Installations: The Real King of All Media Page 3

Photo Gallery

The Real King of All Media
As part of his quest to go from "weird" to "wired," Gary auditioned a number of installers, but none quite clicked at first. "This one guy, I really liked a lot - I thought he got what I was talking about," he recalls. "But he sent me a contract to sign for $10,000. And I said, 'What for?' And he said, 'Well, I need money to start the design process.' So I was like, 'Well, how will I know what it's going to cost me in the end? I'm not going to give you money till I know how much the whole thing will be, because maybe you're $50,000 more than the next guy.' So I didn't end up using him."

Then, through a mutual friend, Gary met installer Gerry McCabe, co-owner of Ace Multimedia in Orange, Connecticut. Gary remembers that "Gerry was the only one who came to me and said, 'Here's a proposal to just wire the house. If you don't do anything now, I can come back later and do this, and this, and this.' So I feel like I'm fully wired now - and that's the big difference."

As far as McCabe's concerned, Gary's been pretty easy to work with. "He's technology-savvy," McCabe says. "Sometimes I have to sell a client on something. A lot of people will say, 'What do I need automated lighting for?' He was an easy sell because he can actually appreciate these things. He's into his sound and he likes to record TV shows and come home and watch them when he wants. He's a typical-to-high-end user."

When it came time to design the system, the question was: Would Gary keep down with the Joneses? ("Down" rather than "up" in that most folk in this part of Connecticut play down the conspicuous consumption.) "Some people like to have high-end A/V cabinets so everybody can see the polished aluminum and shiny chrome inside," McCabe says. "But where we live, everything is colonial and traditional - there are very few contemporaries. It's like, we like technology but we don't want to see it. That's how my customers are."