Sometimes the “simplest” projects really aren’t so easy. The retrofit we did in a recent Staten Island home shows why it often makes sense to call a home theater specialist when things go wrong rather than attempting do-it-yourself repairs.

“Just a Blown Amp?”

A Staten Island homeowner called us to replace an amp in her home theater system. We came over immediately to replace and re-program the component. But that didn’t get to the heart of the problem. Her audio video components were all stuffed in an equipment rack that was too small; the lack of ventilation in the tight space caused the amp to overheat and burn out before its time.

New, Roomier Rack

Our customer’s husband, a true audiophile with a collection of thousands of vinyl records, (if you don’t know what we’re talking about, you may be too young to be reading this!) had a turntable stacked on top of a CD player all on top of the rack. There was no place to put a computer so the wife could play her MP3s off her computer, and the CD wasn’t getting the proper ventilation either.

We replaced the rack with a new Middle Atlantic rack unit that included room for the CD player, a pull-out shelf for a computer, and room to grow. The turntable sits on top, as it should.

Apple TV Upgrade

With all this done, the customer decided Apple TV would be a good solution to the family’s multimedia situation — they had a collection of thousands of digital movies and songs and they wanted a central server to store it all. We installed two Apple TV boxes — one in the living room and one in the family room.

We were able to connect the Apple TV boxes to the older plasma TV via Cat-5, making just four small holes in the walls. No dust, easy clean-up. (Can you say that when your husband does work around the house?) We added an Atlona box to get the technology to communicate with each other. Finally, we re-programmed the keypads for easier control.

Not a “Do-It-Yourself” Fix

If someone had tried to do these upgrades themselves, they may have become frustrated — it wasn’t an easy fix where all the parts worked together the first time out. We worked with our distributors to make sure all the components were return-able, so we could try different solutions until we found the right fit.

The customer wasn’t ready to upgrade the older plasma TVs, but we were able to retrofit the entire system without changing out the TVs to give the customer better viewing quality and components that would last.

Our customer even commented that the remote control keypad was more user-friendly than it had been before!

And that’s just a day in our life here at JD Pro.