So much choice in TV leads to so much cost on our bills!
If you’re paying for subscription TV there’s the televisual Catch 22 of loving the variety and range of viewing but having to pay through the nose for it. I don’t hear very often (not at all in fact) that customers don’t mind paying what seems to an obligatory incremental £5 every month for an extra essential cooking or shopping channel (or summat like that). What is especially galling, despite having to invest in a second mortgage that would support a small developing country, with SKY, Virgin Media, EE, TalkTalk etc., a request for an additional set-top box will mean even more money drained from the kids’ inheritance or college fund.
Home TV with the Magic Eye (the good old days!)
Up until recently, it used to be a fairly easy task of piping SKY from the receiver to other rooms. With the installation of a “magic eye” you could have all the functionality of the package and product you’d bought in ancillary rooms as you would have in the main room. Albeit a poorer quality image than the main TV as it was transmitted in analogue format. But SKY didn’t like this did they? They wanted you to have multi-room TV but on their terms, that is to BUY another bleedin’ receiver. So over time they have made it more and more difficult for their customers to have a “DIY” way of watching their product in other rooms with it culminating with SKY Q where a coax cable cannot be directly run from the receiver to other rooms. Well every problem has a solution!
A new solution to multiple room HD TV service
Not only with SKY but with ANY digi-receiver box there are products now available that distribute high quality high definition images (including4K) to any number of rooms. So you can plan and record a channel in your bedroom and watch it in the loft or in the summer house adjacent to your newly built tennis courts; just like the old Martini advert of anytime, anyplace, anywhere (think that reference will be lost on the millennials).
Such alchemy is called signal distribution through a HDMI cable extender. With the installation of two HDMI leads (good quality mind – 2.0) a small transmitter and receiver unit, IR sensors and a length of cat5e/6 cable perfect HD UHD and 4K images can be sent to TV’s around the house. What is so good about this rebuff to the main subscription players is that after the initial installation payment the product starts to pay for itself. Generally, the cost for a multi room device is between £10-£15 per month (plus VAT!). The extenders are not limited to TV set top boxes but can also be used in conjunction with DVD players and CCTV recorders.
Being the show-off I am I have an HDMI switch (matrix) which can combine up to 8 devices and send the images to any number of TV’s should I wish. I haven’t got 8 devices of course that would be too indulgent, but the facility is there if ever required.
I guess that as long as folks want to watch TV in the bath or in bed or in the summer house adjacent to the newly built tennis courts there is a means by which to do it. An expensive way but always a very good cheaper way too if you look hard enough in to it.
All part of the service
TV aerial installation, satellite services and home upgrades to enable 4k, UHD and sateillte delivery in your property is what we do. We are the leading independent satellite and aerial installation company so if you need an upgrade like this in your home, do contact us!
8 top tips to consider before buying a new TV
Don’t you know that Christmas is round the corner?? I bet an inordinate number of wish lists have TV’s firmly etched on them. So following on from my highly interesting and informative blog “A good time to buy a 4K TV” I thought it prudent to release to the world a checklist of things to consider when buying the said 4K TV or any other TV to that effect. These 8 top tips to choosing a new TV are what I advise my customers on a daily basis but also what I apply to my home TV and audio visual set up. I have factored in these 8 tips to be as honest and as open as possible.
- Choose the right screen size!
Start with the bleedin’ obvious as one can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. Bigger may not always be better too. Always choose a screen size appropriate for the distance you’ll be sitting from it otherwise you may feel engulfed in the film that you’ve decided to watch on a Saturday evening in. Not nice if it’s 50 Shades of Grey.
2. Screen Resolution
This determines the sharpness of the image and vary between 720 pixels (p), 1080p or full HD. Manufacturers are largely moving towards HDTV’s, Ultra HD and 4K which are your best bet for future proofing
This refers to the number of times the screen image is refreshed per second. The rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and you may have come across 60Hz, 120Hz or even 144Hz. The greater the refresh rate the smoother the flow ad there is a reduction in motion blur.
4. HDMI Ports
I’ve recently overlooked the fact that the TV I bought only had 2 HDMI ports. D’oh! Ended up having to introduce a HDMI matrix, at some cost I might add, to increase the HDMI capacity. The more ports the merrier, starting with at least 3. Be aware to ensure that they support HDMI 2.0 to accommodate future Ultra HD sources
Speakers are a must as most TV sound quality is poor but may not necessarily be required in a small room. The siren of wonderful picture quality may draw you on to the rocks where you’ll be metaphorically smashed to smithereens by the dreadful tinny sound coming from the corner of the room. Don’t be frugal, get a sound bar/plinth/speakers etc.
6. Colour Depth
Most recognised manufacturers don’t disappoint in this department. Look out for TV’s that serve up 8 bits per channel (or more). This ensures the TV is able to create enough depth to satisfy the human eye and present a photo-realistic image.
7. Curved or flat TV?
I think that this really is a first world problem. An existential question such as “to be, or not to be”. Personally I think curved TV’s have run their gimmicky course. The theory was that the screen followed the shape of the eye making the curves of the picture look sharper than flat TV’s. But if you’re little Billy shoved to the end of the sofa and away from the optimal seating position the picture geometry/image may look distorted. So flat TV’s it is.
8. Smart TVs
In general, the Smart TVs can connect to the internet and can stream content that way. It comes with certain apps including Netflix, where some connect via Wi-Fi. If you don’t want wires and want a clutter-free life, a smart TV might be the best option.
How can I help you?
AB Aerials are the leading choice for aerial installation and repair in Sheffield and South Yorkshire. Contact us to find out how we can help you make the most of your TV and home entertainment!
How much should a new aerial cost?
Online there are a gazillion aerial, satellite and CCTV companies that eulogise bargain basement offers. You can take the view that these are genuinely great opportunities or sceptically too good to be true. So just how much should a new aerial cost?
For example, a competitor of mine in Sheffield is stating a “digital” aerial installation for £38 and a CCTV installation for £99. Remarkable as the cost of materials is greater than the overall work!
When I’m shopping around for products and services I’m looking for value for money, that is, in cake terms, “worth the calories”. Money well spent is the whole package including what you’re actually offering as a product as well the services. This includes the initial contact experience of a web page landing or a personal phone call, to turning up on time, clearing up after yourself and making sure everything works prior to leaving. The standard of the service should not change for any customer.
The only variable should be the different price of products.
The whole process must be seen in terms of the customer. Lack of knowledge is vulnerability which is often exploited by the unscrupulous. A friendly tone and helpful guiding hand on how to tune a television or how to playback recordings on a CCTV recorder cost nothing but are priceless to a customer lacking in confidence.
At AB Aerials we gain customers attention and confidence by offering incentives such as:
- No vat charge
- 2 year guarantees
- Free call outs for surveys and diagnostics
- After sales service
- Phone lines open until 10pm and answered straight away
The right package for you
A range of products are available to suit the individual’s purse but all are industry approved from cables and aerials to CCTV cameras. The difficult part is to give an exact cost to a customer without actually going to see the job. How long is piece of string? Even if we say costs start from £x customers often take it that £x is the actual price of the job!
Nobody should be afraid to ask for a no obligation quote/survey which is of course mutually beneficial.
Additionally, when embarking on costly project such as multiple television points or a 4 camera CCTV install it goes without saying to get a number of quotes. Look for the company that gives you value for money. It may be the cheapest option but rarely. Ask yourself the question “will a £38 aerial” or “£99 CCTV install” really give you what you’re looking for? What you want to pay is what you want to pay but don’t expect a Rolls Royce for the price of a bicycle.
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How can we help you? Contact us for your satellite, aerial and CCTV requirements. We will talk you through the options available to you and will never offer something that is completely unsuitable for your needs.
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Don’t be afraid to reach out. We are here to help get your satellite, CCTV and television back on track.
I tell you what’s been going mental recently is the number of people wanting their TV’s wall mounted. I say to them “good for you”. It looks great, seeing a telly miraculously floating mid-wall out of the way of tiny and often grubby paws. Also it frees up space that can be utilised for lets say a wine rack, a beer refrigerator or perhaps a book shelf (boring!!).
What is sometimes overlooked is how is that hovering TV is going to be powered, how will it get it’s signal and how can I connect my blue ray DVD to it? In other words where will the necessary evil cables go? Don’t ask me I haven’t seen your lounge/kitchen/bedroom but what I would say is this:
Check the proximity of your electrical/aerial/satellite sockets
Do they require moving?
Do you want your cable to be chased in to the wall or are you happy to have them in trunking?
Questions, questions innit – but your installation could look like this (or better)