Loking to Install projector in basement with 7 foot ceilings but Best Buy said not a good idea - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 40 Old 01-02-16, 08:23 AM
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post #12 of 40 Old 01-11-16, 12:09 AM
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Re: Loking to Install projector in basement with 7 foot ceilings but Best Buy said not a good idea

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I hate to burst your bubble but your thinking is very flawed. First a commission on a TV vs a Projo/Screen combo is vastly different. I won't get into how different but just know that TVs have the lowest commission of almost any product in all of CE save only for computers. To say nothing of what labor for the job would cost.

Second: if your basement is finished they may have thought running the video would have presented a problem or possibly there was some other kind of issue. If you went to a design center and has a walk with the designer and their project manager and they suggested a different solution I'm sure they're was a reason.

Third: fun fact projectors and screens have the highest return/exchange rate of ant class product in the industry. Often if a room isn't ideal or the end results are questionable; you'll be offered a less risky solution. Even if that translates to less money for the salesperson in the end.

Sorry for getting on a soapbox here but I feel I have to defend salesmen the world over. I've done sales for a long time (I'm a custom integrator now) and I have to say. Sales is a noble profession. You have to win your clients' trust and respect that trust by working with their best interests in mind. You have to support their dreams while being critical of the ideas that don't work.
Ok, there's a lot to deal with here. I'll start with some useful information for everyone who ever spends money on anything:

Profit margins on big-ticket electronics are thin. They are also fixed by a thing called MAPP pricing. (Manufacturer's Agreed Price Point). This is true in virtually every industry where the end-user is separated by one or more degrees from the manufacturer by distributors, wholesalers, retailers, etc. This is also why the same make and model of [device] is the same price regardless of where you buy it... and if it isn't, most retailers will "price match" the competition. (Basically because you, the customer, caught them trying to run the price up). It's also why EVERYONE advertises their prices as being "x% below MSRP!". If you pay MSRP for something, you're being robbed. If everyone follows MAPP pricing, profit margins are consistent and predictable.

Sales figures for individual employees are generally not related to the thickness of the profit margin, but listed in aggregate. So a $7000 TV looks better to the accounting department than a $30 cable... HOWEVER...
While it varies from company to company, almost all big-box retailers that keep track of sales peoples' totals are also actively pushing them to sell high-profit items. Extended warranties, installations, accessories... these are where the money is made. But after years of research, all these companies know (and can support with staggering quantities of research) that the guy who buys the $7000 TV is much more likely to drop an extra $250 on cables and accessories from the same store, and that $250 is 75%-90% profit. Given this, the strategy is simple: Stock the Big Bad TV and all its extra bits, and then sell it aggressively. Customers will do a lot of the work for you if you can get them on board with the Big Bad TV.

Projectors tend to violate the big-box retailers proven approach by requiring different accessories than their TV cousins... they need completely different mounting hardware, usually a different complement of cabling, and often a screen. Since these items are for a niche market, Best Buy et al don't often stock them... so if they DO sell a projector, the high-profit accessories are going to get purchased elsewhere. And as was pointed out, the proper setup of a projector is much more demanding which often results in a less-than-satisfied customer. Hence the high return rate. Given the risk of return and the difficulty in accessorizing for establishments like Best Buy, it makes perfect sense that a salesperson interested in keeping their job would push a customer towards a solution for which they are better equipped to provide all the necessary peripherals.

I'm not suggesting that following this line of reasoning makes a salesperson a bad human. What I AM suggesting is that the salesperson is much more likely to respond to pressure from their management than they are to loosely stated demands from a customer.

The OP stated in his post that he wanted a projector, and that the salesperson from Magnolia tried to talk him out of it in favor of a large and expensive TV that he didn't want. If the salesperson truly had the OP's needs in mind, he would have suggested products and solutions that fit the stated demands. I back this up with the OP's statement that the Magnolia Guy said "people could get up and their heads might be in the way of the projector. That's not a sales guy looking out for a customer in this case... that's a pretty weak argument against a product he doesn't want to sell.

So, my thinking is absolutely not flawed. Based on the available information, the OP was talking to a bad salesperson. He knew he didn't have a 35' HDMI cable in stock, nor a 20' IEC power cable. He may or may not have had a projector that would have worked in the OP's setting, but he didn't want to risk having it returned after OP accessorized elsewhere. So he didn't offer the best solution, he offered the one that made his job easy. Not cool.

Sales, done right, is a noble profession. A good salesperson is hard to find, and once found should be kept... but those are few and far between. You know you have a good one when they tell you to your face that the product you should have is one they don't sell, and then they follow that with where to get it. Unfortunately, while this may result in a happy customer, an unhappy manager is almost always the side effect. On top of that, being a good salesperson requires intimate knowledge of your product line... and I've never known Best Buy to keep a steady supply of well-informed sales people.
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post #13 of 40 Old 01-11-16, 01:13 AM
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We keep mounts, cables, extenders, bulk wire, terminations, plates, and other parts in stock all times. Screens are typically special order as are the more exotic projectors; especially if we're getting into different lenses. You're also forgetting spiffs and the fact that he went to a design center not a Best Buy space.

Projector systems tend to land around 25+ while TV solutions average closer to about 3-6K. Any salesman would be a fool not to try to get the projo sale. I'm telling you there had to be a good reason.

How do I know... I've been in sales, I've delivered over 1M in a single FY. I've been in CE for the past 15yrs. I work for a Design Center.
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post #14 of 40 Old 01-11-16, 01:29 AM
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But to get this thread back on track:

OP what's your budget for this project?
How much of the project would you like to do yourself?
What existing equipment do you have?
Can you post pictures of the space and maybe floor plans or a quick sketch?
Is this space finished and/or do cables need to be hidden from view or can they be exposed on the wall/ceiling?... If your answer to that last question is yes I'm going to need a permission slip from your spouse if you have one

Anything can be done it's always just a question of time & money!
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post #15 of 40 Old 01-12-16, 09:24 PM
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Re: Loking to Install projector in basement with 7 foot ceilings but Best Buy said not a good idea

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ceilos456 wrote: View Post
Just bought a home and not really too experienced with projector screens (have a 65 inch flat screen in home now)

Best Buy Magnolia came over today to take a look and they did not recommend it due to the fact the ceilings were so low but recommended an 80 inch TV.

Reason being is that if someone stood up then the head might get in the way of the screen and they seemed really against the screen so i did some searching and seemed this was the right place to ask the question

Is it possible, should i do it or go with the TV which i really didn't want.

Thank you so much in advance!
Part of what is happening in this thread is a salesperson trying to talk the OP into a direction he doesn't want to go. My goal here has become to provide useful information on the background of how these sorts of establishments operate so they can make educated purchases and maximize the value of their money.

As evidenced in the original post, the OP was at Best Buy. Magnolia Home Theater is their in-house version of a boutique design center... and having been inside several different locations in the very recent past, I can tell you that they do not stock all the necessary peripherals to set up a projector under the circumstances likely to be encountered in the field.

Rab-Byte, your design center might stock all those things... but we're not talking about a design center. We're talking about a massive retail outlet with a market cap of almost $10B (Nasdaq:BBY). All of these places follow the same mantra: "Stock only what you can sell." They spend huge amounts of money figuring out what sells and what doesn't. Projectors, as you stated, have a low sale and high return rate... so they aren't stocked as aggressively.

Given the low profit margin and lack of available up-selling, the Best Buy Magnolia Guy gave the only reason he could come up with... and it wasn't even close to being good. There is a good reason he steered OP towards a TV, and that reason is exactly what I've outlined: Projectors are bad for business from BBY's perspective.

The takeaway is this: If you're going into a big-box retailer, you the customer have to do your homework and not rely on the sales people to give you the information you need. If you can't/won't do that, or you want gear those guys don't sell, then you do not want to buy from those places. You need expert advice and a properly assembled system... therefore you belong in a design center talking to someone who will get you set up the way you want. If that costs more, so be it.

All I care about here is that people don't spend money blindly or get railroaded, which is what the BBY situation smells like to me.

+1 on Rab-Byte's follow-up questions. How can HTS folk get you going in the direction you want to go?
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post #16 of 40 Old 01-15-16, 03:41 PM
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Re: Loking to Install projector in basement with 7 foot ceilings but Best Buy said not a good idea

I had a loft theatre with a 7ft ceiling and initially a 7ft wide 16:9 screen. I later changed it to an 8ft wide 2.35 screen and moved the seats closer to keep the 16:9 image visually the same size as before (same horizontal viewing angle). The first two projectors did not have lens shift and were mounted close to the ceiling and were used with the 16:9 screen. The third pj used the 2.35 screen, had lens shift and was mounted on a long pole behind the seating area, but it wasn't an issue - can't remember people walking in front of the image, but usually people would be seated for a movie from start to finish anyway.

I had to run power and video to the ceiling, but as it was a loft and I was converting the space, it was easy to do.

So from my experience having a 7ft ceiling isn't a problem. For me the biggest problem was the sloping ceilings restricting my screen size.

Gary
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post #17 of 40 Old 01-16-16, 01:55 AM
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Re: Loking to Install projector in basement with 7 foot ceilings but Best Buy said not a good idea

Had a buddy who had low ceilings in his basement and he turned it into an advantage.

Since we are talking about a house room and not a commercial movie theater, how many people will walk out in front of the projector during a movie really? The beauty of home cinema is I can pause the movie, we go to the bathroom, or grab another drink, and resume the movie then.

My buddy made a small table in the middle of the room. The short throw projector sits inside and he has floor to ceiling image. That, to this date, has been the most immersive room I've ever been in. We watched a U2 concert and Bono was literally walking on the floor in front of us. Pretty cool!

Ceiling mount, or hidden in a table, both will work just as well. Turn that room into a great movie room with a projector, forget the TV...
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post #18 of 40 Old 01-16-16, 11:14 AM
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Re: Loking to Install projector in basement with 7 foot ceilings but Best Buy said not a good idea

I'm an installer and I hate when people try to put projectors in places where a projector just should not go. The OP has not provided enough info to give an educated opinion of his situation and this thread seems to have become more about sales figures. As a long time installer with the limited info provided I would tend to agree with the Magnolia guy but, that is only based on the info provided and not a definitive opinion.

D.M.

"The problem with opinions is everyone has one but, very few people are qualified to express them"
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post #19 of 40 Old 01-16-16, 11:24 AM
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Re: Loking to Install projector in basement with 7 foot ceilings but Best Buy said not a good idea

why would you say that he shouldn't have a projector in a room with a 7ft ceiling?
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post #20 of 40 Old 01-16-16, 11:46 AM
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Re: Loking to Install projector in basement with 7 foot ceilings but Best Buy said not a good idea

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ceilos456 wrote: View Post
...
Reason being is that if someone stood up then the head might get in the way of the screen and they seemed really against the screen so i did some searching and seemed this was the right place to ask the question
Is it possible, should i do it or go with the TV which i really didn't want....!
Congrats on asking a second opinion.
Short version: Do the projector route and don't look back!
Long version:
FIRST: My basement ceiling where I set up my HT is 6'6" and it has a soffit running right through the middle that lowers it another 10"! When Shaq comes over he always grumbles about having to stoop but then he shuts up and and has a big smile on his face (the beer helps) while he enjoys my 100" screen;-)
SECOND:I won't demonize the Best Buy guys because I honestly feel they were just looking for the simplest solution.
THIRD: There are disadvantages to the projector route, namely the low mounting height and running the cabling to the ceiling mounting projector.

Having done it, I would do it again without hesitation. The disadvantage of the cabling can be overcome if you want to invest some effort in hiding the wires - not a showstopper (and not something Best Buy would want to do). I hid mine behind the soffit that runs the length of the room (and yes, I had to mount the projector LOWER than the soffit). You can build a channel for all the wires or put them above the ceiling to the projector so that it looks wireless!
Ceiling mounting is the only way to go and, frankly, it has never been an issue.
Noise - Not an issue. Yes, during silent portions, I can hear the projector but it is NOT obtrusive at all - quite calming in fact.
Last I checked, everyone sits when they watch a movie and if they get up, I'm pausing it anyway because no one wants to miss watching that HUGE screen with sound coming from 7.2 directions.
fyi I am using a Panasonic PT-AE8000u and it is positioned about 14' from the framed 100" screen - it looks AWESOME!
hth
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