10 Must-Answer Questions
for A/V Integrators
Media Room Solutions
With ever more impressive screens serving as the focal point in family and media
rooms, media furniture has never been more front and center. The higher-end the
project, the higher your customer’s expectations. That includes the furniture below
their amazing screen housing their amazing gear. So how do you make sure that the
media furniture you recommend demonstrates that same standard of excellence?
Start by asking a few important questions.
1. Is the furniture made with quality materials?
High-end clients who appreciate high-quality sound and
high-quality video will appreciate media furniture made
from high-quality, long-lasting materials. So know the
materials used to build the furniture. Careful: many
companies masquerade their products as solid wood
through the use of veneer over MDF or particleboard
plus some less than forthright product descriptions.
2. Is the furniture factory-built or ready-to-assemble?
How a piece of furniture is put together says a lot about
its quality, durability and worth. On big-budget projects,
“factory built by skilled woodworkers” conveys greater
furniture quality than “assembled by me with an Allen
wrench.” Use your expertise to join other things
together for your clients and go with AV furniture that
offers quality factory construction.
3. Where is the furniture made?
A lot of furniture comes from overseas, even that of
many American furniture brands. So do not rely on
marketing-speak about “American traditions” and
the like. Know where the media furniture is made
because more and more consumers care, whether
out of patriotism, quality expectations, and/or
4. Will the furniture fit the gear and the room?
Woodworkers have a saying: “Measure twice, cut once.”
Likewise, always double-check that the AV console you
recommend will fit the gear you will install. Simple
enough and quite important to do. In addition, make
sure the piece fits available room space and can be
manuevered into the room through hallways and stairs.
5. Will the furniture fit the style of the room?
While integrating equipment is important so is integrating the
furniture into the room in terms of style. Be aware of your
client’s taste. Many will prefer a quality furniture piece
designed for A/V, one on par with other furnishings in the
home, over a generic TV stand available just about anywhere.
6. Are there options to tailor the furniture to the client?
Short of custom carpentry, it can be tough to find an AV
console that meets everyone’s needs and expectations. So
work with a vendor that offers options to satisfy the inevitable
particular customer. Is there a choice of woods? Finishes? Can
you optionally hide that big center speaker?
7. Is the furniture easy to work with?
Ease of use matters – both to you and your client. You want a smooth, efficient
install. The presence of removable back panels, wheels, and smart wire management
make that possible. Plus, those features provide convenience to your client as well.
8. Does the furniture offer sufficient ventilation?
We all know that heat is the enemy of electronics. In an
enclosed design, does the console feature enclosures large
enough to allow airflow around the equipment? Is there
bottom air intake? Can the heat vent out? How about
temperature-activated quiet exhaust fans? Avoid client
meltdown by avoiding gear meltdown.
9. Can the vendor bring other pieces to the table, like say an end table?
Often a client is looking to outfit an entire room.
Sourcing all of the furniture in the same style and from
the same manufacturer is the best way to aesthetically
coordinate an AV console with other new furniture
pieces desired for the room. It also improves your
bottom line, as you supply more product to your client.
10. What is the furniture’s environmental impact?
Environmental impact increasingly matters to clients. Is the
lumber used logged in a sustainable manner or clearcut from
the Rainforest? Are steps taken to minimize air pollution
during the finish process or does it add to smog? Does the
furniture travel thousands of miles by container ship or is it
made closer to home? Know the answers to show you care.
Offering clients furniture that matches the quality of their gear and the style and
standards already in the home demonstrates that you get the big picture. Answer
these questions and you are on your way to providing the perfect, complete solution.