Nick Mark, Owner DC Home Systems

I want to shed light on a question which integrators are routinely asked by customers as the A/V system is being designed and specified. “Can’t we just buy our own TV?” It is a valid question. After all, TV’s are a commodity item and a familiar component on the potentially mysterious list of materials required for the A/V system.
The obvious and simple answer is, “yes, you can spend your Saturday at Best-Street-Save-Money-House.” But in addition to the inconvenience, there is a more important factor to consider.

Accountability.

Let me start with this truth. Because TVs are a commodity item, your integrator will likely charge you the same price as the big box stores for the same TV. You should know, your integrator makes NO money on the sale TV’s. Really. Wholesale cost on a TV is typically just a few points below advertised costs. When administration and shipping are factored in, your integrator will likely take a loss on these items. So, why do integrators even want to sell them?

Accountability.

Although the TV appears to be the center of any integrated A/V system, in reality it is just one of the cogs in the wheel. If any one of these cogs is not working, the TV usually ends up taking the blame, although the true culprit could be one of many factors in an integrated system.
If your integrator didn’t supply the TV or if there has been a substitution, it becomes dicey to sort out which warranty applies.
(It is worth repeating, installers make NO money by providing TVs.)
You know your landscaper isn’t responsible for the lifespan of plants you purchase from House-Cheep. Your interior designer isn’t accountable for the performance of blinds you purchase from Budget-Shades. This is, of course, at the root of how you choose any reliable contractor. You choose professionals who will stand by all the products you purchase through their service. When your integrator specifies the TV, installs it in accordance with system design and provides it through one of their supply sources, the integrator is accountable for any issues. This means you have one call to make and one company to lean on.

One comment on “Accountability

  • Nick, You are right on target. At My Handyman we have bigger issues. A screen door from the box stores might come in 20 or 30 pieces so we spend more time assembling the product & then homeowners think we’re slow? Buy a swing set at BJs and there will be missing parts so we now ask homeowners to sort & verify things before we arrive to assemble. As global pricing drives prices downward, quality control becomes a bigger issue.

    I tell people you can buy Koehler at HD and it comes from China. You can buy Koehler at the local plumbing supply house and it’s made in Kohler WI. While it might look the same on the outside, there’s a big difference between metal & plastic parts on the inside

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