Most of our customers see the end result of their project and think that we must be magicians. Understandably so, the average person doesn’t know what happens behind the scenes of an audio / video installation. I am going to break the magician’s code and reveal the secret world of AV installation.
Contract, Ordering, and Delivery
Once a customer has signed a contract, all of the AV equipment must be ordered and received in the warehouse. Most companies do not stock every possible part and piece because there are so many different audio / video components a customer may want or need, and the technology and products are changing all the time. This is why there is a short but reasonable wait from the time you order your system to the time it is installed.
A surprising amount of technology integration companies skip this next step. However, this step is one of the most important during the AV installation process. Here at Fulkra, we call this lab. In our laboratory, technicians unbox, test, and connect all equipment to verify functionality and interoperability. A majority of programming and configuration is also completed in lab. Some audio / video equipment can be considered ‘plug-and-play’, but a surprising number of AV devices, such as surround sound receivers, require a fair amount of configuration. In order to have the most efficient and problem-free installation possible, all of this must happen before the technician ever arrives on site.
Audio / video installations require infrastructure. The first step to any AV installation job starts with the prewiring (during building construction) or retrofitting (existing building) of the required in-wall and in-ceiling wiring, boxes, and brackets. This may mean physically running wires through the open studs to the future speaker locations and installing pre-construction brackets. It may also mean cutting holes in the wall (with a magic wand, sometimes called a ‘sawzall’) to run wires up the inside of an existing stud bay from the equipment location (with the most magical of wands, known as a fiberglass rod) to a new flat panel television location. If the installation was a prewire-type application, everything prewired will have to be ‘trimmed’. This means installing speakers and volume controls where they have been prewired, installing pass-through and other trim plates, and ‘terminating’ wires with connectors for hookup to ‘finish’ equipment. AV installations are varied, so the makeup of the installation is dictated by the scope of work.
Once the infrastructure is in place, the finish equipment can be installed. Finish equipment is all of the ‘head-end’ or ‘source’ gear. These are streaming media players, Blu-Ray Disc players, cable or satellite receivers, and AV receivers. All of the sources must be connected to the AV receiver with the correct interconnect cable to the correct input port. Speaker wires are also punched down to the amplifier or receiver. The display device, whether a TV or projector, must be connected to the AV receiver with an HDMI cable (a high definition cable) to the output port of the receiver. If there is a universal remote, it would be programmed to give the customer as few button-pushes as possible to perform the various functions. For example, a ‘macro’ might be written to power on the BD player, power on the receiver, power on the TV, and, after an appropriate delay, simulate the PLAY button on the BD player, all from the press of the BD Player button on the universal remote.
AV installations are extremely complex, especially if done right. That’s why we have the philosophy to make it as seamless as possible for the customer. We make all of these complexities invisible from the perspective of the customer. Fulkra takes the opportunity to make your life simpler through the application of technology.
Call 877.738.5572 today for more information about av installation. Fulkra is America’s favorite technology integration company!