An AV system is only as good as its design. In the same way a professional guitarist may have a highly personalized pedal board that’s designed with their style in mind, the best AV systems are highly personalized to the space they’re in and their intended use. When well designed, your commercial AV system design can change the way you attract new clients and the way your company presents itself. It can even help improve interoffice communication.

Proper AV system design is an important step in creating an AV system that works for your space. Specifically, you’ll want to ensure the design meets your technological, aesthetic, and budgetary requirements. Understanding what an audiovisual system design is and what goes into it is going to be your first step.

What is AV system design?

AV systems can be composed of many different components. From sound to lighting and everything in between, an AV system must be planned and carefully curated to deliver the results you’re after at a price you can afford. This process is known as AV system design.

Many establishments choose to purchase a few pieces of AV equipment and hope they deliver prettier presentations and more interactive meetings. There are good reasons to invest the time in putting a proper plan together before you begin.

Why is AV system design important?

Planning your AV system ahead of time comes with many benefits. Not only will it allow a more seamless operation of the system, but it will have the ability to deliver high end production quality and set you up for future expansion. It will also ensure you don’t go over budget before completion of the project.

You can design the system yourself, or you can enlist the help of an audiovisual designer. There is a lot of information online, but some aspects can be tricky if you don’t have previous experience in the subject. Whichever route you choose, there are some essential parameters that must be taken into consideration when embarking on any AV system design.

The essentials of AV system design

Before you begin your AV system design layout, there are some essential points that should be covered in any well-designed plan. From scouting the location to planning for the future, here are some things to keep in mind.

Understand the layout of the space

The reason we take care to measure dimensions and plot the layout of the room is because these parameters will directly influence the sound in the space. They will also allow you to determine things like the number of speakers you need, where to place them, and what kind of acoustical treatments the room will require to eliminate audio issues like echo and reverberation. The only way to accurately determine the equipment and layout you need for an effective audio system design is to scout the location.

Identify your needs

As there is no single AV system design that will work for all scenarios, it’s important that you identify your specific needs. The size and shape of the space will play a major role. So too, will the way you plan to use your AV system

Understanding these factors will allow you to select components that have sufficient sound amplification, meet your lighting requirements, and will help you determine the best placement for sound absorption materials. Making well-informed decisions on these matters will give you the biggest bang for your AV buck.

Choose compatible AV system components

Since your AV system design will include a number of different components, you’ll have to make sure they are compatible with one another. Most new technologies are designed to work together, but this is not a given. Failing to take compatibility into account in the planning phase can lead to extra expenses and a longer setup timeline. Understanding what types of equipment you’ll need ahead of time will help you design a coordinated system that satisfies your needs.

Choose a control system

When designed properly, an AV system is controlled by a central unit. This unit will allow the user to operate and coordinate all peripherals, including the audio system, lighting, displays, projectors, and any other peripherals tied to the system, from a single, central location.

There are many available models when it comes to choosing your av control system, so it’s important to have a firm grasp on which features you need and which ones you don’t. This will prevent you from overspending on the control system, while providing you with all the functionality you need on a day to day basis.

Cable mapping

As you may have guessed, it takes a lot of cables to connect and operate a professional AV system. Mapping the necessary cables and where they go is an important part of your AV system design, and will make everything from installation to troubleshooting to future expansion much simpler. 

Also, be sure to choose access points you can live with. This will simplify troubleshooting procedures and make it easier to add new components when it’s time to expand.

Optimization and calibration

Once you’ve determined what the space has to offer and the best equipment for your space, you’ll want to optimize and calibrate that equipment to deliver high end results in your space. Selecting the right components will start you off on the right foot. Optimizing the setup will ensure you get the results you’re after.

cable mapping in av system design

Tips to make your AV system design process easier

It’s tempting to jump right in and start purchasing the pieces we think we’ll need. It’s best to ignore that impulse and make sure you’re covering all your bases before you begin. Here are some simple tips that will save you time and money with your AV system design.

Start from a checklist

It’s always best to begin with a checklist of important elements. Include room specs, technical requirements for the system, and the budget you’re working with. Here’s a basic template of items that will help to get you started:

  • Diagram the layout and dimensions of the room the AV system will live in
  • Identify your audio and lighting needs
  • Identify your video display needs
  • Type and number of both input sources and output devices required
  • Type and number of processing units needed
  • Identify any cables and other connections you’ll need
  • Map out your acoustic treatment plan
  • Plan for the future
  • Set a clear budget for your project

Since each AV system design is unique to the space and use case, your checklist may include more or fewer items, but make sure it covers everything that’s important to you. This will help you avoid missing anything and will help you troubleshoot down the road if you run into any issues.

Focus on user experience

All the gear in the world can’t improve your presentations if your team can’t operate it properly. User experience is an important part of the equation, and can make or break your AV system design. Setting up your system so that untrained individuals can step in and take the reins if need be will ensure you get the value you’re looking for out of the system, no matter who is there to man the controls. 

Consider future expansions and upgrades

If there may be a time in the future when you want to expand or upgrade your system, make sure you cover these contingencies in the audiovisual design phase. Running extra cable now eliminates the need for additional construction when the time comes to expand or upgrade. Also, you may be able find outdated components at a discount, but be sure those components remain compatible with new technology as it is adapted. By preparing now, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle when you make changes in the future.

Work with professionals

One of the simplest ways you can get the results you want is to work with a reputable commercial audiovisual design firm. Our professionals have the experience needed to deliver an audio video system design that meets your needs, and delivers within the allotted budget. That professional help will also prove to be invaluable in troubleshooting the setup once it’s in place. 


Why does audio visual system design matter?

Audio video systems are complex. They involve a lot of components and connections, and if you don’t have a proper plan in place, things can get messy quickly. A well thought out AV system design will help you avoid pitfalls at installation and set you up for expansions or upgrades in the future.

How can your company benefit from audio-visual system design?

Once you’ve got a state of the art AV system in place, you can expect a number of benefits. Most of them revolve around better communication. This increase in your ability to communicate with team members and clients can deliver the following:

  • More effective presentations
  • More control over event management
  • Improved customer experience
  • Better collaboration among team members
  • Reduced administrative and printing costs
  • Better promotion of your brand

What are control systems in AV design?

Control systems allow us to manage and control AV systems from a central point. Through the control system, we can control all components, including the audio system, lighting, displays, projectors, and any other peripherals tied to the system. Choosing a control system that works for your applications is a central part of AV system design.