How many of you, like me, were psyched when they came out with the very first iPhone? You waited and waited for your contract to be up so you could upgrade your flip phones for your iPhone. No sooner did you get your new iPhone out of the box and rip off that plastic seal than you started to hear the rumors about the next generation of the iPhone and think to yourself “Ugh, I should have waited for the new one!”
This is the worst feeling [for us as the consumer-but exactly what the retailers WANT you to feel] and not the feeling we want our clients to have after we take the time and precision of installing their home theater systems. At the moment, it feels like the trends are changing so fast my head is spinning. From plasma, LCD, LED, 120 HD, 240 HD, 3D, 4K, 8K TV’s to Smart products that have a million different apps. Or even better, when there’s 3 different components that they can access their Netflix from, which one do you tell them to use?!
I like to stick to the basics. Components that can stand the test of time and the world of “the next best thing.” They do what they were made to do and not try to incorporate all the trendy features that will eventually die out. A Blu-ray player plays Blu- rays. An AV receiver focuses on sound and video. A media center gathers the crazy world of apps and offers a single device with everything built into it. This simplifies the learning process for the customer (and all the service calls for us.)
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great new technologies coming out that are a must have, but installing a home theater system that all works together as one is not as easy to change out as is an iPhone. In my personal experience, it is easier to install a classic system and upgrade a client to flow with the trends than to install to the trend and have to switch the entire system after it fizzes out.
Wouldn’t you love to leave a job where the customer is not only excited about using their new system, but is a pro at operating it? I know I do. I know I did my job right when I only hear from my customers for upgrades and new installation ventures and no longer for confusion and difficulty using their system.
We installers need to keep our technology hungry clients in the “now” without the “Oh no I should have held out for THAT!” of the future. Give them a system that will last them through the ages [of technology of course] with effortless ability to upgrade to whatever the wide world of AV will throw our way.
Todd Anthony Puma is president of The Source Home Theater Installation in New York City.