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Do you know how much bad AV is really costing you?

Part of my job is providing clients with proposals and financial estimates for a project. After the project is submitted, I am sometimes asked “Why is your price so much higher than XYZ Company?”

At this point, I review the product specifics of our quote and our competitor’s quote with the client. In most cases I discover that we are rarely quoting the same exact products. There are hundreds of brands to choose from when quoting a project. It is important to remember that these products not only vary in cost but also in quality, life-span and integration with other products. In most cases the old adage is true…you get what you pay for.

Why are the two quotes so different?

There are many ways to complete the project, or appear to complete it, since the AV industry doesn’t have a lot of hard rules. Specific projects often involve a lot of trial and error to see what parts and pieces are going to work best. There are many factors going into the cost of a project aside from just the cost of equipment. In order to be provided a turn-key solution for your space, you will also need to consider the costs for a professional to provide installation, creative designs, software programming, commissioning, and training.

Clients naturally think of price as their bottom line, but they need to consider the quality and extent of what services are being provided. Do you really know what you should be getting?  What happens if you have to make adjustments to your project? Will the AV company claim that changing orders weren’t included in the cost?  AV companies can vary greatly in the services they provide and include in their quotes. It is not uncommon for businesses to go with the lowest quote…only to find that the quality and functionality of the work is not present. This can be an expensive problem because it usually involves hiring a more reputable company to fix the mistakes…often from scratch.

Bad AV work can not only cost your company money, but it can also impact the quality of your own work and job performance.

Picture it! You are hosting an important video conference at your office where you are presenting a new initiative. The day before you did a test run and everything worked as planned!  You are feeling confident and prepared for the presentation that could have significant implications for your career. You start your presentation as planned and everything seems to be going well and then it happens…then the screen flickers. The people that have dialed in from across the globe to be a part of this meeting can’t hear you and they are seeing very few of the slides you’re trying to present. Not only are you embarrassed but you are getting angry. Who installed this terrible AV system?

I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research when choosing an AV company. In closing, here is my advice when selecting an AV company: 

  1. Get recommendations from other businesses.
  2. Once you have a company in mind, take a field trip to see some of the work they have done in similar industries.
  3. Ask them hard, pointed questions about what is being proposed. Make sure understand exactly what services are included in their quote.
  4. Determine if the AV solutions discussed be forward-compatible with the growing technology needs of your company.

By doing the right research and having the right conversations you will be able to select a reputable AV company that stands by their work. The cost of a functional and high-quality AV system will ultimately be less than the cost of bad AV work.

For more information visit our website www.dobil.com or email us at info@dobil.com.

Conor McCaskey

When is the best time to consider replacing your projector screen? The best way to tell is when the image quality is deteriorating, the size or style of the room is changing, or you have different content available.

Over the years the surface may have been damaged or written on because many are made with vinyl. The chemicals that are used to make projector screens start to leach out, and this causes the surface to become blotchy and sticky which then results in the attraction of dirt and dust. Finally, it will start to stick to itself as it is rolled up and may not come down completely the next time you go to use it.

Here are some things to consider when shopping around for a new screen:

New Technology:

There is new screen manufacturing technology available in the past few years that can dramatically affect the image. New surfaces can reject ambient light. Grey screens that increase gain and surfaces that help with color reproduction. With projectors able to reproduce more and more colors. Your screen should not affect the original colors. Older screens can influence the image color. Some screen manufactures add blue tints to the screen surface to make it appear brighter. You don’t want an old screen to affect the color purity of your new image.

Resolution:

With the advance in Projector Technology from 1080P thru 4K, we are pushing more pixels into the image which means sharper and more accurate images. As projector quality increases, more pixels are added, brightness increases, contrast increases, and more colors that are able to be reproduced all make a great image.

Physical Characteristics:

The size and weight of today’s screens have been upgraded as well. The cases are smaller and lighter and fit in a smaller area above the ceiling. Also, the new frame designs look like a flat panel but come in much larger sizes.

Aspect ratio:

New projector display means different ratios. Depending on how long it’s been since the screen was installed it is best to match the aspect ratios of the screen to the native resolution and projector so you fill the entire screen with a nice bright image and no black bars. You will be able to display the image in its native resolution and the projector doesn’t have to work harder interpolating the video signal to an old nonnative aspect ratio.

It may be time to get a new screen as well, and it probably will be worth the dollar investment to be able to get the most out of your new projector.

So, don’t waste money you just spent on the new projector. Show off the money you just spent on the new projector. Show off your new technology and get the most from it with a new properly sized screen and correct surface screen.

For more information visit our website www.dobil.com or email us at info@dobil.com.

Ralph Rossi