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Case Study: Networking Nightmare

Networking issues force Front Row Audio Video to start over with a new solution.

Recently, integrator Front Row Audio Video was brought in to outfit a new home in Kansas City with the latest in home technology — including multi-zone audio, video, shading, HVAC, and lighting systems — and bring it all together for the homeowner with an easy-to-use Crestron control and automation system. While it seemed a fairly straightforward installation on the surface, the company ran into a few unusual challenges behind the scenes that kept them on their toes.

The first problem they encountered involved speaker and network wiring, which was installed incorrectly by another company before Front Row AV took on the project. This meant spending valuable time rewiring in a number of locations throughout the home. Another, far more concerning issue, however, was the performance of the network equipment Front Row AV initially installed. Set-top boxes from the home’s service provider were interfering with these products, which produced sporadic performance and dropped mobile devices.

To make matters worse, the networking equipment manufacturer wasn’t up to the task of resolving the issue, as Front Row AV discovered after numerous hours on the phone with their technical support team. And as all of the home’s technology depended on the foundation of a reliable network to function properly, the client wasn’t happy with their investment to say the least. Front Row AV had to find a way to quickly make things right.

To turn the project around, they had to make a difficult decision: Remove all the networking equipment from the home — a router, 24-port Gigabit switch, and multiple wireless access points (APs) — and replace it with solutions from another manufacturer. As a member of Azione Unlimited, Front Row AV wanted to work with one of the buying group’s vendors. Company operations manager and lead designer Jason Griffith decided on Luxul, and placed a call to western regional sales manager Josh Thurman.

Jason Griffith, operations manager and lead designer, Front Row Audio Video

“Besides being an Azione vendor, Luxul has been an established manufacturer in our industry for some time,” says Griffith. “The company’s products represent a significant step up in quality compared to our previous vendor, and they are known for their rock-solid technical support, which was imperative for this project. In the end, it was a pretty easy choice.”

Luxul sent Front Row AV an Epic 5 (ABR-5000) router with integrated Domotz remote management and Router Limits technologies; the AMS-2624 26-port/24 PoE+ Gigabit managed switch; three XAP-1510 AC1900 dual-band wireless APs; and a XWC-1000 wireless controller that features Luxul’s Roam Assist technology. With the new equipment in place, the home’s networking issues vanished, allowing the client to fully enjoy their smart home and an active roaming experience when using their mobile devices.

In addition to dependable technical support, there are numerous advantages Front Row AV now enjoys with Luxul, including high margins and a three-year warranty on all products. To help ease the responsibility of installing systems that will work quickly and reliably 100 percent of the time, Front Row AV can also take advantage of Luxul’s free network design service (Customer Assurance Program, or CAP), which provides certified wired and wireless network designs for residential and commercial applications that are guaranteed to meet their customers’ reliability and performance requirements relating to Wi-Fi.

“In addition to all the advantages that make Luxul an amazing dealer partner — whether it’s dependable products that simplify installations or guaranteed WiFi networks — one of the things that impresses me the most about the company is their willingness to pick up the phone and work with people,” says Griffith. “That’s invaluable, and as a result they’ve become our main network option for standard homes and provide the switching in larger networks. I’m proud to say we now have an impressive stock of Luxul products in our showroom and can deploy a full network on a moment’s notice.”

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