REDBAND: Selecting the Right Control Partner for Small and Mid-Size Projects by Todd Anthony Puma

When doing large, whole-home, fully integrated projects, we all have our favorite go-to major manufacturer partner, be it Crestron, Savant, AMX, or similar. We all also have a preferred partner for small and mid-size jobs, like those involving a single room, apartment, or condo. In my conversations with fellow integrators, it’s these smaller jobs with the more basic control systems that provide the biggest headaches.

With these jobs being smaller and with smaller profits, service calls can be a killer. In my experience and discussions, I’ve found that problems on these projects are an epidemic because of poor RF performance, bad code datasets, and poor integration with components.

While it would be great to put a $2,000-5,000 control system into every job, it just isn’t economically feasible for a $10,000 living room surround sound installation. For those projects, there are well-respected industry brands to serve our channel. Unfortunately, in crowded, RF-rich, interference-strewn urban markets, these more modestly priced control solutions seem to struggle with RF interference, which inevitably leads to service calls to move an antenna or relocate an RF receiver, and from inconsistencies in their database, where codes that seem to be available just don’t work or just don’t perform well. Sometimes there’s an integration issue with a component, as well.

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Todd Anthony Puma is the CEO & Founder of The Source Home Theater. Check out his  website at The Source Home Theater and follow him on twitter at  @ToddAnthonyPuma .

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