Can a Home Theater Add Value When It Comes Time to Sell?

It's time to consider updating the entertainment quality in your home. You're thinking about investing in a home theater, but you're not sure if you should make the move.  There are plenty of benefits to upgrading to a comprehensive, custom home theater, of course.  You'll love the sound quality, and your friends won't want to watch movies anywhere else. But, how will it impact your home's value?

Consider Your Ideal Home Theater Space

Perhaps you would like to convert an extra bedroom, or even the family room into a space where you can watch movies, listen to music, and just enjoy your family or friends. Home theater rooms, such as those with customized projectors, large screen TVs, and comfortable seating really can be an excellent investment in your own personal enjoyment. Imagine a Saturday night spent with a few good friends, lounging in a room with lighting control, perhaps automation, surround sound, and the perfect acoustics.  That may be desirable to you, but is adding a home theater to your Dallas home going to make it more desirable to others who may buy your home in the future?

Home theater Dallas technology

Today's Buyers Love Tech

One of the nicest benefits of upgrading your home's entertainment system and overall technology is that it can boost your home's value. In the Dallas home market, where there is a lot of competition, having added features like this can help your property stand out among others like it – especially in the luxury market. In some cases, this advanced type of technology can boost your home's value by around 72 percent of the amount you invest in the system, depending on what you select.

And value doesn't just come in the final sales price of a home. Every day a home sits on the market costs a seller money, meaning it is paramount for sellers to find ways to stand out from their competition. Dallas home buyers appreciate high-quality technology and upgrades that improve their life quality. This includes features such as:

  • Custom theaters designed to the home's specs
  • Lighting control
  • Outdoor entertainment areas – in case you don't have that room you were hoping
  • to remodel
  • Security cameras
  • Control systems including wireless or in-wall systems
  • Multi-room music systems
  • Automation that helps your home to do what you need it to do
  • Connected networks of entertainment features

If you haven't thought about the value this can bring to your home, do so now. This system is one that will last a lifetime. It enhances the home in various ways. For example, the theater system works very well as a getaway and entertainment feature that will give them a reason to have friends over.

Theater Systems Don't Limit Home Buyers

Another key reason to invest in a theater system for your home is that it's not limiting for buyers. Other types of upgrades you make (such as swimming pools) require the new home buyer to spend time and money repairing, updating, and maintaining. That's not the case here, since after setup, the system is ready for use without any upkeep other than perhaps a small amount of dusting, and the software updates that ever-advancing technology requires.

Make Your Home Your Own

At the end of the day, homeowners want to make upgrades that they enjoy while knowing they can help their home sell later on. Check out the options available to you at UltraMedia, Inc. They are the designers of interior technology that enhances the quality of life and may even offer a bit of a boost to your home's value.

Change your Analog Security Cameras to HD Using Existing Wiring (You Can See Clearly Now)

Tired of looking at your security cameras, trying to figure out if that figure lurking is Uncle Harold, or the landscaper, or that sketchy dude you saw on America's Most Wanted last night? There's hope!  Even with the old, original wiring, chances are good we can use it for new HD cameras. You won't believe what you've been missing. It's like lifting a veil covering your cameras all these years.  If seeing shadowy images on your security cameras has really got your goat, and you'd like to actually be able to tell WHO you're looking at, this upgrade is certainly worth looking into (and at)!  You'll probably be able to use the wire, but you'll have to recycle the cameras.  Call Pat and let him show you an active system!

UltraMedia is one of the few AV companies in Dallas that has its security license.  A security license is required by the State of Texas to legally install camera systems.  This photo was taken today from one of our installations.

UltraMedia is one of the few AV companies in Dallas that has its security license.  A security license is required by the State of Texas to legally install camera systems.  This photo was taken today from one of our installations.

Seen or Unseen?

It's time to replace your old in-ceiling or in-wall speakers.  The new high-tech speakers look better and deliver the performance demanded by new digital music and surround formats. 

The new ones even look better?  Yes!  In the last couple of years, manufacturers have redesigned speaker grilles to have a much more svelte look. You'll love it!

You may even be a candidate for completely invisible speakers. That's right—speakers that have no visible grille at all!  They completely disappear after installation, so you hear great sound, but see nothing. The concept has been around for decades (and we installed them decades ago), but like most things "tech," they've come a long way in 20 years.  They're easier to install, abetter value, and the sound, well, let's say it's been taken up a level (pun intended).

Those old speakers aren't necessarily done, though.  We'd be happy to move them to a room where you've been dying to enjoy some music. What about your garage, craft room, or workshop?

These cool new speakers have a great low profile.  Notice there's no bezel.  This is not a stock photo.

These cool new speakers have a great low profile.  Notice there's no bezel.  This is not a stock photo.

Don't Lose your WiFi in the Back Room Anymore!

Isn't it fun holding your tablet over your head at just the right angle to try and get WiFi in your back bedroom? Didn't think so.

We may be able to help.  Adding a wireless access point (just say “WAP”) in poor WiFi areas is just what the doctor ordered.  All we need is a single network cable, and chances are there's one close by.  If not, we may be able to get one there.

If you've been suffering from slow or non-existent WiFi in parts of your home or business, those days may be over.  Let us take a peek around (network techs call this a “site survey”) and we'll let you know how we can fix it.

Faster, Pussycat!

If your WiFi has been sitting there happily for 5 years or more, we can probably make it A LOT FASTER everywhere in your home.  Technology marches on, you know.  With all the multiple devices, streaming media, and large file downloads to mobile devices, this will be a difference you'll really feel.

Bigger is No Longer Better

We were in a customer's old theater recently to freshen things up a bit, and were reminded how clunky some of the old remote controls were. Sure, "back in the day" a remote big and heavy enough to require two hands was the norm in many high-end systems.

Well, technology marches on, and so have remote control designs.  Many of those old remote screens look pretty bleak compared to the bright, crisp displays available today.  Many old remotes have grown dimmer with the passing years. Has yours?

Your remote is your connection to your system.  An upgrade could let you hold your remote comfortably in one hand, and still harness all the control power you'd ever want. Maybe we can even add a few enhancements on it for you. Lights, camera, Bueller?

Small changes can make a big difference to your overall enjoyment. It may even be something we can do in a day or two, but you'll love for years.

Contact us now to give everything a once-over for you.

Here are a few of the small-but-mighty handheld remotes that are so popular with our clients.  Please come by for a demo!

Here are a few of the small-but-mighty handheld remotes that are so popular with our clients.  Please come by for a demo!

A New Development We Bet You'll Love

Do It With the Lights on For a Change

Here's something our clients love. If you have a front-projection system, you probably know that complete darkness has delivered the best video performance—until now.  If you'd rather sit in a lit room and enjoy the game or concert with friends and family, technology has come to the rescue.  New, light-rejecting screens make it easy to enjoy a big picture—with the lights on, and window treatments open!

A Really Big Image—Where None Has Gone Before!

If you've wanted a really big image, but have a bright room, this new technology may be perfect for you.  Let us take a look, get some measurements, and determine if a light-rejecting screen is a fit for your large-but-bright space. 

If you already have screen, your church, office, or charity may be thrilled to get it. 

Here's a link to a recent installation:

https://www.ultramedia.biz/blog/2016/11/6/sonys-4k-short-throw-projector

Cyber Security and You

A major headphone manufacturer has been in the news recently, and although there's a saying in the PR industry “All publicity is good,” you'd likely get an argument from their execs. The hubbub was about a lawsuit over their alleged practice of selling user data to advertisers and data mining firms. The situation illustrates digital age differences our parents didn't face—until now.

How prevalent is the situation, and how does it affect you?  Very, and that depends. You've no doubt been annoyed to point of ignoring those 23 page User Licensing Agreements. Once the exclusive realm of software companies, you're now forced to check their “agree” box before you use your TV, refrigerator, phone, car, and Blu Ray player—in short, everything that runs software--which is basically everything with electrons flowing through it.

Bears and Caves

It's the old trade-security-for-convenience argument. As a society we've voted for convenience nearly every time. Just because we like things a little easier doesn't mean we can't be secure, too. After all, our ancestors killed bears and lived in caves so that one day we'd have to make this choice. Lucky us!

There is a fine line between maximizing your user experience and letting Samsung, Google, or Facebook know every inner working of your life. Although we've been adroitly treading that line for a few years now, it keeps getting finer. You know that ride share companies know where and when you travel, Google and Microsoft know everything you search for, and Facebook . . . well, they know just about everything else!

What to Do?

Let’s discuss how to protect you and yours' data. Although blissful ignorance is nice, eventually it can bite you in your somewhat exposed rump.

First, the Basics

  • Invest in trusted, multi-faceted security software for your computers (remember them?).
  • Always access the Internet from behind a firewall. Some specialized applications require temporarily turning yours off. REMEMBER TO TURN IT BACK ON!
  • Don't use an unsecured PC, even (especially) someone else's.
  • Don't fall for phishing or virus scams. Never open any email message with an attachment unless you are 100% sure it's safe first. Just because it came from a trusted source doesn't mean it's safe, either. Computers get hacked all the time and use “bots” to hijack email accounts and send malicious communications without their owner's knowledge.
  • Secure your wireless network. We can help with that.
  • Don't reveal travel plans or other sensitive info on social media unless it's in a private post (even then it scares the you-know-what out of us). Yeah, we know that talking about travel is half the fun, but it's an info gold mine for thieves or other ne’er-do-wells.
  • Password protect all your mobile devices and set them to sleep after a minute. That helps keep someone from picking it up 2 minutes after you leave it on the table at Starbucks and having free access to your whole life. Come on, you know your entire existence is on your smart phone!
  • Don't use easy passwords. You know what we're talking about: “12345” or “password” are too easy to guess. Change user names, too. “Admin” is often a default, so make sure you get it changed to something that makes sense to you, but is more difficult to guess for the unscrupulous out there.

What Else Really Helps?

  • Updates - Keep all the firmware on your mobile devices, computers, A/V gear and network equipment up to date. Often those updates deal with recently discovered security vulnerabilities.
  • Audit - Have a system audit performed to ensure hardware and software is updated and current regarding security and compatibility.
  • Control System App Check - Have your integrator (That's us!) check your control systems and associated mobile apps for anything that would make it easy for bad guys to get control of your stuff. This is especially important if you're remotely controlling security alarms, cameras, and lighting systems.
  • Deny Mobile Permissions - Clamp down on mobile apps permissions. Don't let them run in the background when not in use unless it's part of their core function. Also, limit their permissions to access your data, especially when not in use. It's a real pain if you have 76 apps loaded on your phone, but well worth it.

Contact us now to give everything a once over for you.

 

Cowboys Fit Update

"Fit" Facts:

  • 60,000 feet of low-voltage wiring
  • 36 speakers
  • 28 televisions
  • 6 WAPs
  • cameras

We've been so grateful for the opportunity to work on this wonderful project.  We wired, and installed a video wall, TVs, pendant speakers, sub-woofers, and in-ceiling speakers. It's a lot of work, and there is certainly some pressure, but we're having a great time.  The 2nd floor exercise area is just about finished, as you'll see here.  The showers, locker rooms, and reception area are still being worked on.  The facility is amazing.  Everything you could want in a gym.  Be sure and visit their website:   www.coyboysfit.com   I hear they still have memberships available!

And, an amazing coincidence: Mike's son has just gone to work for the gym, as one of their top-six trainers!

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Fun Project: Cowboys Fit

We were asked to wire the Dallas Cowboys' new fitness center, Cowboys Fit, for speakers and TVs.  This fitness center will be open to the public.  Tuesday, we were excited to begin work!  Pat's been checking on the job once or twice each day, and yesterday I was lucky enough to tag along.  Here are some images of our crew at work.  It will be an amazing facility, and it was so exciting to get to see it behind the scenes.  So many amenities, first class.  You can join now!

www.cowboysfit.com

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Sony's 4K Ultra Short-Throw Projector

UltraMedia was invited to demonstrate new technology to the residents of the Ritz-Carlton residences in downtown Dallas.  This 4K short-throw projector from Sony will open the projector market to many.  It projects the image upward, and doesn't require a ceiling mount.  It can be placed on a surface (like a typical console) just underneath the projection screen.  It's a powerhouse.  The fact that it doesn't require a ceiling mount cuts down on installation time.  It's easy to reinstall, if you move or remodel.  We appreciated support from Sony, Screen Innovations, and DirecTV.  Just-like-being-there sound was provided by Sonus Faber speakers and a REL subwoofer.

Pat shows that the image from the Sony 4K Ultra Short-Throw Projector is projected from below the projection screen (screen by Screen Innovations).

Sony's VPL-GTZ1, the world’s first ultra-short-throw 4K laser light source projector.  Get more information here.

Can't leave out these awesome Sonus Faber speakers.  They are beautiful, and delivered awesome sound during the Texas-OU football game at the Ritz-Carlton Residences.

With a throw of just zero to seven inches from the screen to the edge of the unit, this will project a 66" to 147"  diagonal picture using floor, ceiling or rear projection.  See more information on Sony's website.

This projection screen had color-changing LED lights on the back, and we changed the light from red to orange, depending on which team was ahead.  The Ritz-Carlton residents had fun with the back-and-forth of the colors.  Thank-you to Screen Innovations for their awesome support!

SIM2X-TV at the Ritz-Carlton's Texas-OU Game Day

The SIM2X-TV was introduced at CEDIA this year, and we had an opportunity to test-drive it (thank you so much, SIM2!) at an event we co-hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Residences on Saturday.  This little Italian-sportscar of a projector is a perfect solution for some challenging situations.  Such as: difficulty getting wire where it needs to go.  And when you're on the move, you want a projection system that's easy to take with you.  This picture was taken at our demo last weekend.  It was a big hit, as Ritz-Carlton residents discovered the easy set up and usability.  See more specs, and give us a call if you'd like to talk more about it.  We were impressed, and sometimes that's hard to do!  See our Facebook page for more photos.

Projector screen provided by Screen Innovations.

X-TV short-throw projector provided by SIM2.

X-TV short-throw projector provided by SIM2.

X-TV short-throw projector provided by SIM2.

X-TV short-throw projector provided by SIM2.

UltraMedia's Team Lunch

The UltraMedia team finally had time on our schedule for our not-quite-annual Christmas lunch.  Every year we try, but we’re so busy during the holidays, that it sometimes slips by us.  On Friday, we had a wonderful time at Katy Trail Outpost, talking about everything from our work, to our gratitude for one another.  We’ve never known a stronger team.  We agreed that it’s because all of us carea lot.  About each other, our clients, and the health and longevity of our business.  We had some great laughs, and great barbeque, on a beautiful day.

Technology Presentation at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas

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.

Matt Sworn in as City of Lavon Reserve Police Officer

In 2013, Matt worked doubly hard—he worked as a technician at UltraMedia, and he also worked his way through police academy.  In October 2013, Matt completed officer training, and in October of 2015, was sworn in as a Reserve Police Officer with the City of Lavon.  Matt is sworn “to serve and protect with honor and integrity.”  We're extremely proud of him and his accomplishments. 

Buying Security Cameras on the Internet: Any Savings?

We all enjoy getting a deal on the Internet.  What about buying home technology?  Can you get a good deal?  Maybe.  But is it smart?  Maybe not.  Here’s a recent email exchange with a client for whom we’re installing cameras in his 17,000 square foot home.

Client:  Pat, is your supplier high on the camera price?  Here’s what I found on the Internet.  (Link to site.)

Pat:  I will check it out with the rep. They are selling well below my wholesale.

Pat to our distributor:  Please see what this seller is doing—what’s up? They’re selling BELOW wholesale. They say they’re an authorized seller. Any thoughts? Or is this not legit?

Our distributor:  This is not an authorized reseller. We run into these guys a lot.

Zero warranty, and no factory support. That’s not competing. Just predatory.  If purchased from them, it voids all warranty. They do not purchase from the manufacturer.  They do a bait-and-switch. 

Pat to client:  I’ve had calls and emails with our distributor.  It’s what I thought.  This seller you found on the Internet takes your money, then declares that the items are backordered when you wonder why they haven’t been delivered.  Then they try to get you into a different brand to appease you.  I have seen several sites like this on the AV side of the business.  Some even call me to try to side-sell them high-end equipment.

Client:  I don't understand how Amazon can sell this stuff under your cost.  Help me feel I'm not being overcharged other than I'm taking a chance on overnight delivery.  How do these people obtain this equipment and not be distributors?  I have bought electronic devices before on Amazon and filled the warranty paperwork out (I never have had the need for warranty work though) and I never heard back from the manufacturer that I would not be covered.  It doesn't make sense they would ignore their warranty on a new product. I'm just trying to figure out how this all works.   

Pat:  Frustrating, definitely—and especially so for the manufacturers. Amazon is only as reliable as the company backing the sale, since Amazon is just a middle-man.  I’ve use Amazon, and have never had trouble, but I always do business with only major-name stores and I confirm that they are not on a list like this one, where the manufacturer is actively pursuing legal action.  I buy cameras from the factory-authorized distributor in Carrollton, TX.  They are probably charging me 5-10% markup for handling since I’m not factory direct.

After reading the information on the link about unauthorized resellers, and you feel comfortable making an online purchase, it will be a way to save money. Perhaps you could try buying a single item first (from someone not on ‘the list’) and see how it goes.  If it works, great!  Then order the rest.  Remember the warranties, if needed, would have to flow through the place you purchase them from since the manufacturer tracks serial numbers.

Hope this helps.  It's why UltraMedia and other service/labor-based companies are getting high on labor.  The margins are almost gone on the items we sell. Keep the questions coming!

Client:  Great job doing the research on this.  It’s not worth the risk, and you guys have never let me down.  Please order the cameras and recorders.  Thanks for your time and patience answering my questions.

Weeks later: the cameras and recorder were installed on the job site.  The clients have still not moved in yet.  There have been 4 attempted break-ins.  Between the alarm system, and the recorded images, nothing has been stolen from the home, and the police have excellent images from which to work.

Surge Protection

Last year, Brett Shipp with WFAA (Dallas) wrote a story about an unfortunate woman who lost every home appliance, thanks to her local electric company (I’ll be kind and not name names).  They were repairing a transformer near her home, when a surge resulting from their effort created an in-home fireworks display that fried over $10,000 worth of her home electronics.  (Hers was not the only home affected.)  Apparently neither the electric company, nor the insurance company, helped her with her claim.  So, she had to replace appliances that included home entertainment electronics and flat-screen TVs.

The damage may not have been as extensive if she had installed whole-home surge protection.  Be mindful: there is a difference between surge suppression and surge protection.  Surge protection is the mac daddy.  But both have their places.

Surge suppression is less expensive—not as robust.  It’s most commonly used to protect individual devices or small systems, like a home entertainment system.  Suppression limits a surge—knocks it down—but doesn’t stop it.

Surge protection is more expensive, and stops just about everything but a direct hit; i.e.: a lightening bolt to your roof.  We have a SurgeX surge protection panel installed at our electrical panel to protect our whole-home entertainment system.

Since the largest surges come from outside your home, it makes sense to install either surge suppression or surge protection at your high-voltage electricity panel.  (You get the biggest bang for your buck when you install protection at your panel.  No pun intended.)  SurgeX and Torus are the top-of-class manufacturers of surge protection and suppression.  Other great products come from Furman, APC, Panamax, and Ditek.

Pricing starts at $30 with Panamax, and reaches $9,000 from Torus.  Your cost will be determined by the level and type of protection you need.  Please visit these sites for technology specifics: www.apc.com , www.ditekcorp.com, www.furmansound.com, www.panamax.com, www.surgex.com, and www.toruspower.com.

DIY: Paint Metal Speaker Grills

For years, DIYers and contractors have sought our opinion about the best way to paint metal speaker grills used on in-wall speakers.

Faux-finished walls have been popular for so many years, and it was easy to replicate the mottled finish of the wall on speaker grills.  Our process: thin the paint 4:1 paint and water.  Brush onto the speaker grill, and using canned air, force air through the grill holes to clear them of paint. 

Recently, we were challenged to find a new way to apply paint to grills that would result in a smooth finish.  We found one at Sherwin-Williams.  It’s called PreVal Spray Gun.

The unit is no bigger than a can of canned air, with a 16 oz. glass paint reservoir attached to the bottom.  It has a thinning guide, and can be sued with auto paint, lacquers, acrylics, primers, and varnishes.

It delivers a very light paint mist to the speaker grill.  It may take several thin coats, depending on the original color of the speaker grill, and the paint color being applied.  Our applications filled only a handful of the holes in the grills, and we easily removed the paint with a sewing needle.

www.preval.com

Connectivity in the Home: Wired, Powerline, and Wireless

Connectivity in the home is growing.  And if you’re not connected, your home may not be technologically up to date.  Devices that have typically functioned independently are now being made with added benefits that can appreciated only when connected to other technology in your home using a broadband connection.  Our clients are networking the electronics in their home and offices, sharing information among their products, increasing the products offerings and functionality.

Games, movies, music, and photos can be stored on a PC anywhere in your home, and can be accessed by any number of other devices (on the other side of the house), as long as the infrastructure, or wiring backbone is in place.  Our clients can control their home theater, security, and lighting from a smart phone or iPad.  They can even adjust their home thermostat from their office, so that the temperature is comfortable when they arrive home.

Direct-connected or hard-wired networks offer the greatest reliability and speed.  Running data along a wire (as opposed to wirelessly) will ensure the fastest speeds, with the least amount of interference.  Installation runs more than a wireless system, because more labor is required for a wired network system.  But the end product is very secure.

Powerline control (PLC) is another form of wired connectivity that uses existing electrical runs to communicate broadband.  While it runs more slowly that Ethernet, powerline control is still much faster than using a wireless system.  The devices that are used on either end of the powerline control system (plugs and switches) are the most expensive part of installation, but do save time and labor costs.  This alternative is very convenient and is secure.

A wireless network is the most convenient way to get connected.  Much of the equipment manufactured now comes with access points that make the units ready for Wi-Fi.  What you lose with a wireless system are speed, capacity, and security.  But, it makes each device, like a smart phone or iPad, very mobile in the home.

We’ll be happy to talk about which option would work best for you.

Why Bargain TVs Aren’t a Good Investment

High-quality TVs are typically good investments in technology, and you can count on getting many good years out of them.  But more recently, the market has been flooded with “bargain TVs,” and these need to be carefully considered before you buy on price alone.

  • Durability – Good displays have about a 4% or lower failure rate.  Bargain brands have failure rates as high as 20%.
  • Integration – Good brands offer lots of inputs and control options like VGA and RS-232.  “Deals” offer far fewer of these options.  And these options are key in allowing you to get the most for your money.
  • Viewing – Better brands use better (more expensive) video processors, high-contrast glass, and other quality components that provide the best picture.  Bargain brands typically utilize the cheapest components possible.
  • Reliability – High-quality TVs can be repaired by just about any qualified service outlet.  Bargain displays usually have no service centers.  So, many are “disposable,” and must be trashed when they break.
  • Technology – Higher quality = more R&D.  Lower-end brands may be a year or more behind the technology curve.