Located just minutes from the scenic New Hampshire seacoast in Hampton Falls, N.H., Audio Video Experience is bringing modern technologies to old New England through its Control4 Certified Showroom. The company held a grand opening event on May 31 as part of the nationwide #C4Yourself Day.
Andy Himmer, president of Audio Video Experience, along with the rest of his staff, including Vaughn Petraglia, vice president of operations, are life-long music fans but they recognize the shift in consumer preference toward home control.
Thus, the company invested in the burgeoning home control and automation market by participating in Control4’s Certified Showroom program.
Himmer and his team are providing Northern Massachusetts, coastal New Hampshire, and Maine residents with state-of-the-art home automation utilizing products from companies such as Nest, Yale, Amazon, and SnapAV that are easily controlled by Control4.
Petraglia says Audio Video Experience is taking advantage of the resources Control4 provides to help it meet the challenges of today’s market conditions.
“When the opportunity was presented to us, it was quite exciting to work closely with Control4, to be one of the first wave [of integrators] of Control4, to get better support from them,” he comments.
“We expect being a certified showroom will bring more people into our showroom and that will drive more business for us.
“It’s really hard for some people to imagine the possibilities [of home control], and being a certified showroom we can show them all different kinds of home automation that is as simple as touching one button to make it work. We can show them ways with Control4 how to integrate to make [home automation] simpler to use.”
Control4 Certified Showroom Worth the Investment
Petraglia says Control4 provided AVE with a detailed roadmap of what was necessary to comply with its showroom standards.
As part of the upgrade to meet Control4 specifications, Audio Video Experience updated the equipment within its showroom, as well as its vignettes, which span two floors in a converted home. It also fully gutted several rooms.
The formal introduction of the newly redesigned showroom took place on #C4Yourself Day with a public event hosted by AVE. Petraglia and the Audio Video Experience staff are optimistic about the company’s competitive standing in the smart home space.
“It’s already a very significant part of our business, and the ability to demonstrate just about any piece of technology that a normal customer would use in an environment like this makes it much easier for the customer to understand, and therefore much easier to purchase,” he points out.
“Home automation continues to grow as a part of our business. It’s already a significant part of our business, well over half right now. People are much more interested today in automating their home, their lights, the shades, thermostats, then they are about building a home theater.”
While audio/video remains a big part of every Audio Video Experience project, Petraglia says consumers today view A/V as part of the home automation system, and not as a separate, standalone system.
Admittedly, the company’s background and true passion is music and A/V systems, and those products are why many of Audio Video Experience’s employees entered the residential electronics industry in the first place.
“Myself, I was always an A/V lover as an amateur, and I’ve had other types of careers in electronics and technology, but I always had the latest speakers, the best amplifier I could afford. I just love sitting there and listening to music, and all of us here do that,” says Petraglia.
“It would be wonderful if everybody walked in the door and wanted to buy a McIntosh stack and Bowers & Wilkins speakers, and sat and listened to music like we do, but we know that’s not the world out there. What our love of music really does is that it helps us integrate sound and video into the home automation environment very smoothly so customers can have the entertainment they want, as well as the ease of use,” he concludes.