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Posted: 19 September 2010 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hey,

I am new to the site.  I have a thread on “Business Management” regarding education and experience.  Along those lines, I am looking for some professional opinions. 

I realize that this is a loaded question but what are the best brands for TVs, receivers, players, remotes, home automation, networking, cables, TV providers, anything that you guys install?

In my experience and home it’s always been Sony TVs and players, Denon receivers, Universal remotes, Control 4 automation, Netgear routers, AudioQuest and Monster cables, and Comcast.  I have always thought these were top of the line but I have realized lately that there many brands that aren’t sold at big box stores that are far superior to anything I’ve seen.

Truly, I am just looking to be educated on what’s out there and am interested in anyone’s professional opinion.  Thanks ahead of time.

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Posted: 06 October 2010 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Posted: 07 October 2010 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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We also have a repair section to our company and what I can tell you is that Sony is our number one tv we repair so I would never say its the best , maybe the most known but far from the best. I say samsung is our fav but we also sell a lot of nuvision to the higher end client. As far as the other brands go ..something you are going to have to realize is that its not just how good the line is but how good their customer service and support is to YOUR company. I would suggest , since I assume you are starting out in the industry to check out some distributors like AVAD for example. Once you grow a little in the industry you will learn to see what you like and what your customers like. I hope that helps.

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Posted: 08 October 2010 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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losboskie - 07 October 2010 11:27 AM

We also have a repair section to our company and what I can tell you is that Sony is our number one tv we repair so I would never say its the best , maybe the most known but far from the best. I say samsung is our fav but we also sell a lot of nuvision to the higher end client. As far as the other brands go ..something you are going to have to realize is that its not just how good the line is but how good their customer service and support is to YOUR company. I would suggest , since I assume you are starting out in the industry to check out some distributors like AVAD for example. Once you grow a little in the industry you will learn to see what you like and what your customers like. I hope that helps.

Very helpful.  Thank you.  How profitable is the repair side of your business? What are some typical repairs you do?

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Posted: 08 October 2010 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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We don’t do enough repair to warrant a repair facility/division, but I can tell you that Sony and Samsung take the cake for repairs observed or recommended in the field. We tend to specify Pro displays even for residential applications, such as Panasonic Pro and Samsung Pro. Sometimes they lag a little in terms of cutting edge technology, but make up for it by having long warranties, excellent concierge services, modular expandability, more neutral aesthetics, better integration options, the list goes on and on. It sounds like a simple thing but even having an astronomical clock is something we use all the time to turn on and change inputs through the day for background video and/or surveillance. It looks like we built a really elaborate control system but its just picking the right TV. It’s a great way to differentiate.

Regarding AVRs, right now they are all more similar than different. We shied away from Denon when there was some HDMI teething issues and have been doig Integra ever since. Integra is a fantastic line. They are no-nonsense, excellent value, high performance machines. Again, here is an example of where it doesn’t matter as much how good the line is (excellent) but how good the customer service and support is. IMO Integra cannot be beat. The product selection is also great, including the multi-zone systems. Lastly you will not ever be price shopped with an Integra product.

URC is a great line for control for 90% of the projects we do but for elaborate systems we use Crestron.

For network, Netgear is not bad but try calling tech support. Thats why we use Pakedge when the budget allows because they really care about us completing the job correctly and if support is needed they are always right there.

In the world of interconnects I do not see good value in AudioQuest or Monster. Sometimes it just feels like snake oil. They can also be found everywhere and often at prices that erase one’s margin. Binary cables from SnapAV are affordable, have a great range for when you are doing really high end, and again support cannot be beat.

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Isaac Imig
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Gorge Audio/Video
http://www.gorgeaudiovideo.com

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Posted: 13 October 2010 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Your question about, “What is the best brand?” is not necessarily loaded.  But I think it is too general. 

TECHNICIAN:
“The answer is completely subjective.”

SALESMAN:
“The best brand is ________”  (fill in the blank with the brand that pays the biggest commission.)

I think depending on the maturity of the business it will vary as the previous posts have been already describing.  It is important for us all to continually keep up with what is happening with technology so that when we are hired by our clients they have a reason to pay us for services rather than rely on a DIY family member or friend.  It is also good to have an opinion about what is the best in each category you choose to work in.

Having said that, I do have an opinion and will share a few with you since you asked so nicely. smile

I like HAI for alarm and many system integration feaures.
When the lighting requires more than the UPB system from HAI I like Lutron.
When the interface needs to be customized completely I like Crestron.
When a phone system is needed - Panasonic (I like SIP trunking and virtual PBX solutions as well!)
We will program either URC or RTI for simplified control.
Samsung TV’s and blu-ray
Yamaha amps
DirecTV is part of almost every job
DoorKing is the staple gate product
Speco for CCTV
Sonance speakers
Celestron telescopes
Kaleidescape
Omnimounts
Sonos
Russound
Kramer
Crown
JBL
Apple
Microsoft
Sunbrite or Pantel
Wi-Ex
Netgear, Linksys/ Cisco, Pakedge
Calrad, channel vision, gefen…

Ok, loosing focus here.  That should give you some stuff to process.

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Morgan Harman
Volutone
http://www.Volutone.com

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Posted: 14 October 2010 07:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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TheTechSource - 13 October 2010 03:31 PM

Your question about, “What is the best brand?” is not necessarily loaded.  But I think it is too general. 

TECHNICIAN:
“The answer is completely subjective.”

SALESMAN:
“The best brand is ________”  (fill in the blank with the brand that pays the biggest commission.)

I think depending on the maturity of the business it will vary as the previous posts have been already describing.  It is important for us all to continually keep up with what is happening with technology so that when we are hired by our clients they have a reason to pay us for services rather than rely on a DIY family member or friend.  It is also good to have an opinion about what is the best in each category you choose to work in.

Having said that, I do have an opinion and will share a few with you since you asked so nicely. smile

I like HAI for alarm and many system integration feaures.
When the lighting requires more than the UPB system from HAI I like Lutron.
When the interface needs to be customized completely I like Crestron.
When a phone system is needed - Panasonic (I like SIP trunking and virtual PBX solutions as well!)
We will program either URC or RTI for simplified control.
Samsung TV’s and blu-ray
Yamaha amps
DirecTV is part of almost every job
DoorKing is the staple gate product
Speco for CCTV
Sonance speakers
Celestron telescopes
Kaleidescape
Omnimounts
Sonos
Russound
Kramer
Crown
JBL
Apple
Microsoft
Sunbrite or Pantel
Wi-Ex
Netgear, Linksys/ Cisco, Pakedge
Calrad, channel vision, gefen…

Ok, loosing focus here.  That should give you some stuff to process.

Very nice!  Are you an official DirecTV installer?

How do the Wi-Ex products work with cell boosting?

Insteresting, too, how you listed Apple and Microsoft.  Microsoft software on a mac I’m guessing?

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Posted: 15 October 2010 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Not a DirecTV installer.  Long story.  Bottom line - the customer pays us for installation services when they don’t want a “free directv install”

Wi-Ex boosts well - takes some finese to setup.

Apple - because of iPod, iPad, iTunes… etc.  even some AppleTV as well as Airports for those devoted to the brand.
Microsoft for their servers, software, XBOX 360.  Many clients want access to their data everywhere - the Microsoft solution is a solid way to go especially when there is concern over location and control of the data.  Some people are cool with just keeping the content online with services provided by others - typical virtual hosting etc. - but for those that want to hold onto their content and have that additional perception of security - a Microsoft setup with a server does the trick.

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Morgan Harman
Volutone
http://www.Volutone.com

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Posted: 16 June 2011 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I believe the best brands are those that out-performs the compettition.

I constantly get request for cheaper priced cable, but when we compare apples to “apples”, we find out that infact we were comparing apples to oranges.

With the most competitive pricing in the market, we take pride in our ability to consistently offer you top of the line products that we have developed. Why do we do this? We know that when products cost effectively exceed your expectations, you will be back, and there is nothing more rewarding than forging loyal, long-term relationships with our customers.

Everyone want’s to be an apple, but it’s hard when you only make orange juice.

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