Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Get Ready for Ultra HD

According to Nielsen, over 75% of U.S. households have a high definition TV. You probably already know that a lot of your residents are included in that number.

The "next" thing was supposed to be 3D TVs, but those have been received with mixed reviews. (Who wants to wear those special glasses?) But don't look now ... there's an entirely new option right around the corner, and it's something you should keep an eye on: Ultra HD TV.

UltraHD TVs look amazing. A typical HD television has a resolution of 720-1,080 rows of pixels on the screen; Ultra HD promises at least 4 times that resolution. There's a whole set of standards that has already been developed, and the first models could start hitting store shelves as early as this holiday season.

What does it mean for multifamily?

Use it as a Leasing Tool. First, it might be worth upgrading in your leasing offices and amenity spaces. If you have high-res videos or photos of your property, there's no better way to showcase them than on a beautiful display. If you don't have high-res photos and videos of your property, get some ... it's worth it.

Do a Network Double-Check. For your residents, it will be more important than ever to have a solid video network for your property. Video providers will be moving to provide content for these ultra-high resolutions, and it's not going to look very good if the resident can't get a decent signal to their living room. Talk to your service provider, or have a low voltage consultant review your site infrastructure (and any agreements you have in place with your providers).

Customer (Electronics) Support. Also, UltraHD TVs are huge ... sometimes 84 inches and bigger. Can your walls handle that if a resident tries to mount a 80+" TV on the wall? It might make sense to review your outlet plan in the apartments to make sure the layouts still work. In many cases, we're seeing our clients and other multifamily developers add extra outlets (and reinforced walls to support the weight of the TV) at the height where the resident would typically mount the display.

As the holiday season approaches (and the Consumer Electronics Show in January), keep an eye on these devices. Look for the empty boxes out by the dumpsters. Hopefully there isn't too much you need to do to prepare your property, but keep these points in mind if you start to see an increase in complaints about the TV service in the months ahead.

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