HDTV sets and home theaters with surround sound are more popular than ever. Installing a home theater system, or even just the HDTV alone, can be more of a challenge than you think, depending on if you want your HDTV hung on the wall or just in a room that doesn't have the hook-ups. In this video by ServiceMagic, you'll hear from a professional installer on what can go wrong when homeowners try to hook up their own HDTV and/or home theater system.
David Lupberger: Hi, I’m David Lupberger with the ServiceMagic.com. You’ve just brought home a new flat screen plasma TV in a surround sound stereo system to make it even better. But before you begin connecting cables, you may want to connect yourself with a professional to make sure that the installation is done correctly. When someone brings home a new widescreen TV, it’s probably something they’ve had their eye on for a while. They’ve measured the walls, studied the ratings reviews and they’re ready to plug in and go. But ask any professional, they’ll likely tell you it isn’t nearly that simple. Christopher Tritz: We figured that over half the TV’s that are going out, even if it’s just set up on a table, a blue ray player, a DVD player, a cable box hooked up to it, over half of them going out are being hooked up incorrectly. David Lupberger: That means all the money plopped down for the best picture and clearest audio may be going wasted if you took a guess at hooking up your home theater system yourself. Professional installers like Chris Tritz and Forefront Technologies -- a ServiceMagic prescreened company – spend at least six months training on the latest equipment and how to install it. Christopher Tritz: Like I said, it’s not coax anymore. I mean there are so many different variables and depending on the type of equipment you’re hooking up. You've got coax. You could have composite. You could go to component, S-video, HDMI. You know so many different options, or do you want to hook up to the internet to make sure it’s getting its firmware updates. David Lupberger: Something else most people don't consider -- the quality of the electricity that's powering all this sensitive equipment. That, too, can alter performance. Christopher Tritz: We've seen people hook up their three thousand-dollar TV investment to the little green surge strip protector they use for their Christmas lights, you know a seven-dollar device and that just doesn't cut it, you know. David Lupberger: And it's not just the connections. Make no mistake -- properly mounting a hi-def TV on a wall is a construction project. Unless you want cables hanging down from your TV, professionals who are knowledgeable about working behind the walls need to re-route them. In this case, installers from Forefront have to pull the cable wire extensions through the walls, going up through the attic and down an opposing wall. They also have to re-route the power that will supply the new television. All that before they even begin installing the bracket that will eventually hold the television. Even with skilled professionals, a complicated job like this one can takes several hours to do correctly, but in the end, a new hi-def TV is on the wall with no cords showing and the best possible signal. To get the most out of your new home theater system, co-ax just doesn't cut it. To find a prescreened professional to help you install your new home theater system, or for any other home improvement project, check out ServiceMagic.com, your home improvement connection.