Football season is nearing the end, the holidays are over and your brain has already begun the switch into summer mode. There are many reasons you may be thinking about creating or upgrading your home theater or house audio. Before you take the leap, allow us to share some of the most common mistakes we've encountered over the years in the business. Trust us, we've seen it all.
1) Overbuying technology: We all know technology is constantly changing, evolving and
improving. Walk into any electronics store and you can easily be dazzled by all the choices. HDTV, 3D TV, 4k Ultra HD, curved TVs -- the newest must be the best, right? Not necessarily. One question I frequently get these days is “Will I get a better picture with that 4K HDTV?” If you are watching 1080p content (normal HD), the picture will look very similar for the most part. If you have access to 4K content (currently offered by Netflix), you will see an improved picture quality. If you are considering a screen that is 70 inches or larger, then 4K Ultra HD may make sense for you. This is especially true when you use a projector for a truly immersive experience.
2) Not having proper cabinet cooling: Equipment isn't pretty, so homeowners often hide it in cabinets for aesthetic purposes. While this is a great idea, the equipment creates heat that can
cause damage, shorten the lifespan, and is often not covered under a warranty in the event of a failure. You may think putting an AC vent in the cabinet will solve this problem, but your AC doesn't run all year or even all day in the summer. When the AC fan isn't blowing, the cabinet warms up quickly. The goal is to get the heat out. Putting a quiet fan in the back of the cabinet that sucks cool air in from the front and then pulls heat out the back will fix this problem. You can even add a thermostat so that the fan only runs when the cabinet gets warm.
3) Underestimating future needs: When you're running cable, especially in a two-story house, plan for what kind of wiring you'll need even if you're not going to use it today. Wiring in advance while a house is being built or remodeled is more cost-effective (and far less of a headache) than doing it once the house is complete.
4) Not checking cables before you close up the walls: Even if you've thought ahead and had cables put in all over the house, they can be inadvertently moved during construction. An AV professional can perform an inspection to be sure the cable is where it needs to be and is not damaged before the drywall goes up so your cable will be where you expect it to be when you need it.
5) Wiring the whole house for audio from the same source: Do your kids really want to hear your music? Despite what we know is your excellent taste in music, the answer is probably not. Instead, consider targeting specific areas such as the living room, dining room and patio. For the kids, consider setting up a listening zone just for them. If you want the whole house wired, an AV professional can create a design that lets everyone enjoy their own tunes.
6) Forgetting about the backyard: Maybe your backyard isn't ready for prime time just yet, but that doesn't mean it never will be. If you're dreaming about an outdoor oasis to entertain friends, plan ahead. You can put speaker wire in a flower bed and pre-wire for a TV so these wires are available when your dream becomes a reality.
A true AV professional can do more than install audio that shakes the walls with thumping bass or a TV that can be seen from next door. We can consult on new or remodeled systems to make sure you get the most from your investment. All you have to do is ask. We're happy to help and we won't laugh at you.