Like a Ferrari. Might be a bit costly, but you know the neighbors will be jealous.
April 03, 2022

Like a Ferrari. Might be a bit costly, but you know the neighbors will be jealous.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with AVI-SPL

My team handles some AV design and integration, but we do almost all operational support unless we have issues in a space that was built for us that we cannot solve on the spot - especially if this space is under a service contract. We work with a brief list of AV integrators for larger projects and we tend to know that smaller, local integrators will most likely provide lower labor costs, but we are sometimes willing to pay a premium for what AVI-SPL can provide in terms of high-end design, lower overall equipment costs, and scale in terms of labor. If we need the best, and the project budget can support it, we know where we need to go. If we need a partner who can send a large crew to get a job done quickly, that's when we call AVI-SPL.
  • Purchase equipment at scale, which means costs and lead times are more manageable.
  • Collaborate on design when the customer is knowledgeable and hands over a well-defined list of requirements.
  • Help incorporate new and emerging options based on experience from other projects.
  • Crestron programming is often based on a template as a starting point, which leaves a lot of random code in place for technicians who must support a project.
  • DSP programming/configuration is often based on a template as a starting point, which leaves a lot of random stuff in place for technicians who must support a project.
  • Support clients who are buying "cash and carry" through AVI-SPL. We should never have to repeatedly follow up with a company that is not following through on its promises when it was not a direct sale.
  • AVI-SPL introduced my technicians to QSC DSPs, which may become a solution for us that will save thousands of dollars per classroom in an upcoming AV refresh.
  • Despite our poor experience with Sharp TVs, an AVI-SPL designer insisted that their business line had improved. We have spent thousands in time and travel while troubleshooting and supporting a space that we had specified needed to be rock solid and remote controllable due to Sharp TVs still being exceedingly unreliable.
  • AVI-SPL designed a classroom for us that is a showcase space that our admission team uses as an example of why our school is a great choice for the students in our programs. Even a few years later it is still impressive to see and a popular space among faculty, students, and guests. I wish we could know how many students were influenced by their impression of our showcase space.
I have always had a great experience with the AVI-SPL help desk when we have needed to call. We have generally done all of the troubleshooting that can be done by remote when we call, so we review what we have done, then they help walk us through anything else they can think to try, and then they assist with coordinating a site visit as needed. There are times that I have wished that I could simply reach out to schedule the site visit more easily, but the ticketing system and possibilities may have improved since my last experience.
We have been working toward hybrid spaces and remote management for years, even before the pandemic. In the past, we struggled a bit with making sure all equipment was remotely accessible and controllable as some designers are too reliant on island networks to ensure that equipment can be configured and tested end-to-end in the warehouse before deployment. On one hand, I think this represents one of the best aspects of AVI-SPL service. When equipment arrives, it is already almost ready to go. On the other hand, I have repeatedly specified that equipment must be on my own network and have had to reconfigure spaces to get this level of remote control and maintainability. We have been largely successful, and I suspect that it would be a different conversation today, but that is one aspect where the templating approach can make the end result difficult to support.
AVI-SPL is the premium product, so we tend to work with them on the most significant projects where the scale, complexity, or visibility of space mean that we will need the best and more reliable end product. If we need to keep costs to a minimum, we know that is when we need to look at more local integrators. They also tend to offer the best price on equipment, so we also like to get quotes from them when we have a project that we will need to handle in-house.

Do you think AVI-SPL delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with AVI-SPL's feature set?


Did AVI-SPL live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of AVI-SPL go as expected?


Would you buy AVI-SPL again?


AVI-SPL is a great fit when you need top-shelf design and scalable labor because you will get a good fit for your needs and enough boots on the ground to get things installed in the right timeframe. Your space will be programmed, configured, and commissioned well and it is often easy and quick to get service while space is under service contract. AVI-SPL offers a premium product, but it also comes at a price point to match. If you have a project where the funding barely covers the equipment, you will need to be realistic about the requirements, the budget, and your timeframe. That said, AVI-SPL might be able to design within your budget to cover your needs, but you might have to seek a solution based on budget.

Evaluating AVI-SPL and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
Fit for purpose, overall. AVI-SPL provides the best AV design and has the resources to hit an installation window without question. Whenever we have analyzed competitive bids where they were involved, their equipment costs are always lower, but their design, programming, and installation costs are always way higher than their competition. Still, they often win where we know we need the best or there is no room for error because is those cases, they are worth the added cost.
Projects AVI-SPL are likely to work on are most likely going to be large enough to require competitive bids. For our process, we should always be looking to refine our requirements gathering to ensure an accurate, complete design for that bid. Extensive redesign after the project has been awarded is never the goal. That said, we do need to be firmer when it comes to requirements around networking and programming. To ensure that a space is supportable, the equipment needs to be accessible by remote and the programming needs to be more purpose-made and less template-driven so that we are not digging through 1000 unused functions to understand the behavior of one that may be problematic in the future.