Professional Home Theater Installers
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.
The Disappearing Media Room
See more of this space. This room functions primarily as a family room, and is not a dedicated theater space. The clients requested specifically that the technology not be visible when the system is not in use. The screen, front speakers and projector are all concealed whenever the system is turned off. Flush-mounted grills on the rear-channel speakers give the only hint that this is a media room.
See more of this space. This basement media room, designed and decorated to suggest the casual feel of a pub, was created primarily as a space for watching sporting events. A video wall processor and JVC projection system equipped with a fixed Panamorph lens permit up to four sporting events to be viewed simultaneously in split-screen format.
See more of this space. This man-cave media room caters to the tastes of an avid golfer. It includes a high-performance theater system for enjoying movies and TV as well as a separate screen for a PGA golf simulator.
See more of this space. The objective of this media room installation was to deliver exceptional-quality picture and audio while having minimal impact on the aesthetics of the room. Theater elements, including a 103" plasma screen and Steinway Lyngdorf subwoofers, were discretely installed. Remote speakers installed in a billiards area behind the main seating space expand the listening area.
Not Your Typical Media Room
See more of this space. Far from the traditional home theater experience and furnishings, this media room — code-named "The Holodeck" — was designed as a futuristic ultra-lounge, complete with nightclub lighting and a fog machine. Microsoft Kinect hardware enables the system to incorporate high-end gaming while a sensor mounted above the screen tracks the player's movements.
See more of this space. The key objective with this media room design was to ensure that the technology had minimal visual impact and stayed consistent with the contemporary aesthetic of the space. The screen is flush-mounted, all speakers are mounted in-wall and in-ceiling, and the equipment rack is concealed in an adjacent closet. Vote for your favorite media room.
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.
See Also: Planning Your Own Home Theater
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