Over the last year (and with increasing frequency lately) we have been regularly asked to install audio systems and flat panel TV’s that people have purchased from other retailers. As much as we would like to help, most times we find ourselves unable to accomodate those requests. I thought it might be helpful to explain why it appears we would turn down this potential business. Digital Lifestyles and likely any other reputable CEDIA certified custom electronics integrators (there are some very good ones locally as well) operate as a full service and one stop solution for our customers. In other words we;
Because we fully warranty and guarantee the results of the components we install, I’m sure you can appreciate that we are somewhat selective in terms of the brands we will sell and how they all work together. Introducing random brands and features on equipment can be an experience in frustration. There are many LCD TV sets sold in the market place that are not fully compatible with new PVR systems, high definition DVD players and game systems. They may require extensive work arounds that require additional parts and labour which nobody ends up being happy with. Thats only one of many examples we could illustrate and there are other factors to consider. We are dealing with a very high technology and complicated product that is constantly evolving. Standards change, manufacturers make revisions, software updates and model changes multiple times per year. Our staff has to be fully versed and qualified to design, install and service our systems. Quite frankly, there isn’t enough qualified people in the industry at this point to meet demand. Our first responsibility has to be our customers who have chosen to purchase with us and our installation resources are geared towards that end. Many big box retailers are now attempting to offer installation as we have passed the point where the majority of the population can install themselves. Since more and more homes have some sort of structured media wiring (see FAQ on our site) we see a lot of confusion out there when someone tries to install or attach equipment to the wires. Terminating and identifying rough in cabling requires specialized tools, parts and knowlege. Any qualified installer should be able to identify and properly terminate wiring and cables that have been installed using industry approved methods and best practices. I’m of the mind that if a retailer sells the equipment, they should be able to offer ( at an additional charge) install and service in a competent manner. That doesn’t mean dropping off some boxes, or hanging a TV on a wall with the wires exposed and no where to plug it in. That low cost or “free” installation can can be a frustrating and costly learning experience for a customer. I would encourage everyone to obtain all of the information and decide what level of service you are going to require before you make the purchasing decision. Don’t make the mistake of purchasing first and leaving the installation and intergration details until after. I would encourage everyone contemplating the purchase and integration of home electronics to consult with a qualified company or individual first and foremost. All said and done it will cost less and perform so much better. I hope this offers a better understanding and encourages people to plan more in terms of their electrnics and entertainment integration in their homes. Drop us line or leave your comments if you have any questions.
Thanks for reading