Karen Pulfer Focht
Brad Parsley © Karen Pulfer Focht
With a flood of technological updates thrown at customers on a regular basis, it can be hard to keep track of what kinds of programs and software function in their homes. Music and television are staples of the entertainment industry today, and there’s nothing quite like experiencing both in the highest possible quality. Luckily, local installation business Audio Video Artistry can tick all the boxes. Founded in 1998 by Brad Parsley and Chris Rogers, the company’s aim was to provide a more creative approach to home theater installation and ensure the best possible experience. Whether it’s audio, video, or even security, Audio Video Artistry has the technology and know-how to make it possible.
“We wear a lot of hats,” says Parsley. “Basically, anything having to do with technology and communications and security. We specialize primarily in residential, but we also do commercial. We do a lot of bar and restaurant [business] and, believe it or not, wine and liquor stores lately. Everybody knows us as a home theater and speaker company, but actually the lion’s share of our business now is in control systems. If you want to be able to control everything in your home from an application on your smartphone, that’s what we do.”
As a longtime participant in the audio/video field, part of Parsley’s job is to stay with current trends. In the television industry, 4K TVs are emerging as the newest technology. “I believe that 4K is really what separates us from our competitors,” he says. “It’s not as simple as buying a TV, but there are a series of things that have to be planned to enjoy it as intended.”
According to Parsley, 2K is still the main quality output from many content providers. With many boxes and components not quite matching the technological output of 4K just yet, careful groundwork needs to be laid so that home theater setups aren’t quickly out of date. As for the audio aspect, Dolby Atmos is the best available option, according to Parsley. “It’s a gamechanger, the first real innovation since Dolby Pro Logic,” he says. Fortunately, there are two individual theaters at his studio where customers can experience the Dolby Atmos surround sound.
One main hurdle when looking for the best equipment is price. The newest technology always runs up a high bill, but there are ways to cut costs.
“You don’t have to spend-spend-spend to have the best home theater,” says Parsley. “I put my experience behind installing the best possible systems. Although I implement exotic systems as well, I can give people more performance and more value for the money than they can find somewhere else.”
Parsley explains that many big box retailers have a “do it yourself” attitude when it comes to installation, which is what many people are turning toward. While grabbing anything that looks good on the shelf might provide some immediate technological boosts, if not implemented the right way, he says, the audio and visual variables might not line up right in terms of quality. Nothing grates more than having a clear picture with unintelligible sound. That’s where having an expert match up and install the equipment can come in handy.
“We’re a dying breed in terms of the home theater industry,” Parsley says. “But, there are still plenty of people in Memphis who want a certain level of expertise and want the best, so we’ll stick with it.”
Those looking to try before they buy should seek out Audio Video Artistry’s 5,000-square-foot home studio set. Located near Shelby Farms, the studio provides a complete look at what the company offers, from the latest in visuals to a full sound experience.
“It essentially shows a person all the options they’d have in a luxury home,” says Parsley. Some of the examples detail the fancier range of available selections. One television screen doubles as a mirror, while others can be concealed behind pieces of artwork, which roll up to reveal the screen. Those extra tricks allow for a full range of possibilities; electronics can be adapted to many styles of interior design, with the excess clutter, such as cables and boxes, hidden from view.
“Most people don’t want equipment just sitting out in the middle of the room,” says Parsley. Whether tucked behind a screen or a painting, the needed equipment won’t affect the aesthetic appeal of a room after an installation.
While having the latest video and sound equipment can create an entertainment haven, safety is a pressing issue for many clients in Memphis. Parsley aligns his technological expertise with some of the latest advances in home security. “For clients with larger homes, they need a more custom solution for security,” he says. “Most of the security companies now have gone to more of a cookie-cutter, wireless approach, which works great for small to medium homes. For larger homes, it does not.”
Many security companies only provide wireless systems, so a more personal touch is needed to bring together various systems to handle the requirements of protecting a larger home. Audio Video Artistry’s separate company, Custom Integrated Alarm Systems, provides the necessary services.
“They need a well-planned-out security solution, and we’ve stepped into that gap to specialize,” Parsley says. “We do customized surveillance equipment for homes and businesses, so we have cameras for all kinds of purposes. We have one that covers a large area, and if it detects someone in its field of view, it will zoom in on that person, and it will follow them automatically until they’re out of the camera’s view. If a car goes by at night, it will zoom in on that car, which makes reading license plates a lot easier. All of that takes place automatically. That’s why it’s more effective than a standard wireless camera you buy from Home Depot or AT&T.” The niche security market has provided one of Audio Video Artistry’s biggest commercial booms, proving the demand for good home security in Memphis.
Commonly advertised technological products only scratch the surface of what’s available to install in a home. With an inundation of available technology, sometimes it really does help to have a professional hand with setting everything up. Audio Video Artistry still gets to work in the community, with one of their recent installations being at the original Germantown Baptist Church building near the Methodist Baptist Church campus. Despite all the technological advances, the historic aesthetic of the building looks exactly the same.
When those installing the system have a passion for their business, and what it can provide customers, it’s an added bonus. “I’ve been doing this since high school,” says Parsley, “ and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”