CEDIA Roundtable: The Future of the Specialty CE and Integration Markets
Dealerscope: What has changed in terms of what is being sold into home theaters, media rooms and gaming rooms? What are the trends you've seen in last 12 months?
Green: Bigger screens, brighter projectors, 3D, more surround-sound channels, home telepresence and gesture-based games are all huge opportunities for home theater upgrades. In Northern California, I am seeing less desire for dedicated home theaters, which, ironically, are considered a bit anti-social. My clients are asking for immersive media experiences in the social parts of the house. A large, flat-panel home theater in the family room/kitchen is mandatory. The new generations of flat panels have no bezels and hence, no speakers. Every flat-panel system needs speaker and audio system upgrades.
The biggest profit opportunity in home theater is audio. Delivering properly designed and expertly installed audio systems, sadly, seems to be a dying art. That's just stupid. Audio quality will make or break an emotional home theater experience, and once it is achieved, the experience becomes addictive. This is where the money is and it's the emotional hook that makes happy customers. Don't be afraid to sell expensive, high-performance audio systems. And make darned sure they are designed and installed correctly. Placing a $10,000 center-channel speaker sideways a few inches above the floor is idiotic; yet look at all those glamour photos of "winning" home theater designs. It's embarrassing, and clients are not getting their money's worth. Figure it out; then sell the expertise.