Joe Newkirk is the owner of HD which is a professional electronics systems integrator. Here is a link to its website:
Q: What are some of the services your business offers?
A: HD is a professional electronics systems integrator. We specialize in the latest technologies including Smart Home/Automation, Audio/Video design and installation, Custom Home Theaters, Computer Networking, and Lighting Control. We offer our services in both residential and commercial applications and we are an authorized DirecTV retailer.
Q: What kind of background and training do you have?
A: I was introduced to electronics when I was young. My mother worked for a large tech firm in Silicon Valley and would bring work home. I would get to help her fiddle with all the parts. My father was a general contractor and I learned my construction trade going to work with him. 20 years ago, I started working for a large audio/video retailer and found that I liked working in this industry. I currently engross myself in training for new technologies and do continuing education on every system I work on.
Q: What is the strangest request you have ever had?
A: I have had a couple requests to work out of the country. Typically I will travel but the latest request was to rebuild an American security infrastructure in Iraq.
Q: What is the most elaborate home entertainment system you have ever installed?
A: We just finished a project that turned out really nice. The Home Theater had a 138” screen with High Definition projector and 5.2 surround sound. There were two 42“ TVs on full motion mounts on the side that swing out so that there were 3 pictures that could be watched. We built and elevated wood floor to sit the motorized Home Theater seats, added lighting control so that lights could be controlled remotely and then integrated all the remotes into a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 so that the Theater, equipment, and lights could all be controlled with the tablet computer. The house also had multiple TVs and a distributed audio system.
Q: What do you like about running a business in San Diego?
A: San Diego offers a diverse customer base and I get to meet interesting people. I also have a team in Los Angeles and even though the drive can take hours, San Diego is still close enough to drive if I have to.
Q: What don’t you like about it?
A: Running a business in general requires a full time commitment. It doesn’t matter if you are in San Diego or a smaller city. Everyone sees the benefits of self-employment and thinks that there is no boss to tell you what to do, you get to make your own hours, and go on vacation when you want. The fact is I work more now than when I had a typical job. I do not have a boss but that doesn’t mean I can slack on my responsibilities. I have a fiduciary duty to provide work and payroll to my employees. It is such a roller coaster ride and you have to take it as it comes, whether you up or down, you have to stay committed to keeping the business going.
Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen on a security video?
A: I have put cameras in many different places. Typically videos are monitored by the client and not myself so I will describe some of the places that I have installed cameras. People put cameras in their homes for different reasons. I have done cameras to capture would be criminals, to watch horses on a ranch, to watch owls in an owl house, to spy on the nanny, and other various household things. I have installed cameras in stores to monitor theft, in banks for security reasons, on guard shacks, at payment centers, and offices.
Q: What is the most common mistake people make when selecting a sound system?
A: There are a couple areas here. One of the biggest I find is the homeowner that bought the newest HDTV but still has standard definition cable as the source. The other common mistake is manufactures’ have made buying easy by placing all equipment necessary into a box (Home Theater in a Box). I find that sometimes I get to a house and speaker placement is incorrect and the sound is not calibrated so sound quality is lacking.
Q: Do you think home theater will eventually replace traditional theaters entirely (why or why not)?
A: No, the entertainment industry will continue to create bigger and better movies and people will continue to pay to have the theater experience. That said I do believe that I can make the home theater experience a lot better than the commercial theater. Depending on the budget, I can make a more comfortable environment with better sound and effects.
Q: What is the next big thing?
A: Technology is making life more convenient. Smart technology has made things simple and automation has taken things to the next level. We have iPad/smart phone integration. This is the ability to control all your equipment with your phone or tablet. It can do heating and air, lights, security, and the audio/video throughout the house. You can travel half way around the world and if you have access to the internet, you can check to see if you turned off the lights or turn them on if you want.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)