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Now You See it…

Nexus 21 discusses the art of concealing AV (and some kitchen appliances).

While we can all agree that there are few things more beautiful than an elegantly installed AV system, the truth is there are some clients that prefer their systems there when they need them and out of sight when they don’t. For those times when stealth is in order, Nexus 21 makes a number of products that will conceal television screens and projectors of all sizes.

Need a TV or projector to drop down out of the ceiling? They have a solution for that. Television pop up out of a counter or the footboard of a bed? Covered (and quiet, so as not to disturb a sleepy spouse). How about a TV to lower over a fireplace and then safely be stored when not in use? Got it. Even the kitchen counter can get a lift with a hidden storage compartment for appliances that retracts into it, which allows homeowners to reclaim countertop space.

And although the end-results look custom-made, they are not, which, according to Mark Nickles, vice president of business development, Nexus 21, is “one of the biggest misconceptions about our product line. The type of applications can be considered custom, but the actual product itself is a standard solution that produces a custom result.”

Many homes now have mixed-used media rooms in an open floorplan, and a television is difficult to place without having it stand out — particularly when not in use and creating a large black space in the room. In cases such as that, interior designers will call for ways to include the electronics so that they do not intrude upon the room’s design.

“We make sure that we’re providing solutions that integrators can use to help achieve whatever the desired outcome is on the project,” says Nickles. “Our systems are designed to make a seamless transition between design and construction and AV.”

Related: The Integration Guide to Moving Mounts

Durable and Versatile
With advances in mechanical technologies, current lifts are quiet, stable, and nowhere near as bulky as they used to be. The Nexus 21 products have been tested to run past 40,000 cycles, which is the equivalent of running it at up and down at least once a day for 50 years.

The ruggedness of the products also allows them to be put in more rigorous conditions. “We use a very specific process for our powder coating that renders these units completely corrosion resistant,” says Nickles. “We do a ton of marine applications with large OEM yacht manufacturers, so we’re very cognizant of where our systems might be placed. And even in instances where it’s going to be outdoors near the ocean or a different a high-salt environment, we ensure that all of the parts in the system are upgraded to stainless steel at no additional cost to the customer. We just want to make sure that these things are going to last for the lifetime of its use.”

Speaking of the evolution of technology, with AV equipment changing so quickly, how adaptable are the motorized racks that hold them? Very, according to Nickles, who offers the company’s L50 lift as an example. It is designed to hold anything from a 40-inch television up to a 65-inch model. It can even handle newer additions like a soundbar. “I always equate the L50 as our Swiss army knife lift,” he says. “It’s in that sweet spot of working with the perfect-sized TV, so it can go at the end of the bed, it can go outside, or it can go inside. It is really meant to do it all.”

As far as control goes, it is conceivable that clients would want to use voice control to access their hidden electronics. Although Nexus 21 products do not work with voice control directly, it can be achieved using the control sets that come standard with a choice of either a radio frequency setup or the company’s control system integration kit.

“We have drivers built for every major control system that’s out there, so we’re compatible with literally everything,” says Nickles. “What we have seen customers do is connect the Nexus 21 with their TV through a control system and then activate, say, Alexa through that system. Alexa is talking to the control system, not necessarily our lift, but it triggers the same result.”

Working with Integrators
An exhibitor at CEDIA Expo and ISE, Nexus 21 recognizes the value of the channel, and prides itself on being a direct-to-dealer manufacturer. They can generally ship product within a week from its Scottsdale, AZ-based HQ.

As much as he believes in his products, Nickles cites the Nexus 21 service team as one of the company’s biggest assets. “They are best,” he says. “They are heralded as some of the best people to talk to on the phone and interact with, and everybody always ends up having just a terrific experience in dealing with that team.

“We get more calls from our installers just asking the service team for advice rather than needing to buy the product. We connect with installersand understand their needs so that we can continue to be a relevant product set for them.”

For dealers wondering if a relationship with Nexus 21 would be beneficial, Nickles recommends they reach out. “We’d love to have discussion with them and get to know their business and see how we can support it as a true tool for them,” he concludes. “It’s not just meant to be the cool add-on — even past the initial sales consultation. We offer continued service all the way through the life of the product.”

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