Posted by & filed under PCD News.

PCD has built a reputation on supporting education, theater arts, churches, conference centers, hotels, and a wide variety of businesses through High Definition Audio/Visual systems. Our talented engineers design and implement world-class systems for theaters and concert halls across Northern California, ensuring that the sound can be comfortably heard from the back of the auditorium right to stage front center. Our high-tech solutions can bring a professional quality to your school theater. With every project, our experienced team takes the time to create an Audio/Visual system that works for your space and needs.

Recently, PCD is proud to have worked on the Palo Alto High School Performing Arts Center (cover story feature in the Sound & Communications magazine), a 538-seat performance hall that rivals big city theaters. State of the art design and equipment gives the space a professional feel, that lends seriousness to every performance by the theater arts program and allows the venue to be rented by outside organizations wanting to host productions and presentations.  The Meyer Constellation active- acoustics system and the Digital Projection and Da-Lite screen provide an excellent theater experience.  This fully equipped school theater includes top of the line loudspeakers, wireless microphones and power conditioners to deliver quality performances.  The facility is used for rehearsals and performances of music, movies, drama, choir, and dance by the high school.  This even provides a great venue for outside renters.

 

PCD is a supporter of theater arts and was pleased to work with other vendors and the school’s own internal AV team to create a performing arts center that is capable of hosting events that can carry sound to all 538 seats, stream video to the lobby for overflow situations, project movies, and is flexible to the needs of the performers whether it is an acapella group or orchestra. By working with the best engineering staff and high-tech software and equipment, PCD is able to create amazing spaces like Palo Alto High School’s Performing Arts Center. View the full article from Sound & Communications here: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/544901a3#/544901a3/47

 

PCD Technician and Installation Team

Posted by & filed under PCD Team.

 

We are proud of the technician / installation staff at PCD. Our Techs and PCD are committed to ongoing training with our valued vendors’ products and in the latest technological breakthroughs.

Members of the team are certified in Crestron, Extron, BiAmp, QSYS, Utelogy, Symetrix and more.

PCD performs installations to the industry standards put forth by InfoComm, an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Accredited Standards Developer Organization. These standards are the foundation for quality Audio Visual Systems installation. Some of our team are Certified Technology Specialist (CTS), the only ANSI accredited audiovisual certification under the International Standard ISO/IEC 17024:2012.

PCD’s installation team is not only well trained but have years of experience, many of those years with PCD. We have long time employees who have been installing for PCD for 20 years, 17 years, and 10 years. PCD is a great place to work!

WE DO IT RIGHT!

The installation team is trained in OSHA standards and CPR to assure a safe working place.
Take a look at some of the finished jobs we have highlighted in our website. Call us and a Sales Design Consultant will take you on the first step of enjoying an Audio Visual system that will fill your needs.

Posted by & filed under Question and Answer.

We posed some questions to Skip Godwin, the newest addition to the PCD team

1.) How did your career begin?  What did you learn along the way?

Didn’t everyone in the AV business start by playing guitar?  Well I did – Until I hit 6’ tall.  Apparently, the rules of rock and roll clearly state that when a guitar player hits 6’ his 6 string card is revoked and a bass guitar card is issued!  Oh well…  At least I was a better player with 4 strings than 6. Skip

So, playing in bands through high school is where I fell I love with creating and reproducing music (I was and am better at the latter).  I worked in a recording studio in my hometown of Stockbridge Georgia for a few years (with a childhood friend of mine, Ed Roland, who went on to front Collective Soul).  During my time in the studio I started working for a sound company in Atlanta called Seriously Sound.  I did regional touring as a front of house and stage monitor engineer for a few years.  This is when the pro sound bug bit me and I have been smitten ever since.

After that I worked for a series of manufacturers rep firms in New York, Los Angeles, and ultimately formed my own firm in the Bay Area in 1998.  We represented companies like ElectroVoice, ClearOne, Biamp, Revo Labs, Whirlwind, etc.  Mostly professional audio lines but also dabbling in the video and conferencing side of the business with displays, projectors, early VC appliances and the like.  Eventually I ended up with Bosch as the director of sales for the western US with 4 rep firms working under me.

What did I learn along the way?  Work hard, put in the time, and learn everything you can from everyone you meet.  It’s a simple credo that has served me well.

2.) When did you end up working at PCD?  Tell us about your new job, in your own words.

I called on PCD for many years and always respected the work that they did.  More importantly, PCD was respected by the people I respected; The consulting community and PCD’s competitors.  Those two things say a lot about this company and its ownership.  My reputation is important to me so working with a company that operates the same way felt natural to me.  I heard John was looking for a design build sales consultant so I gave him a call and jumped on board.

My new job is a great fit for me.  It gives me the creative outlet that I was missing working for a manufacturer.  Designing clever AV systems for exciting applications is what I signed on for and that’s exactly what I am doing.

3.) What technology trends are you seeing in the Bay area?

User interfaces are the key to any well-designed AV system.  Technology should not overwhelm the user.  That should always be our focus.  Stepping back from a mound of great technology and seeing a path for successful use is what we should be trying to achieve every time we pull out a fresh sheet of paper and begin a project.  It really doesn’t matter how much cool stuff we pack into a design if the user can’t operate the system the way they want to in a manner that is familiar to them.  People matter way before technology matters…  Period.

4.) What do you love about the AV/IT convergence, what don’t you love?

Again, it’s the user interface.  Neither the AV or IT design cultures lend themselves to something that most people can relate to or understand.  And, surprise engineer guys, they don’t want to!  Digital signage, for example, is a great addition to many enterprises (hospitality, education, healthcare, etc.) but if the content creation part of the process is too complicated or expensive the deployment will fail.  At PCD, as with most reputable AV firms, this is a no-go.  If they can’t operate it we don’t build it – Re-engineer it so they can.  I am learning that this is the hard part – Thinking about the way an average user can successfully interface with, and hopefully enjoy, the technology that we deploy.

5.) Are you busy?  What kind of jobs is PCD working on?  What are your verticals?

Busy is a relative term.  I know and love many people in my professional and personal life who seem to be perpetually busy.  A wonderful man I worked for early in my career often pointed out that there is a real difference between activity and productivity.  He warned me to recognize the difference and avoid the pitfalls of an activity based work life.  Activity simply produces motion – But productivity produces results.  There is a real difference.

Right now, I am working on anything that needs to be done. Fortunately, PCD has a consistent flow of new opportunities for me to work on.  Some come from new and potential clients but the bulk of those opportunities come from loyal customers looking to expand existing systems or build new projects.  It’s a great foundation for me knowing that these customers have been satisfied in the past and have come back to us for their AV needs.

6.) How do you sell to so called Millennials, who are used to shopping online?

I don’t think millennials make buying decisions much differently than the rest of us at this point.  I absolutely love the convenience of Alexa sending me more detergent or whatever at the touch of a button but I know one thing for sure; You can’t buy solutions from Alexa.  That being said, the AV industry cannot ignore that reality simply because PEOPLE LIKE IT.  Once upon a time we could ignore that reality because we could hide behind the complexity of our offerings.  That ship has sailed.  We must treat each client the way they want to be treated.  Whether they want to buy-and-forget or be deeply involved – It’s the same process just tailored to their preference.  Let them buy the way they want to buy.

7.) Tell us your thoughts on video conferencing and collaboration platforms

Having spent time on the user end of the technology stick working for a very large company I know the frustrations of many collaboration platforms.  The bottom line is that the user is looking for a transparent way to collaborate with their counterparts just as if they could walk over to their desk and have a productive conversation.  Our job is to cut through the crap and make that happen.  A thoughtfully deployed VC or collaboration AV system is a success only if it satisfies that need.

8.) What would be your advice to someone new to the AV industry?

Work hard and listen more than you talk.  Listening is not hearing, it’s understanding.  If you can demonstrate to a client that you understand what they are trying to accomplish you don’t have to be a low-cost provider.  But you must provide value!  Define value to your client up front and price dissolves as an issue.  Most clients are looking for value whether they know it or not.  Define that up front and you will separate yourself from the pack.  The only price a customer really cares about is the price of success.  Everything else is noise.

 

Posted by & filed under PCD News.

Paul-KonikowskiSANTA ROSA, CA – PCD, Inc. (http://www.pcdinc.net) is pleased to announce that Paul Konikowski, CTS-D has joined the NorCal firm as the new Design Engineering Manager.  Paul brings a wealth of knowledge of the AV integration industry, as well as real world experience in live event production and information technology.

Paul’s career started in information technology with a co-op position at Critikon, a medical device manufacturing company owned by Johnson & Johnson. Performing a mix of help desk functions and network wide system upgrades, Paul learned the value of good customer experience (CX).  Paul supported about 200 users in everything from Microsoft Windows and Office migrations to printer maintenance to mainframe server data backups.

After graduating from Georgia Tech in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, Paul shelfed his computer skills for few years, and decided to become a “sound guy”.  Starting at the bottom, pushing brooms, driving trucks and stacking speakers, he quickly learned the technical ins and outs of live audio reinforcement from veteran sound engineers at Snow Sound and other live sound companies.

Since 2004, Paul has worked in audiovisual integration and unified communications. At North American Theatrix, he built equipment racks and installed loudspeakers, PTZ cameras, video projectors, flat panel displays, and other AV components for theaters, casinos, hotels, schools, aquariums, and museums.  He obtained his Infocomm CTS certification and went to work for HB Communications as an Associate Engineer, learning AutoCAD and AV system design, and then obtained his Infocomm CTS-D certification.

In 2007, Paul decided to relocate from Connecticut to California and became the Senior Consultant at Rosen Goldberg Der & Lewitz, a smaller consulting firm who specializes in architectural and environmental acoustics in addition to traditional AV design and engineering.  As the local market shifted from consultant-driven construction to design-builds in existing buildings, Paul decided to move from consulting back to integration, joining Snader as a Systems Design Engineer.

In 2011, Paul began freelancing, doing business as PK Audiovisual.  He continued to do AV design and engineering, but also moved into social media, technical marketing, blogging, advertorials, whitepapers for consumer electronics, wireless home theater speakers and mobile devices. By becoming a blogger and online content writer (oftentimes ghostwriting), Paul helped to bridge the gap between audiovisual technology providers, AV consultants, equipment distributors, systems integrators, and end-users.   Over the next 5 years, Paul took on a number of clients including Stichfix.com, Arcata High School, Silicon Image (HDMI, MHL and WiSA), and then worked full time as a Technical Marketing Engineer with Starin, an AV distributor, hosting online trainings and visiting consultants and integrators.  It was during this time that Paul started working a lot of industry trade shows like CES, ISE, NAMM, and CEDIA.  In recent years, Paul has worked full time as a Multimedia Solutions Architect for Strategic Products and Services, and part time for RGD Acoustics, Lattice Semiconductor, Zoom, and Creation Networks.

As the new leader of the PCD engineering department, Paul will work as a “player-manager”, delegating projects, while taking on his own large scale projects. By leveraging his engineering background with his consulting experience, he leads the PCD engineering team, implementing large scale audio-visual systems, initially awarded through the “Design-Bid” and “Design-Assist” processes. PCD is also a full service “Design-Build” integrator; recent projects include performing arts centers, universities, schools, sports stadiums, corporate telepresence, houses of worship and more. Paul’s main goal at PCD is to maximize efficiencies in the engineering department, delivering quality drawings and products, meeting all time commitments, and building long term relationships with audiovisual consultants and other business leaders in the San Francisco Bay area.

Bill Graham, PCD Director of Operations, is working with Paul to build up his team of engineers.  If you or someone you know is looking for work in wine country, please check out the Careers page on the PCD website (/about/careers/) for more information about these exciting openings.

Posted by & filed under PCD News.

PCD is now offering Maintenance Agreements beyond the initial PCD warranty.  This enables our clients to have an audio / video system performing at the highest level while being able to build the costs into their annual budget.

The price of the agreement depends on the PCD installed equipment and the intricacies of the overall system. The agreement is for one year and will include options for either an annual or semi-annual inspection to be set up by the client.

The agreement covers labor only. Defective equipment will be sent to the manufacturer for servicing.  Any out of warranty equipment will have repair and shipping costs paid by the client.  PCD will take out the equipment, send to the manufacturer and reinstall under this agreement.

The annual (or semi-annual maintenance) will include but is not limited to: cleaning filters, checking lamp hours on projectors, adjusting focus and aim of projectors, checking ventilation at racks, wiping down racks as needed, checking connections and functionality of the system. Services will be provided Monday – Friday, 7am – 5pm, except on Holidays.

If you would like your customized quote please contact us at info@PCDInc.net or call 707-546-3633.

Wired Equipment Rack

Posted by & filed under How To's.

In the process of installing our systems,  we often run into the need where multiple runs of microphones from various stage panels that have XLR connectors all have to feed to a central point where we need to allow a easy to connect and disconnect location.  This is often used to allow a mixing console to reside in the control booth or be moved to a center of house location in the audience for a better mixing position.  To do that,  there are a few manufacturers that make multi-pin jacks that allow this easy and fast,  reliable and durable quick connect to happen. In this example,  we are referring to the Whirlwind brand Mass connector.  Multiple pins allow each conductor to make a secure and solid connection for reliable and quality signal flow. These are tedious and takes a skilled hand and good eyesight to ensure a quality and reliable long term solution for our venues.

 

Seeing a Multi Pin connector in a panel, it looks so organized and simple.

 

multi-pin-connector

 

How does it work? What is behind this neat connection?
It starts with a mass of wires, some pins, the connector and the tools to put it together.
The wires are carefully marked to indicate what is connected to the other end.
A diagram is needed to assure each pin / connection is wired precisely to the correct position.

 

mass-wires

 

This is a labor intensive process.  Assuring each wire is connected to the proper pin / receptacle.

 

wiring

 

After hours of painstaking, detailed work, the result is a mass connector.

 

mass-connector

 

The connector is mounted into a panel for a user friendly connection of the main panel.

 

connector-main-panel

A cover is used to protect the connector and pins from dust, etc. within the environment.

 

wiring covering