The installation of a Rayva pre-fabricated home theater makes a promise to integrators of an easy turnkey process that can allow them to perform more installations in a shorter period of time. That claim was recently put to the test by Elevated Integration, which installed a Rayva home theater in a house in Westchester, NY.
For those unfamiliar with Rayva, it was created by Theo Kalomirakis and a team of residential AV professionals to provide high-quality turnkey home theaters — plans, materials, and equipment — so that contractors and integrators can quickly install and sell more of the systems. Rayva has been working closely with the integrator community and has made adjustments based upon feedback, including allowing the integrators to spec out the equipment for the project based on their own experience and skills.
In this particular case, Rayva had the client first, and found its way to Elevated Integration, which has offices in New York City, Westchester County, NY, and Long Island, through Azione Unlimited, of which Rayva is a member. Azione president Richard Glikes recommended Elevated, and the match was made.
By the time Elevated was brought in, the homeowner had already worked with Rayva executive director Kalomirakis to select the company’s Origami theater design and map out the level of performance and options that he wanted. Elevated Integration was brought into the project by Rayva to provide last-minute equipment recommendations for the theater and to do the actual installation.
“The aesthetic design was there and the gear had been generally selected,” says Elevated Integration president Nick DeClemente, “although Rayva and the homeowner took our recommendations to make some adjustments based on our experience and our ability to best service the client long term.”
So was the installation as easy as Rayva suggests? “The contractor delivered a black room to the specified dimensions,” says DeClemente. “We pre-wired it for the audio and video equipment, and I worked as liaison between Rayva and the contractor as it related to understanding what the end goal was and then making minor adjustments of things to better suit that vision.
“We coordinated the delivery of all the panels and the equipment, installed the speakers during the trim-out phase, and assembled and hung the panels on the wall. Rayva was there with us for that last portion.”
Elevated didn’t have to worry about the installation of the theater chairs — they arrived via white-glove delivery, with DeClemente simply signing for them and telling the delivery company where to put them.
The entire installation process went smoothly — and quickly. “For the quality of the end result, it was a shockingly short installation,” he says. “We did the whole interior in three days. I think that Rayva has done a good job of listening to their integrators and taking advice from us as we’ve worked through projects with them. It looks like a much more custom project than it is.”
New Theater, New Client
The completion of the Rayva theater above the garage was just the beginning of a larger project for Elevated and the client. Bitten by the tech bug from his theater experience, the client went on to add an extensive Lutron lighting system, automation and control by Savant, a KEF distributed audio system, and a reference-level 2-channel listening room. Outside, Elevated installed a 7.1-channel outdoor surround sound system around the pool with a projector and a screen that used Savant, AudioControl, and Coastal Source Ellipse Bollard speakers.
“This is not somebody that was on our radar, and we were not on his radar,” says DeClemente. “We were introduced to the client by Rayva, so our relationship with Rayva immediately has generated a real business opportunity.
“We were able to go in and add a full lighting control system, climate control system, whole-house distributed audio with a couple of extremely high-performance areas, and KEF Reference in-wall speakers in three locations with Parasound Halo amplification.” Elevated also distributed the theater’s Kaleidescape system throughout the house. And though there is no shading system, they added 120 loads to a retrofitted lighting system.
With Elevated being a Savant Platinum Dealer, the choice of an automation system was simple for them. “We’re very very committed to that platform,” says DeClemente, “and we put it to use as a distributed audio control integration interface, including door entry.”
Although the Rayva theater is the main space for movie watching, the client also required two other media rooms. “One is a basic 5.1 surround sound system with a 75-inch flat screen in what they call the family room,” says DeClemente. “Then there’s an in-ceiling surround system with both that and the family room using different flavors of Marantz receivers. Each TV has an Apple TV and a TiVo that are local, and then we have the Kaleidescape system.”
The Rayva system is separated from the rest of the system, with the exception of the distributed audio in case the family wanted to listen to music in the theater room.
Everybody in the Pool
Having an Olympic-sized pool in the backyard is already impressive, but this client wanted more. “It’s pretty wild,” says DeClemente. “He wanted something that totally blew people’s minds. And, for us, there’s been one choice for outdoor AV — Coastal Source. They have a two-way outdoor ultra high performance speaker with 8-inch built-in subs that bury a portion of the speaker in the ground. It aesthetically looks good outside. We did seven of those and treated them as full range, then we did seven additional Coastal Source subs, which is earth-shattering. It’s 7.1, but it’s really 7.7.”
This installation is the gift that keeps on giving, and not just in recurring monthly revenue, which Elevated Integration is in the process of rolling out, but also in more work for this client, as Elevated is starting to plan a project for one of the client’s other homes.
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Since this installation, Elevated has become a Rayva Premium Dealer, which gives them access to a co-branded version of the company’s Online Configurator Tool, a premier dealer listing on Rayva’s website, Rayva design booklets, and, for the first three months, social media promotion from the company to an area within 50 miles of the dealer’s location.
“Rayva is at the top of our list when it comes to these kinds of projects because it is a company that brings us opportunities that are very legitimate,” says DeClemente. “We get manufacturer referrals all the time, but it doesn’t always turn out to be something fruitful. Rayva is like a pre-qualification for a decent-sized project.”