The Ultimate AV Equipment Checklist: Organized By Space
Audio visual (AV) equipment is not one-size-fits-all. Everything from the architecture of a space to the needs of the people using it will affect the choice of equipment.
Rifling through all your options can be quite daunting, so we’ve done the hard work for you. This ultimate list of AV equipment is organized by space and packed with both equipment recommendations and tips and tricks for making the right choices for you.
What is AV equipment?
AV equipment includes electronic media devices to support video, audio, lighting, and equipment management throughout a space. Our ultimate list will cover cameras, microphones, mixers, av lighting equipment, displays, control systems, scheduling systems, and much more.
Aspen Custom Electronics is a group of professionally certified and experienced audio visual professionals excited about helping you with your next AV installation. Contact us.
Audio Visual Equipment List For 5 Different Spaces
Standard AV equipment changes depending on the space — let’s dive into how to outfit office conference rooms and huddles, meeting spaces and large conference rooms, churches and houses of worship, higher education classrooms, and K-12 classrooms.
1. Office conference rooms and huddles
Found in most office spaces, small conference rooms and huddles need equipment for video conferencing and presentations.
Displays The terms display and television (TV) are often used interchangeably. For office conference rooms and huddles, you’ll need a commercial-grade display rated for use 18 hours a day.
We recommend this 85‑inch Sony BRAVIA Professional Display. It combines bright 4K HDR image quality with ease of use, flexible networking, and multiple options for integrations with other equipment.
Choose from two different microphone types for small conference rooms and huddles — tabletop microphones and in-ceiling microphones.
For a tabletop microphone, this Biamp X-Series model is a beautifully designed, discreet option when a ceiling microphone might pick up interference from a loud air conditioning unit.
These award-winning Shure microphones are made for drop tile ceilings — a great option to minimize amplifying rustling clothing or papers.
Selecting a camera for a wide or narrow conference room can be tricky. You want to choose a camera with a wide enough angle to capture everyone in the room but also with the ability to zoom in on a particular speaker.
With 4K image quality, this Panasonic camera is the best choice for a high-quality picture at a wide angle. It’s compact, easy to place, and built for live production.
For a particularly narrow space, this QSC camera allows a wide view while also zooming in on individual speakers automatically.
This Lumens model is the best budget-friendly option for those looking for huddle room or conference cameras that perform well without breaking the bank.
You’ll need speakers for your audio visual equipment list that distribute audio throughout the room evenly, without taking up too much space.
This JBL speaker provides vertical coverage and a tapered horizontal soundwave to increase the versatility and coverage of the loudspeaker in a wide variety of spaces.
These QSC speakers are great for in-ceiling installation, leaving more space for people and other equipment.
These Biamp speakers keep a low profile and are optimized for speech reproduction in small conference rooms and huddles. They can be installed in-ceiling or attached to any magnetic surface without the use of tools.
Your control system will turn the room on and off, control your cameras, and control the lighting.
This Crestron control system works with all types of equipment for full control of the room and features touchless operation from personal mobile devices.
2. Meeting spaces and large conference rooms
Similar to small conference rooms and huddles, meeting spaces and large conference rooms require similar equipment on a larger scale and must accommodate a wide variety of different user devices.
Displays project presentations and display video feed from broadcast, streaming services, or video conferencing applications. You can use TV displays, video walls, or projectors to serve this need.
Depending on the size of the room, we again recommend the 85‑inch Sony BRAVIA Professional Display for its flexibility and high-quality picture.
Absen’s displays are known for their bright, high-contrast screens and high-quality picture when stitched together to create a video wall.
Projectors — like this Panasonic model — can be ground- or ceiling-mounted and are often a more budget-friendly option to purchasing a set of displays or screens to stitch together a video wall.
Microphones at the podium, attached to speakers, or carried throughout the room for audience use need to project sound evenly, regardless of where any audience member is seated.
Shure’s digital microphone solutions are some of the most popular digital microphones available for their reliability and ease of use.
Sennheiser’s analog microphones are a great budget-friendly solution for rooms without a lot of other equipment to interfere with a microphone’s signal.
When video conferencing or selecting camera equipment for a large meeting space, you want solutions with wide lenses that can also zoom in on a crowd, much like a smaller conference room.
This Panasonic camera is still our favorite pick for its 4K image quality, compact design, ease of use, and live production capabilities.
These touch panels are often displayed outside meeting areas to project booking details and schedules for conferences or events. The best systems sync with tools like Outlook or Google Calendar so users can book rooms right from their personal computers.
Crestron offers one of our favorite room scheduling systems. Not only does it allow users to book rooms from personal devices, but it can be programmed to automate more complex tasks — like letting office management know when and in which space to deliver coffee and donuts for an upcoming meeting.
Another great option is Extron’s room scheduler, which allows you to book rooms from a personal computer, automating complex booking tasks.
Digital signage is different from presentation and video displays in that it displays information constantly. This equipment shows advertisements, event schedules, important messages for attendees — and much more — in event spaces.
Tightrope’s software package is among the most advanced on the market, allowing users to display live video and interactive content or display general information about an event.
BrightSign’s digital signage is one of the most popular in the industry. Brightsign players are great for small quantities of deployments.
Your speaker system should be able to evenly distribute sound throughout your room, no matter where your audience is seated.
We again recommend this JBL speaker for its versatility and ability to accurately map to your room’s geometry in a wide variety of listening spaces.
Video presentation devices
Finally, you’ll need a solution for presenters to transfer their presentations or videos from their personal devices to your chosen display technology. These devices must work with a wide variety of device types in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) setting.
Barco’s ClickShare is an incredibly easy-to-use device that plugs directly into a user's computer. The user simply clicks the button to share their screen and project content.
Extron’s ShareLink is the most versatile solution, pairing with an incredibly wide array of devices from many different eras of technology.
Finally, Biamp’s Modena is the most engaging sharing solution, allowing the presenter multiple display and presentation options for even more control.
3. Churches and houses of worship
Churches and houses of worship have unique needs similar to those of a theatrical space, with the purpose to display, live stream, and project sermons and other presentations for digital and in-person audiences.
Displays are used in main and overflow rooms to project the preacher, band, and anyone else speaking, singing, or playing music.
For those with the budget to build a video wall, we recommend Absen. Its technology is great for displaying camera feeds and doesn’t require much maintenance.
Remember that projectors can require a bit more maintenance, which includes changing burned-out bulbs, but are a more budget-friendly option.
For that reason, we recommend the laser-based Panasonic projector, which never requires a bulb change, projects a bright image, and is affordable for most users.
Panasonic offers high-quality displays that require little maintenance and have a long life, all while combining affordability with a variety of features.
Whether singing or speaking, your choice of microphone can make or break your production quality.
We usually recommend Shure microphones, which are well-known and very reliable. This digital option projects voices in rooms with a lot of interference without compromising sound quality.
This Sennheiser analog microphone provides high sound quality for singers, especially for those looking to project high-quality vocals from a band.
In-ear monitors (IEM)
IEMs allow you to play an instrument or sing with a band and hear yourself louder than you hear others, so you always stay on key.
Due to their popularity and reliability, we recommend Shure’s in-ear monitoring solutions, which are built specifically for service houses of worship.
Sennheiser’s IEM options work to provide each musician or singer with an audio signal they can mix according to their individual needs.
Finally, consider Avoim’s personal mixer, which is dedicated to a single individual; it’s an affordable option for those working within a tight budget.
To display video feed within your main room, overflow rooms, and live streaming platforms, you’ll need cameras that provide high-quality video.
If you’re thinking of a more high-end video production and are considering multiple inputs and outputs, NDI is a great option. The Newtek NDI camera is a great complementary option for its UHD resolution and 30x optical zoom.
For a more budget-friendly option, Blackmagic makes camera bodies that allow you to choose your lens, making them more affordable. Their high-quality video production also makes these cameras a great value for the cost.
Acoustic panels absorb sound around a room to ensure everyone can hear the speaker, vocals, and band at the same volume and crispness, no matter where they are sitting.
Perdue’s acoustic panels are made of rock wool, a unique material that removes low-end bass noise from amplified sound. Base wavelengths take longer to develop than sound waves at a higher pitch. Without these panels, those in the back of the room would experience the bass at a much higher frequency than those in the front of the room.
Another high-quality, affordable option for acoustic panels comes from Acoustics In A Box, which are sold by the kit instead of the individual panel.
Mixers control audio and video throughout the room, so worship attendees can hear and see the production content no matter where they’re seated.
We recommend Allen & Heath’s Digital Mixer, which allows you to mix audio by hand, as well as using its digital signal capability.
Yamaha’s professional mixer is a reliable option, making absolutely no compromises when it comes to sound quality.
These are some of our favorite speaker solutions made for houses of worship, with options that produce high-quality sound at different price points.
These JBL speakers are incredibly versatile and popular not only for churches but also in theatrical settings and big arenas.
Nexo is a less budget-friendly option that manufactures incredibly high-end speakers, producing one of the best sounding systems on the market.
Distributing video can be somewhat difficult without the right equipment. These systems allow you to control which video is displayed and where with ease.
This NewTek system is a great solution for video distribution for many houses of worship. It allows users to distribute professional-looking video for both online and in-house displays.
This Creston system distributes video via an audio video over internet protocol (AVoIP) transmission, delivering both audio and video over a network instead of using a cable.
Crestron also provides a less expensive option to distribute video over a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) cable, which runs from the video distribution system to each display.
Your production system ensures your live sound is as crisp as possible; your video is distributed exactly where you want it, and any overlays or graphics on top of your video are displayed correctly.
Epiphan’s production system is an affordable way to overlay small graphics, add logos, or include names on top of a video feed. It’s easy to use via a small touch screen and is helpful for live-streamed sermons.
Accomplish a higher-level production with Ross Video’s production system, a great solution for churches that have professional technical support.
Finally, AJA’s production suite produces high-quality graphic overlays and video distribution for live-streamed events.
4. Higher Education Classrooms
Higher education classrooms need much of the standard AV equipment found in a conference or meeting room, but most also must provide an engaging environment for both online and in-person students.
Classrooms might include traditional television displays, projectors, or video walls to project presentations or online classrooms.
The Sony BRAVIA Professional Display comes in a variety of sizes and is a great option for high-quality presentations and flexible features.
Panasonic's laser-based projectors require little maintenance and no bulb changes while also providing a budget-friendly solution for teachers and students.
For larger lecture halls or building lobbies, NEC’s LCD video walls project bright, consistently colorful pictures that all attendees in a large space can easily see.
Nowadays, microphones have to project sound within a room while also producing high-quality live-streamed audio for students attending class virtually.
We recommend Shure microphones for their scalable, intelligent hardware that delivers the best-performing digital wireless sound available at an affordable price.
Higher education classrooms should consider cameras that not only produce a high-quality picture but keep online viewers engaged by dynamically interacting with speakers around the room.
We like the Sony 4K PTZ camera for its high image quality, compact design, and ease of use.
Especially in larger lecture halls, it’s important for sound, whether it be a professor, another student, or a video presentation, to carry around the room at the same volume, regardless of where a student is sitting.
JBL’s column speaker moves sound around a room easily, as it’s made of many smaller speakers pointed in different directions, allowing you to customize how and where sound travels throughout the room.
The Nexo surface mount speaker mount speaker is smaller and performs extremely well in a wider area to cover more of a classroom at once.
Finally, QSC’s speakers provide a high-quality audio experience for higher education classrooms looking to mount speakers in a ceiling or wall unit.
Control is a crucial part of any audio visual system. These are control systems that allow professors to control the room without numerous remotes, keypads and other clutter.
This Crestron control system allows a professor to control all aspects of a room — video, slides, HVAC, lighting, and much more.
The Extron control system works with different types of AV and lighting equipment for full control of the room via touchless operation.
This QSC control system integrates video, audio, networking, and remote management capabilities all in one place and is incredibly easy to use.
Video distribution tools allow professors to display different video feeds at different times on a display or over video conferencing. For example, perhaps COVID-19 requires you to spread one class of students into multiple classrooms. You can now project the professor into multiple rooms at once.
We recommend the Evertz AV video distribution system for its high-quality video distribution features and ability to stream both online and in-person to multiple rooms for a reliable hybrid learning experience.
5. K-12 Classrooms
Primary and secondary K-12 classrooms have needs similar to higher education classrooms but may have tighter budget restrictions. This list of AV equipment provides a cost-effective classroom experience without compromising quality.
K-12 classrooms often choose between standard and interactive displays, which allow students a more hands-on experience at a young age.
For traditional display options, Samsung provides high-quality, budget-friendly displays that offer fewer features than an interactive display but allow teachers to project presentations and students over video conferencing.
Newline Interactive produces displays that permit students and teachers to draw and play games directly on the screen using a stylus.
Epson’s interactive projector works much like an interactive display but allows a teacher to project interactive content onto a traditional whiteboard or blackboard.
Teachers need to project their voices and their students’ voices throughout the classroom — and often over a live-streamed video feed.
Extron’s VoiceLift line is budget-friendly, allowing teachers to record classes or stream at different volumes so online students can hear at a high-quality volume.
Shure’s STEM line provides cost-effective solutions like speaker systems, ceiling microphones, wall-mounted soundbars, and more for a complete intercom and AV system.
Classroom cameras need to accomplish two purposes: project presentations — and in some cases, pieces of paper or equipment onto a larger screen — and stream video for online learners.
The Lumens document camera is a popular choice in K-12 classrooms due to its wide zoom range. Teachers can zoom in on small objects or papers and show the whole class what they’re doing in real-time.
Vaddio cameras are mounted into the ceiling. As the teacher walks around the room, the camera syncs with mats throughout the room and automatically moves with the teacher, making for a more engaging online learning experience.
These video distribution options allow teachers to project different video feeds in different places. For example, an in-person classroom display may need to show a presentation, whereas virtual students need to see the classroom and the display simultaneously.
This HDMI matrix switcher from AVProEdge allows for any HDMI input to feed to any output and is easier to set up than an AVoIP system, which is more common in other spaces.
The Crestron DMPS is versatile and has a similar feature set to the AVProEdge system. Its multiple inputs take video feeds to multiple places.
FSR is a New Jersey-based company that produces affordable video switchers for classrooms, and as they’re made in the US, often qualify for purchase through state grants. They’re easy to use and produce high-quality video.
Depending on your space, you’ll require different AV equipment to produce the highest quality experience for your audience.
With this list of audio visual equipment, you can feel confident that you’re headed in the right direction. For professional assistance with your next audio video (AV) installation, contact Aspen Custom Electronics.