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At The Movies Theme Party

All of us enjoy the satisfaction of handling things ourselves. That innate human instinct has created an ever-growing do-it-yourself (DIY) movement in all areas. Homeowners are excited to perform their own remodeling projects. Those who have never before even grown a fern are planning on handling their own landscaping. Stereo and television novices are planning to install their home theater systems.

The DIY movement is partly human nature and part financial. People like the idea of keeping their hard-earned money instead of paying it to specialists to complete jobs they feel they could personally handle. Regardless of the motivations, however, it is indisputable that more and more people are ready to embark on DIY projects.

Is home theater installation a good DIY project or a recipe for disaster? The answer to that question will depend both on the experience level of the installer and on the exact nature of the home theater system in question.

If one has spent tens of thousands of dollars on a home theater system and wants to establish a unit with speakers embedded in the wall that is absolutely wireless, they should probably consider hiring a professional. Few of us, however, are looking for anything quite that extreme.

If one has simply dropped a few hundred dollars on an all-in-one home theater and wants to hire a professional, they should certainly think again. These low-end systems are particularly built for ease of installation and can be handled by anyone. Again, however, most of us don’t fall into this category either.

The largest number of us fall somewhere between the two extremes. Perhaps we have purchased separate components and a nice five-speaker surround sound set, but have stopped short of making a huge investment that would obviously warrant professional help. Those of us in the middle can generally handle our own home theater installation.There are few basic guiding principles to home theater installation for novices that must, at all costs, be followed.

First, and most importantly, the novice should read all documentation and instructions. He or she should study the schematics. It is important to have a clear mental understanding of how to hook things up and why they are hooked up this way. Don’t just dive in immediately, read the supporting materials provided by the manufacturer. Often, installers will be surprised by some of the informational gems they find in these resources.

Second, use the right tools for the job. Home theater installations that are accomplished via the use a steak knife and a butter knife generally lack longevity. Take the time to use the right tools for the tasks that are in front of you. Don’t compromise quality in your work for convenience.

Finally, stop if it isn’t working. It is possible to do permanent damage to components during installation if it is not performed correctly. Generally, damage of this sort is not covered by warranties. Don’t risk your investment by experimenting when something goes wrong. Consult the documentation and troubleshoot likely problems. If nothing seems to work, put the project down and call in a pro.

Most of us can handle our home theater installation needs. All we need to do is remember a few basic guidelines and we are likely to emerge from the process with a fully operable home entertainment center that will make movie watching at home a real joy