A/V Recommendation?

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    We are renovating our apartment and our architect suggested hiring an A/V consultant to help with the TVs and related audio. We got proposals from his two contacts and they feel like highway robbery. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks!

    14 Replies

    1. If you’re an audio/videophile, you’ll want a Consultant. A consultant does more than recommend where to put the wires. They recommend and specify high-end equipment, servers for your ipod music, sophisticated remote controls, wiring diagrams, home automation, lighting and shade controls, etc. The price is high because it’s a very unique service and the equipment is very sophisticated. Some homeowners have multiple homes and there is the ability to link each homes server with automatic updates, etc.

      If you’re not an audiophile and don’t care about all the stuff I mentioned above, then your architect can do a simple home network/data wiring diagram for your electrician to follow. I actually did this myself in my home. I ran all the speaker and CATV cable myself. We don’t have sophisticated equipment though.

    2. 10:58 here again.

      Post up a diagram of the room and im sure we can figure it out for free on the forum!

    3. more importantly, technology in the wireless area is changing so quickly that you may not need all that wiring in three years. we had our house wired for ethernet cables which are now totally useless.

    4. 6:16,

      On most posts concerning the costs of home improvements done by others than the owner I would tend to agree, but in this case I think the responses are questioning the need for engaging an A/V consultant at all, not whether the fee is too high. Note that it’s the architect who recommended getting a consultant; it wasn’t the OP’s idea. Probably the architect has some buddy to whom he wants to direct some work.

    5. People always think everything costs too much except of course the work they do, which doesn’t cost enough.

    6. Agree with johnife.

      If you know where you want to position each piece of equipment (look at home theater websites like sound and vision magazine, and avsforums.com) all you really need are the wires run for speaker wire, electric (say you mount a TV on the wall), and all the connections between the TV and the boxes (cable, DVD, receiver), etc. Map it out clearly.

      If your mounting a tv to the wall, be sure to reinforce the wall if it is just plain sheetrock.

      Also, you can use the above references to help you find good equipment, or just go to a specialty store (high end) or big box retailer (BB, CC, PcRichards) and test them yourself.

      Most electricians and general contractorss can run the wiring through the walls (if your walls are open now, even better).

      Or, you can spend an arm and a leg.

    7. Glad you said that, 12:54. How hard is it to plug in some cables? Some have more money than sense.

    8. If you know where the TV, amp, etc. will be and where you want the speakers it boggles my mind that you need a consultant to define the route of the wiring and cabling.

    9. Talk to the electrician who’s doing that part of the job. Maybe they are perfectly capable of doing this part of this part of the job.

    10. Figure out where the couch is going to go. put the tv in front of it…

      no need for a consultant in an apartmant AV set up…