Professional Home Theater Installers

Get all the information you'll need on professional home theater installers, and get ready to find a top-notch pro to install your home theater.
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CEDIA2013_HT37_industrial_design_lighting_audio_home_theater_proscenium_h

By: Sean McEvoy

If you're planning a new home theater installation or want to upgrade an existing home theater, you may want to consider hiring professional home theater installers for the job. While it's certainly possible to create a top-of-the-line DIY home theater, there are distinct benefits to hiring a professional or choosing from a number of companies who provide the service. You will almost certainly end up paying more than you would for materials alone in a DIY install, but in terms of convenience and overall job quality, it's likely the right professional installer can give you the home theater of your dreams while avoiding any DIY nightmares.

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When choosing a home theater installer, you'll first want to consider the scope of your project. If your home theater is going to be quite small in scale—if, in fact, it could reasonably be described as a media room as easily as a home theater—then you may not need an installer at all. Save for hiding some wires and mounting a TV or projection screen, you may be able to go the DIY route and keep your budget for Blu-Ray DVDs or streaming service subscriptions. If, however, you're planning a more elaborate design featuring, for example, stadium seating, elaborate, automated controls for your electronics and lighting, or other higher-end features, you will very likely save time and frustration (unless you're extremely handy and have lots of free time) by hiring a professional home theater installer.

Once you've come to terms with the size and budget you're targeting, it's time to find an installer. There are many nationwide services you can look to for home theater installation—there's even a national organization, which certifies individual proprietors. It's called CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association), and at its website you can search for professional home theater installers near you.

If the results for your area are sparse, or if you've received estimates from local contractors who seem to be too pricey, you may want to consider looking into the services provided by several of the large, national electronics retailers. Various big box stores offer their own home theater installation and consulting services. One potential benefit of this approach is that you may be offered (or be able to negotiate) a better deal for the service if you agree to purchase the equipment for your home theater through the retailer.

Finally, if you're just beginning your search for a professional home theater installer, be sure to use a tactic that pre-dates Internet ratings and big box stores alike: ask around. If you have neighbors who've had home theaters installed, or had related electronics or automation work done in their homes, find out if their contractor experiences were good; if so, reach out for a consultation.

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