Hot Take: Creating Space, and When to Consult an AV Integrator

Hot Take: Creating Space, and When to Consult an AV Integrator

Home technology is continuing to evolve.

Residential AV now encompasses security, automation and networking, addressing the demand for robust whole-home control. In the wake of these trends, it’s critical that the AV integrator be brought into the conversation with the builder and/or architect before construction begins. This will ensure the home has the dedicated space, power and thermal management these solutions require.

Traditionally, the location of AV systems has been an afterthought to the build process. It is often relegated to small closets, which are grossly insufficient to meet the needs of today’s sophisticated AV products. Whole-home control, security, networking and shading solutions typically have a lot of components and need more room. Most installations also require space with front and rear access, granting integrators the flexibility they need to install and service these systems.

Proper thermal management and power are also essential. When an integrator can get in early and coordinate with the general contractor, electrician and HVAC company, it provides the opportunity to address those requirements, such as specifying additional HVAC to vent and cool the system and dedicated 120V circuits for convenient, proper power.

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Ideally the entire system infrastructure would be tied together and routed back to a central location, simplifying the user interface and easing maintenance and servicing for integrators. However, if an integrator can’t get in early, the system would potentially have to be scaled down or mounted into local rack solutions.

While integrators can get creative where to put system components while still ensuring reliability—such as a small rack inside of a custom cabinet or behind the display—it doesn’t always translate into the fully integrated, whole-home automation experience users want.

Pre-planning on the front end for space, cooling and power ensures a smooth and reliable installation and will lead to a better experience for everyone involved.

161208-map-leblanc-rossRoss LeBlanc

Residential Market Manager, SW, Middle Atlantic Products

As Market Manager for Middle Atlantic Products, Ross LeBlanc manages all residential business for the southwest territory, including Southern California, Arizona and Southern Nevada. He works closely with direct Middle Atlantic dealers as well as authorized distributors. An accomplished AV professional, LeBlanc possesses a deep knowledge and over a decade’s experience in full service AV integration, installation and maintenance of audio, video equipment and consumer electronics. He holds a BA from the University of New Hampshire.

About The Author

Greg Vellante is a staff writer and multimedia specialist at TecHome Builder, as well as a content coordinator for AE Ventures events. He has over a decade of experience writing for various publications on topics that range from cinema to editorials to home technology. His favorite technologies fall into the A/V and home entertainment realm, and he’s keeping a close eye on the rising trends in robotics and virtual/augmented reality. Greg resides in Boston, holds a degree in Media Studies from Emerson College and pursues screenwriting/filmmaking in his free time.

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