Custom Turns a Corner
Franklin Karp, COO of Audio Video Systems, Plainview, N.Y., likes what he’s seeing, especially with audio.
“Based on what we see now, we know we’re going to be busy well into next year,” he said. “There’s a bit of a renaissance in the good old-fashioned audio business. That may be a result of people focusing on it more, maybe because the control part of the business has changed and has become less profitable.”
Karp also said the networking side of his business is also up, mainly due to consumers realizing they need a robust, secure infrastructure to optimize all of their digital solutions.
“As people come to grips with the fact that you can’t just install an inexpensive router you buy at the corner store, and expect it to support this giant infrastructure that you want to have in your home, [that’s] opening up opportunity for us.”
IT integration was top of mind for all integrators. Developing that expertise is one way to build a foundation for current and future technologies, especially as the sale of home entertainment systems remains flat, or in some cases, declines. “The big things that are happening are on the IT side,” Cook said. “We’ve really ramped up our IP/IT training and support. We’re also looking at how we line things up, employee-wise, to support that growth.”
Integrators said they’ll be watching control companies at CEDIA EXPO to gauge product development and other moves. Shahid said he hopes more powerful IP-based control systems make their way onto the show floor. He also expects more companies to fill in their lines with energy-management solutions.
“In places like South America, there are on-off buttons on every device, not just standby modes,” he said. “If energy prices go up here, it will stimulate manufacturers to develop those kinds of products. Things like cable boxes with DVR are real energy hogs.”