When you are building a home theater there are many ways to use professionals in this process. The most common service to use is the installer from the store to put the equipment in that you have purchased. The more complex your job the more concerned you should be about the quality of this work. As a consumer it can be intimidating to know if the contractor is doing the right thing.
Installers & Home Theater Contractors
Questions to ask any installer who will be in your home.
- Are you insured for damage to my home?
- What happens if you break something in my house?
- What training and experience do the people have who will be in my home? (Good answers are CEDIA and manufacturers courses for training.)
- Do you use keystone correction to correct projector geometry errors? (The answer here should be an emphatic no.)
- What guarantees do you offer?
Additional questions to ask any custom home theater installer who will be building a dedicated home theater room.
- Can I speak to some of your clients about the quality of your work?
- Can I see your work? (If you are purchasing automation service, don’t forget to look at the automation setup.)
- Are you and/or your subcontractors licensed for the work you will be performing?
- Who needs to obtain the construction permits?
- How custom is your universal remote programming for my system?
- Are you willing to install equipment that I supply from another source?
- Does your design include HVAC?
- What brands of equipment do you work with?
- Do you supply a construction schedule and payment schedule?
- How well do you hold to the schedule?
- Is this a cost plus or fixed fee project?
- How many of these do you do in a year and how many years have you done this?
- Do you work with an interior designer?
- Do you work with an acoustics designer? (If not, ask how they get the acoustics correct.)
- Do you use an audio and video calibrator? (If yes, check their credentials and inquire about their equipment)
- What objective specifications will my theater meet for room acoustics and if so how will it be measured?
- What objective specifications will my theater meet for sound reproduction and if so how will it be measured?
- What objective specifications will my theater meet for image reproduction and if so how will it be measured?
However you proceed with this be sure to have detailed equipment lists and drawings in the contract. Interviewing at least three installers is a good idea for a custom theater to be sure you are getting what you want. The more detailed the design the less likely it is you will have problems down the road.
Putting Your Own Team Together
Another approach to take is to assemble your own team. It is possible to purchase the equipment yourself and hire out the various pieces to mix and match this work. For example, you can work with a custom installer for most things, but hire the design from another source or calibration from a different source. Using a general contractor with some level of consulting can also work if you understand how the basics and can manage the work yourself. It is also possible to use a consultant to review the design of others to be sure you are getting the best system for your money.
AccuCal provides exceptional quality consulting, design, audio and video calibration services.
Using an independent calibrator like AccuCal for audio and video is a great way to be sure your system is performing at peak performance and perform a quality control check on all of your equipment. Many audio components are defective from shipping, installation and manufacture because of the human factor involved in these products. If your calibrator finds problems it can then be repaired under warranty or possibly rewired on-site.