The most important phase of your home theater purchase is getting connected with the right dealer.
The notion of setting up a home theater can be fun and intriguing. However, because of the uniqueness of the experience, it can also be complex. A home theater is not an off-the-shelf purchase and it is one that can require a significant investment of both time and money. A big part of your home theater investment is doing your homework and educating yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources that you can access to learn about home theater systems and components. Among these resources are electronics publications, Web sites, and blog posts. You will likely want to learn about the functionality of the equipment, for example will a LED television or a projector best serve your needs? If a projector what type DLP, LCD, LED or Laser? What image quality 1080 or 4K? What type of screen? And this is just the visual component of your system, you’ll also need to consider: speakers, processors, amplifiers, receivers, cables, media sources such as blu-ray players and perhaps even power conditioners. That said, the most important phase of your home theater purchase is getting connected with the right dealer.
As with all major purchases, clear communication between the dealer and customer is paramount. Right away, you will want to see how the dealers treat you as a customer. During your initial conversations, you should be asking yourself if the dealer is really listening to you and genuinely understanding your needs and goals. This is a good gauge to determine if this is someone with whom you want to do business. Both you and your dealer need to be clear on the scope of the project and each others expectations of the outcome. This is where educating yourself can eliminate any confusion or misunderstandings. Researching before you buy helps you establish a level of comfort in making your purchase with a particular dealer.
The most significant aspect of a good dealer is trust. Establishing a good rapport early on will help solidify that trust. For example, you might feel overwhelmed by all of the components and configurations so you initially agree to let the dealer make the decisions on the best system for your home. However, since you are new to the process, a good dealer will be communicative and encourage you to come on board and learn about each phase of the project and make sure you know what you are getting for your investment.
Evaluate the dealer’s level of competence. This is best done by looking at previous projects. For example, you can request that the dealer show you some sites that feature their equipment and work. Many dealers have an agreement with past customers to let prospective customers see their systems before making a decision. Other dealers use their own homes as a show room. The dealer should also encourage you to check their references, review their dealer credentials, and speak with other customers. Because home theater installations require precise configurations, the dealers’ installation technicians must be trained and certified.
Building a relationship with the right dealer is critical to having a rewarding home theater experience. Your association will exist long after you purchase and install your system because your dealer will be the first person you contact when you want to make adjustments or modifications to your system. The technicians can even make many of these adjustments remotely from the dealership. Also, your dealer will be your best resource for information on new features or upgrades.
When purchasing a home theater system, the best use of your research time will be spent on finding a dealer that you are comfortable with and that involves you in every step of the project. During the initial contact with the different dealers you approach is where you can determine if you feel good about doing business with them.