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Going Behind the Walls with Starpower Home Theater and Home Automation


Life & Style

Cue music: “Alone. Listless. Breakfast table in an otherwise empty room.”

You may have listened Pearl Jam’s “Daughter” a multitude of times. But chances are you haven’t heard it like this, sitting in front of a hi-res sound system that allows you realize a level of musical clarity and nuanced sound you didn’t know existed. Call it the “more cowbell” version of audio. It’s also the more dollar version of audio—top-of-the-line systems will set you back $150,000.

Hi-res sound systems are just one of the featured products at Starpower Home Theater and Home Automation, an award-winning luxury electronics retailer and custom installer headquartered in Dallas, Tex. (with an additional location in Scottsdale, Ariz. and custom installations across the country).

The family-owned company’s 15,000-square-foot Dallas showroom is Disneyland for the electronics age, filled with everything you could ever dream of to make your house sound, look, and function better: home theaters, home automation systems and security systems, along with custom cabinetry, furniture, and even appliances—the result of the company’s purchase in 2011 of Ed Kellum & Son, “Dallas’ oldest and most respected appliance company,” says company cofounder and chairman Daniel M. Pigeon.

Previews Inside Out toured the showroom with Pigeon, who’s also Chairman of the Executive Board for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the producer of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), learning about the hot products for home, how lifestyle drives electronics trends, and what it takes to be an industry leader: “Undying dedication to personal service,” he says. 

The Showroom

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Starpower’s Dallas showroom is within a dozen miles of some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods, home to a bevy of high-net-worth individuals, executives, local celebrities, and professional athletes. The company purposely avoids public testimonials—“We would rather they just have a great experience,” says Pigeon—but you only have to walk through the space to see who’s left their seal of approval by way of a signed picture or jersey.

Previews Inside Out Without getting into specifics about clientele, why do you think your products and service resonate with people, in particular those who have the money and resources to go anywhere?

Daniel Pigeon We’ve developed a reputation for helping our customers live luxuriously, and most of our business is based on word of mouth. Hopefully we set the expectation right when a new customer comes in, and they quickly realize it’s a customized, personalized experience they can’t get anywhere else.

Previews Inside Out Who else makes up your customer base?

Daniel Pigeon It’s a mix—people who come in having some idea of what they want and those who come in to explore, because their needs are not being met online or in stores driven by the ‘deal of the day.’ People are more sophisticated today and they want sophisticated solutions.

Previews Inside Out What is the typical Starpower installation, if there is such a thing?

Daniel Pigeon We have all different types of customers and installations. We don’t have any prepared solutions before we meet with a client. Our goal is to get to know them and what they what and then lay out a plan. Somebody might come in to buy one TV whereas someone else wants their whole house outfitted.

Previews Inside Out Are customers surprised to walk in and see the range of available products outside of home theater and automation, such as the appliances? 

Daniel Pigeon The concept of the showroom is being able to show off the things that people are passionate about and to create spaces to highlight the concept of living better. Cooking and entertaining are part of that reality today.

Home Theater


“Life is like a box of chocolates.”

“There’s no place like home.”

“You had me at hello.”

It’s one of the first things you see when you walk into the Starpower showroom—a 3D application of famous movie quotes flanking one side of the multi-screened, front desk area (on the other side, famous quotes about cooking and dining, a worthy lead-in to the kitchen/living area vignettes). The read: Home theatre is served here.

Previews Inside Out A theater aficionado walks in and wants the absolute best for a true luxury movie experience. What do you show him?

Daniel Pigeon Our top-of-the-line theater has a 153-inch screen and the best sound system available, plus top-grain leather seating, and a dome ceiling with fiber optic star lighting. All in, you’re looking at $250,000, and you’re getting the finest equipment out there.

Previews Inside Out And if the customer wants to step down to a little lower price tag?

Daniel Pigeon Next door is a 12×16 room with $20,000 in equipment that still provides excellent quality. It’s also worth mentioning that our best-selling product in the showroom is a $199 Sound Bar. Although it might seem like we cater only to the high end, we have a range of customers and price points.

Predictive Technology/Home Automation

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Home Automation is part of Starpower’s official name for a reason; automation, in combination with predictive technology, is one of the biggest trends in homes today and requests continue to rise.

Previews Inside Out Why are home automation and predictive technology so hot right now?

Daniel Pigeon Predictive technology is the sexy thing everybody wants. You step into your home and the system recognizes you because it’s been tailored to your specific needs. It knows to raise the shades at sunset and lower them before you go to bed because you’ve programmed it that way. Then everything from lighting to sound and temperature to video and security is integrated into a touch panel that you can control from your iPad or smartphone.

Whole House

Whole-house installations are next level for those who want it all—and want it everywhere. They can often make the cost of the highest-end theaters look like parking meter money, and can take years from the initial consultation to the final installation.

Previews Inside Out What is involved in a whole-house installation?

Daniel Pigeon Everything from the sound system to the theatre to automation and security. Some of the larger systems involve access control and visibility into your entire home from anywhere in the world, involving, multiple feeds coming in and being distributed via 4K content, media servers, cable providers, audio, video, shade and lighting control, and even remote access to your swimming pool.

Control is combined into one interface whereas it used to require several.

Previews Inside Out What is the largest project you’ve done?

Daniel Pigeon “The largest project we’ve ever had in terms of magnitude, but not necessarily cost, is currently in the works for a high-level executive in North Carolina. Construction of the home has been going on for two-and-a-half years.

Previews Inside Out Is that timeframe typical for a project of this scale?

Daniel Pigeon It depends on the home, the size, the location, the point at which we’re brought in, and whether it’s brand-new construction or a renovation. We typically get involved before a project breaks ground on new construction or at the start of a large-scale renovation project. The installation itself only takes a few days, but the construction of the project is typically extensive and time-consuming.

In the case of the North Carolina home, which spans 34,000 square feet, the project encompasses audio and video, lighting, shades, outdoor, full security biometrics, access control, HVAC control—everything you can imagine electronically.

Previews Inside Out How much does a project like that run?

Daniel Pigeon Our portion of the home is $2.4 million.

Previews Inside Out What is the biggest challenge in an installation like this?

Daniel Pigeon The installation itself is not typically the hardest part. The hardest part is making sure we have properly understood a client’s goals and have aligned them with the products available. A lot of times, we introduce them to products they never knew existed because we’re communicating the newest technology, or we help educate them about how best to meet their needs.

Outdoor Living


Head out a side door of the showroom, and you’re in the backyard, or rather an outdoor space designed to look like the exact backyard you want. Built-in barbecue. Extensive seating. Mounted flat screen. In-ground-speakers. Outdoor kitchen. And even a functioning keg.

Previews Inside Out You sell all of this?

Daniel Pigeon Yes, all of this. Including the keg.

Previews Inside Out Including the keg?

Daniel Pigeon Yes. It’s all about showcasing the lifestyle in every part of the house, inside and out, so people can envision how they want to live. That’s what we do.

You want a beer?



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Going Behind the Walls with Starpower Home Theater and Home Automation

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