People hire us to be the experts, and we are. But, our customers are very much responsible for their own satisfaction. They cooperate with planning and implementation to make their jobs successful. Without their cooperation it would be sheer luck that a job would turn out entirely to their liking. So, yes, we’re letting you know upfront that you should allow time for consultation and that the results are well worth it! Consider speaking with a couple of our customers to see what it’s like doing business–ask us for a reference or two. And, if you’re an Angie’s List member you may read our reviews. We’re A-rated by Angie’s list members.
Most customers tell us how grateful they are that we’re thorough.
Our attention to detail is key to customer satisfaction. There are lots of such details in a typical family room TV installation, like the one pictured here. Most people realize this and figure they should call in an expert. For what they perceive as smaller jobs, however, the proper planning never happens and people’s expectations and needs aren’t met.
“An AV expert is overkill.”
Consider a job so “small” as hanging a TV, connecting a cable box, and choosing and hanging a new shelf for the cable box. Homeowners almost always want this type of installation to look neat and clean. The open shelf is at odds with this goal, but it can be less expensive than hiding the cable box in a nearby closet. To do jobs like this right, we’ll consider many mundane things that other companies will either ignore or not even bring to the customer’s attention. Just some of those include:
1. Will the bracket provide the necessary access behind the TV in the future? Or, will it be necessary to remove the TV from the bracket for such access. How much time, man-power, and money will that future access require?
2. The TV’s wall bracket needs to be bolted into studs so that it’s secure. But, what if the studs aren’t centered around where you want the vertical center of the TV to be? Can the bracket secure to those studs while, at the same time, allowing you to position the TV–left to right on the wall–where you need it to go? And, what if the studs aren’t of the standard 16″ spacing. Will the bracket allow for that?
3. Where will the TV be plugged-in so that the power cord is hidden and so that electrical code is followed? Plugging it in behind the wall means having an electrical outlet installed behind the TV and this is an added expense. (There’s a less expensive alternative that we often employ so don’t spend money having your electrician give you an outlet behind your TV until you speak with us!)
4. Where should the wires enter/exit the wall behind the TV so that they’re not in the way of the bracket?
5. How will the wires–power, HDMI, coaxial cable, others–be kept out of site with only an open shelf and no enclosed cabinet to hide them?
6. What height should the shelf be? Should the shelf be right on top of the existing AC outlet and CATV jack so that it best hides those unsightly wall plates and the wires that attach to them? If you do that then the shelf is too low to be used for your car keys or your wallet or your remote control.
Being just high enough to make the shelf usable to lay things down on, it’s still low enough that the ports and wires beneath the shelf are largely invisible unless one crouches low to see them. Securing the wires and power supply to the underside of the shelf ensures nothing hangs loose, and keeping the tie wraps loose that hold the wires makes for easier change-outs.
Behind and to the left of the photographer is a bed from which this TV will be viewed. Ideally, the TV would be centered on the foot of the bed but there are closet doors opposite the foot of the bed. The TV is as far left as it could go without it looking to “off” relative to the shelf. The shelf is as far left as it can go and still hide the right-most wall outlet. And, the shelf could be no wider or else it would interfere with the closet door opening. The closet was ruled out as a location for the cable box as putting it there would cost more money. Also, the shelf is useful for wallet, keys, and a mobile phone. DH Audio and Home Theater selected an in wall outlet expander with USB charging to make this location more useful.
7. If the wires need to pass through the shelf, how will the shelf take to cutting or drilling to make a hole? Most off-the-shelf shelves aren’t wood. They’re of a much less forgiving material with veneers that can easily crack. (It took a while to both find and to get delivered, but we found a finished wood shelf of the right dimensions and color.)
8. How should the hole be finished? (A work desk grommet was a good choice, here.)
9. How will the shelf brackets be secured to the wall and to the shelf. The core of most ready-to-buy shelves disintegrates easily. What hardware is appropriate? (Another reason to hold out for the wood shelf.)
10. The shelf brackets need to be secured to studs. What if the brackets aren’t equidistant from the vertical center of the TV. Will it look too off? (In this case the customer decided it was fine.)
A site survey is required for this job–and most any job–as well as a meeting with the homeowner. Some research on the appropriate and/or available materials will often be required. There will be travel time associated with the meeting and/or the materials research.
All told, such a simple job could easily involve four hours of prep. It’s the right way to do it. It’s also free.
Four hours of prep time is very low. Prep time usually falls between 10 and 30 hours and easily rises to dozens of hours for larger jobs. It’s still free.
Others charge for this time. What’s the catch? Our prices are competitive with the other dealers instead of being the absolute lowest you’ll find anywhere. That way, we can stay in business. Also, since we’re not a brick and mortar store and since we order equipment only as needed, our overhead is very low.
Planning is best done in advance, of course.
If you think checking out any of the above–or something else–might be useful then give a call to (973) 428- 9800 and let’s see if we can help.
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