Meet the owner Buzz Jensen
Interview with Buzz Jensen, conducted by local REALTOR® MariaElena
Buzz Jensen has been a well-known and trusted name in Arizona for home electronics for over 40 years. Buzz Jensen’s Sound Advice was opened in 1978. Over the years it developed into 2 retail showrooms, with 50 employees and installed systems in over 9,000 homes before they closed in 2002. Buzz was then invited to open a showroom inside Robb & Stucky Interiors. That store-within-a-store concept became Paradise Home Entertainment Inc. He has received many national & local awards including; “Custom AV Retailer of the Year,” & twice recommended as #1 AV business by Ranking Arizona. He’s past president and board of directors of 2 international organizations servicing the audio, video & home automation industry. He donates to several organizations including: Heart, kidney, Cystic Fibrosis associations plus Habitat for Humanity & Realtor associations In Buzz’s humbler opinion, Paradise staff & installations are some of the finest anywhere. Jeff Woolbright engineers & manages the projects with technicians that are handpicked because of their attitudes, abilities & desire to do the right things to make sure clients are happy. Paradise Home entertainment Inc. is an insured & licensed contractor (ROC 213414).
Describe your business.
We're a home electronics company we are designing the company to be able to take care of just about any situation that has to do with low voltage in the home. We don't do much with high voltage, but we do everything low voltage. We do the audio, video - the audio and video distribution throughout the house. Music systems that play from room to room. We do a lot of automation, security, things that make the home look like it is lived in - but not. We work with a lot of owners that live here part time. We make their house look lived in when they are gone. They can operate their home from their phone with they are away. For instance, they set the thermostat at an uncomfortable temperature to save energy. I tell them when they get on the plane to come back, set it at a more comfortable temperature for when they arrive. If they have a UPS guy coming to their home, they can see who is at their door, turn off the security system, unlock the door from their phone. We do a lot of surveillance cameras and security cameras, inside and outside. So they can literally operate their house without having a house sitter. If something happens, let's say the security camera picks up something, we can have it so that it can follow the person and see what is going on, we can set it up to notify them on their phone, they can talk to them and see what is going on. We also have doorbell mechanisms that replace the old intercom systems and has a camera built in, and when they activate it, it can ring inside or ring the cell phone - anything they want to basically. That way they can see who is at the door, talk to them as if they are inside the house, and they are just using their phone. Our stuff is a pain in the butt. It is ugly, it is not attractive so we hide everything. We are experts at being able to remodel and fix up old niches to hide the equipment. All of the remote controls that we use now a days don't have to point at anything they are all radio frequencies, they can turn on the system and be in another room or other part of the house. They can operate it like it is right in front of them. We take their basket of remote controls and put it in one remote control. They can push one button - for example - watch, and it says "What do you want to watch?" and it shows up on the screen, and they tell it to watch TV and it turns on all the appropriate things, all at one time,it knows exactly what to do, whether it is a COX TV box or DirectTV tuner, turns on the receiver, turns on the TV - and they can watch TV. If the kids come over and start messing with it, all they have to do is turn it off, and the off command on our remote controls, we set it up to reset everything exactly as it is supposed to be when it comes on. We try to make it easy. We also have a service where we will come out to the house, and one of the systems that we do sometimes are very basic from $5000 - including the Televisions all the way up to $200,000 for electronics (audio, visual, automation). We are a distributor for most everything we sell. Price-wise we are the same as Best Buy - so we don't charge any more. The labor/installation side we are actually less expensive than Best Buy because we don't have to have all their infrastructure to make things happen. They have to charge more to do different things. A lot of the companies will not run wires through walls, we do. We replace dumb light switches with smart light switches that can be set to turn on or turn off, whichever makes the most sense. In my own house, for instance, it started off as a pathway of lights - the brains of these automation systems are set us so they know when the sun goes up and down everyday. It has an astronomical time clock, there are no adjusting of timers. So for the outside lights I have them come on at about 35 - 40% at about a half hour before dusk. Then I have a pathway of lights from the garage to the house that does two things. Number one - it is a great way to walk into a house that is lit. Number two - it looks like you are home, so it is great security. So I have lights that come on at about 20%, some that come on at 30% and some at 40% depending on the amount of space - and that is like can lighting inside, that sort of thing. That also saves energy because they are not coming on at full blast. They come on at a very comfortable lighting value.
What made you decide to open this business?
When I was a kid, my mom used to play music on her old record player and I loved music from when I was a kid. I still love music today. I have no talent whatsoever to sing, I can't even play a musical instrument, I have very little rhythm - But I can play a great stereo. So I got into the business by loving music and following that pursuit. I play music at home from anything like Country to Classical. It is just fun, listening to music, it is a great expression of life. I have several music lists that I have created that if I am getting a massage or meditating or if I am working out or if I am out back reading a book, I can have different music playing depending on my mood. That is fun, creating your own music channels. I started the Audio Alternative in 1978.
What has surprised you most when owning a business?
The first thing that comes to mind is that I can be gone, and I can still be making money. I have people working for me so I can be out doing other things. Other people were taking care of the clients and I was making money without even being there. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world.
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
The simplicity of trying to do a lot of complex things. Our customer service is excellent. If one of our clients is having a glitch, one of the things we can do is go into their system from our computer at the office, or one of our techs can go into their system while sitting at home watching TV, and fix any particular glitches or errors that happen. Automation and the audio video systems are all computers, and computers do crash. Every once in a while something is going to go wrong and need to be rebooted. We sometimes get notified before the client even knows there was an issue so we can solve it before the client even knows about it. We work with the things that have brains in it so our clients don't have to use their brains.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want customers to know about?
Right now the big thing in our industry is the Ultra High-Def 4K TVs. With the film industry making everything digital - no more reels - They used to make things in 1080p but now it is 4000p which is 4 times more clear. The industry has dropped the price of 4K TVs that the manufactures have stopped making the 1080p TVs, so they don't even make a standard High-Def TV anymore. The big stores like Best Buy, Costco, are pushing the sale of the 4K TV because the picture is so much more grand. But it is designed to take regular high definition 1080p and upgrade it to 4000p and gives you more clarity. The cost has dropped so much that you can buy a 65" 4K Sony - who I recommend - for $1000. The average size of a TV for a family room is between 60 - 70". The problem is working with niches that only hold up to a 45" TV. So what we have done is to redesign the niches and hide the electronics. We also have mechanisms, so if they want to put the TV over a fireplace, and if the fireplace mantel is very high, that we can lower the TV several inches to 2.5 feet so the TV becomes more comfortable to watch. There is a video you can watch that shows how we do this - it is all motorized. We also have a sound bar and side speakers that look like it is part of the TV. So if you have an attractive room it doesn't look like you are cobbling things together. We very rarely do in-wall speakers anymore because the builder would put the speaker in the ceiling, way up high, and the center channel speaker lower and that speaker would sound great, but the left and right speakers are too high for good sound. All speakers should be close to the TV. That way when you are watching a show or movie, your eyes and ears are working together.
What do you love about this neighborhood?
The eclectic-ness. It is so varied yet so community. It is a small group of people who see to like to live on their own - far out - yet a sense of comradery.
What are your favorite places to go in the neighborhood?
I don't get a chance to get out here - I live out at Shea and the 51 - but I do bring my crew to Harold's to have fun! That is where we meet for our meetings.
Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?
Shopping local helps dramatically with the economy. People want service. If they shop online - they don't want service. In our kind of industry and others, it is ithe one on one service to help you figure out what you need. The amount of information that people need to know to do anything - like the financial services or my industry - going online to research can take you into things that are not really the best avenues. But when you have someone you feel comfortable and you can trust, makes it a lot better deal. As far as cost between locally or online can be 15 - 20% cheaper but the service makes it worth while or helping your neighbor is huge.
Is your entertainment, security or automation system a pain to operate.
We solve issues in all types of home electronics.
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Making positive changesAfter 40 years owning my businesses, I've decided to be an employee.
You can find me at Desert Valley Audio Video Inc. Justin Worley worked with me at Paradise Home Entertainment while inside Robb & Stucky Interiors.
Now I'm working with him.
Desert Valley AV is one of the finest integrators in Arizona.
We take care of everything with new home electronics or to modernize your existing system. Design, sell, install & long term service: Home automation - entertainment - whole home music systems - burglar alarms - Wi-Fi expansion - pre-wire new homes.
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7255 E Adobe Dr Suite 115
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
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