Good article Julie. As a co-owner of a Custom Integration company, I have had a passing interest in how the low end and DIY products might impact our future business. We focus on the mid-high to high end of the market where we have clients who are willing to shell out $5K to $150K for well designed and installed systems that are guaranteed to work. They also are willing to pay for a well-trained professional company who can maintain and support their systems over time. Many of these companies are lured into the lower tiers of the marketplace which has primarily been sought after by the shrink wrapped and on-line DIY companies. I see many of these fall by the wayside only to find another pop up to replace it. I firmly believe that as a professional, there will always be a strong market for our products and services. The issue with the low end products is that the homeowners find themselves forced into being their own support staff. I have seen Nest products, skybells, Ring and the like work for a year and then fail or mis-behave and the customers do not have anywhere to go and call us to pull these out and replace them with products that work and are supported. I had to recently talk down a client who insisted she wanted a fully wireless camera system installed outside of the house. She did not think through the eventuality that she would have to go out on a ladder every six months up 10 feet or so to remove each of 6 cameras, bring them in, recharge them and then re-install in the cold Michigan winters. A professional looks at the client ‘s situation holistically and gives them the best product to meet their needs. I occasionally peruse the forums on the low end products and generally find that ~50% of consumers are somewhat happy with their purchase even though not everything works yet , ~25% are not satisfied yet keep working on it and the last ~25% have severe issues and/or cannot get it to work at all. This last group tries to return it or since it might be only a few hundred dollars, they abandon it. Your article points out many of the issues homeowners can encounter, not the least of is the myriad of network related issues which is far far beyond the capability of most.
Of course, Guidance and service are the kind opportunities those so call DIY gears will gives our industry. The BIG question now is: Will custom installer will be bold enough to change their business model from making marge on the service instead of making margin on expensive box.
Love XKCD. On a related note, we are becoming the modern “Plumbers”. I don’t mean that in a bad way, just that now we can charge $150 an hour to fix consumer stuff that costs $50 or is free with certain purchases (Echo’s, dots, etc..).... And I’ll take those weekend calls for double time!
This was partially informed, but all you have to do is look at the usage scenario for home automation. Most people use alexa nearly exclusively to control their lights, and 99% of smart bulbs are zigbee (zll is a subset of zigbee). Remotes that you can program or scene controllers are also mostly zigbee. Additionally, zwave is licensed and comes with a fee and you are required to use their chips. Just about the only other uses out there for voice control are thermostats (most are wifi but i have a zigbee one) and controlling televisions either via Harmony or FireTV. Either of these scenarios requires a separate device anyway. The only real usage scenario that zwave controls is wireless security devices, and from what i can tell from research, the alexa hub won’t have any kind of automation for connected devices so they would be useless anyway.
Well, it arrived today, and I quickly unboxed it, and hooked it up to a Samsung UHD blu-ray player, set the projector on a table and got it up and running.
This thing is AMAZING! It has plenty of “pop” with it’s 3000 lumens of light, the contrast is good…not quite as good as the top end JVCs, but more than enough to satisfy most people…deep blacks, and loads of detail in the shadows. Color is good as well…while the spec claims “only” 84% of DCI-P3, color on “Planet Earth II” was outstanding. Detail is exceptional as well. You would never know this is NOT a “Native” 4k projector unless someone told you!
The thing even has speakers. While most people will never, ever, under any circumstances, use these…they would come in handy if you wanted to drag the projector out to the backyard for an outdoor movie night! Or any other situation where you need basic sound in a pinch.
You can see where the limitations come into play right from the specs…no motorized zoom or lens memory presets, no horizontal lens shift at all…and limited vertical shift. That being said, when the projector is properly placed, it delivers a picture that would make the most jaded videophile sit up and take notice! Of course, these limitations also keep the price at a VERY consumer friendly $4500 retail!
Overall, my first impressions, just having spent a couple hours with the projector, are extremely positive. I think everyone reading this should go out and find one to get their eyes on! This is an extremely competitive projector, and brings laser projection to a mainstream price point. Optoma is going to sell a metric ton (or more!) of these!
Please keep us posted. John.
Good luck with your purchase John. It’s exciting to see the cost of 4K laser becoming approachable so quickly. I feel the same way about laser and hopefully I will be able to buy something sooner than expected.
I told myself I would buy the 1st laser based 4k projector under $5000. Well, it happened a few years sooner than expected! I pulled the trigger and my UHZ65 is expected to arrive today! While I wont get it installed at home for a while (I have to do some modifications to a closet…I want to completely hide my projector!) I will be playing with it in the office today…I will let you know my impressions when it arrives!
This situation reminds me of this classic XKCD comic: https://xkcd.com/927/
Was this article suppose to be posted in the “Sponsored Content” section?
The graveyard of antiquated and failed business models is filled by people and companies who spend too much time “Wondering” why customers and major corps make the decisions they do. Now is not the time to lament, wring hands, stomp feet and criticize. In fact, it’s the time to get on board and capture the opportunity this presents for device manufacturers and the adjacent players that support their adoption. Major growth was just unlocked for those that wish to capture it vs whine about it.
Ron, David - really amazing story arch. Thank you for sharing. I totally plan to look into this.
Unfortunately, for me, there was a ring of truth in the original article - at a previous position I witnessed Amazon “appropriate” data and expertise from a customer that was selling as a third party through their site, and going into competition with them - the customer wasn’t happy about it, as you can imagine. I was told that Amazon had a reputation for this kind of behavior - “Embrace, extend and extinguish” it was known as, at Microsoft…
The commercial building systems integration market embraced Zigbee years ago and there are a myriad of Zigbee products in that space. The tech is both robust and widespread. Amazon may be expecting to crossover into light commercial with their product as their markets expand.
This would have more value as an article if you actually knew that it passed true 4K/HDR encoded material rather than give your impressions while you viewed it. If you had tested it the output it would be more useful.
Minor point: FIBBR looks an awful lot like fibber, not that I am refuting their or your claims.
I could not be happier that Amazon did NOT choose Zwave, the jury is out for me on Zigbee but I have had years of miserable experience with Zwave and its about time for it to die a merciful death. Its reach has been brutal, the ability to add/delete devices brutal, the only diagnostic tool I ever saw built by Leviton for Zwave BRUTAL. (The guys at Worthington knew more about it than Leviton people)
Talk about lick, stick, PRAY
Every single implementation unique, even if the Zwave wireless protocol was standardized it use by too many manufacturers so different and unreliable to never be adopted by anyone except harry homeowner who had a 2000 sqare ft home. Remember its the system that you had to give 3 or 4 lamp modules to every client so it would have a prayer of working.
Lutron Radio RA2/Casseta, reliability, tech support, did I mention tech support by real people with knowledge. Yes it needs its own hub but thats a small price to pay for reliability(read NOT ZWAVE), breadth, tech support.
Philips Hue and the word compelling used in the same sentence….do people really sit on the couch and play with their lights on their smart phone and feel all warm and smart? Love to see the numbers for sales at Home Depot, they have had some nice end cap space for years and I for one cant believe there are enough Hue bulb sales to pay for that prime end cap space. Philips has deep pockets and can afford to play around with stuff like this but anyone else who actually has to pay for that end cap space would have moved on. Look for new Chinese tile to be filling that space soon.
Starting to feel like an old guy….Get off my lawn!
Seems like 30 years ago X10 was ROCK solid compared to Zwave wink wink!
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