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AV Frequently Asked Questions


Basic Procedures and Information

Q: How do I contact AV?  
A: Via phone ((202)-885-2296), email (, fax (202-8852260) or in person (Anderson B-43). In addition, we have both on-line and downloadable request forms (see Quick Links).

Q: Where is your office?
A: Anderson B-43. It is located on the rear side of Anderson near Centennial garage and across the street from the Child Development Center. It is not accessible through the residence hall.
Q: What hours is the department open?
A: Normally 7:30 am-11:30 pm on weekdays. On weekends, AV is open as requested. In general, AV is closed for university holidays.

Q: Are weekends fully staffed by AV personnel?
A: No. Weekends are staffed on an as-needed basis. When there are no prior requests for any particular weekend, the office will be closed.  

Ordering Procedures and Policies

Q: Why am I asked to make a request even when equipment is built in or assigned to the room?
A: We schedule based upon the orders we have, so if you require help or instruction, AV personnel may be delayed, or unavailable, if there is no order entered. Also, we may be able to identify and avoid possible issues in advance, if we are contacted beforehand.  

Q: I have filled out the AV portion of the University Center’s on-line room request form. Am I done?
A: No. The on-line request form is primarily for the room schedulers/organizers, and approval does not guarantee availability of equipment. The AV department should be contacted separately. These instructions are included in the on-line form.

Q: How do I place a request for a single event/class?
A: Simply contact AV via email or phone or using our online form. In many cases, placing an order can take less than a minute.  

Q: How do I place a recurring request?
A: Contact AV, and request a “standing” order. A standing order is a request for service that repeats on the same days, times, and locations over a period of time (generally a semester, but the length can vary).

Q: What is the deadline for weekday requests?
A: The department asks 24-hour notice for weekday requests, but will try to accommodate orders with less notice. More notice is strongly suggested for events, especially those that require a large amount of equipment (for instance, multiple microphones.)  

Q: What is the deadline for weekend requests?
A: We ask that you submit your request by 5 PM Thursday afternoon at the latest. Later requests may be honored by supervisor approval if they do not require additional staffing.

Q: What information do I need to place an order?
A: The location of your event/class, the dates and times for your event/class, the equipment that is needed, and your name, department/group, and a telephone contact number.

Q: I have questions, but I don’t have a final location/date/time/equipment list. Can I still contact AV for answers?
A: We encourage customers to contact us if they have questions, and can help advise on what locations/equipment may be serve your class/event’s needs, prior to placing an order.

Q: I’m with a student group. Does the AV department support student groups?
A: The AV department does support student, as well as faculty and staff sponsored events, as long as it is a sanctioned student group. However, there may be certain types of equipment/services we cannot provide (for instance, setups for music bands.) Please contact us for more details.  

Q: I am not a member of the AU community, but I will be holding an event on the AU campus. Can I place an order?
A: The AV department does support sponsored, non-AU groups. However, we require the sponsor to initially contact us, to confirm. Once that is done, it is best to contact us directly, for follow-up, to make sure that what we can and will provide is what you need for your event. Please note: you may be charged for equipment and labor costs. We will provide a quote, beforehand.  

Q: Will I be charged for my request?
A: If you are a member of the AU community, there is no charge for the event. There is a charge for non-AU groups using AU facilities, however. Please contact the department for more policy and pricing information.  

Q: I’m in a new classroom, and/or unfamiliar with the equipment I’ll be using, can I request instruction?  
A: We can provide instruction on request. Please do make sure to be there at the time you say you will, and at a time where the space is open (if the request is for a specific space.) Alternately, we can provide training at our office. Contacting AV for instruction, in advance, is helpful in making sure a staff member capable of assisting you will be available.  

Q: There’s no built-in equipment in my space. What do I do?
A: Contact AV. Portable equipment can be provided, in many cases.

Q: Can an AV staff member stay through the class, and operate the equipment for me?
A: AV staff members are normally not available to stay throughout your class. We can help train your TA or a student in the class to assist you.

Projection, powerpoint, and videos

Q: I want to project something. What do I need?
A: You will need a projector (portable, or built-in,) and a HDMI or VGA-compatible laptop. Audio-Visual does not normally supply laptops; so please bring your own, or check one out from the Technology Services Desk of the University Library.

Q: What does HDMI and VGA mean?
A: Those are the two cable types that normally carry projection. If you need more information, please contact AV. VGA is sometimes referred to as HD15, and is currently the standard output. Most PC laptops have a VGA port on them; Macs have a display port, which can be hooked to VGA with an adaptor, or “dongle”. The AV department does not supply adaptors. HDMI is a successor format, one which will be replacing VGA over the next several years. (AV will support both formats, for the foreseeable future.)  

Q: I have a Mac, but no adaptor. What do I do?
A: The Technology Services Desk, in the Library, does loan some types of adaptors to AU faculty and staff. You will need a valid AU ID; please contact them for more information on their policies. Alternately, one can be purchased from the Apple store.

Q: I don’t know how to get my laptop to project. What do I do?
A: Unfortunately, there are many different controls, depending on make, model, and video card. AV staff can help determine and instruct you on what controls work for your laptop.

Q: What I am projecting includes not only video, but sound. What do I do?  
A: AV supports laptop audio, as well as video. Please mention you will be using computer audio as well, so it can be set up, and tested.

Q: I have a DVD I need to play. What do I do?
A: Many laptops can play DVDs; however, AV maintains DVD players in many classrooms, and can also provide a portable unit, on request. Note: Some DVDs, especially one which are “burned” or from smaller organizations, may have issues playing on players. If your DVD plays on a portable laptop, that may be a better option.  

Q: I have a VHS I need to play. What do I do?

A: AV maintains VHS players in many classrooms, and can provide a portable unit where there is no player, on request.

Q: I have a DVD/VHS that is not from North America. Will it play?
A: Many DVD/VHS discs/tapes are region specific, which means they may have issues playing on laptops and players from North America. With advance notice, AV can provide a multi-region deck, that should play your media.  

Events and audio:

Q: I am holding an indoor (non-music) event, which will require microphones for amplification. Can AV help me?
A: AV does provide microphones, and speakers, for events that require amplification (i.e. for 50 people, or more.) Please make sure to contact us in advance; a week is requested for microphone events. AV does not generally provide amplification in small event spaces or classrooms.

Q: I am holding an outdoor (non-music) event, which will require microphones for amplification. Can AV help me?
A: AV does provide microphones, and speakers, for events that require amplification. However, outdoor events require approval for the University Center; AV cannot set up without notification of approval. Also, due to liability issues, Facilities (2-FIX) must be contacted to provide power for speakers and any other equipment that may be needed.  

Q: Does AV do setup for music events?
A: AV generally does not provide setup for music events (bands or DJs).

Q: I am holding an event or class that requires audio recording. Can AV help me?
A: AV can provide recording equipment that will hook into the PA system (if amplified) or stand alone.

Q: I want a microphone/s for my class. Can AV help me?  
A: AV does not provide microphones for classes, except for some spaces where the equipment is built in. Short-term exceptions may be made for health reasons; please contact AV for more information.

Q: I have an event with microphones, and I have outside media coming in. What do I do?
A: AV can provide an audio feed, on request. Please make sure to let AV know in advance, so it can be provided. If you have any concerns regarding compatibility, it may be a good idea to give the contact information for the person requiring the feed.

Q: I want to play music through a laptop or other audio device. What do I do?
A: AV can provide a speaker for a laptop or ipod. Please mention this when placing your order, so the proper equipment and cabling can be provided.

Questions about other services

Q: I need a camera. Does AV provide cameras, and can AV operate them.
A: AV does provide cameras, but does not normally operate them. If you need a videographer, Academic Multimedia Services may be able to help you.

Q: Does AV provide other types of equipment?
A: AV does provide an amount of other equipment, including, but not limited to, slide projectors, document cameras, and CD players. Please contact the department for more info.

Q: Does AV provide lighting equipment?
A: AV does not provide lighting equipment.

Q: Does AV provide videoconferencing, or streaming services?
A: AV does provide videoconferencing and streaming services, in some locations.

Other services:

Q: I am not familiar with the equipment in the classroom that I have been assigned. Do you provide training?
A: Yes, we do. Please call the AV office to arrange a training session either at the beginning of your class period or at a time when no classes are in session.

Q: Does AV loan portable computer projectors for off campus use?
A: Generally, no. AV will provide portable projectors only in campus locations that do not have installed equipment.

Q: I am having a problem with my equipment in my class or event. What do I do?
A: Contact AV. In many cases, a staff member can respond quickly to your event. Please provide as much detail as possible, and please make sure you have an accurate location. If equipment is broken or requires maintenance please call AV with complete details or fill out our system problem reporting form.