Can Your New York Audio Video Integrator Do It All?
published onOctober 5, 2011

If you’re shopping around for an audio video integrator to design and install AV technology in your New York or New Jersey sports bar, night club, restaurant, or any other project, you have a few options.

You can:

  • Hire a consultant to design audio video systems and another contractor to install them
  • Select two different contractors: one to design and install audio and one to design and install the video systems
  • Hire a consultant to design the audio/video systems and then separate contractors to install each
  • Hire one contractor who can design, install and service all your audio, video and control systems, including digital signage and even train your employees on how to use those systems

There are benefits and drawbacks to each arrangement.

Separate Consultants and Contractors

You may be able to save money by choosing separate consultants and contractors. In theory, the audio video consultant you select will not have brand loyalty, (since he’s not purchasing the audio video components) so you can assume he’s looking out for your best interests in equipment selection and systems design.

By selecting separate contractors, you may be able to get lower prices, or have the option to choose “the best in their field” for audio, video, control and digital signage.

On the other hand, it’s no secret that consultants and integrators don’t always agree. By using a separate consultant or AV designer to design the systems and having another company to run wires and hang speakers, you’re opening the door to creative differences and, if the project doesn’t turn out as expected, there may be a lot of finger-pointing.

Choosing One Contractor to Do It All

Some people believe it costs more to have one contractor to do it all, but this isn’t always the case. Prices vary widely, so the only way you’ll know for sure is by making an appointment for a free estimate.

When you decide on turnkey, customized audio visual solutions through one point-of-contact, you’ll know who to call if something goes wrong. There’s no risk that the consultant and the contractor won’t agree, which can lead to a tense work site, project delays, and mistakes.

Of course, an integrator who is installing the same systems he designed will know the best way to put them together. If there are last-minute design changes or additions, it will be an easy process to make modifications on-the-fly.

You’ll save money by not hiring an outside consulting firm, and your AV contractor may even give you a better deal because of the size of your project when you combine audio and video systems in one package.

There are pros and cons to using multiple contractors, and also benefits and drawbacks to relying on one audio video integrator for all your systems design and installation needs. The only way you’ll know you’re getting the best value — and the best systems — for your money is by calling around for free estimates and deciding which contractor really understands your needs and speaks your language.