In the Field: Tim Dyer of Halcyon AV
HiddenWires talks with Tim Dyer, director of Halcyon AV in Rickmansworth, Hertsfordshire, UK.
Rickmansworth, Hertsfordshire, UK
Specialises in: Home Cinema, Sonos, Rako, Whole Home Audio, TV, Data Systems
When was Halcyon AV started? What sparked the formation of the firm?
A gradual transition starting 10 years ago to being fully formed four to five years ago. I was mainly dealing in the pro/commercial installed sound market and found that the demand for kitting out the directors houses of the firms we dealt with was rapidly growing and combined with the economic downturn led to a strong move into the residential market.
You specialise in home cinema installations. What is the greatest challenge you face selling this concept to your UK clients? How do you overcome that challenge?
Everyone loves home cinema but I think the greatest challenge is really getting the customer to define their expectations. Once you have that down you can then start to create their system to suit them. Honestly, spend more time listening to what they want rather than telling the customer what the best features of the latest products are.
Your latest integration project features Dolby Atmos. Can you briefly walk us through the client brief and the design of that project? Where there any obstacles to achieving the finished installation? How did you overcome them, if so?
That’s a really interesting one. We had met the customer who wanted a home cinema for a new barn they were building. We had gone through the options and a smaller system than this had been specified. The customer rang and wanted a demonstration, which was incredible timing as I had been at AWE the day before for a demo of AWE’s beautiful new Home Cinema Room. I explained to the customer that I could take them there but that we were going to view a system superior to that quoted but it would be worth their time. Once we had finished the Gravity demo the customer gave me a certain look you get when you know you‘ve just opened their eyes and ears and I knew we would be installing an Atmos system for them.
The main obstacle was the building and its location. It’s a new Barn-style building and the cable runs for live TV and Internet were 90/100m from the house. We worked really closely with the builder to ensure that the cable ducts were run in properly and we actually pulled all the cables through ourselves. The other main issue was that the room layout I spent a lot of time talking with James from AWE to ensure we got the speaker layout correct for both the Front Wall and the Surrounds. As the room is multipurpose we had to be sympathetic to what was practical so I just spent more time planning and positioning the kit and as you can see by the photo it looks amazing and the KEF THX in walls are simply stunning.
What do you foresee for the UK integration market, especially as the connected home concept begins to dominate the AV conversation?
I think it’s a very intriguing time. Previously you needed a control system and stacks of programming to make everything work via your dedicated wall panel or touch screen remote, but you now have the world wandering around with an equivalent product in their back pocket and some of the manufacturers have put out some amazing apps. It will be great to see what is running the average home in five years’ time.
What’s next up for Halcyon AV?
We currently have some big Rako projects on the go and several AV developments in London completing. We are also working on a luxury apartment near Bedford Square and I’m really excited to see that completed from both an AV and a design point of view.