DIY vs professional outdoor installation

Photo of Lounge Chairs - We expect that you were thinking more about this...

We expect that you were thinking more about this…

It’s SUMMER! Time to think about outdoor living, summer party music, and getting your outdoor audio video experience organized.

This is the second in a series about outdoor entertainment installations based on an interview with Lindsay about what people should consider when beginning this process. * Pro tip * It’s about quality and service.

Last week we published a short piece on selecting an outdoor television. This continues where that one ended, beginning with an unexplored option for outdoor TVs, and considers how equipment is installed.

Q: Do people do projectors in the backyard?

Lindsay: People do sometimes use projectors. Usually the projector is shielded in an enclosure. You’ll need a screen that pulls down. There are a few high-end weatherproof solutions for this which we work with.

It’s not a common situation, however. Most of the time, when people have a projector outside, they’re doing it on a temporary basis.

Q: I see inflatable screens at events. Do people use these at home?

Lindsay: Yes, you can buy an inexpensive screen which inflates with a car pump.

With this, people normally use a temporary projector, run a cord into an electric outlet, hook it up to blue tooth speaker or old stereo, or maybe the projector has a speaker in it…for a temporary kind of movie night. Put it out, set it up, put it away. These are $300 to $1000 a screen, and you can get a cheap projector. It’s a DIY situation and a pretty so-so one at that. We don’t offer these or other low-end “solutions”.

We won’t pretend that DIY is as good as custom. Many want to believe that their purchase was a much better value and just as good a purchase as the expensive custom one.

We do not buy into the thinking that some off-brand no-name TV that you read about in Consumer Reports is just as good as the major name brands. We just won’t support that kind of thinking, because it’s not really true.

That TV may be pretty good, it may be good enough, but it isn’t the same. The name brand tv is usually better because it is normally much more advanced and up to date design. Big companies have big R&D money that small ones don’t).

The small no name TV brands have “0” parts and service availability. They usually do over the counter exchange while under warranty and then it’s a “throwaway” once the warranty expires. These TVs are generally a false economy, especially when you factor in loss of satisfaction.

It’s the same with installations. There are many more factors involved in system installations than are usually presented in online tutorials. Anyone can easily install a set of speakers, or hang a basic TV, then plug in some wires. Easy peasy, there’s not much to that. Especially if the distances are small, and your indoor network doesn’t need to be expanded to reach it.

The DIY mentality is that I can go out and do it just as good or better than getting it done professionally. Which is fine, you can think that. It’s rarely true, but you can think it.

You want to go out and do landscape lighting yourself, you can go out and get a bunch of temporary lights, spend $300 dollars and put it out in the backyard and every two or three years, put new ones in. You can do that. Same with the AV equipment.

A complex installation however, with an integrated system, and a serious energy and network draw, needs experts with access to equipment and training that most people simply don’t have. It’s not just that one needs to understand the dynamics of a system and how it is controlled, there are specialized products for each part of the job and knowing what each is, why it is needed or used, where to get it, and having access to the best price for it, is all part of the gig.

Why this wire and not that one, this speaker, that TV, those lights, this spot, that power source, this network, that data package. And then, there’s the programming.

...and not this

…and not so much about this

Most of the equipment we sell isn’t even available directly to consumers. To sell it, we have to travel to training centres and learn about the manufacturer’s methodology, the materials they use, and the electronic science that is being applied. It’s not just that we have to show a certificate to our customers, the manufacturer would not ship to us if they weren’t absolutely confident of our knowledge of their product. It’s the same with the system. We have to travel for training and be certified, because it’s really complicated.

Even the person who writes our website is an AV expert who has studied the technology for decades…and would not consider doing her own install.

You can come to us, we’ll put in a system for everything, audio, video, lighting, with components that you’ll never touch again ever, and burial cable to supply the power. With top quality equipment often made of marine grade materials. Sell the house three times and it will be sold with the house every time. You get what you pay for.

We do not cater to the do-it-yourself market. If it’s do it yourself temporary TV outside, or cheap TV hanging outside with a funny case that they bought from Amazon, That’s not what we’re about. Liptons is not a place where you fix your own car.

We do permanent, professional, high performance, quality installations. That’s what we do.

Sometimes, we end up fixing DIY projects. Eventually we get to the point where we say: “For what you’ve spent here, even our service calls aren’t worth it. You’re going to spend $100 bucks for a service call to fix a $200 speaker that isn’t working. It’s better in the long run to start over.

Once you’ve done the DIY thing a couple of times, you go: “Let’s do this properly. I’m sick of this. It isn’t work that I enjoy doing, and I’m sick of every time our friends come over, we try to make it work and it doesn’t work”.

…and that’s why our customers call us. We do it properly the first time, swiftly and seamlessly. They don’t spend that much more money a lot of the time, because they don’t have to repeat it two or three times, and because top-quality components seldom need replacement. The bonus is less landfill.

It saves time, energy, avoids dissatisfaction with quality when they first get it in because the installation had some issues, where they end up calling us to fix things and adjust them so they work.

We’ll set it up so that it works, we’ll ensure that your network supports the use you want to enjoy, and that your system is integrated to allow the most seamless entertainment experience possible at your next garden party.

Call Liptons 905-898-7133

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