TOP TEN TIPS for your AV install

1. Back to the Future
Yes, you'll need HDMI connections, but many old laptops still have VGA connectors, so it's still good to have a system that can accept both. Also, HDMI cables should only be short - often no more that 5 meters, however, you can extend a 'VGA' cable much further - just in case a laptop needs to be far far away.

2. Kid at Christmas
You’ll probably get a nice hand-over where you are shown everything by your installer, how it works and what does what. But, when the excitement of the new equipment wears off, do you have anything to remind you on how it works? Make sure you are getting a comprehensive user guide, and phone number to call if you need help...

3. Linking?
If you have more than one room with AV equipment in, do you need the ability to link the AV from one room to another? If not today, having this facility fitted could save the day in the future.

4. Watch my back
Are you all on your own after hand-over? Depending on the complexity of your installation, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) could save you time and money in the future as you'll always have guaranteed back-up. Plus, regular servicing of the equipment makes sure everything is kept tip-top and minor faults don't get left until they are major problems - like getting your car serviced.

5. Spare, it's livid!
What if two months after your installation you need one more microphone? It's always best to have an auxiliary input to your sound-system to either accept a microphone or a whole extra mixer to temporarily extend your system.

6. Too much
Just like most projects, AV installs can be divided into different sections over a longer period of time, to allow it to grow as you get the funds, but it will end up costing you a bit more as getting all the tools, access equipment and kettle in and out take time which would have to be done at every phase. The important thing is to look at the options you have, it is better to get the install you need over a couple of years rather than an inferior one sooner that will then need replacing.

7. Back-to-scratch
Having a central digital system controller means that no-matter how many people have come in and fiddled with your buttons you can recall everything back to normal. It's always ready to use, and well worth the extra expense. You can also benefit from advanced functionality, like speaker protection and volume limiting.

8. Is it bright enough?
Not the projector, but the room in general? Often installs concentrate on the video and audio side but leave a room with basic fluorescent lighting. A cheap to run LED solution to room and stage lighting doesn’t have to cost masses and can often be cheaper to install while you’ve already got the people with the skills there.

9. Coded Security
Are you going to be charging people to use the equipment? An easy way to manage this is to have a controller that requires a code to be entered before the system will power up. Ideal for community and school projects.

10. Back to number one
You’ve got to live with the install for many years, so make sure you go over everything a few times to be certain that all your requirements are met.

11 - BONUS
Read our article on using QR codes to assist users and save yourself a call-out fee for a simple fault.