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Media centre installations divide opinion

Media centre installations divide opinion

Local media centre builders broadly agree that installing a unit isn't easy for technically-challenged users but opinion is divided on how to tackle the problem.

Altech Computers turned the installation, service and support of its Maestro range to third-party IT consultants, Quicknowledge. Altech national sales manager, Kevin Hartin, said that the partnership would make the media centre sale an easier one for its dealers.

Managing director of digital entertainment system manufacturer, Claritas, Andy Welch, said correct installation was critical. But his company left this direct services revenue stream to its resellers.

"We're not in mass retail at the moment so a lot of the resellers we've got are custom installers who are putting in media centres as part of a larger installation," he said.

"We don't have to resort to third parties at this time, but we will look at that if we move into mass retail. It's just a very tight margin area and, at the moment, we're trying to specialise and maintain some differentiation by not going via the retail route."

Optima product marketing manager, Ole Mortensen, Australia's largest PC builder leaves it to resellers to set prices for installation services.

"We have compiled training that we try to feed through to the dealers and have done a number of presentations on it," he said. "We try to give them as much information as possible to sell and service media centres."

Mortensen said the marker would change as more mainstream buyers emerged. For now, however, he encouraged resellers to take advantage of the opportunities.

"What a customer combines with the media centre box, such as a television, is where the real opportunity lies for dealers," he said. "They can provide a total solution for the home that was previously restricted to specialised hi-fi stores."

Managing director of Pioneer Computers, Jeff Li, is one builder who refutes suggestions that media centres were difficult to install. He said the majority of its end-users didn't bother purchasing the installation package available through its resellers.

"We have an $89 option for a one-hour install and training session," Li said. "While some customers buy it, most of them don't use it and end up keeping it for credit."


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