Something to think about this shopping season as another Audio/Video dealer, SMILE, Inc., goes out of business. I know it is tempting to head to your local “Big Box” store or sit down in front of your computer to do your shopping this holiday season but consider this…every penny you spend on your local small business stays in this community. Our employees live in your communities. Their payroll taxes go to your schools and local governments. Your local Audio/Video retailer does not send jobs out of the country or trade in the stock exchange. Our employees shop in your local grocery stores, buy gas at the local gas station, dry cleaners, …you get the idea!.
Your local Audio/Video retailer can advise you on the best technology. This a bigger value than most would think especially if you are one of the hundreds of people who bought electronics to meet a certain need only to find out that the particular model you purchased does not have that feature. TV’s are great example; we tend to purchase them on price alone because we do not know what all the features mean much less which ones do I really need! Most people do not realize that your local Audio/Video dealer typically matches the “Big Box” prices on the TV’s they carry. The big difference is that the “Big Box” stores focus on the least expensive TV’s with the fewest features capitalizing on consumer’s lack of “tech” knowledge while your local Audio/Video dealer chooses TV’s with the best features to maximize your investment.
We get phone calls every week asking for help to install components purchased on the internet or at “Big Box” stores. The manuals are not user friendly and often show multiple ways to connect their equipment. And by the way, how do we control all this gear? Your local Audio/Video dealer can not only install the components for you but they can provide a good universal remote control solution so that you can actually use it!
“what else do you need?”
- Surge protection? Power surges and “brown-outs” are one of the biggest causes for electronic component failures. Sorry, the plug strip you paid $5.00 on is not going to save your electronics!
- Temperature Control? Heat build up from cramming electronics into cabinets is the leading cause of component failure. Your Audio/Video dealer supplies whisper fans and/or A/V furniture specifically designed to house electronics.
- Connecting Cables? Which ones guarantee the best performance? Please do not use the cables supplied with the components…there is a reason professionals throw them in the trash! There are different grades of cables and components, a professional can help you match them up sensibly. With the Analog Sunset coming, some of your equipment using component video cables may lose the ability to watch newer BluRay movies as content providers exercise the right to use the Image Constraint Token. For more information on the Analog Sunset Rule go to this Blog: http://www.avi-sti.net/?cat=13
- Audio/Video Furniture? I know we typically shop for furniture at furniture stores, but when it comes to housing your electronics, you need to use furniture specifically made for this purpose. Heat exhaust, ease of service, wire management, and hiding the gear are all factors to consider.
- Remote Control(s)? Can you manage 5 remote controls or would you like to have a professionally programmed universal remote control that simplifies everything? How about your Smart Phone or iPad?
- Video Calibration? What is it? Manufacturers ship TVs with their video settings setup for showrooms with bad lighting. Professional Audio/Video dealers have special equipment to re-calibrate the video display for maximum performance and longevity. Look for dealers who have I.S.F. (Image Science Foundation) certified technicians on staff to properly setup your TV.
- What are you going to watch on your TV? TVs, BluRay players, and video games have the capability to watch content from the internet. Setting up your home WiFi, router/switch, and installing the connection to your broadband are all necessary.
If you would like answers to some of these questions, try your local Audio/Video dealer. Better yet, visit our new showroom, Environments By Design, and speak to our expert staff!