl, AVI-SPL design engineer. “The EOC required systems in which every component is capable of robust, reliable, operation 24 hours per day, 7 days per week,” Pehl adds. “Even the slightest compromised performance in any of the center’s systems can quickly result in tragic consequences.”

Installed technology includes:

  • Crestron DigitalMedia, TPS touch panel and e-control XPanel
  • DNP video wall technology (160″ x 120″ screens) for monitoring
  • Cisco video conferencing codecs
  • Polycom SoundStructure  for all audio signal processing, acoustic echo-cancellation, and teleconference dialing
  • Tannoy ceiling speakers
  • SMART Sympodium for facility-wide annotation capabilities

Take a Tour of the Facility

“With the use of this new monitoring system, our personnel can look at a picture and understand it almost instantly,” says Deputy Chief John Allen, a veteran of the Minneapolis police department. “Through video, we can get information to people a lot faster – especially when time is critical.”

Learn what city officials had to say about the facilities’ latest innovations, and how productivity and response time have improved emergency operations for Minneapolis.

Like What You Saw?

To learn more about technlogies for government facilities or similar meeting spaces, request a quote by clicking here, or speaking to an AVI-SPL sales rep at 1-800-282-6733.

Experience Unified Communications in Any Environment with AVI-SPL at InfoComm

AVI-SPL is headed to the industry’s biggest show of the year – InfoComm 2011 in Orlando, Fla., June 15-17, 2011. Exhibiting within the HD Conferencing Pavilion at booth #1679, AVI-SPL will demonstrate the advantages of unified communications in any environment, including corporate, education and healthcare.

In 2010, AVI-SPL completed more than 3,500 integration projects across the country and the world for a diverse set of clients, environments and communication needs. The following projects were recently completed and illustrate the experience of unified communications.

AVI-SPL’s Ft. Lauderdale office worked with Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton to install the latest communications technology into the school’s new College of Engineering & Computer Science facility. The 97,000-square-foot structure opened in 2010 and infuses the university’s “green” principles, leading the way as the first academic building in the State of Florida designed and built to LEED Platinum standards. AVI-SPL worked with the college to implement energy-conscious technology into the facility such as 75″ HD, 3D-ready Mitsubishi LaserVues, which consume less energy and emit less heat than traditional displays. Learn more about FAU’s energy-efficient design and view photos of the project.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s (LACoFD) Emergency Management Center is one of the largest in the country, with close to 4,000 dedicated personnel responsible for fire suppression, emergency medical services, lifeguard operations and airlift rescues among additional operations. Dispatchers previously relied on the use of two 36-inch CRT TVs on carts to relay critical information throughout the Fire Command and Control Facility (FCCF) Dispatch Center. In this arrangement, sharing reports from neighboring rooms required personnel to constantly rush between stations, costing valuable time and energy during crises like wildfires or earthquakes. AVI-SPL implemented a video wall so the entire Dispatch floor would be able to quickly gain an overall perspective on any crisis, allowing decisions to be made more effectively. Take a more in-depth look at the LACoFD technology upgrade and view a photo gallery.

Located in Tampa, Fla., Moffitt Cancer Center is one of the largest cancer research hospitals in the U.S.  Its global affiliate network requires the sharing of time-sensitive knowledge and research with constituents on a daily basis. Given the center’s significant investment in video teleconferencing infrastructure, Moffitt was looking to expand its use of the Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS) to support knowledge transfer. Moffitt came to AVI-SPL, which has partnered with them for years on audio and video integration projects. Based on Moffitt’s current video conferencing investments and ambitious goals of driving video to desktops both internally and externally, AVI-SPL recommended the Cisco DMS/ MXE platform. AVI-SPL integrated a dual DMS/ MXE 3500 environment and tied in feeds from their Tandberg and Polycom capture points. Educational seminars are being distributed live through Cisco’s Show and Share Live Events module, allowing members of local and affiliate communities to participate without the hassles and cost of travel. All content that is streamed during these sessions is captured and transcoded through the MXE 3500 to proper format and bit rate for access through the Show and Share application, where users can interact with and collaborate around content in a social media fashion. Moffitt intends to expand its network to include digital signage for all affiliate members as well. It also plans to continue to use video to broaden and expand its reach, providing immense and immediate value to investments that affiliate members are making in Moffitt’s cutting-edge research toward treating cancer.

The El Paso Corporation is one of the largest independent natural gas producers in North America. As part of the renovation of its 32-story headquarters in downtown Houston, the company needed robust, versatile communications and control systems that would facilitate collaboration, presentation and data sharing. AVI-SPL installed projectors, projection screens and flat panels in multiple conference and training rooms. Crestron RoomView facilitates room scheduling, as well as equipment control and monitoring for the IT staff. Crestron equipment also provides centralized control of the high-definition flat panels in the common areas, while still giving employees the freedom to change channels and hook up laptops for impromptu meetings. Read more about the El Paso Corporation project in IT/AV Report’s recent issue.

To read more about these and additional integration projects, please visit our Project Portfolio. Also visit AVI-SPL’s booth #1679 at InfoComm to learn more about the power of unified communications environments.