ZDI Inc. Achieves InfoComm International AV Provider of Excellence Distinction

Zdi, Inc. has qualified as an InfoComm International AV Provider of Excellence, or APEx, and is the first company honored with this distinction. The InfoComm APEx program is a marketing recognition program for integration companies and AV design consulting firms dedicated to upholding industry excellence by providing quality service to customers.

The InfoComm APEx program recognizes companies based on the number of employees holding key industry certifications, including InfoComm’s CTS credential, completion of continuing education classes, and positive customer survey responses. APEx providers must also use two ANSI/INFOCOMM standards, the Standard Guide for Audiovisual Systems Design and Coordination Processes and the AV System Performance Verification Standard, to foster better communication between the AV provider and the client.

“The APEx designation gives AV companies a mark of distinction in the marketplace,” said David Labuskes, CTS, RCDD, InfoComm International’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “Customers of APEx companies can be confident of the AV provider’s professionalism and commitment to ongoing training, customer service and dedication to excellence.”

“We are honored to be the first to receive this distinguished award,” said Aaron McArdle, CEO of Zdi. “The APEx designation is an excellent example of our commitment to upholding the highest professional and technical standards in the audiovisual industry.”

For more information on the APEx Program, visit infocomm.org/APEx.

Zdi Achieves Elite Status with Cisco

Premier integrator Zdi has recently achieved an impressive designation with international powerhouse Cisco. Zdi is the second integrator in the States and third worldwide to receive the Cisco Preferred Solutions Developer status in the Cisco Developer Network (CDN).

CDN is where third-party developers gain access to Cisco technologies and support resources to craft compelling business solutions for unifying data, voice, video, and mobile communications on Cisco development platforms.

Preferred Solutions Developers must meet strict requirements, including channel readiness, dedicated business development resources, 24 x 7 support, and industry certifications (CTS-D, CTS-I, AQAV). With this status, Zdi works with Cisco to deliver enhanced solutions, including Zdi’s Project Workplace Development (PWD) integrated room solution that was recently certified as Cisco Compatible. Zdi’s lead engineer Jay McArdle says, “We are truly honored and excited about our continuing relationship with Cisco. We see this as the next step in differentiating Zdi from the rest of the market, while also forming more relationships in the IT space.”

Zdi Is First in the World to Receive Cisco Compatible Designation

Premier integrator Zdi has received special status from international powerhouse Cisco for its Project Workplace Development (PWD) integrated room solution. Zdi is the first company in the world to get an integrated room solution certified as Cisco Compatible.

Zdi lead engineer Jay McArdle says, “This has been a taxing but fulfilling process. We are excited to be the first certified room solution and hope many more of our designs earn this designation.”

Cisco’s PWD solution comes to life using owner-furnished (OFE) Cisco equipment in conjunction with Zdi-provided room equipment, installation, configuration, and commissioning. These rooms remedy the marketplace gap for a simple and consistent communications experience.

Zdi Presents Project Workplace Development with Cisco at Enterprise Connect

2013-03-18 19.58.00More than 5,000 Enterprise Connect attendees will have the opportunity to hear Zdi present its Project Workplace Development (PWD) solution with Cisco. According to Enterprise Connect, this is “the leading conference and exposition on enterprise communications and collaboration,” scheduled for March 18–21, 2013, at the Gaylord Palms Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Jay McArdle will attend Enterprise Connect for the Zdi presentation, and says, “We are excited about the opportunity to present with Cisco at such a prestigious event.”

Zdi has emerged in recent years as one of the premier integrators in the field. In Cisco’s Project Workplace Development program, Zdi is the first company in the world to get an integrated room solution certified as Cisco Compatible (details here). In addition, Zdi is the second integrator in the United States and third worldwide to achieve the Cisco Preferred Solutions Developer status in the Cisco Developer Network.

At Enterprise Connect, Zdi will be presenting its PWD solution in the partner pavilion inside the Cisco Booth at this exhibition that boasts more than 150 companies. Corporate IT decision makers, industry vendors, analysts, and consultants will have the opportunity to meet the Zdi team and learn about the integrated room solution available through this Cisco/Zdi partnership.

The Showcase Features Zdi’s Work at Peoria Riverfront Museum

The Showcase magazine has profiled the Peoria Riverfront Museum in its Winter 2013 issue. The article titled “On the Riverfront” highlights Zdi’s work for the museum:

“Systems Integrator Zdi played a large role in the development of the project and all of the exciting technology.

[ . . . ]

“In addition to the audio and controls in the Giant Screen Theater, Zdi was also responsible for digital signage, room-scheduling, classroom and boardroom technology, lighting control integration, and AV for outdoor projection.”

Read the article in full on pages 29–30, and see photography showcasing the beauty of the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

Zdi Team Boasts Certified Quality Technicians

The audiovisual team at Zdi recently added the Association for Quality in AV Technology (AQAV) to its extensive list of certifications. Eight employees have already completed the AQAV Certified Quality Technician program, with three more scheduled for spring 2013.

Quality is key for Zdi, a leader in the audiovisual field. Lead engineer Jay McArdle says, “The audiovisual industry as a whole struggles with standards and the ability to define when a job is truly done. AQAV has presented the industry with the tools and training to finally quantify, complete, and assure quality in audiovisual projects. Zdi is proud to be one of the first companies to adopt these standards and train its staff with the knowledge and techniques required to be a leader in the field.”

These certifications show the commitment of Zdi technicians who commit hours to prepare and complete such testing. Zdi is proud of its team’s passion for excellence and how that passion greatly benefits its clients.

Zdi’s Jeremy Caldera Earns CTS-I and Elite Ranking

Another elite status designation can be added to the already impressive list of certifications held by Zdi. When Zdi engineer Jeremy Caldera earned his CTS-I, he became one of approximately 100 worldwide to hold both the CTS-I and CTS-D. And this is Zdi’s second employee to hold both—a remarkable achievement.

Caldera committed hours of preparation and testing to earn this prestigious designation. Zdi, a world-class integration company, attributes its knack for success to a driving passion for the field. Zdi lead engineer Jay McArdle says, “Jeremy is a truly brilliant engineer. We are all proud of the hard work and dedication he has shown over the past year at Zdi. He is a leader among his peers, a huge asset to our team.”

Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District


Multitasking is imperative for employees of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD). Imagine the coordination needed to provide more than 11,000,000 rides per year with 100-plus vehicles along more than 40 routes. Technology keeps CUMTD running smoothly.

When it was time to upgrade the CUMTD control center, AECom was asked designed the system and Zdi won the bid to implement AECom’s design. The update required a live video feed from 300 newly installed cameras that monitored high-traffic terminal areas as well as the administrative and facility buildings at CUMTD.

A large video wall was designed to display the different camera locations, routes, and the traffic to affectively monitor patrons and service. Zdi lead engineer Jay McArdle helped with the layout of the content and the windows on the wall, which is comprised of 10 CHRISTIE FHD551-X tiled LCD flat panels. (As one of the first installs of this technology from Christie, a case study was completed by Christie and can be read here.) These flat panels are built to run for only 20 hours in a 24-hour period, but CUMTD needs 24-hour coverage. So McArdle devised a schedule for switching off the bottom five screens for a four-hour rest, then doing the same for the top five. This keeps the panels from running over their factory warranty rating.

CUMTD’s technical director Brad Cronk says “Zdi was immediately responsive to our requests. All technicians were knowledgeable and well prepared.” Karl Gnadt, director of market development attests “the [dispatchers] love the new control center, love the screens and their ability to enlarge images and see video feeds.”

In fact, CUMTD staff was so pleased, they asked Zdi to provide a solution for a new conference room. Zdi installed an 80-inch, touch interactive display, giving the CUMTD staff more simplified information sharing in presentations and meetings while minimizing complicated controls and wiring.

Gnadt stresses that employees, visitors, and guests alike are very impressed. The customers would be too, if they only knew of the behind-the-scenes technology that makes CUMTD run without a hitch.

Oaks Community Church


Corporate buildings and transport hubs are not the only places that use Audio/Visual displays to expand their impact. Worship Centers are also looking for new ways to make their messages more accessible and more understandable to their ever-expanding communities. This was the case at Oaks Community Church in Dahinda, Il. Oaks Community had received donations, large and small, to build a brand new sanctuary and fellowship hall. As part of the construction, the church administrators had chosen to include two large screens, one on either side of the cross, to share media and live feeds of each service. An additional screen and projector were to be placed in the fellowship hall. These two solutions were integrated so that more people would be able to participate in each of the church’s services. Concerned with the presence of two screens so close to their symbol of faith, Oaks Community Pastor, Marty Briney approached his Zdi, Inc. project manager to inquire about developing an alternative design.

Zdi, Inc. was able to create a design that allowed the cross to remain the focal point of each service with two screens angled out toward the congregation to compliment it. Rear-projection was then used to display the images on the screens maintain a simple, clean look for the center of worship.

Everyone is elated with the rear projection screen solution,” states Reverend Marty Briney. “Obviously [Zdi, Inc’s] engineers know their stuff, and that brings peace of mind in an area far outside our expertise.” Zdi, Inc. was also asked to provide Audio solutions for the new sanctuary. In accordance with the desire to keep the altar wall free of distraction and creating a system that would make optimal use of the sanctuary’s space, Zdi, Inc, proposed a JBL speaker array that hangs from the central support beam. Once the array was hung, church administrators voiced concerns. “We had some issues to work through, “ states Reverend Marty Briney. They felt the array hung too low, and slightly obstructed the cross. Zdi, Inc. went straight to work to make an acceptable adjustment.

I feel Zdi helped in a very professional manner. I was very impressed when one of the owners of the company came out to address our hanging “black banana” speaker system and personally negotiated a very fine solution.” In addition to the JBL speakers, the audio system was rounded out with a new Soundcraft GB2 Audio board, and a custom front of house rack to provide optimal benefit for the church’s needs.

Green City Schools

In 2012, Zdi was given the opportunity to work with a school district centered in Green City, Missouri. The Green City school system is comprised of four schools, each ten miles from the other. The schools share one program to teach accelerated students and over the last ten years have used Video conferencing to teach remotely to four different classrooms in four different buildings. Zdi was brought in to upgrade their broken and antiquated system to allow for simpler communication and to enhance teaching utility remotely.

Zdi chose to use a Cisco C20 codec allowing for a more clear and secure connection between schools. The C20 codec and classroom capture allows for students unable to attend school, to view their class from home. As part of the Video conferencing system Zdi provided each Green City School with a Smartboard projector, Smartboard, front and rear video displays, Vaddio cameras, document cameras, and ceiling microphones.

The configuration designed by Zdi was to allow each teacher to remotely view their students on the rear (60) sixty inch video confidence display while the students would be able to see what was being presented to them on the front (80) eighty inch display. With a camera mounted on top of each display, the students are also able to see their fellow classmates in the remote locations if they ask questions as well as their instructor as they teach the material.

The instructors are able to control the source of their presentation with a Crestron Desktop touch panel, programmed with presets to each school location, and each source output (i.e. document camera, Smartboard, etc.). This allows the instructors maximum flexibility with the materials they reference and how they want them presented to their students.