By nature, we're attracted to cool stuff, and A/V cabinetry usually isn't that cool. When somebody says, "Check out that rack!," component storage isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But your system needs to have a place to call home. Before deciding where you're going to put your gear, here are some things to consider.
The CEDIA Expo - held this year in Denver, Colorado - is usually buzzing with people talking about at least three or four must-see things. But at this year's show, a common response to, "What have you seen that's really cool?" was, "Nothing much." And for the first time in years, attendance was down.
Years ago, a friend of mine qualified to play in the California State Amateur Golf Tournament, and he asked me to caddy for him. This was a big event, held at two difficult courses against the toughest competition in the state, so having a good caddy by his side was important.
Like most S&V readers, I was excited by January's feature story called "50 Greatest A/V Innovations." How could any red-blooded techie not be sucked in by a title like that? But, as with all lists, this one included and excluded some choices that were debatable - and I'm going to weigh in on one of the biggest omissions.
Inventor, musician, scientist, politician, and philosopher, Ben Franklin was a brilliant man. His Poor Richard's Almanac is full of timeless proverbs, such as, "For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
When I'm on vacation, I peruse the local phonebook for A/V stores. It's a great opportunity for me to go rub shoulders with other installers, trade war stories, get ideas on how to set up our showroom or solve a problem I've run across - and to get wowed by a killer demo.
Back in high school, I had to write an essay on "the more things change, the more they stay the same." (I'm sure the teacher enjoyed reading it about as much as I enjoyed writing it.) While that might hold true for many things, it couldn't be more off base when describing the constantly evolving world of technology.
Few sports hold as fast to their traditions as golf. In fact, one of the sport's ruling bodies is known as the Royal and Ancient. Before i was a custom installer, i was a golf pro at a swanky club in northern California.
People often ask me, “John, how hard is that? Could I do it myself?” And the answer is often, “It depends.” A walk in the park for one person might be a Grand Master Sudoku puzzle for another. Take my friend Jon. He’s like Rain Man when it comes to working with engines or motors or pretty much anything mechanical. But when it comes to installing a new A/V component or programming his Harmony, he’s all thumbs, so he calls me.
Like most people planning on "popping the question," I wanted everything to be perfect the night I asked my wife to marry me. We started the evening with coffee at the café in San Francisco where we met, followed by dinner where we had our first date, then Phantom of the Opera, and finally dessert at a restaurant overlooking the city.