Monthly Archives: November 2014

Avoid being conned – How taking charge saves you money

By Sally Garden, founder, Deeper Image Television
from the deeper image archives – IMAGES magazine, Autumn 2009

How many points can you run off one antenna? Almost any number provided the signal received is good quality and the cables and fittings are handled appropriately.

That means ensuring use of the proper tools when terminating cables, plugs and sockets, also that the crimper is the right marriage to the plug being used. These are very important elements in keeping a signal usable over multiple outlets.

Our findings to date are that the choice of cable manufacturer, cable care, and bending radius coupled with poor quality fittings and poor quality installation techniques account for many problems. These problems are totally avoidable with a competent technician on hand.

I object to paying for half a product, because it is not a product at all. It is a con. You think you have purchased something, paid over your money for it, but you did not get what you paid for. This is the very definition of a con.

Recently I have been setting up a 900-plus TV point system at a major sporting venue, and found spots where signal was not arriving adequately. Our inspection showed this was the result of poor knowledge coupled with poor techniques on behalf of the technician doing the job.

When you think about it, the cost to you the customer is outrageous. The cost is threefold:

  • The original price you paid for the service.
  • The cost of inspecting and tracing the fault.
  • The cost of installing what was needed in the first place.

Everyone is responsible for this:

  • Customers for paying without checking the result – you do not have to pay if you have not got a product or are not satisfied with what has been produced;
  • The professional companies, for not taking a lead in providing the right environment for people in the trade to learn the correct skills to do the job right and to have the right attitudes towards getting the job done correctly; and
  • The individual technician who thinks it is okay to dish up anything and expect to get paid.

How taking charge saves you money

There is an obligation for all people involved in the trade to get educated on the subject so they can understand the choices they have to make.

Then, knowing the correct facts, they can make the right purchasing decision for themselves and their clients.

MATV systems and the Body Corporate manager

Deeper Image Television has the know-how to fix or install television systems with multiple outlets. This type of system is known as an MATV system (Master Antenna TV System), meaning one antenna having many TVs feeding off it.

Evolution

When colour television commenced it meant that many units, flats, apartments, hotels, caravan parks, schools and businesses had to have the reception systems replaced or upgraded. Digital television was another major change to the way we receive television into our homes, offices and lives. (The old analogue TV system was phased out across Australia by the end of 2013.)

Choices

At the time we converted to colour, there were minimal ways to handle the switchover; you either had it or you didn’t. Today there are many approaches to receiving and handling digital television signals, a good number of which are not  suitable in a particular situation.

Despite all the options, there will be one that is more ideal than the others, for a number of reasons:

  • Budget clip_image001
  • Existing cabling standard
  • Type of services needed
  • Existing antenna
  • Existing amplifiers and signal control equipment
  • Paid TV services
  • Satellite requirements
  • Telephone and Internet Requirements
  • Needs and requirements of end users

This is not a complete list, but does give an indication of how upgrading existing MATV systems or installing a new service needs proper research.

If you do your research well, you will discover the needs of the people who are going to use it. Lack of research into the needs of the end-user has cost body corporate organisations many hundreds if not thousands of dollars, and left body corporate members with very little to show for the money they have spent.

It is not just the media or pictures that are important, but also there needs to be assurance that the installation gets carried out to a high standard.

Good installation techniques lead to the provision of out-of-sight cabling, a strong signal to all antenna points, and equipment that all works reliably to deliver the services you want.

The installation of an entertainment cabling system means capital expenditure, so you will want that investment back when selling the property. The installation is only valuable when it works well and looks good.

For example, you may have an apartment block with occupants having a number of nationalities. There may be a need for satellite TV for some but not for others. Everyone pays for the basic system, but only those wanting the satellite pictures will pay for that additional service.

Head Ends (signal amplifiers that are installed in plant rooms or communications cabinets) are being improved all the time. Many different options are now available from the world’s leading manufacturers in terms of what signals are received and passed on to the end user. For example, free-to-air TV, Pay TV, Satellite TV, FM radio, security camera systems, and the Internet, to name a few. The choice of which product you will use to run the systems requires a sound knowledge of what is available if you are to get the best value.

Deeper Image Television has been developing various packaged systems to offer to this market. Amongst them will be a rental system – not unlike how you pay your telephone bill now – there will be a service or connection fee plus product fees depending upon what is needed.

TRADE TALK – The need for a Business Plan

By Sally Garden, founder, Deeper Image Television
from the archives – IMAGES magazine, Autumn 2009

I have been considering what information I can pass on to our numerous business associates. What would be useful? I thought, well, maybe there would be some interest in how I have managed to stay enthusiastic about my industry even though I have been participating in it for the past 43 years.

There have been periods when this has not been so! These occasions can be traced to times when I was not playing the game. I had forgotten to focus on the purpose for arriving at work each day. I was doing something else – filling in time, working in an automatic way (just repeating what I done many times before), not planning our future, existing and not being interested in where I was going.

Business plans are talked about a lot, and though vital, very few businesses – particularly small businesses – have one. They are vital if we want something to work towards, or actions to take on a daily basis. They are the stimuli for learning something new, facing a challenge or achieving a target.

A business plan with a goal will be actioned on a daily basis. It will have purposes and there will be barriers to overcome. It is a game, you either win or lose.

In this current environment, it is very important that business wins. If it does not… then jobs go, the economy suffers, and the environment in which we all live can go to dust like ancient Rome.

It is not difficult to write a business plan. Generally, business people start with a product or service they would like to deliver or produce. They start on their own, producing that product and selling it to others in exchange for money. The business grows and new staff members come on board. If you have a clearly written business plan, you can have each new staff member read the plan and understand what it is they are there to do.

What is the goal we are going for? What is the product we will produce that will provide the energy to achieve our goal? This makes a great orientation exercise.

For example, the goal might be: To sell 2000 families per year a caravan.

The actual product you produce might be: A caravan made to order to match the unique needs of a specific caravanner.

I am just playing here. The point is, in order to produce the product you would need a way of knowing what the caravanner wants and recommending the right product based on those known needs. This is called surveying. Perhaps companies like Jayco achieve their penetration and market share because their survey techniques get it right more of the time.TRADE TALK - Business Growth Chart

The plan identifies the overall reason for doing the activity – the goal. What happens is, a person has the goal: To provide the dollars or wherewithal so I can look after my family. This is very personal, and when achieved there is no longer a goal to carry on with, and often a business will fail right there. So a new goal needs to be created if the first one has already been achieved.

The purpose could be

  • To meet lots of people who like caravanning; or
  • To provide a safe employment situation for my staff; or
  • To buy a big yacht and sail the seven seas.

If you can identify these purposes and bring them alive for your staff and yourself, then your business culture will benefit because there is purpose to the activity you are doing every day.

If you would like some more information about business plans,
then contact me by phone at (03) 9808 5466.