Pat spoke to members of King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas about home technology yesterday. He was invited to present by one of our clients after working together on updating our client’s home technology.
Here are a few topics that were brought up in the Q&A session:
What do you think of DirecTV? DirecTV is typically the least problematic of the television content delivery options. Weather is probably the biggest threat to service; or, is the single most likely reason for an interruption in service. Interruption in service is often caused by a level 3.5 to 4 thunderstorm south of Dallas—not your location. And if the weather is that bad, you probably need to get up from watching television! For those that live up north, say in Canada, it doesn't take much of a storm to knock satellite out. But we get real strong signal in north Texas. Whether you use a small satellite dish on your house—or cable—either way, the signal is coming across via satellite. An antenna on your house is the only broadcast that doesn’t use satellite in its delivery. Even cable companies are downloading from huge satellite dishes. (Pat reminded everyone that a great way to save money on a service like DirecTV is to be sure off any receivers you're not using!)
Does AT&T now own DirecTV? Will anything change? Yes, AT&T's purchase was successful, and it's too soon to know what will change, if anything.
If you use any means other than an antenna to receive television content, you’re using a satellite. You may use a small satellite dish on your house. Even cable companies are down downloading data from huge satellite dishes, and then distributing via cabling.
What about bundling? What is bundling? Bundling is purchasing data services like phone, Internet, and television from one source. (As one man in the audience said, “I get one giant bill!”)
Someone asked to talk about audio next. Pat responded, “For you, is it luxury or is it noise? For me, if music is going to be on, it had better sound good. If it's not a high-quality sound, it's noise.”
Someone from the audience then interjected with a question about vacuum tube amps. Are they still around? Pat answered that they’re still being built from scratch and really sound good. But there are a few drawbacks. They're really more for hobbyists than mainstream consumers, because they aren't very efficient, you have to occasionally replace the tubes, and they put off a lot of heat.
Next, a woman asked about turntables. Pat replied that there is definitely a resurgence in turntables. Record player sales are going up and CD sales are going down. People like the interactive feel of the vinyl records. And for many, it brings back that nostalgic feeling we had when we listened to records growing up. Vinyl is the only non-digital source of music right now. Our ears are analog. Digital is a more convenient way to have 10,000 albums at your touch, but it doesn't deliver the same experience.