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Associations Focus

In time for another fall semester, InfoComm/ICIA has announced the first major revision of its highly regarded Installation School Online, a key educational

Associations Focus

Oct 1, 2004 12:00 PM

InfoComm/ICIA: Installation School Online

In time for another fall semester, InfoComm/ICIA has announced the first major revision of its highly regarded Installation School Online, a key educational opportunity first offered in 1998, which has since enjoyed more than 1,700 enrollments by installation professionals.

The revised course, with materials developed by an award-winning team of instructional designers, has been streamlined in presentation and packed with new features. The course is offered through ICIA’s InfoComm Academy and is sponsored by NEC Solutions, America.

The online course’s content includes 300 lessons addressing advanced science and technology concepts specifically as they relate to installation issues and concerns. The new edition of the course contains more than 40 downloadable files, in PDF format,with step-by-step instructions for described techniques.

“This course is a significant revision of the original,” says Mike Weems, CTS, MCP, and chairman of InfoComm/ICIA’s Professional Education and Training Committee (PETC). “It’s great to have the Installation School program up-to-date and loaded with visuals and audio examples.”

In addition to looking at technology from the viewpoint of installers, the revised course is designed to outline installation procedures in preparation for hands-on practice at Info Comm/ICIA’s two OnSite Installation School courses — the Level 1 Installation Technician course and the Level 2 Lead Installation Technician course.

New features in the course include key-word searches and access to downloadable reference materials. The revision also significantly updated and enhanced the course’s technical content.

“In updating this course, we looked to industry experts for key input on the Best Practices sections,” says Steve Thorburn, chairman of the PETC Curriculum Subcommittee. “The list of contributors and authors for this course reads like a Who’s Who. This input, as well as InfoComm/ICIA’s long experience in teaching installation skills and knowledge, is what helps make this school so successful.”

Indeed, the revised course highlights Best Practices in many lessons as a way to reinforce the professionalism expected of installers. Although all organizations may not subscribe to the highlighted practices, the emphasis is designed to encourage the exploration of new ways to be efficient, creative, and professional.

“Every time we revise an Online course, we incorporate what we’ve learned from our eight-year-old Online program,” says Terry Friesenborg, CTS, and InfoComm/ICIA senior vice president of education. “Last year we added search capability to the revised Essentials of the AV Industry. This year we’ve added numerous downloadable PDF-formatted files in response to requests for more reference materials and highlighted Best Practices.”

Additional changes include a new troubleshooting section for audio, video, RF, data display, and control technologies, as well as reference materials for equipment and media not available at the time of the original course design. That includes information about wide-screen formats and applicable test patterns, plasma displays, and electronic projector adjustments such as keystone correction. The revised course also includes more comprehensive information about power and grounding issues, drawings that illustrate actual projects, and insights into the business side of installation to help technicians better focus on the big picture.

More than ever, it’s not just technicians taking the course who benefit but their employers, as well. For example, the course allows employers to provide their staff with the knowledge of experienced and expert installation technicians without pulling their own employees from a job to provide the training.

The course’s downloadable files of step-by-step instructions, often with photos, can be used as on-the-job reference tools by employee and employer alike. The topics range from setting up microphones to soldering procedures — accompanied by so many photos that “you can almost smell the fumes,” as one technician says.

Further benefits to employers is the course’s clear dovetailing with the hands-on component of InfoComm/ICIA’s two OnSite courses; its availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and section tests that can be sent to a supervisor to keep up with the student’s progress.

The revised Installation School Online is available to InfoComm/ICIA members for $99 and to nonmembers for $150. For further information or to register, call an InfoComm/ICIA training counselor at (703) 273-7200 or (800) 659-7469, send an e-mail to [email protected], or register online at

For more information about InfoComm/ICIA, visit

NSCA: Golden Years

Technology has changed. So have contractors’ business plans. Through it all, though, there has remained one constant — the place where everyone gathers to see and learn about all that is commercial electronic systems. The 2005 Systems Integration Expo March 10 through 12, 2005 in Orlando, Florida, marks the event’s 25th anniversary. For both a look back and glimpse of what’s ahead, attend the NSCA Expo and Conference.

The NSCA Systems Integration Expo will host a reunion of Syn-Aud-Con graduates March 10 in a special evening set aside to honor the group’s many graduates of premier audio education and in celebration of NSCA’s audio roots during the Expo’s 25th anniversary in 2005. A special presentation will be given by Syn-Aud-Con directors Pat and Brenda Brown, along with a guest appearance of the founders of the training organization, Don and Carolyn Davis.

Providing a cool new attraction on the NSCA show floor but allowing yet another look back at where NSCA and the electronic systems industry came from will be the Live Sound Showcase and Workshop March 10 through 12. In this test and measurement extravaganza, attendees will have the chance to see and learn about practical loudspeaker configurations, how to make adjustments on the fly, and quality sound equipment. This state-of-the-art setup will feature interactive product demonstrations as well as a workshop. In this new area, it’s all about hands-on skill rather than theory.

Alongside a celebration of NSCA’s audio heritage will be a look forward at the industry’s hottest new trends and technologies. How systems and their performance may be impacted by network integration is the focus of yet another new addition to the 2005 NSCA Expo. This specialty area of the exhibit floor will feature practical information about integration techniques through both product demonstration and a learning lab environment.

Digital signage will again be an important part of the NSCA Systems Integration Expo. Cosponsored by ActiveLight, the Digital Signage LIVE Showcase will feature both the hardware and software applications necessary for delivering a unique and effective marketing message.

The Digital Signage LIVE Showcase made its debut in 2004 and quickly became a feature attraction of the three-day Expo. During the 2004 show, the Showcase offered Expo attendees opportunity for interactivity with digital signage solutions, thanks to sponsorship provided by ActiveLight, Barco, NEC and NEC/Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, SCALA, Sharp, SMART, and Sony. The 2004 exhibitors included progressive companies such as Adtec, Alpha Video, ComwerX, Convergent, Display Devices, Enseo, Magenta Research, MagicBox, Mercury Online Solutions, SCALA, Synapse Digital, Visual Circuits, and Webpavement. So that it was easy to see and understand, the entire pavilion was set up as a small city with featured exhibitors showcasing digital signage applications for retail storefronts, fast-food restaurants, banks, and others.

The Digital Signage LIVE Showcase will be complemented by an educational track, including in-depth discussions about the benefits and how-tos of dynamic and digital signage. For more information about the 2005 Systems Integration Expo, visit

For more information about NSCA, visit or call (800) 446-6722.

CEDIA: Basic Training

It has been said that you should “hire for attitude, train for skill.” That’s great advice. Unfortunately, it leaves you with the overwhelming task of providing quality training while still meeting your other business obligations. Even worse, your new employees aren’t making a full profit contribution until they are up to speed.

CEDIA EST Boot Camp, which will be held October 20 through 22 and December 1 through 3 in Indianapolis, solves both problems. In just three days of short lectures and hands-on workshops, your employees will grow in knowledge, confidence, and skill. Upon returning home, your employees will be ready to go to work and make a greater contribution to your bottom line.

Boot Camp provides the perfect combination of discussion, demonstration and hands-on exercises. The first day, participants learn the application of fundamentals as they apply to low-voltage installations. Basic installation, including mounting devices, prewire, and retrofit techniques, is covered the second day. The last day concentrates on distributed audio, multiroom video, and final installation tasks.

Register today for the October or December Boot Camp at

Build a company that is more prestigious, more powerful, and more profitable.

Membership in CEDIA means more than ever. CEDIA’s quality education programs and member-only resources are tough to duplicate. For your company, that means more prestige, more power, and more profit. Moreover, your CEDIA membership investment can pay out almost immediately. The member discounts for CEDIA EXPO, Regionals, Boot Camp, Management Conference, Professional Certification, business insurance, health insurance, tools, and more could pay out your membership dues in four minutes or less.

To make CEDIA membership more valuable than ever, several new member benefits are offered. Among the new offerings are: Identity Theft Shield, AbsoluteHire, Pre-Paid Legal Services, and the Grassroots Legislative Network. Existing benefits have been improved, such as Insurance Benefit Resourcing, which now offers a variety of health-care benefits.

For a complete list of member benefits, please visit

CEDIA is introducing a new level of membership that will raise the affiliation standards for member companies. Introduced in September, the Provisional Membership Level will provide tools to new members that will help build their businesses and prepare them to become full CEDIA members.

CEDIA eventually will introduce a full membership structure that will require a minimum number of certified staff members at each company. Continuing education standards will be another requirement for this full membership.

CEDIA Executive Director Billilynne Keller stressed that the new Provisional Membership Level is the first installment in a multiphased plan. CEDIA will introduce additional phases during the next few years and will announce details with the launch of each new phase. Members will have plenty of advance notice of the changes to ensure their businesses comply.

The new membership levels are an effort to raise the bar of excellence and strengthen the meaning of CEDIA membership. To learn more about CEDIA or to learn more about the new membership levels, visit

Certification Review & Exam at AVAD
Installer Level I
Scottsdale, Arizona

Electronic Systems Technician (EST) Boot Camp

Regional Education and Certification at EH EXPO
Long Beach, California

Electronic Systems Technician (EST) Boot Camp

CEDIA Management Conference
San Antonio, Texas

For more information on CEDIA, visit or call (800) 669-5329.

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