Employee Corner: Richard Tae Talks AV Programming Custom Solutions, Microsoft and More

We spoke with Crestron Certified Control Concepts Project Engineer Richard Tae about customer expectations, essential features of custom solutions, and new horizons for AV programmers in the networked environment.

Richard shares field insight with us, gained from his years of working directly with our customers and learning what they need to make their systems work the way they want with ease, functionality and optimal performance for users of all types.

Speaking about new developments and projects for the AV industry, Rich shares that he is excited about the future and the prospects it holds for programmers in particular.  He references the much discussed participation of Microsoft at the upcoming InfoComm14 and recognizes it as another example of opportunity.  Whether they are developing control systems hardware or pushing new frontiers of software solutions, Rich sees the software giant’s presence as another indicator that AV programming is an exciting playing field where innovations happen every day.

What is the key to delivering problem-free programming solutions?

Understanding expectations and good scheduling are keys to overcoming programming challenges.  As AV programmers, we balance client expectations, as well as the expectations of consultants, integrators and everyone else involved in an AV project.  For this reason, we have to look at the entire project as it relates to the whole group.

To meet expectations and deliver the solutions that work best for everyone, site readiness and scheduling are important.  At the Kickoff Meeting to start a project we outline a schedule that avoids any hiccups that could come up during the process – we manage the project to make the process run smoothly from the start.

How would you describe the job of an AV programmer?

Times have changed and the AV programmer really is now more of a service provider.  We wear different hats and we handle everything that arises throughout the course of the project related to control system programming, user needs, troubleshooting and development.

What is the most important consideration for custom solutions?

No two systems are alike.  Yes, the key components and hardware are essentially the same, but clients want their own personal preferences incorporated into their control system experience. In addition to the client or end user, AV consultants and integrators add their opinions.  The bottom line when designing a custom AV solution is to answer the question “how is this client going to use this system.”

We need to remember that programmers and technology managers are technical, but sometimes our users are looking for something familiar and simple.  They want to push a button and turn on all the features they need.  Because of this, we try not to overcomplicate systems.

For custom solutions, we talk about usability, ease of use.  When our clients use their systems, they don’t want to be searching through a user interface that doesn’t appeal to them or apply to them.  The technology managers involved in getting the AV portion of a room ready are very knowledgeable.  We work with them and with those who will be using the system to understand what they want to design a simple, efficient and flexible system that gives them all the functionality they need