Making Room for AV
Photo and Graphic Design By: Kate Couch with Canva
Picking an AV rack that's right for your setup.
Written By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando
In past articles, we've mentioned how AV can be an eyesore or a design statement. This flows into lots of areas AV. Something that's become more popular in recent years is cable design or cable management. With technology becoming more and more popular in more aspects of the workplace and in your home, cables tend to clutter up a space. The same goes with audiovisual cables, equipment, and behind-the-scenes stuff that keeps things running. There's a solution to this called an AV rack. An audio-visual rack is basically a storage shelf designed to hold audio-visual equipment and manage cables. They make some really cool ones that have interesting designs and they make the less cool metal ones you might see in a closet behind the desk. Choosing the right AV rack is important so your AV setup in-home or in your company can last you several years and be easily accessible for maintenance. But how do you choose the right one?
Deciding where you're going to place your AV rack and how big is going to be is the first step. If you choose an AV rack that's too large your equipment might not fit properly in it making it harder for you to use and harder for other people to use and service. In addition to this, if your AV rack is put in an area of your home or office that's hard to reach or frequently cluttered with things, you pose the same problem as before. It's good to talk to the person who's installing your audio-visual system and ask them what size AV rack they think you need. It's good for the client to plan out a good area of your commercial space or home that is easily accessible, not frequently cluttered, but also is in a good spot for the AV setup itself. Taking these things into an account will set you on the right track for getting the right system.
Some other things to consider in addition to size and space are RU count, which is the “rack unit count” that is in the same category as sizing and your local AV professional can help with this.
Make sure to take into consideration what your plans for a space and for the AV in the building are for the future. Planning ahead of time can save you money in the long run since you'll be avoiding having to redo everything to fit your new needs.
Did you include Storage? People frequently forget to add storage onto their AV racks. Whether it's for additional cables, remotes, batteries, wires, tools, etc it's more important than you know. Whatever you might need to store with your other audiovisual equipment can frequently slip the mind and when you're done with the setup and you have nowhere to put these things so you're screwed.
Equipment BTU is also an important one that can easily slip the mind. Equipment BTU is the measure of how much of the heat produced by the equipment makes it into your home. This is important to consider when placing your av rack. Making sure you have proper ventilation and airflow to prevent overheating and short-circuiting. In addition, consider the network infrastructure.
You want to keep in mind when choosing a design of a rack how it's used. Where is the access, (front, rear, sides, depth) how will that fit in your space? Where is the power access and how easy is it to manage. Do you need it to swivel or be a pull system.? Is it better if it's fixed to a wall?
If you consider all these things you should be good for a long-lasting easily accessible AV rack and set up in your commercial space or home. Make sure to reach out to your local AV company (like AV Bend) for installation rates and for more information on AV storage and racks.
*This article is Tony Sprando of AV Bends intellectual property. To use or reference this article please contact: Tony@avbend.com*
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