Audio visual (AV) refers to technologies that allow sound and images to be presented to an audience. This could include the use of slides, projectors, microphones, control panels, video conferencing software or any other AV technology that can enhance an event or presentation. The use of AV can create a powerful experience that allows a speaker to engage with an audience and convey their message in a way that is more memorable than just listening to a speech or reading a written text.
AV is also used in education to articulate scholarly research using richer methods of communication than straight text. By employing audio, photos and graphics to explain sometimes advanced research concepts, students are able to grasp the material more easily, thereby helping them to develop better critical thinking skills.
An audiovisual essay is a form of film or television essay that takes the footage as its point of departure and then uses the film as a vehicle for exploration of ideas, themes or issues. This kind of essay can be seen in documentaries, such as the Oscar-winning film “The Cove”, which focuses on environmental degradation caused by human hunting. It can also be seen in the work of filmmakers such as Catherine Grant, who is renowned for her audio-visual work that explores feminist themes and queer identity through video clips, still photographs and spoken commentary.
A common use of AV is in the meetings industry, where the ability to deliver information effectively is increasingly becoming a requirement of many events. Audio visual equipment can range from a simple microphone and speakers for a meeting room, to full-scale set design, lighting and display capabilities for a plenary session. AV equipment is also often required to support large scale live theatre productions and corporate conferences.
Choosing an audio visual integrator who is also an expert in AV design is key to making sure that you get the most out of your AV investment. A firm that designs and integrates will be able to incorporate input from the client at an early stage of the process, ensuring that the final solution is exactly what was envisioned.
A key area of AV that is often overlooked is the use of rigging. Rigging is the ability to suspend components, such as microphones, speakers or projectors, from a venue’s ceiling. It is important to understand the maximum load-bearing capacity of a venue’s ceiling before deciding on a setup that will require rigging.
There are a lot of terms that get thrown around the table when discussing audio visual integration, and some of them can be confusing. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of commonly used audio visual terminology that we’ve found most helpful. Whether you’re a client, a vendor or just curious about what audio visual means, we hope this will be a valuable resource. Feel free to bookmark it, so you can quickly find the definitions of any term that catches your eye..