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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, rather than purchase all of my HT equipment from a retailer and paying local state tax, I purchased EVERYTHING on-line... I feel very comfortable doing all the pre-wiring myself and making all the connections when the HT is finished.


One thing I'm not so crazy about is fine tuning the projector, speakers, and the subwoofer... and good luck figuring out how to program my MX-3000 remote!


I havent hired them yet, but I was thinking of having the guys from Best Buy's Magnolia HT come and do everything....


They quoted med $200 bucks to calibrate the projector, speakers, and subwoofer... make sure everything is connected properly. And $150 bucks to program the MX-3000 remote.


$350 bucks, plus you have to consider they're driving an hour up to me.... $350 sounds like a pretty good deal.


Anybody have any experience with Best Buy's HT installation people?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ducati
Well, rather than purchase all of my HT equipment from a retailer and paying local state tax, I purchased EVERYTHING on-line... I feel very comfortable doing all the pre-wiring myself and making all the connections when the HT is finished.


One thing I'm not so crazy about is fine tuning the projector, speakers, and the subwoofer... and good luck figuring out how to program my MX-3000 remote!


I havent hired them yet, but I was thinking of having the guys from Best Buy's Magnolia HT come and do everything....


They quoted med $200 bucks to calibrate the projector, speakers, and subwoofer... make sure everything is connected properly. And $150 bucks to program the MX-3000 remote.


$350 bucks, plus you have to consider they're driving an hour up to me.... $350 sounds like a pretty good deal.


Anybody have any experience with Best Buy's HT installation people?


Yea, They just installed my plasma two weeks ago in my rec room. The mount wasn't centered so it hung out of one end and was visible ( he clamed that the stud position required it. I had it prewired with the box behind the unit during construction in anticipation of using a plasma in the 42" to 50" range there. When the guy came he said the box was in the way and the mount had to go above it. This would have placed the TV almost at the ceiling ! I finally, in disgust, got a utility knife out and moved the box down myself ! He then proceeded to mount it crooked one end a full 1/2" lower. He claimed it was straight. He was only willing to fish one cable in the wall I needed two for the two inputs ! He came alone and of course needed someone to help him lift it. I said "I had the day off , what if I hadn't been here?" , he said "he would have thought of something "! :(


The next day I called the store and they said they were sorry but the unit had been installed per their committment.I don't have time for this $hit really ,so I called the builder he leveled and centered the mount fished another cable and was done with it in 20 minutes. They told me at best Buy that the warrenty was void if they didn't do the install. OK, they did it. :mad:


Bottom line, they guy had the tool but not the talent.This is just my experience but it was the only one I've had with them and it was bad.


Art
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow Art, sorry to hear about such an awful experience... I'm not particularly fond of BestBuy's employees myself... I guess a lot has to do with the individuals form store to store and state to state...


I've been to over a dozen HT stores in Michigan (where I'm from originally) and in Georgia (where I live now)...


Believe it or not, the guys at Best Buy here in Kennesaw, GA are the most knowledgeable, polite, and professional AV guys I've ever met! I'm not joking.


I talke with the salesguy and the manager at my local Magnolia HT (BB) about the guys coming out to do the job... even though I didnt buy my Denon 4806 or MX-3000 remote from BestBuy they assured me that they'd be able to handle it. Even the 24 year old kid who sold me some accessories sounded so geeked about my HT, he asked if you come on the day that the install guys came...


I've had a pleasant experience with BB so far... I havent hired them yet to come out to the house, I'll have ALL the construction stuff done... all they have to do is fine tune all the components. So, I'm dealing with a little different situation than you...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn
They told me at best Buy that the warrenty was void if they didn't do the install. OK, they did it. :mad:
Wow! :eek: They were claiming the warrenty on the product was voided if they didnt' hang it?


Mark, unfortunately BB is probably going to be your best best. CI's may not want to come out and fine tune a system that they had nothing to do with from the start. You may though, find MX-3000 programmers online that would be willing to program it.


Just be warned though. To have a 3000 uniquely programmed up, be prepared to pay more than a couple hundred, as I imagine BB's programming would be very vanilla for that cost.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ducati
Wow Art, sorry to hear about such an awful experience... I'm not particularly fond of BestBuy's employees myself... I guess a lot has to do with the individuals form store to store and state to state...


I've been to over a dozen HT stores in Michigan (where I'm from originally) and in Georgia (where I live now)...


Believe it or not, the guys at Best Buy here in Kennesaw, GA are the most knowledgeable, polite, and professional AV guys I've ever met! I'm not joking.


I talke with the salesguy and the manager at my local Magnolia HT (BB) about the guys coming out to do the job... even though I didnt buy my Denon 4806 or MX-3000 remote from BestBuy they assured me that they'd be able to handle it. Even the 24 year old kid who sold me some accessories sounded so geeked about my HT, he asked if you come on the day that the install guys came...


I've had a pleasant experience with BB so far... I havent hired them yet to come out to the house, I'll have ALL the construction stuff done... all they have to do is fine tune all the components. So, I'm dealing with a little different situation than you...


I was talking to a friend at the gym last week . He knows and has experienced my theater. One of the sales guys from BB overheard us discussing front projection options and interrupted to give us his wisdom. He had never heard of HDCP ! I explained it and it's implications. He jut seemed almost like a deer in a headlight as I spoke. As you said ,this isn't a condemnation of BB ,just my experiences. I'm sure, like anything, that there is great variability.I just wanted to be sure to add what had happened to me recently so that a level of expectation might be tempered or a least a guarded expectation could be introduced.


Art
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mntneer
Wow! :eek: They were claiming the warrenty on the product was voided if they didnt' hang it?


Mark, unfortunately BB is probably going to be your best best. CI's may not want to come out and fine tune a system that they had nothing to do with from the start. You may though, find MX-3000 programmers online that would be willing to program it.


Just be warned though. To have a 3000 uniquely programmed up, be prepared to pay more than a couple hundred, as I imagine BB's programming would be very vanilla for that cost.
Well as usual BB is bending the truth here. I think the real story is if they drop it, they will replace it, If you drop or crack the panel during the install - you buy it. However we know how easily a BB grunt can translate that into "we hang it for $350 or no warranty."


I got an Akai 50in for my bedroom at Costco. They recomended their installation company - Installs Inc for $495. No thank you!
 

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Art,


Guessing you did not have the guy touch up the two G90's while he was there? :eek:
 

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I've never dealt with Best Buy on an installation, but I was crazy enough to trust Circuit City's contractors to install my DirecTV dish after I swore I'd never spend another dime there. Ughghghghg..... I won't even go there. However, I did give my father in law permission to take a baseball bat to my knees if I ever even mentioned purchasing something from Circuit City. Although the Best Buys I've been too haven't impressed me, they impress me more than CC.
 

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OK, so today I'm in Best Buy and I'm checking out the new Magnolia store within a Store concept that just opened in the last couple of weeks.


I get excited when a 40+ year old guy in a 3 piece suit approaches and says "let me know if there is anything I can help you with"


Yes, I have a FP and I'm looking for a calibration service. Is that something Magnolia offers?


he responds "you know, you are the second person to ask me that, let me go check" he goes to the desk to consult with the 20 year old in a polo shirt and returns. "Sorry... no"


As I glance up at their ONLY FP on display the INFOCUS 7205 he offers "That's our most popular system" well at least he wasn't lying... it was their only system.


sigh
 

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So is BB putting these "Magnolia" stores in all their locations? Nearest BB for me is Frederick, and I'm not sure I want to drive that far to take a look.
 

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Magnolia is certainly not doing ISF/HAA for that price. They are not getting CEDIA certification - rather they are doing the easier Infocomm certification.


They are doing the basic AVIA user control setup that would cost you $50 and watching the video - and you are lucky if the guy just does not twist the knobs and say looks OK to me. Consider yourself lucky if they bring out a SPL meter and load the proper codes into your MX3000 and even do a automation macro. URC has a good discrete code database - but don't expect them to search out the codes if they are not in there.


It is reasonable for what they will do if you don't want to learn the AVIA yourself - it is what I charge for my basic install setup (that does not including mounting - or the in-wall wiring guys). And most of my customers have had the AVIA themselves and still paid me to do it because I am better.


And of course I pitch why you need my HAA/ISF while I am doing the basics - so if you want more from Magnolia - do not expect it and you will be happy. When I come out I will also tell you your speakers you bought will not work in your cabinet, and that the screen you bought really not match your projector. So you do not want to hire a ISF/HAA if you do not want your HT system design critiqued and have no return policy at your Internet sellers.


Bottom line - do you really want an installer that says 'DOOD that would be so cool to see an actual HT!"?



It is a better deal than CircuitCity that charges $150 per component in your system just to hookup, not to tune, not to run wires, not to program. And that is only if you bought the Monster cable, &power strip, and extended warranty with the package deal - otherwise they will not come out. They use subs anyways - Magnolia is hiring/training their own installers.


Magnolia sells HT itself - they are a concept very unlike the BestBuy they are in. Except to see HT demo rooms that are adquately installed. Do not expect to see racks of projectors, TV's, speakers, and remotes. That is not their store concept.


Even at that price I don't see how they will make money - considering they are taking the BestBuy van out for a spin all afternoon - and the salesguy wants to come watch too - rather than SELL HT in the store...


And BTW - you do have to pay tax on installs in most states with sales tax. In fact in my state if you do not pay sales tax on equipment - you are still liable for use tax. Of course they never audit personal property - unless of course you are claiming the personal property for business use - then they will audit to make sure you paid your taxes. Enjoy the free tax ride while you have it - but eventually the lawmakers will require internet sellers to collect local sales tax - the technology required is no different than calculating a shipping rate.
 

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Maybe for $350 an hour? ;)


Not to derail the original thread topic, but I had a question for Dennis E.

Would it be OK if I PM'd you with a question about treating my VERY small music room?


I know you do this for a living and would normally charge for this, but I was hoping you could give me a little advice. Nothing major - just some suggestions on where to place some absorber/diffuser panels I will be picking up. :)
 

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Captain Kellog


Lawyer level fees sure would be nice - but most calibration techs are not that high!


Though then I could afford that $20K PR650 spectroradiometer I want....


If you are in America's Vancouver rather than that Vancouver in Canada - look me up! I am likely cheaper than Dennis - but not free either......


Otherwise open your own thread here or in Audio Setup - you are sure to get plenty of free advice from others doing the same, and others wanting to sell their service or panels :D
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Martin
Art,


Guessing you did not have the guy touch up the two G90's while he was there?
So true ! Really in the whole thing I was simply attempting to bring up my rec room to keep my teenage daughter here rather than at houses and places unknown. Thus far it has worked. We took a room that had been a one car garage and here is the product.


 

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Art Sonneborn:

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Really in the whole thing I was simply attempting to bring up my rec room to keep my teenage daughter here
Nifty. Unexpected. A bit confusing. When I was a teenager, teenage girls weren't famous for herding towards: plasma televisions, pool tables, and a bar in their parent's house. Have times changed and I've fallen behind?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BasementBob
Art Sonneborn:


Nifty. Unexpected. A bit confusing. When I was a teenager, teenage girls weren't famous for herding towards: plasma televisions, pool tables, and a bar in their parent's house. Have times changed and I've fallen behind?


Well, she and her friends almost never leave the room ! I close it so she can keep my three small boys away yet have a frig ,music, bathroom and MTV. So far so good.


Perhaps you are right, but if they are all together here, I have some control. Many of the other situations are questionable ,eg. parents actually gone, parents who think being cool with the kids is more important than being their parents etc.


Art
 

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Pool halls are quite popular with teens (I should know I used to spend a lot of time in one with my wife and our friends when I was a teen).


It is just a nice place to hang out while still being able to socialize. When you're a teenager there's not a whole lot of places to do that. The options were pretty much - hang at at the parents', hang out at the pool hall, go to the local theater, try to sneak into a night club (tsk, tsk), or go for a drive somewhere.


The pool hall was probably our group's favorite option, since:

- not everyone could fit into the same car

- not everyone's parents wanted a crowd of teenagers over all the time

- you can't really talk much in a theater without annoying everyone around you

So the pool hall was our spot - as I recall, they had a really nice little arcade attached, and a nice retro-looking jukebox. Ahh, memories, it seems so long ago - and I'm only 26! :)


Hey Art, maybe you could set up a little MAME Arcade machine in a corner of the rec room. Here's a link:
http://www.x-arcade.com/two-player.shtml
http://www.x-arcade.com/htm/cabinet.shtml
http://www.arcadeshopper.com/emulation/


(P.S. - Art, you've got a great flair for decorating!)
 

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This is mainly directed to Art, and Mark (original poster). First off Art sorry about your experience with BBY, I hate to admit this in AVS but I do work in BBY for HT sales for over two years, during that time I have done several installs with our install guy. Usually there is one head installer in a 2-3 store of BBY, and he usually has an apprentice working for him. The apprentice guys seem to leave quickly or have weird vacations, and in our area we seem to do alot of installs for onwall plasmas for whatever the case may be. Because of that our installer needs another person to of course assist with the install, and more importantly put up the plasma, and in Art's unfortunate case it did not happen, Art had to assist personally, which should absolutely not happen. Now our head guy knows a decent amount, its funny with me apprenticing with him, but I just keep my mouth shut (just a part-time job for me, I could really careless, just have one more year til graduation from my university). BBY supplies all the supplies theyll need, and unfortunately only a little certification, and from there in each area quality is just a case to case basis with the head guy on how much he knows, and his quality of work.


And again after reading your post Art I just shaked and lowered my head in disgust, my apologies. However it does look like a nice final product.
 
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