Bob (last name withheld by request) has always been one of my favorites. Not that he is especially easy to work with (he is not), nor is he difficult (he is a pleasure to deal with actually) rather it is his attention to detail and crazy high IQ that always pushes us to our limits and leaves me smiling.
You see, nothing gets by him – NOTHING. He is a technical wizard from Silicon Valley with a degree from Stanford. Not the nerdy programmer type, more the physicist / engineer / financier type of guy with a broad and vast knowledge of pretty much everything. He was telling me about his Tesla and after owning if for a while he went through the software interface with the Tesla engineers, suggested some well thought out changes that they did indeed implement. Imagine doing a high-end home theatre for a guy like that, programming the remote control system so that he and his and his extended family, some of whom will not drive his electric car due to extreme technophobia, can all use it with ease.
We originally installed a home theatre for him in the late 90’s. Big Runco projector on a huge motorised lift, motorised Stewart Film Screen, Meridian surround sound processor, Triad Speakers, headphone system, camera inputs, Laser Disk, DVD, Satellite, VCR – the works. He even had part of the ceiling / room re-built to house this projector so it was out of sight when not in use. This was a challenging installation, with a customer who knew the difference. It took a lot of effort on our part and eventually everything worked perfectly. For about 15 years.
During the original installation, he assured me that he knew his requests were at the limits of the technology. 15 years ago remote controls were a lot more difficult to program, I was working at the very limit of my abilities, and I have an engineering degree. He later explained that at one time he had a team of engineers working for him that apparently had about the same look on their faces that I did when talking to Bob about what he wanted to have happen. It made me much better at my job, and has continued to inspire me to this day.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when he called out of the bule “time for an upgrade”. Below are his comments and a couple of pictures. Not impressive looking necessarily – no “star wars theme” or fancy accoutrements, just a nice, highly functional home theatre / media room with quality components that anyone can operate and enjoy with ease. And in Bob’s case, also a very large video phone. Thanks Bob!
I wanted to thank you for the new theatre. You installed our previous theatre over 15 years ago and I believe that was when Beyond Audio was first starting. Everything was state of the art then and there weren’t many theatres going into Vernon or the Okanagan so all this was a learning experience for you. Nonetheless, it eventually was all installed and ran beautifully for over 15 years. Eventually became obsolete – no HD, no internet, etc. – and it was time to redo it.
I called you because I thought you really knew the business and with 15 more years of experience under your belt, I hoped you really had this down to a science. The lift, screen and speakers were still world class so we kept those, but you replaced virtually everything else. I was impressed that when I told you what I wanted, you had a very specific proposal out quickly and could discuss all the tradeoffs clearly and informatively. You really know your stuff (and coming from Silicon Valley, I have a tough bar to hit). Your recommendations were spot on.
The installation was fabulous – your team was careful and meticulous. When I tried it the first time, everything worked. There were some tweaks, mostly in the user interface and a few little things, but those were taken care of instantly (literally – even on Sunday) and I’m thrilled with this theatre. The picture is bright, very clear, the sound fabulous, the user interface in the iPad (Crestron) very intuitive and clear. Everything works instantly – no delays or cycling or any odd stuff we experienced on the AMX system. (Programmed by a company from San Francisco with Beyond Audio doing some of the on-site work ~ ed.) The AppleTV works like a charm and I can even use it for FaceTime which is amazing. Netflix, Cable, Satellite, BlueRay, iTunes movies and shows, and even Airplay from my iPhone and iPad are seamless, fast and impressive resolution and clarity. Some members of the family are the anti-technologists, and they’ll find this obvious and intuitive. Well done!
Based on what you recommended, how knowledgeable you and your team were in the proposal and installation process, how fluently and conscientiously Dieter programmed the Crestron, and how fabulously everything works, I’d give this whole process a 10 (out of 10). And not only would I recommend you to anyone, I’ve already recommended you to several friends here.