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Planner's Dictionary: A/V Club




By Selena Fragassi

 

All the terms you need to know when setting up audio-visual needs

Microphones and video feeds don’t just happen automatically—it takes a dedicated few to set up these technological needs in advance of a meeting or event. But if the lingo sounds like another language to you, we’re here to help. Here are 15 key terms to know when working with A/V departments and specialists so you’re always on the same wavelength.

4K: A superior resolution of 4,000 pixels that is a standard for movie studios; 4K has four times the pixels of a standard 1080p HDTV.

Ambient lighting: Also known as existing or available light, this is the natural illumination in a scenario. It can be daylight outside or the main light source in a room.

Aspect ratio: The ratio of an image’s width compared to its height, usually defining video dimensions—you can keep it standard or go for a widescreen.

Bandwidth: The capability for data transfer; usually used to define the capacity of a venue’s Wi-Fi connectivity volume.

Confidence monitor: A small screen placed in front of a speaker that replicates what the audience sees.

Front of house: The area in the meeting or event room where the lighting and sound people will be set up; this should be accounted for in your space layout.

Gobo: A lighting tool for branding and customization—it’s a glass template that fits inside a lighting system to project a logo or custom colors.

LAN: Stands for Local Area Network and refers to a computer network within a limited area, such as one floor of a building.

Microphones: A tool used to amplify sound, usually for presenting speakers. Various forms include podium microphones, table microphones, mobile microphones, headset microphones, or lavalier microphones (which attach to someone’s collar).

Power drop: Refers to a venue’s dedicated power sources. The size of your meeting or event will generally determine how many drops you need, each likely carrying an extra charge.

Projection mapping: Also known as 3D mapping, this technology uses computer software to turn a standard object into a surface for video projection.

Rigging: Hanging equipment such as lighting and sound equipment from the ceiling. You’ll always want to check with a venue to see if they will accommodate rigging or if stands need to be brought in instead.

Splitter: A device that splits a signal to multiple, different devices; for example a headphone splitter can send transmission of noise to several headsets.

Throw ratio: The term for the distance a projector needs to be from the screen (the bigger the screen, the further the distance).

Webcast: An online presentation delivered by one source to a large audience who usually does not contribute to the session.
 
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