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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a lunch meeting with a representative of a HT design company tomorrow. We are in the initial stages of designing a new build which is probably a year or two away. I live in a fairly rural area with limited access to these types of companies and was wondering if anyone can give me some questions to ask so I can tell if these guys know what they are doing. I will ask for references but would appreciate any other input.


Thanks in advance.
 

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In addition to references:


What certifications do they hold, and are they current? Follow up on that.


What is the most important element in a home theater?


Do they sound isolate, do they know what that means, and do they have experience doing it? Do they know what the target NC is for a sound isolated room (quick quiz as they should know it off the top of their head)?


Do you get a complete set of architectual drawings? I am not talking about receiving some weekend drawings on Sketchup or Visio, but an actual full set of CAD drawings that detail every element in the theater along with documentation? Ask to see an example of one of those drawings...you can't proceed without a good plan.


What do they know about HVAC and sound isolated rooms?


Do they know what reference requirements are for each seat in the theater for both audio and video and do they know how to achieve it? Ask them to state it.


Do they work with a small room acoustician, and do they have references?



These are but a few. Hope it helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. I will post what the answers are. I have been on this forum a few months and have really enjoyyed lurking. Hopefully I will have something to post about soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for asking about the meeting although I didn't really ask all the questions I intended. I had emailed him a copy of our house plans and he brought a preliminary plan just to give me an idea of what they might do. He basically went over the services they offered and showed me a presentation with some of the projects they had completed. I did ask for references which he, of course, said no problem and also that he would arrange for us to go and look and some of their work in the area. I asked about certifications and they are cedia certified. I asked about their products and services. He gave me some material to look over: crestron, kaleidescape, a couple of HT seating brochures and some company info. I did ask about HVAC and sound isolation but his answers were a little vaque in these areas something to follow up on later, I guess. In retrospect I guess I didn't get all the info I needed to get. I need to get a little more educated.
 

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Well, I hope all works out for you! Some additional questions to find out, you say they are CEDIA Certified...in what exactly? CEDIA has several levels of certification. You may want to determine if they are CEDIA Certified Designers. From there, there is CEDIA Certified Home Theater Designer which is the most difficult to obtain. Also, acoustics and sound isolation are generally considered to be extremely important, and I would consider them most important. These are elements that are very difficult to correct once mistakes have been made, and it usually costs thousands to correct. So, you may want to inquire a bit more with them about this. Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. You are spending a lot of money, so get out of it what's put in. If discussions about equipment and components are engaged before a plan is laid out in full, I would take that as a bit of a red flag. The vagueness on the sound isolation is a bit of a concern as well. I think your idea of education is a VERY good one. Hope this helps!
 

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Lawdoc ....


You can go to www.cedia.org and on the mid-right side of the page, you can see the CEDIA finder service. Searching on their zip code would bring them up and provide you with the certifications they have.


Best wishes on the project.



Dennis Erskine

CEDIA - Board of Directors
 
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