Tag Archives: audiovisual

Makerspace

Makerspace Series Part 5: Funding Your Makerspace

 

As you may know, schools throughout the United States are getting excited about the Makerspace as a place of creativity and expansion for students of all ages, but how do you fund your Makerspace? When it comes to improving education in STEM subjects, Makerspaces have been touted as a fantastic way to get students involved in hands on learning from physics to computer programming and much more. While it can seem daunting to get a new Makerspace up and running, there are actually many resources out there for funding your new space. From government grants to private sponsorship, this blog post takes you through some of the best ways to fund your Makerspace.

Funding Your Makerspace with Government Grants

The government is ready to help all students prepare for the STEM jobs that will help build our nation into a stronger, more competitive market in the fields of science and technology.

For example, Title I Funding gives financial assistance to elementary and secondary schools with low-achieving students to boost their ability to meet academic standards. For students with special needs, IDEA is a great resource to help fund projects that will go towards helping these students.

While it will take time and effort, government-sponsored grants can go a long way into helping provide resources for your Makerspace that will keep students engaged. Here are more great grant resources to explore:

Corporate Sponsorship and Competitions for Your Makerspace

Corporate sponsorship is a great way to get funding for your Makerspace. Searching online for local STEM competitions is a great way to showcase the potential of any Makerspace and a way to possibly win a monetary prize to boost student pride. National competitions include the Google Science Fair, and the STEM Video Game Challenge for middle and high schoolers.

Other corporate sponsorships come in the form of grants, such as the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. A great place to start is to research local businesses, and larger corporations who have offices near you, to find out what types of programs may fit your needs. The next step is outreach. It can be an involved process, but corporate support is one of the best ways to get your Makerspace up and running.

Check out this great Blog Post on how to prepare applications and outreach materials for private funding.

Crowdfunding Your Makerspace

Students can be encouraged to take initiative and create a crowdfunding campaign with the help of their Makerspace leader. Usually this entails a creative video, which can be done on any smartphone, information about how the money will be used, and incentives for donations.

  • Kickstarter is the original crowd-funding website. Projects have 30 days to get a set amount of money or everyone gets their donation back. This gives the project a sense of urgency, which makes people want to invest sooner rather than later. Two tricks: be as specific as possible about what the money will be used for, and try to raise a lot of money upfront – the more money a project has within the first week, the better chances it will succeed.
  • GoFundMe does not have an all-or-nothing outlook nor does it have deadlines. However, this does mean that people may not be in a hurry to donate, and whatever you promise to them you must deliver, whether you are fully funded or not. There are also fees involved for using the service, so many programs ask that larger donations are made directly, rather than through a platform like GoFundMe.
  • On Indiegogo, you can choose to have a deadline or not. They have a more diverse base of donors, but statistically, people donate less than to other sites.

Go Out and Make!

Makerspaces are about being creative and getting into the DIY spirit. Not every Makerspace has to involve expensive tools and 3D printers. These types of spaces can provide a place to draw, sew, hammer, build or program. There are so many configurations and ideas to explore, and the ways in which funding comes together can depend on the specific plan for your Makerspace. We hope these resources help you to get started.

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AV in U.S. courtrooms

How AV is Transforming U.S. Courtrooms

The days of old-fashioned, closed off courtrooms are over. While many perceive the legal industry to be lagging behind in technology adoption, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Integrated AV technology, used widely in courtrooms and law firms across the U.S., not only improves transparency in the judicial system, it improves courtroom efficiency, lowers overhead costs, and increases security.

Understanding the Role of AV in Court Proceedings

Historically, court proceedings required everyone involved to be present in the courtroom. Before, during, and after a trial, communication plays a huge role in the legal system. In addition to courtroom activities, depositions, training programs, and many client communications required in-person meetings. Even as some communications shifted to email interactions or phone conferences in recent years, AV technology has the potential to take communications to the next level.

AV technology meets the demand for broadcast trials as well as those behind-the-scenes interactions that take place in the legal field on a daily basis. Video conferencing and telepresence systems make it possible to accomplish many pre-trial tasks remotely, and even to call in witnesses who cannot be physically present in the courtroom.

Meanwhile, broadcast technology can bring trials to a broad television or internet audience. Interactive video monitors, microphones, speakers, touchscreen control systems, and internet-connected devices and networking all play a role in the modern, technology-driven courtroom.

AV setups in the courtroom often feature:

  • Videoconferencing equipment. Video conferencing and telepresence equipment enables courts to engage in remote arraignments and interact with witnesses or court officers who could not travel to provide testimony. Video conferencing technology also supports out-of-the-courtroom interactions such as depositions and client meetings. Remote interactions with defendants, legal counsel, and witnesses reduce overhead travel costs for individuals, government, and law firms.
  • Broadcasting equipment. To improve judicial transparency, many courts are broadcasting trials on local television or via other mediums. Instead of adapting to camera crews who need to set up equipment before each trial, some court systems are investing in their own broadcast equipment. Even if the trial isn’t immediately broadcast, the video serves as an important record of the events that took place and provides more in-depth data than a court reporter’s documentation.
  • Interactive display panels. Large screens placed in strategic locations throughout the courtroom often serve dual purposes as video conferencing screens and interactive whiteboards on which attorneys can display key pieces of evidence and use electronic pens to illustrate a point. Additionally, every important person in the courtroom can be provided with a display to ensure maximum visual intelligibility including the judge, clerk, attorneys, witnesses and jurors.
  • Audio integration. Microphones, digital signal processors and audio distribution such as speaker systems play a crucial role in the courtroom setting. Many courtrooms invest in audio technology before transitioning to video components. Microphones capture the information being shared to support court records, while connected speakers amplify communications and auditory evidence. Intelligible audio is critical for all participants to understand what is being said or presented.
  • Control and connectivity. In addition to these primary AV components, many AV companies are outfitting courtrooms with multi-functional access panels that may include laptop connections, document cameras, and other integration-friendly equipment. Judges, for example, often have access to control panels with intuitive functionality to manage the proceedings from the bench. The judge and/or lawyers may have the capability to turn on specific courtroom cameras, video sources, or displays, mute or activate microphones, and operate the video conferencing system from a touchscreen control panel or even a mobile device, such as an iPad, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Managed services. As AV technology and IT services intersect, many AV providers have started to offer managed AV services. Instead of installing the equipment and relying on the users to manage it, AV companies are remotely managing every component for reduced downtime and improved security, which is a crucial consideration in courtrooms.

AV technology clearly plays an important role in the legal setting, and government entities willing to adopt new technologies have a great opportunity for long-term positive impacts in their courtrooms.





Download our Government Services One Sheet




Makerspace

Makerspace Series Part 4: Building the Makerspace Curriculum

 

Makerspaces provide students the opportunity to create visuals for school assignments, perform science experiments, and even build robots. Projects are only limited by the space’s leader and students’ imaginations and ingenuity. Through Makerspace projects, students of all ages can learn problem solving, collaboration with others to work as a team, and job skills like computer programming, user interface design, and even social media networking. These skills can be applied to future STEM jobs, or at least prepare students for HOW to approach learning marketable skills. This blog shares some project ideas and curriculum examples to get you started with your Makerspace.

K-6 Makerspace Curriculum Ideas

Because they are still learning about how life works, elementary school students tend to be more curious and the most willing to try something, even if it fails. Getting them to try something isn’t going to be the hard part, but they may need some guidance. Setting up a project can be as simple as asking a question: What kind of building can you make out of cardboard? What is a tool that you need at home right now? What can you design using popsicle sticks, bottle caps, and/or water bottles? What problem would it solve?

One example of a ready made curriculum to try is a free program for elementary schoolers to learn about computer programming called Alice, a project developed by students at Carnegie Mellon. With plenty of people discussing Elementary Makerspaces and resources, these areas can create a fun and educational environment for any child.

Looking for More Ideas? Here are some great examples of Elementary School Makerspace Projects:

Middle School Makerspace Curriculum Ideas

Giving middle schoolers the ability to take charge of their own learning encourages engagement and active participation. At this level, competitions and scholarships can come more into focus, and higher stakes can often provide motivation for students.

One example of a way to get students excited in the Makerspace is to encourage participation in a science fair or competition. Science fairs have become more and more competitive, and the days of exploding model volcanos are long gone. Students can now program games, design smart phone apps, and make software with the right tools. With more access to resources, students can now win more scholarships and take their projects farther along than ever before possible.

Prestigious national science competitions include:

High School Makerspace Curriculum Ideas

With more schooling comes more elaborate projects. With more elaborate projects, having access to good equipment will ensure that the next generation will have the skills necessary to enter the job market, especially in STEM. Think of what these two self-taught brothers from Haiti could do with an equipped Makerspace.

Here are some of the most innovative science fair winners of 2015 in some of the most prestigious science competitions:

Imagine what these students can contribute to our world as they get older. With a good Makerspace, these and other students can go even farther and do more than before.

Whatever you decide to do with a Makerspace, the students will be sure to enjoy the opportunity for hands on learning. The Makerspace puts abstract applications into real-life situations, making it the best way to show, not tell.

 

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System Contractors News Names Spinitar Amongst Top 50 Integrators!

For Immediate Release

La Mirada, CA (December 22, 2016) – SPINITAR, an InfoComm APEX certified audiovisual and unified communications integrator, has once again been named as one of the Top 50 Integrators in North America by System Contractors News.

The SCN list continues to be an important bellwether of the commercial audiovisual integration industry. Rising from the number 30 spot in 2015 to number 26 today, Spinitar believes the climb can be attributed to significant growth within its federal government practice and to a strong economy that has encouraged growth in the construction sector.

Spinitar Co-Principal, Jeff Irvin, explains, “Our services first mentality, a simplified employee and customer experience, and relationships developed over our thirty years in business have led to a terrific anniversary year.”

Spinitar is honored to be included in SCN’s Top 50, and considers the nod to be a demonstration of our quality and tested competence. SCN notes the Top 50 list is “about history, innovation, and talent. There are qualities that are unquantifiable, but the SCN Top 50 is a benchmark for the business.”

For more information on the Top 50, please visit SCN.

About Spinitar

Since 1986, Spinitar has been designing, building, and servicing AV environments for corporate, government, and education clients. With offices throughout California, Arizona, and Florida, and through our affiliation with PSNI (Professional Systems Network International) Spinitar helps our North American and international customers share and disseminate information more effectively through the use of technology. We are proud to be an SCN top 50 integrator.

Connect with our press department today for more details.

 

Makerspace

Makerspace Series Part 3: Owning the Makerspace

 

Makerspaces allow students to experiment with hands-on learning in an environment that encourages creativity and expands horizons beyond the classroom. The Makerspace can be a place for expansion, but who leads the way? As in any space with schedules to manage, equipment to maintain, and people to motivate, there’s got to be a competent, inspired leader to take the reigns. In a school environment, a motivated teacher or librarian usually leads the way for the Makerspace.

Preparing to Lead a Makerspace

For any teacher, librarian, or community member who is interested in helping build or maintain a Makerspace at his or her school, there are webinars, seminars and workshops that give new Makerspace leaders guidance and support.

Here are some great resources:

  • Maker Ed, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to helping schools develop their own Makerspaces. They have received a $1 million grant from Google to help them do just that.
  • MakerSpace website is a site started by the founders of Make Magazine, who started the Maker movement. Makers from all over the world can share their ideas, insights, and innovations.
  • Edutopia has many articles on how to design, create and fund a Makerspace.
  • For K-6th grade teachers, the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) has several articles about Makerspaces for young children.

Funding Your Makerspace

Spinitar understands how daunting it can be to implement a Makerspace, especially from a funding perspective. In fact, we wrote a blog post all about funding your makerspace, but here are a few good resources to get you started:

  • Competitions are a great way to get students involved and engaged with a Makerspace. Student Science and Science OC have lists of good local and national competitions.
  • There are government grants, such as Carl D. Perkins Act, who give money to schools looking to invest in students who would prefer technical programs to a 4-year college or Title I program that helps fund equipment that could help a school with low performing students.
  • Corporate sponsorship is a great avenue as well. Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, for example, will grant up to $5000 to a school for projects just like Makerspaces.
  • Students can participate actively with crowdfunding, using websites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or GoFundMe. Students, especially with entrepreneurial spirits, can create videos using smartphones and write out guidelines to their specific needs.

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Spinitar — Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from Spinitar

 

2016 has been quite a year around here, and we are incredibly grateful for our employees, partners, and clients who allow us to do what we do best…audio, visual, and communication solutions! The holidays are always a great time to look back and appreciate the gifts of the year. This fun blog shares some of the highlights. Thanks for being a part of our journey!

30 Year Anniversary

Spinitar has been providing quality AV solutions for 30 years now. We celebrated this amazing milestone in May of this year, and are proud to work with all of our wonderful manufacturer partners and vendor partners to keep everyone connected and inspired.

We blogged about it here!

2nd Annual Golf for Hope Tournament

In October, we hosted our 2nd annual golf classic, benefiting City of Hope. In the end, we are incredibly grateful to have been able to support the cancer treatment and research organization through the tournament, including a fun raffle and silent auction made possible by our incredible friends, family, and partners.

Visit our Facebook album to see the fun!

Growing Federal Government Practice

This year, our service to federal government facilities, including design and installation of some very complicated mission control rooms, has expanded exponentially. We are proud to serve our country in this small way, and look forward to providing even more customized AV solutions for state and federal government spaces next year.

New Office Opens in Concord

The expansion continues! We were proud to announce the grand opening of our new office in Concord, CA this November. The new space will help us to serve our West Coast clientele even better, and is a testament to the wonderful successes of our team in California.
Visit our Facebook album to see who joined our office warming party!

Microsoft Surface Hub

The Microsoft Surface Hub is one of the coolest collaboration technologies to hit the market… ever. We are excited to be one of Microsoft’s exclusive dealers for the solution, and really enjoyed launching the Surface Hub at several events this quarter. Look out for your invite in 2017 for more opportunities to try out Surface Hub with your group.

Very Merry Christmas

Here at Spinitar, we place a high value on our business and manufacturer partners. In fact, our partners are one of the top reasons for our success. One way we show our appreciation each year is by celebrating the joy of the holiday season with our annual Partner Appreciation Day.

View our Facebook album to see the fun, food, fellowship and Christmas cheer!

Microsoft Surface Hub

How it Works: Microsoft Surface Hub

 

Based on a Harvard Business Review study of meetings with remote participants, it takes an average of 12 minutes to get any session started. For people with busy schedules who already tend to view meetings as one of the least productive parts of their week, that 12 minutes can feel like an eternity of wasted time.

Finding ways to solve connectivity and content sharing issues for remote meeting participants, and figuring out how to make meetings engaging and productive became a major motivation for Microsoft in the development of its brand new Surface Hub solution. Read more about the basics of Surface Hub in our previous blog.

This post focuses on the details of how the Microsoft Surface Hub solution works to harness the power of the group, whether participants are in the room, or across the globe.

Easy Connectivity

Rather than spending valuable minutes figuring out how to connect, the Microsoft Surface Hub allows remote meeting participants to easily access any meeting from any Internet-connected device via Skype for Business. For those in the physical meeting space, connecting is as simple as a touch. The Surface Hub can also start and end meetings automatically for the ultimate ease of connectivity.

Content Sharing and Real Collaboration

Without the right collaboration technology, the flow of discussion can be interrupted when someone tries to share content or bring in external data, and faces unexpected technical delays. Most other meeting technologies have not been true content-sharing solutions. Too often, the presenter or those in the meeting room are the only participants who can share and modify content.
The Surface Hub solves this issue by allowing easy content sharing via Skype for remote participants, wireless connectivity to share content in the room from any device, and real time collaboration via touch screen technology.

Businesses have advanced their design, manufacturing and engineering processes and technology, but there is surprisingly still a demand for a tool in that delivers an effective way of accomplishing and advancing group communication goals.

100 Points of Touch

Microsoft acquired industry leading interactive display technology firm Perceptive Pixel in 2012, and has since advanced its own touch glass displays beyond any other offering on the market. The Microsoft Surface Hub includes an “infinite whiteboard” that allows for a fluid ink experience on an 84-inch interactive display. It’s a clever mix of technology and practical use that is designed to give educators and business professionals confidence expressing their thoughts immediately, and can be easily shared with participants electronically.

Runs Windows Natively

Powered by Windows 10, one of Surface Hub’s primary functions is to run Windows applications natively, eliminating the need for customization. Similar to how a smartphone operates, applications like Word, PowerPoint and Excel simultaneously run in their own windows. This means a remote user can present his/her screen via Skype for Business, and the people in the meeting room can still use the infinite whiteboard, web browser, or any other application. They can even clip the content from the presenter and interact with it on the whiteboard while the discussion is still happening.
When the meeting is finished, the Surface Hub can email everyone in the meeting with a OneNote and PDF file so the meeting is saved, meaningful, and actionable.

The Surface Hub is a powerful Windows computer mixed with a world class large, interactive display. It allows the end user to be as creative with their ideas as they can imagine, and harnesses the power of the group to create together!

Integrate with Professional AV Environments

The Surface Hub on its own is an excellent solution for huddle spaces and small conference rooms. Its connection ports are designed to integrate with a professional audio visual system. For a larger conference room or lecture hall, it can be complemented with an external audio, mic and camera systems to create a unified communication environment. Look out for our upcoming post on how to integrate MS Hub with your existing professional AV.

Unlocking the Power of the Group

The Surface Hub effortlessly harnesses the collective knowledge and skills of any group anywhere. It was designed as the best-in-class interactive display, a powerful team collaboration device that advances the way people work together naturally. We believe the Surface Hub can be as transformative to group productivity as the PC was for individuals.

To see the Surface Hub in action, connect with us for your demo today.

Microsoft Surface Hub

Microsoft Surface Hub Transforms Collaboration

 

From healthcare to education, legal, government, manufacturing, to construction and every industry in between, the Microsoft Surface Hub updates offices and other workspaces to inspire and engage employees and collaborators. Anyone who has training rooms, huddle spaces, conference rooms, classrooms or any other indoor collaboration space can benefit from Microsoft’s brand new technology that helps workers everywhere to “unlock the power of the group.”

As Forrester Research puts it, “Many enterprises struggle with gaps in their workplace collaboration technology, environments that are not built for collaboration, and cultures that do not fully support teams to achieve better outcomes. The result is teams that are not as effective as they could be.”
The brand new Microsoft Surface Hub addresses this problem with technology that transforms collaboration.

The Microsoft Surface Hub Encourages Productive Meetings

  • Surface Hub can detect when you’re in front of it and will start the meeting automatically as its admin.
  • Everything needed to present and capture information during a meeting is within the Hub, including an infinite whiteboard, presentation platforms like MS PowerPoint, video/audio playback, file sharing and much more.
  • Meeting invites can be sent from the Hub during a meeting as the conversation evolves.
  • The 84” Surface Hub plays video in 4k for stunning presentation of creative assets.

The Microsoft Surface Hub Manages Follow Up Automatically

  • Any information captured in a meeting can be sent automatically when a meeting ends.
  • Leaders can select specific individuals to send to, including those who weren’t able to attend the meeting.

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration

The modern workplace is fast-paced, mobile, creative and collaborative. Smart people working together to solve complex problems in business need technology than can unlock the power of their group. Too often, people view meetings as a time sucking journey away from productivity. The dreaded meeting reminder doesn’t have to be so dreaded anymore with Microsoft’s brand new Surface Hub technology, which assures meeting start and end on time, and provides the perfect tools to capture real time collaboration that moves the business forward.

Surface Hub is the Most Effective Touchscreen Ever Built

Microsoft created Surface Hub to work natively with Windows 10. As a result, it is the most effective version of any touchscreen platform ever created. The built-in computer eliminates the need to toggle through inputs when using third party apps. It’s familiar, it’s fast, and it’s backed by the trusted and relied upon Microsoft platform.

 

Microsoft Surface Hub

Unlock the Power of the Group with Microsoft Surface Hub

 

Microsoft Surface Hub is a brand new presentation and conferencing technology that will transform the way we work in groups. As you know, some of the most productive work happens when you make the most of the collective knowledge and skills of a group. However, effective collaboration can sometimes be hard, especially when some members of the team work remotely, or when a company has several physical locations, all with smart people who should be involved with creating the best work possible.

Microsoft Surface Hub is like an infinite whiteboard that helps unlock the power of the group.

From designers, to manufacturers, trainers, finance directors, marketers, product developers and so many others are singing the praises of the Microsoft Surface Hub.

Microsoft Surface Hub Brings Versatility On Demand

The 55″and 84″ Microsoft Surface Hub both create a true ‘wow’ factor in a room, but collaboration isn’t limited to meetings. A brainstorm can happen anywhere, anytime…and with a single tap on any device. It’s a unique technology that harnesses the power of collaboration through multi-touch, inking, voice commands, even communication capabilities like storing past iterations of ideas, and automatically sending meeting notes to participants.

Harness the Power of the Hub

Spinitar is pleased to host a special event on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 where you can experience this amazing new technology for yourself. Join us at our La Mirada offices, and find out how you can harness the power of the Microsoft Surface Hub.

Custom AV System Design Delivers Delicious Win for LBCC

 

Effective audio visual system design transforms student experiences, leading to increased retention of matriculated students, and improved reputation among potential applicants. In a hands-on environment like culinary arts, being able to see and interact with the material presented by the instructor is crucial especially. When classroom AV systems are well-designed, every student can see and hear. This makes current students stay, and future students feel impressed by the up-to-date look and feel of their potential school.

In partnership with AV system designer Waveguide, Spinitar recently helped Long Beach City College (LBCC) achieve the highest standard in AV System Design. LBCC needed a standardized and simple-to-use instructional media platform for use across all of their brand new Culinary Arts spaces. They wanted students to be able to hear and see the same instruction, whether in the front row of a test kitchen classroom, or the very, very back. The answer would be found in the custom AV System Design Waveguide would create.

Spinitar Audio Visual jumped on board to furnish all materials, labor, control system programming, installation, and implementation of custom AV systems for the LBCC Culinary Arts program.

“We do believe we have built one of the premiere culinary arts facilities in Southern California,”
Terri Long, VP of Academic Affairs.

To find out all the details on how Spinitar brought state of the art AV Systems to LBCC, download the case study.

Long Beach City College - Culinary Arts Case Study

Spinitar Golf For Hope

Golf for Hope 2016: Silent Auction & Raffle Goodies

 

Spinitar is pleased to present the 2nd Annual Golf for Hope Silent Auction and Raffle as part of our all-day golf tournament October 13, 2016 at Tustin Ranch Golf Club. Below is a growing list of fabulous donated auction and raffle items, so check back often and get ready to bid!

If you’re unable to attend our silent auction, you still have a chance to win! We will be accepting outside bids up until October 12th at 5PM PST. Please send us an email with your full name, the item you would like to bid on and how much you would like to bid.

Golf for Hope 2016: Silent Auction Goodies

Image Source: www.visitnewportbeach.com

Christmas Duffy Ride

Enjoy 2 hours cruising Alamitos Bay in a Duffy boat with 5 of your closest friends! This package for 6 will dazzle and delight as you take in all of the beautiful holiday lights and decorations while tasting delicious wine and cheese, all included.

Image Source: www.visitcatalinaisland.com

Boat Trip to Avalon

Ever been to Catalina? This all-day boat adventure for 8 guests whisks you and your friends away to beautiful Avalon, CA and includes all food and drinks! Scenery included.

Image Source: www.chilis.com

100 Kids Meals at Chili’s

Take “kids eat free” to the next level with 100 kids meals from Chili’s! From burgers and fries to fresh, healthy corn on the cob, let the kids enjoy their food while you have one of Chili’s signature cocktails!

Image Source: www.laughfactory.com

10 Tickets to Laugh Factory

Ready to get some laughs in Long Beach? This package includes 10 tickets to the Laugh Factory, featuring some of the industry’s top comedians.

Image Source: www.aquariumofpacific.org

2 Tickets to Aquarium of the Pacific

See the Shark Lagoon, Horses and Dragons, and the Vanishing Animals exhibits at Aquarium of the Pacific. Take your trip into the world of water with two tickets available at Golf for Hope 2016.

 

32” Samsung SyncMaster Display

Delphi has provided a beautiful, 32” Samsung Commercial Display with all the necessary accessories so you can view crisp, vivid images and video whenever you need!

Image Source:www.therams.com

LA Rams Tickets

Cheer for the Rams (or against them) at an upcoming LA Rams home game. Get your jersey ready and head out to the field.

Image Source: www.marshallheadphones.com

Marshall Woburn Bluetooth Speaker

Rock out with this Marshall Woburn Bluetooth Speaker donated by Biamp. You’ll be the life of the beach, campsite, or tailgate!

Image Source: www.trefethen.com

Trefethen Wine Basket

Indulge with a beautiful wine basket and tasting certificate for four from Trefethen Family Vineyards. Wooden logo gift basket includes two premium bottles of Trefethen wine!

Image Source:www.bigbear.com

Big Bear Vacation Home

Enjoy 2 nights, 3 days at a luxurious Big Bear cabin, while you take in all the beauty of the surrounding mountains and lakes. (Additional nights are available at market rates, to extend your stay).

Image Source: www.laquintagolf.com

Weekend in La Quinta

Plan your next weekend getaway in lovely La Quinta, CA in a gorgeous 3 bed, 3 bath vacation home with a private pool overlooking the golf course.

Image Source: www.oregongolf.com

Mt. Hood Getaway

Your 5-day, 4-night stay in a gorgeous vacation home nestled next to the 7th hole of Foxglove golf course in Mt. Hood, OR awaits. Enjoy golf, hiking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, wine tasting and more while you luxuriate in the nature of the Oregon mountains.

Image Source: www.gopro.com

GoPro Camera

Capture footage of your adventures in stunning 4k video with this sought-after action camera.

Image Source: www.latimes.com

Signed Angels Jersey

Be sure to bid on this authentic Los Angeles Angels jersey, signed by third baseman, Yunel Escobar.

Image Source: www.imore.com

iPad Air 2

Sleek, light and beautiful, the iPad Air 2 could be yours! Enjoy streaming video, games and all your favorite apps on this lightweight tablet with wireless connectivity.

Image Source: www.wsj.com

Apple Watch Sport

Here’s your chance to get into wearable tech! Bid on this Apple Watch Sport and stay connected wherever you roam!

Image Source: www.disneyland.com

Disney Basket

Meet your favorite Disney friends with a two 2-day passes to Disneyland and California Adventure (one park per day). Enjoy cute basket stuffers, too!

Image Source: www.nytimes.com

Anaheim Ducks Tickets

Get your game face on to see the Anaheim Ducks face off against the Edmonton Oilers January 25, 2017. Package includes two Ducks foam fingers and two Ducks water bottles, so you can show your team spirit!

Image Source: www.cinepolisusa.com

Movie Basket

Relax and enjoy a family and friends movie night, or save your $150 gift card to Cinepolis for several dates with a sweetheart. Your movie basket includes candy and 3D glasses, too!

Image Source: www.omahasteaks.com

BBQ Basket

Grill up some fun with your new Weber barbeque, a gift card to Omaha Steaks, apron, and charcoal. The complete BBQ basket for you meat lovers out there!

Image Source: www.kpcc.com

Lottery Basket

Try your luck with $100 in lottery tickets, and a bottle of champagne with two champagne glasses to celebrate your winning numbers!

Image Source: www.terapeak.com

Toruk Drone Camera

Take spectacular photos and video with the Toruk AP10 Pro Drone. Features include 144 degree wide-angle HD lens, and 1080p video resolution.

Image Source: www.latimes.com

LA Kings Tickets

Check out the LA Kings as they get on the ice with the Carolina
Hurricanes October 25th. Includes two tickets, plus a $50 gift card to Flemings to help you with a nice pre-match dinner!

Classroom Visuals

How to Use Visual Learning Tools Outside the Classroom

 

Visual learning tools are traditionally used in classrooms to enhance student learning through charts, manipulatives, and other interactive materials. However, the power of a well-designed visual can extend beyond the teaching context to contribute to student success outside the classroom as well. Spinitar partner VariQuest® offers technologies that also help to empower coaches, counselors, administrators, and support staff to promote student engagement and even fundraise.

Here are some ideas that can help you Educate, Communicate, Motivate and Fundraise ™:

COMMUNICATE

Classroom Rules & Communications

  • Promote good citizenship through banners and posters throughout the school.
  • List standards of conduct by adding the school logo or mascot to a poster with a clever acronym for expectations (ex. Mustang P.R.I.D.E.).
  • List safety tips and game rules for physical play and activities (ex. Stay Hydrated, Keep Your Hands to Yourself, Stop and Listen if You Hear a Whistle).
  • List school rules and ask students to place in order of importance using the VariQuest® Poster Maker 3600 and the VariQuest® Cutout Maker 1800.
  • Parent Reminders! Parent Posters! Parent Banners! …need we say more?

MOTIVATE

Character Education

  • Use the Poster Maker 3600 or the Perfect Plus 2400 to create student birthday posters to place on classroom doors and/or hallways.
  • Create a Student of the Week template using the Perfect Plus Design System and display in the hallway to encourage self-esteem and in celebration of peer success.

Graduation/Promotion

  • Use the Poster Maker 3600 to list all the names of graduating students on one continuous banner that can be rolled down the side of a building or a large wall in the gymnasium.

FUNDRAISE

  • The School Library can offer visuals for use in classrooms for a small fee. Money donations can go to library programs, or be put back into the grade or program requesting the visuals.
  • Teachers can place rolls of Poster Maker and the Perfecta paper on classroom materials lists for parents. Parents and community members can also pitch in to provide each teacher with his/her own roll of paper to use.
  • Create posters of main characters in a book or historical story, and have students interact with it by writing words that describe that character. Students could even buy the poster for a small donation (25 cents) if they are a fan. Literary and historical characters are sometimes among the first people we label as heroes. The Perfecta Plus 2400 prints a 17” medium size poster perfect for this idea.
  • Allow parents to request a banner or poster. Families have lots of celebrations and happenings that could warrant the need of a banner or poster. See how this high school took the idea to the next level by creating a student-run enterprise.

InfoComm / AV Technologies

AV Tech Trends: Highlights from InfoComm 2016

 

Making decisions about AV and communication technologies can be a complicated process. Sometimes, it helps to know what industry experts are thinking when considering technologies to include in the design of your system. Luckily, the audiovisual industry’s international trade organization, InfoComm, recently hosted its annual show and the most trusted trade publications have responded with their favorite trends and awards.

InfoComm 2016 resources to explore:

Spinitar is a proud dealer and partner for over 100 hand-selected, best-in-class commercial audio, video, and communication technology manufacturers. As a leading dealer/integrator, Spinitar believes in grounding our manufacturer relationships in partnership and excellent client experience. So when our technology partners are awarded by one of AV’s most important trade shows, we think that’s something to brag about!

AV Services

4 Steps to Planning Your Mission Critical Control Room

 

A Mission Critical Control Room is a place where government agencies and private entities invest dedicated resources to monitoring and communicating crucial information up to 24 hours a day. In command and control centers, personnel run complicated systems that do everything from monitor electrical grids, like Southern California Edison, to providing security surveillance for an entire bustling city. As you can imagine, Mission Critical Control Rooms / Centers such as Operation, Monitoring, Communication, Transmission & Traffic Management (Emergency, Security, Network, Data), and many others, there is no room for downtime or glitches with audio visual technology. That’s why planning properly for such build-outs is absolutely crucial.

In this blog, you’ll find four steps for planning your Mission Critical Control Room that will help to maximize effectiveness, and minimize spending.

UNDERSTANDING INFRASTRUCTURE: ANALOG SYSTEMS & LEGACY EQUIPMENT

First, consider your space. What are the features of the environment that will be part of your overall system? Do you know the details of your existing IT network, building structure and legacy hardware? Will your new Mission Critical Control Room use wiring from your legacy system, or are you starting from the ground up with new construction? You must answer all of these questions and more before diving in, because their answers result in very different approaches when it comes to setting up your 24/7 AV environment.

We often work with clients who don’t realize what they can fit in their spaces, or overshoot their capability for displays and equipment sizes. They may forget about rackspace, or limitations posed by outdated legacy equipment. Addressing questions about where you are and where you need to take your space at the outset will eliminate so many planning and av installation headaches as your room comes to life.

One common choice to be made in the creation of a new Command Center or Mission Critical Control Room is whether to use wiring from your legacy system, or to start from the ground up using a previously wired system (less expensive). However, new construction allows the designer to choose the placement of power sources, raise flooring, and create pooling to distribute a video wall’s heat. Further, they can plan things like observation distance from video wall displays and how many operators can work in each row.

Another issue many of our clients face is converting analog systems to digital technology. Evaluating any legacy equipment and upgrading it into the future system (and the system 7 – 10 years from now) is a big challenge. One reason is that there could be compatibility issues with legacy equipment, the most common one being a lack of digital sources.

While it may seem daunting to face some of these big choices and questions, a good AV Integrator can help to sort out the details. Proper attention to infrastructure can make all the difference for a smooth design-build process.

FUNCTIONALITY, PROCESS & WORKFLOW

Once you have identified your basic starting point, it is time to think about your wants and needs for using your shiny new control room. Ask yourself, what is the room used for? Are there remote locations that need to be linked to your local space? What problems will this room and its audio-video technology solve? How many people will be looking at the video wall at once? What are these folks trying to accomplish? Thinking in detail about functionality, process and workflow will help your AV Solutions company provide the best system build for your needs.

Remember, decision makers as well as daily operators and employees using this control room should be part of the discussion to better understand priorities, functionality and needed features. Gathering up all the needs and wants from your team and weighing out the importance of each strike a balance of the nice to haves and must haves for your Mission Critical Control Room and can help everyone feel supported and successful. Understanding what you are trying to achieve with your new system, whether in a high security government context, or corporate enterprise, is crucial to solving the right problems with the right AV technology.

BUDGET AND TIMELINE: FUTURE PROOFING & TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

Knowing your budget and timeline, and sharing that candidly with your AV Services provider is critical. Both parameters determine what suggestions they may make for you, what type of equipment is selected, and details of the plans for your Mission Critical Control Room build out. This information should not be a secret, and a trustworthy AV Services provider should not try and ‘use up’ your entire budget. With the right audio visual services company, over deliver and under budget should be the name of the game.

A larger part of the budget and timeline discussion is also planning for the future in terms of types of equipment selected, maintenance plans and lifespan of technologies. For example, some products’ lives can be extended with upgrades, and some cannot. A flat panel display (LCD) is dead when it’s dead and usually cannot be replaced. However, on a display cube, the light engine can be replaced, a new “gut” installed and you’ve added another 5-7 years of life. The same goes for a video processor / controller. This is the heart of the system, so functionality, ease of use, expandability, reliability and serviceability are crucial.

Consider your expectations and concerns for years 1, 3, 5 and 10, including support services, and pay attention to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Issues such as how long your video wall will operate without performance degradation affect your overall budget and timeline as well as specific technology recommendations. For example, some people will try to compare a $13k display to a $5k display, but they are different technologies to consider, and each will have different life cycle costs. Some hardware is marketed as commercial, but will not support the 24/7 operation you will need in your Mission Critical Control Room or Command Center. These are all important planning aspects to cover with your AV Services provider.

TCO and lifecycle costs are major considerations in the budgeting process. A system that needs constant maintenance can compromise its effectiveness through longer downtime, causing disruption for an operator’s dependence on their wall content. This will also increase spend with the frequent need for trained personnel to service the display system.

Consider the ongoing costs of maintaining a 24/7 Mission Critical Control Room to determine the types of ongoing cost savings that are available from different technologies, and aim for:

  • Less downtime and disruption
  • Lower power consumption
  • Ease of set-up and use
  • Superior technical support
  • Solid State = no consumable components
  • Redundancy / Hot Swappable (systems to take over for any down systems)
  • Scalability / Expandability

All of these provide a lower overall TCO. These rooms can range from $100k – $3M, so lower sustainment costs and a greater return on investment are very important to the bottom line. The right upgrades are essential to the ongoing, timely delivery of critical components (minimum to no down time).

CHOOSING THE RIGHT AV SERVICES COMPANY TO BUILD YOUR ROOM

Making smart choices when selecting an AV services vendor involves the evaluation of your planning approach, customization capability, service offerings, maintenance packages, response times and more. Your preferred AV services company should ask you about all of the sections above, and more. At minimum, the company should guide you through:

  • Design
  • Budget
  • Consolidation Plans and Future Strategies
  • Customizable Support Options/Packages

And, remember, the more your AV services company understands your needs and budget constraints, the more that company can customize the perfect visualization experience for your users.

PSNI - Audio Visual Services

Better Audio Visual Services Through Partnership: PSNI

 

Spinitar is a proud member of the Professional Systems Network International (PSNI), a nationwide network of leaders in audio visual services and unified communication integration. This alliance allows us to provide you with audio-visual and unified communication design, integration, installation, and support services across the United States and Canada.

 

Wherever you work, we can be there.

The PSNI affiliate network meets the requirements best suited to support multi-site, multi-city, and multi-country audio-visual services needs, including:

  • Single-source national coordination, deployment, and project management of pre- and on-site fabricated systems
  • Embedded personnel, crisis and preventative services
  • Established partnerships with enablers, architects, consultants, specialty designers, and contract support
  • Consistent wiring, design, products and software programming at each location
  • On-site staff professionalism for seamless integration and future service/support needs at each location
  • Priority integration and timeline/deadline management to meet client requirements

Spinitar and the PSNI affiliates are a group of award-winning independently owned companies providing exceptional value to and adhering to the highest audio-visual industry standards.