naqYou see them everywhere—the Internet, brochures, installation instructions, product guides—I’m talking about Frequently Asked Questions. Sometimes reading a list of FAQs is like reading the latest adventures of Captain Obvious; other times you find yourself wondering if anybody has ever asked any of them. But what is more important than questions which are asked are those which are not: Never Asked Questions, or NAQs.

These are the questions that actually get the customer in trouble, because leaving them unasked can cost money, time, and credibility.

We recently asked Draper’s AV sales groups to share the questions they really wish more dealers and end users would bring up. Here are those Never Asked Questions (or almost never), and why they need to be asked.

NAQ: What should I think about when putting a tab-tensioned screen in front of a TV?
Why Ask: The projected image will go through the screen, and be reflected from the TV surface back onto the screen from behind. This causes “ghosting” of the image on the screen. Ordering a black-backed surface will prevent this issue.

NAQ: How do I choose between a Closure Panel and Ceiling Trim Kit for my lift?
Why Ask: A Closure is ordered with an Environmental Airspace Housing. The Ceiling Trim kit is ordered when such a housing is not required.

NAQ: Can I adjust my motorized screen’s height?
Why Ask: Although all of our motorized projection screens have limits which can be adjusted so the screen travel stops either higher or lower, making that adjustment isn’t always a good idea. When a screen leaves the Draper factory, the limits have been set to provide the exact desired screen size with the flattest viewing surface possible. By adjusting those limits, you run the risk of introducing wrinkles.

img_3640NAQ: How do I determine how much black drop my screen needs?
Why Ask: Too much or not enough black drop means the image won’t be placed where it should be, and might make it tempting to try and adjust the screen limits (see above). This is a simple equation. Ceiling Height – Image Height – 48” = black drop required. So, if your ceiling is eight feet (96 inches) high, and your image height is 36 inches, the equation would be 96-36-48=12 inches of black drop.

NAQ: If freight damage occurs, should I write DAMAGED on BOL?
Why Ask: If damage isn’t noted immediately it gets tougher to file a damage claim with the carrier. We recommend you inspect your product for external and internal damage and report it ASAP. On LTL Truck and Air carrier shipments you do have to write the word “damaged” on the driver’s copy if any damage is detected. FedEx/UPS shipments don’t require this, but you must call Draper within 14 days to report the damage.

NAQ: How do I find out who my contact at Draper is?
Why Ask: Draper’s sales support staff is organized by geographical region and product. Customer service is organized by issue type. Because of that, the best way to find the correct contact is by going to our online contact page. For sales and technical support, use the interactive map to find your contact. For customer service issues, use the “List by Department” drop-down menu.

NAQ: Do I need to know what aspect ratio my projector and screen will be?
Why Ask: This one might fall into the category of “Seems obvious, but isn’t.” It’s obvious that, of course, you need to know the aspect ratio. Typically we need to know the aspect ratio of the projector, since the aspect ratio of the screen will be determined by that of the projector. There is a caveat, however! If you are ordering a screen from Draper’s Access family, you needn’t know the aspect ratio immediately. You can order a screen case that will be wide enough to cover the widest screen you think you’ll need. The case can go in during the rough phase of construction. Later, once the site is cleaned up, you can get the right size and aspect ratio viewing surface delivered and quickly installed.

screen_shadesNAQ: There are a lot of windows in the room—is that a problem?
Why Ask: Few things can spoil your viewing experience like an image washed by too much ambient light. By asking us how to handle to handle high ambient light, we can make sure it will not be an issue. There are various ways to resolve the issue, such as controlling the light with shades or using an ambient light-rejecting viewing surface.

NAQ: I want to blend images on an extra wide screen. What kind of screen material do I need?
Why Ask: When you’re blending images, communication is important. Many times the only thing we are told is how big the screen is—and not how it will be used. If it is a blend the customer should be asking Draper about the best material to use on a blend. They should also ask the projector manufacturer and the company they use to create the blend for a recommendation. We know what screen material works best for blends—typically low gain, wide viewing angle product—however, that doesn’t automatically assure a good blend. The projector capabilities and the software used are key for the application. A short throw lens is typically more difficult as is rear projection and sometimes curved. The customer should dig deep to know exactly what they are getting. Then we can provide the exact solution needed.

These are just a few questions that never—or almost never—get asked. Although they cover a variety of issues, they all point clearly to the importance of communication—in both directions—in ensuring your project will run more smoothly.

In the coming months, we’ll present some from our other product lines as well.

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