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FAQ

How do you compete with the large retail chain stores?

Very well. The House of Audio’s everyday price is lower than the everyday price at the big chain stores. But the top-of-the-line products at the big box chain stores are entry level products for us at The House of Audio Video. We offer higher performing products for people who expect more from their home electronics systems. We also offer a full range of services which the big guys just can’t offer; it’s not their business; we sell complete home technology solutions made simple for the end user once it is all setup by our experts.

Will it take a long time to have my system designed and installed?

Not long really. The time it takes for the whole home theater installation project depends on the complexity of your system and whether you have an existing home or are building a new home. It can take as little as a week or as long as a year. We like to visit your home for a FREE walk-through to understand how best to integrate your system into your decor and room layout. Depending on the sophistication of the system, we’ll spend a day or more on a basic theater system design. Then we’ll meet with you to show you our concept, system functionality, and cost. Following that, you’ll probably take a few days to decide on changes and additions. So within a week to ten days, you will have decided on the overall system so that wiring can begin. Wiring for most of our systems takes between 1 and 2 days. After that we install equipment and perform on site programming and calibration. This phase also lasts between 1 and 2 days, longer if your system includes lighting, and HVAC system integration. Finally, your System Designer will meet with you at your house to conduct training and complete our quality assurance checks. This is usually done in a few hours when it’s convenient for you. To get specific information on an a home theater installation for your home, please contact us.

My builder has a guy that he insists I use for my new home’s electronic systems, what should I do?

Many builders have established relationships with ‘preferred’ subcontractors. What makes them ‘preferred’ is different for different builders and how rigidly they adhere to their ‘preferred list’ varies, too. Builders are really busy people. It’s critical that they control as many variables as possible in order to meet the construction schedule and their promises to you. We’ve worked with most area builders. They’ll tell you that we do good work, that we don’t hold up their projects, and that we have a good reputation. They may also say their guy is less expensive (or maybe he just offers less). We can provide your builder with all the insurance, and lien waivers they will need. If you push, your builder may allow you to have The House of Audio do your home entertainment system. If your builder won’t budge you have two choices: accept what he’s offering or have his guy do the absolute minimum — say, the central vac, voice/data wiring and cable TV — then have our experts at the House of Audio install the sophisticated parts of your system after you move in. This approach is easier than you might think. Half of our work is in existing homes and we’re really good at it. Although the wiring is certainly easier in new construction it’s actually only a very small part of the total cost of a system. It’s your house, after all, and you’ll be married to the electronic systems for a long time. You ought to get what you want!

Do I have to spend a fortune to have a good system?

Certainly not. The amount of money you invest in your home electronics system really depends on you. We like to spend a lot of time with our clients to define exactly what they want their system to do, how they want to use it, and how it needs to fit into their lifestyle. We’ve found the best approach is to start by helping you understand how the different technologies can add quality, comfort, and convenience to your life. From this, we’ll help you create your ‘wish list.’ And after we’ve done all that, we’ll help you find the balance between your dreams and your budget. At the end of the process, regardless of how much you decide to spend, you’ll know it is right for you. If you are interested in obtaining an estimate for a new home theater system, please contact us.

We’re thinking about creating a theater room, what should we consider about design and
construction?

Having a dedicated room for your Home Theater gives you the ability to optimize audio and video performance while creating an interior design that suits your taste. As you begin your planning there are three very important considerations. First is the shape of the room. Rooms that are rectangular will have better acoustics than rooms that are square. Next is ambient light control, light falling directly on the screen will wash out the picture. Ideally, your plan for window treatments and lighting should provide enough ambient light for people to comfortably move around and operate controls, yet prevent bright light from falling directly onto the screen. Finally, the actual construction of walls needs to be considered. If you want to prevent the sound of your Home Theater from reaching other rooms, special sound absorbing and insulating materials can be used. After these basic considerations, there are many other things that need to be planned: wiring, speaker locations, furniture and cabinet layout are just a few. We love having the opportunity to work with clients planning a dedicated Home Theater. The results are always worth it.

To recreate the excitement and involvement of a real movie theater, what size screen will I need?

As a rule, screen sizes of 84″ are required, but as they say, "bigger is better," up to a point. We recommend screen sizes based on viewing distance, that is, how far from the screen will people sit? Our rule of thumb is to never sit closer than 1.5 times the screen diagonal away from the screen. It is better is to sit between 2 and 3 times the diagonal from your screen. A larger screen means you can sit further away and more people can watch comfortably. Mostly, our dedicated Home Theater installations use ceiling mounted projectors and screens in the 92”-120″ range, while media rooms (family rooms, great rooms, and dens) employ flat panels in the 50″ to 80″ range.

Can we watch a movie while our teenagers listen to music — all at the same time?

Absolutely! With today´s technology you can have a single entertainment system that can be enjoyed throughout your home—even outdoors. We routinely design, sell, and install systems that allow you to share video programs in several rooms, listen to music in others, and watch the latest Blu-Ray in your den, all at the same time. The technical description for a system like this is multi-source, multi-zone. Sounds fancy but it simply means that you have different sources of audio and video that can be accessed and controlled from different rooms, simultaneously. Controlling the system is easy. You can have wall-mounted keypads or touch screens — great for the bedroom, kitchen, or bath — or perhaps hand held touch screens which you can carry from room to room.

Will my house be trashed during the installation?

Absolutely not. One of the things that make the House of Audio special is the skill and quality of our installers. We’ve installed home electronics systems in some of the most prestigious homes in New York/New Jersey, the only thing we leave behind are smiles.

Our house has stone floors, high ceilings and tons of echoes; are there any ways to
inexpensively kill the echo?

Yes, but we can only give general recommendations without an acoustic analysis measurement and a surface diagram of the room that will contain the home theater. Most people don’t understand the basics of sound reflection. The problem occurs because the sound waves are never absorbed so you hear the same sound many times until it finally finds the sofa and diminishes. Since the ceiling is difficult to cover, you need to focus on all other surfaces, – so any area that can be covered should be covered, especially the wall opposing the speakers. Acoustic panels are the best thing to use, and are not difficult to install – and no it does not have to look like an office cubicle. To learn more, we recommend contacting us.