Keeping It Simple

In this brand new condo, the homeowner required something simple, primarily to watch TV and DVDs. He had a complex automation system installed by an inexperienced integrator in his previous residence and found it too cumbersome and complicated to operate. "Simplicity and high quality components were the client's two main requirements", said Chris Abbott, the Project Manager for Abbott's Technology Design Group of Las Vegas, Nevada. "Normally we don’t do 2-channel systems but this was a long time customer with a very specific wish list."

While the stripped down system is unconventional by home theater standards, Abbott says that it encompasses many of the qualities that clients want most – a no-hassle system that allows them to watch TV and listen to music any time of the day or night. One approach is an automation system that is certainly more complex in its design and installation. Yet, it allows customers to make their selections from easy-to-use touch panels.

This homeowner, however, opted to spend his money on high-end components rather than a complex installation. "While there may not be a lot going on in this system in terms of features and functions", Chris explains further. "The client has more dollars invested in technology than many have in their entire home theater because he went with extremely high performance products that deliver exceptional sound reproduction."

For instance, the TV is a Runco 60" Plasma, flanked by B&W 800 Series speakers, which are powered by an Arcam Integrated Receiver.

According to Abbott, he finds that many clients get the impression that more equipment is better and they are not even thinking about quality. The assumption by many is there are few qualitative differences between brands. They choose less expensive gear, either to meet a budget or so they can purchase more equipment.

The reverse was true with this client, who was far more interested in quality performance than a roomful of electronics. For him less equipment meant fewer problems. Since he was opposed to surround sound and an alternative automation system, the installation would be made simpler with only two speakers and a handheld control.

"Ultimately, any system that satisfies the customer is a successful installation," concludes Abbott. "When clients are happy with the audio/video performance and find the system easy to operate they are going to get a lot more enjoyment out of it. If it's too difficult to control, they just stop using it."

As clutter-free and low-key as the installation seems, it took three days to complete. It was critical that the cabinet be designed to precise dimensions to accommodate the various AV components and that the electronics blended discreetly into the dcor.

Abbott's Technology Design Group
702 871 7388