This week Chief celebrates AV Week with a series about racks. This post is the first in a series about rack systems. I sat down with Rob Zurn, Chief’s Product Manager in charge of rack system products. Zurn has more than 20 years in the AV industry and has seen his share of rack systems from the dealer and installer side as well as from the manufacturing end of the chain. The conversation started with rack basics and eventually led to best practices tips for installers.AV week logo
Joel: How do you choose the right rack systems for the right situation?
Rob: First of all, before I even go into “what” racks, we need to discuss “why” racks.
You can buy a thing that will hold stuff on shelves, like a tower of adjustable shelves similar to what you would find in your linen closet. They hold stuff, and keep it all in order. The downsides are: 1. They are very difficult to secure. 2. They are very hard to adjust. So from maintainability and serviceability, it’s expensive to do it that way and you lose all control over airflow and thermal management in the cabinet.
So that’s “why” a rack system. You now have your own controlled environment. You can control the security, lock it up and hide things. You can control the cooling and heating because you have the entire system by yourself. And you have a nice aesthetic, and for me, that was a big deal.
I primarily provided AV solutions for high-end houses. We didn’t have an advertising budget at all, so we said “make this look as good as possible, and this became our calling card.” And this is our advertisement — then the next person in their house sees that and says, “That’s nice! Who did that?” We considered our best ad was the finished product.
But really, the bigger question of why racks is that you have control of the environment, whether that’s for cooling, security, aesthetic or transportability. So that’s why rack systems.
Next time: How to decide what rack system to get for a project.