Unmasking the Luxury Sale
TI: Why is a wired system with wireless control such
as the MMS-2A preferable verses Bluetooth or other
de Nigris: It’s about quality and reliability. Moving content around a home with wireless IP technology carries significant compromises in quality due to the compression, computing and timing required to packetize and de-packetize audio on an IP backbone. Wireless audio products actually severely compress content to below-CD quality in order to do the tricks necessary to get all the networking gear to play back the music at the same time in all the rooms. Only an installed speaker cable can carry full resolution audio to all the end points with no latency, compression or echo between rooms.
Perhaps a bigger consideration, however, is reliability. A properly wired whole-home music system will likely work fine for many years—for as long as the home is owned in many cases. What are the chances that the customer’s IP router, switches and computers will all still be working exactly as they did even one year from now? Unless an installer is prepared to support their customer’s IP infrastructure, IP and Bluetooth-based wireless solutions should be eliminated from consideration for professionals in favor of properly installed hard goods that are truly a part of the home’s subsystems. Certainly, some installers are up to that task and have built IT support into their business model, but they should know what they’re signing up for and go in with both eyes open.
Vice President, Marketing of Kaleidescape
Technology Integrator: Has the consumer’s definition of
Angelika Stalman: I don’t believe that it has, no. Merriam-Webster defines luxury as a condition or situation of great comfort, ease and wealth—and when viewed from this vantage point, the concept of luxury will never change. What changes, however, are the products and services that have been used as signposts of the luxury lifestyle over the years. If we focus on the arena of home entertainment and turn back the clock, we can see a time when wax cylinder players and Victrolas were considered to be the height of high-tech hi-fi. Previously, music lovers were forced to learn to play and sing themselves, or travel to locations where music was being performed. But with these products, anyone who could afford the price could enjoy their favorite songs at
any time of the day or night. In this case, a leap in technology provided a convenient way for people to control their entertainment. The experience was luxurious, but the products only enabled luxury, they did not define it. And so it