A CEDIA EXPO Game Plan for the Middle Market

I spoke with my friend Mark at Home Theater Advisors to get his thoughts and perspectives on what he wants to get out of the CEDIA EXPO 2014. I want to share his plan with the rest of you.
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As loyal readers know, my integration company is a Crestron shop now and, therefore, plan to spend much of our time at CEDIA EXPO this September with Crestron and Crestron Partners. I will be writing a game plan for The Source Home Theater in the coming weeks, but for this week, I spoke with my friend Mark at Home Theater Advisors to get his thoughts and perspectives on what he wants to get out of the show. I want to share his plan with the rest of you. I hope that you will share your plans with us in the comments section below.

This will be Mark’s fourth year going to CEDIA. In the past he has focused on networking products, AVRs, wiring, and tools. Last year he took some networking classes. Basically, he focused on the things you need to learn about when starting up a new AV business. Now he is looking to delve deeper and spend more time on custom products.

His first priority is selecting a new control company. He has been having problems with RF interference in his current offering, so he will be looking at other control companies that meet a basic price point but are also scalable to larger systems. He is leaning toward RTI and Pro Control but will also check out some Crestron products, BitWise Controls, and maybe even Clare Control.

Once he settles his control partner, it will be on to lighting. The control partner will influence where he goes from here, but like all of us in the industry—even at the entry-level, single-room install—lighting is a great category to offer. There is solid profit and clients love it once they use it, leading to add on sales. Again, clearly it depends on the control partner, but he will likely be looking at Lutron. Especially with RadioRA being able to act as a trigger into many control processors to activate an event (like goodnight, hello, good-bye, etc)

Mark purchases a lot from SnapAV and is interested in checking out their IP monitoring technology, OvrC, which works with their Wattbox IP power products. While there he’ll probably poke around to check out some media distribution, their new pre-assembled racks, and their network switches.

Additionally, he’ll be exploring a new company for his articulating mount; he hasn’t found the one that works the best for NYC apartments where walls can be a challenge. As well, he’ll looking at networking gear, as he currently uses Apple Airports and wants to go with something more robust but not too expensive for his market—maybe Luxul or similar. And he’s always on the lookout for cool new tools to help make installs easier!

How about all of you? What’s your game plan? What do you want to get out of CEDIA EXPO 2014?

+Todd Anthony Pumais president of The Source Home Theater Installation, Powered by Fregosa Design, in New York City.

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