Z-Tip #17

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AV Placement Is Important

Did you know that the incorrect placement of lighting, air conditioning, audio, or visual equipment can make your dream space anything but?

For some people, it looks easy to watch television and recreate the Do-It-Yourself projects they see portrayed in those thirty-minute to one-hour blocks. However, there’s a lot more science that goes in to creating an oasis in your home when it comes to AV equipment than most realize.

Your AV equipment is designed to work together, so the following is important for each part of your system:
  • Lighting placement creates the appropriate mood settings for what’s going on in your home, and the right lighting can highlight any important pieces of art that you want to show off.
  • Air conditioning placement and ventilation of your AV equipment is imperative for it to work efficiently and not overheat, which will allow it to last longer. Projectors and displays can generate a lot of heat, so you need to make sure the HVAC can handle it accordingly.
  • Incorrect speaker placement can create either overlapping (comb filtering) where everyone gets a different sound spectrum, or it can cause sound to be lost completely from one seat to another. The type of sound being produced by the speakers also matters because low frequency sound travels father than high frequency sound. Every speaker has a different angle of coverage and throw distance (distance in which it is best heard). The goal is to have as uniform sound as possible, which is hard to do without the right equipment or knowledge.
  • Projectors also have optimal throw distances, and displays have optimal viewing distances. Whether you have a display or projector, image quality can decrease or become skewed due to improper angles, distances, or heights.
In addition to all of the different systems you have installed, you must take in to consideration the electrical system limits and requirements needed for the entire room. The electrical system must be sized correctly to support the system to prevent blown fuses, and it needs to be isolated to prevent hums or buzzing which is caused by interference.

The experts at ZIO know how to properly design, engineer, and install any of your AV wishes while delivering you the best experience possible. Let us raise the bar and show you the difference.

Links of the Week #16


Bionic Pancreas 

With the explosion of technology and new ideas on the forefront each and every day, it’s no wonder so many people are trying to make their mark. One father is taking his knowledge and trying to make a difference in people’s lives by saving them.

Ed Damiano’s 15 year old son, David, has been dealing with Type 1 Diabetes since he was just 11 months old. Every night, David is hooked up to a glucose monitor that will alarm his father when his blood sugar gets too low.

In an attempt to battle this, and to prevent deaths, Damiano has developed a bionic pancreas which monitors and controls the patient’s blood sugar wirelessly, sending the information through an app available on an iPhone.

This bionic pancreas is unique in that it analyzes the data and sends signals to two pumps instead of just one. One of the pumps contains insulin which helps to regulate the patient’s blood sugar by reducing the levels if it gets too high, and the other pump contains glucagon which raises it when it gets too low.

David will be going off to college in a few years, so Damiano is still trying to get the device approved by the FDA and hopes that it will be available before his son’s first night alone at college. The preliminary tests have showed promising, and Damiano has been approved for a new round of testing.

For more information on this device, visit NPR's blog and listen to the story.



People are becoming more health conscious and their decision to do so is fueling a revolution of change in the technology world.

A company called Mark One has created a unique cup, named Vessyl, which can track the user’s intake levels and displays the information on both the side of the cup and on an app for your smart phone in real time.

Vessyl features lenses which are specific ways to track anything from:
  • losing weight
  • staying hydrated
  • regulating caffeine intake
  • building muscle, sleeping better
  • regulating sugar intake.

So, say you’re focusing on losing weight and tracking your water intake throughout the day. Vessyl can recognize each drink you pour in to it and show you caloric values, sugar levels, and much more in real time. It can also track your water intake to keep you in your prime hydration zone.

Vessyl features a spill-proof, easy-open lid so you can take it with you wherever you go no matter what you’re doing.

Visit Mark One's site to see what Vessyl is all about and to watch their video.

Z-Tip #16

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Wired Jungle

Have you or someone you know been a victim of a technology integration nightmare? Most people can just look behind their entertainment centers for a perfect example, while others have relied on companies that have fallen a little below the bar.

Does this look familiar?

Tangled Wires

Sadly, this is not a proper example for the AV community. When dealing with residences or businesses that feature integrated technology systems, it’s important that everything works seamlessly together, is organized, and easily remedied if something may falter.

At ZIO, we strive to not only make your systems work at their peak efficiency, but also look good while doing so. By creating detailed diagrams of each part of the system and organized rack setups, we allow the systems to have proper ventilation and we can fix any potential problems with greater ease.

Here are a few examples of our racks, and how we strive to raise the bar:


Don’t get stuck with a jungle of wires and vast unknowns. Call the experts at ZIO in order to tame the mess and restore peace to your automation world.

Links of the Week #15


Holodecks Becoming Reality? 

Q: What do you get when you combine three Microsoft Kinects and an Oculus Rift?

No, this isn’t the start of some corny joke… it’s currently a reality. A gentleman named Oliver Kreylos has created a potential for holograms and holodecks using these four products.

Most people, by now, have used some kind of technology – early generation computer webcam games, Kinect, Wii, Playstation Move, etc. – which interpreted their movements to interact with a world on screen. We could only hope that one day we would be immersed in a virtual reality world instead of just interacting with one on our television sets or computers.

Kreylos took three first-generation Kinect devices and set them up in an equilateral triangle. The Kinects project each image in to the virtual world creating a unified image, and he uses the Oculus to view the creation. He explains in the video that this creates “seams” in the image, but that even with these early devices, the images they produce merge quite nicely.

By combining an improved virtual world and a more advanced digital projection of one’s self, the future of holograms and holodecks may not be as far off as people once thought.

Be sure to watch the video to see Kreylos’ feelings and reactions to being in a virtual world.


Skype Translator 

Our voices are a powerful tool. They can do many things for us, yet most of us speak different languages. At times, this barrier allows details to get lost in translation.

Recently, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and Skype’s Vice President, Gurdeep Pall, demonstrated Skype Translator at the Code Conference in California.

It’s in the early stages of development, but it will have the ability to provide voice and text language translation for calls between individuals who speak different languages.

There were a few minor glitches with the translation during the demonstration, but otherwise it seemed to be quite accurate.

Skype Translator will begin its availability as a Windows 8 beta app before the end of the year. With this technology, our homes and businesses will have the opportunity to become even more connected.

Imagine any of your friends or family members being able to walk in to your house, speak their native language and your home intelligently reacts as needed.

Go to Pall's blog to read more on this amazing software, and to learn more on how it functions.



ZIO is going to Vegas!

On June 14th, InfoComm will kick off their annual trade show. We are excited to be sending some of our ZIO staff to Las Vegas, NV so they can take part in the largest professional audio/visual (AV) trade show in the industry.

It features the latest technologies that you love from ZIO, such as: audio, video, display, wireless presentation, projection, lighting and staging, digital signage, conferencing, digital content creation, networking, signal distribution and so much more.

Basically, InfoComm is the equivalent to ComiCon for the audiovisual world… We’ll be letting our techie sides out!

InfoComm was established in 1939 and is a worldwide organization that represents, and certifies professionals in the AV and information communications industries. They continually challenge these professionals by offering continuing education, and serve as an industry standard for a foundation of quality products, service and installation.

By being a member of InfoComm and having certified staff on hand, ZIO demonstrates its commitment to professional growth in our industry. We continually strive to raise the bar so, by being a part of this; we deliver the promise to you that you’ll always get the latest in high tech equipment, expert service and support.

ZIO will be posting pictures from the event as it happens, so stay tuned for more news from Vegas and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

We can’t wait to see what cool new technology InfoComm14 will bestow upon us! ZIO is prepared to let our creativity become unleashed.

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