One of our key selling points for home automation has always been to advocate the reduction of clutter in order to create a clean appearance throughout the home. Imagine a double stack of 4 light switches with thermostat above them and then an audio keypad/touch panel/etc above all of that. What if they are not sure if they want a control point at that location and you end up with a blank plate....AWFUL. In the ideal world you hide all of that clutter and install a single keypad or touch panel at that location transforming the wall from horrendous to elegant. The point being we don't want to make a bad situation worse by adding to it. Keeping with that same thought process, when we are cabling a house for locations that we are not sure will be utilized, a box with a blank plate is not the solution. Consider this, you pry the box off the stud and attempt to cut the speaker as close as you can to the stud and end up needing to either caulk or mud the holes visible from the corners of the box cutout. Even worse that box may cause the final installed product to be misaligned with the other elements on the wall or ceiling making the AV integrator look like the afterthought we often are. With Xspot you can align the magnet on the strap with other elements, easily locate the magnet after the house is complete, and cut the component into the perfect spot without having to use multiple studs or other methods for alignment.
Attempts at a Solution
How do you solve this problem. For several years we zigzagged the cable across the stud bay close to the sheetrock, took a ton of photos of the completed prewire, and then used a toner in combination with the photos to find the wire. While this worked fairly well, occasionally the zigzag wire was a bit high off the sheetrock and not being certain where the toner is indicating, the tech would cut a hole in the next bay over which of course required sheetrock repair. One day I had an idea about using magnets and trying to somehow secure them in place using velcro or some other material. I bought a bunch of magnets from Amazon and we gave it a shot. This turned out to be a failed experiment because it wasn't that easy to secure the magnets, so I went searching for a better solution and was shocked to find Xspot had already perfected what I was trying to create. Once we tried it out we were hooked and use it on all of our installations.
The first builder we pitched the idea to we had recently become acquainted with and he was reticent about the idea. All of his previous AV contractors had always used the box and blank plate and he did not want to be patching sheetrock when we had to track down our wires. This particular builder included an extensive prewire in all of their homes and we were able to finally convince them of the disadvantages and lack of appeal of the random blank plates sprinkled through their multi-million dollar homes. They now love the product as well and use it as a selling point to their customers.
Xspot is our go to differentiator in the marketplace when speaking to new builders. If their guys aren't using the product already, it provides us a competitive advantage because we are seen as forward thinking so we don't get lumped in with all of the other AV Integrators. If you are not installing Xspot, somebody is going to have that advantage over you.
Principal | Operations
Refined Systems, LLC