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General Sales Question:
Q. What makes your company different from all the others?
A. We specialize in Home Theater and Home Technology (HT). Our employees are trained and certified. They will provide solutions to the electronic lifestlye you desire. We choose our brands carefully based on price/value & reliability. For example, check out Paradigm and Magnepan speakers, InFocus projector and Arcam components. They consistantly outperform other brands costing up to 20-30% more! Paradigm alone has been voted best price/value speaker on the market by Inside Track...17 consecutive years! The owner (Zoltan "Oli" Gulyas) of Innovations in Home Technology (i-HT) has over twenty five years experience in the electronics/music industry. i-HT is a locally owned business serving South Texas for over 10 years. Our in-house installation department is fully trained in the latest technologies. In order to have 100% quality control of our custom projects, we do not "subcontract" out our installations.
General Video Questions:
Q. What is all the buzz about 1080P? Do I need it? Is 1080i/720P "old school"?
A. 1080P basically means you will have approx. 2 million pixels on your screen vs. approx. 1 million with 720P/1080i...see our newsletter for more detail. Current HDTV broadcasts are 720P or 1080i and not likely to change anytime soon. Don't feel as though you are buying a dinosaur if you choose a 720P TV. They can actually look better than some 1080P sets depending on the frame rate. Don't forget, resolution is only the fourth most important factor. What this all basically all boils down to is; you must view the TV in person and not rely on the brochure numbers. As the newsletter points out, we generally don't buy cars based on the number of cylinders only, nor cameras solely based on mega-pixels.
Q. My TV and/or DVD player claim they upconvert to 720P/1080i or even 1080P. Will my picture look twice as good?
A. No, it may even look worse than a high quality standard DVD player. This is a bold statement...let me explain. Standard DVD's are 480P (approx. 500,000 pixels). How do you add another half million to 1.5 million pixels to a movie that didn't have it to begin with? Most upconversion chips add pixels that output a shade of gray based on the information (brightness/contrast) around it. Some call this deliberate distortion. Remember though, resolution is only the fourth most important item your eye sees. The lines between the pixels got smaller, so contrast is what usually improves when going with a 1080P TV and some edge detail. When shopping for TV's, ask them to put on a fast action scene such as basketball or a chase scene with explosions. See if the TV's upconverter can process the nearly 2 billion bits of information per second. Check for artifacts and other distortions. Check to see if their 1080P TV even has a 1080P input! Better yet, come into our store and we will demonstrate all technologies and explain them clearly. We'll cut thru the clutter and buzz-words and help you decide what you really need for your particular application.
Q. I see many "off brand" TV's at some of the warehouse stores and internet sites. What makes your sets better?
A. Yes, you will see more and more "off brand" TV's at the mega-stores and warehouse type stores with very attractive pricing...especially plasmas. The basic differences are the reliability, service and the video processor. Most of these sets use an 8-bit processor. The minimum standard with other sets is 10-12 bit and even up to 14-16 bit with quality sets. What this means to you is movie scenes with smokey type material (gunshots, explosions, dirt road chase scenes, clouds, etc.) will have a pixilated-type effect. They won't appear smooth and flowing. These sets are a good value short term, but we don't recommend them for long term users and/or people looking for accurate video reproduction.
Q. Which technology is better? DLP? LCD? Plasma? etc.
A. This is one of the most asked questions. The only way to answer it is by asking our clients questions like; will the TV be viewed off-angle? Is ambient light controlled? Do you plan to do a lot of gaming? etc. We recommend you come in to discuss your individual needs with one of our sales staff.
Q. I heard plasma technology has problems like image burn-in, they don't last long and the plasma gasses need to be refilled...is this true?
A. Unfortunately, plasma TV's have some incorrect myths and confusing information on the internet forums or from poorly trained A/V salespeople. Plasma gasses do not need to be refilled (and is impossible). A quality built plasma will actually last 45,000 to 60,000 hours before they reach half brightness. Compare that to CRT (traditional picture tube TVs) which typically lasted 25,000 hours before reaching half brightness. Image burn-in is rare for normal viewing situations. If you leave it on a static image for hours and hours it can have image retention just like CRT televisions. Newer sets have a defeatable "orbitor" to lessen this from happening. If you've traveled recently, I'm sure you have noticed many airports now use plasma TV's as their arrival/departure monitors. Their low budgets would not allow a technology which only lasts 3-5 years as some forums claim or the "image retention" scare tactic that some un-informed salespeople have used to sell customers on a different technology.
Q. Do I need to wait for HDMI 1.3?
A. ...see attached PDF courtesy of Anthem
General Audio Questions:
Q. What makes your speakers and audio components better than at other stores?
A. An easy way to tell if a store is looking out for your best interest or themselves and the manufacturer is, by looking at their brand names and what models they carry. If they carry the same old brands almost everyone else does, including even furniture stores and department stores, they are taking the path of least resistance. It is easier to sell something well known, than an item which is well built and lessor known. Also, if they carry every model of that brand, they are looking out for the manufacturer rather than you. We cherry pick our lines and even cherry pick within the brand. Yes, this doesn't always sit well with the manufacturer, but we believe we should answer and be accountable to our customers first. Again, this may be a bold statement, but we challenge you to bring in any speaker from any other manufacturer and we are confident ours will outperform it in a side-by-side comparison and will probably be 20-30% less expensive. Our audio components are also the best-in-class and consistantly recognized for their price/value. Come in and see our audio room and ask for a demonstration.
General Wiring/Home Technology Questions:
Q. I thought everything is going wireless, why should I wire my new or remodeled home?
A. Yes, wireless technology is getting faster, safer and more reliable. But it is still slower than a "wired" item and prone to drop-out. In addition, wired items can carry low voltage, to power certain Home Technology components such as keypads. Wiring will become even more important as new, even higher bandwidth services become available. We are not saying wireless has no place in a home, rather we encourage people to have both technologies and not discard "wiring" because of advances in wireless technologies.
Q. What is the next "new thing" in Home Technology?
A. IP addressable systems are the next new "thing". Everything from monitoring cameras, DVD players, thermostats, lighting systems, etc. will be IP addressable. This allows every item on the network to communicate with each other. Control systems will no longer need to be laboriously programmed, rather they will be configured like adding a printer to your computer. Check out a company already doing this, life|ware. Please come into our store with your blueprints so we can customize a system to your lifestyle.
*Let us know if you have any questions you would like to see posted on this page or answered personally, by e-mailing us.