What to expect going forward
The problem with the advancement in technology is that the average consumer cannot understand that what they want to achieve will cost more than it did 5 years ago. They want to send their Sky Decoder channels to multiple TV’s, like they did at their last house. And they used a low cost modulator from a now defunct retail store to do it. And now they challenge you when you want to charge them hundreds of dollars to use this new contraption called a digital modulator to do the same job. You must be ripping me off they say. A TV is just a TV right?
Technology issues are normally in the products that you don’t supply as part of your contract. You get all of the cabling in place and have a clear picture of what you told your client that you will achieve for them. Then your client goes into the super store and the young salesman talks them into buying the latest and greatest devices. Then they bring them home and ask you to set them up. To them a cable is a cable? Everything plugs into a power socket and it works right? So why are the audio and video signals out of sync through this new AV receiver they have bought? Those HDMI over cat6 cable extenders you used in the past are not designed for 4K signals. And now the new 4K TV they purchased won’t receive the signal. To the client it is your problem. And in some ways, it is. You need to fix it they say!
The golden rule in today’s world is that you need to communicate with your client a lot more. You need you to know when they are buying some new TV’s for the home. Also, what new AV Receiver are they purchasing? Will it switch 4K content? Is it HDCP 2.2 compliant? Because any surprises at commissioning time often come back to bite the contractor in the wallet because your client expected this and got that. Does this sound familiar?
The internet is literally the downfall of the contractor. When your client can go on these sites in Asia and see that they can by a widget for $35.00 and you are charging them $100.00 for the “same” widget then you are ripping them off. When it comes to switching a number of sources to a set number of TV’s then look no further than a Matrix Switch. But again will it switch 4K content and is it HDCP 2.2 compliant. HDMI leads are another area to be cautious around. The ones you have always used worked fine with high definition signals but will they work just as well with ultra-high definition 4K signals.
In summary this article is about getting everyone to think about how they price up their jobs in the future. You need to understand the technology that you will be installing or connecting to. Make sure you detail the smart devices that you will be installing in your quotation. If your client wants to question your price at least you can tell him why you have allowed for those devices. Good luck!