TV installation is an entirely different animal than it was even a few years ago. Installation used to entail purchasing your television, plugging it in, and adjusting the antenna until you got a good picture. Nowadays you've got to think about whether you want cable or satellite television, whether HDTV and digital cable is worth it, how to hook your new television up to your home theater system, and in the case of big screen projection and flat screen televisions, whether your home can accommodate them at all. If you're feeling overwhelmed, here's a quick overview of the most important things to keep in mind if you're in the market for a new TV.
Purchasing Your New Television
The first step in any TV installation is buying a new television in the first place. How big of a television you choose goes a long way in determining how complicated your subsequent installation is going to be. Smaller televisions, even flat screen and high def units, aren't too daunting to get up and running. Large screen front projection units and wall mounted plasma and LCD televisions are a different story, however. Installing these units is probably best left to a professional. With front projection units you'll need to install a separate screen to project your picture on to, and with wall mounted units you'll want to be absolutely sure that you mount them on the wall correctly. If you don't, you're bound to wake up to in the middle of the night to the sound of your new $3,000 flat screen pulling out of the drywall and crashing down to the floor. That's not what you want.
A Quick Note On HDTVs
Another decision you'll be faced with is whether to buy a high definition (HD) TV or not. The answer here is an unqualified yes. The federal government has required all broadcasters to shift their broadcasts over to digital broadband by February 17th, 2009. If you don't have an HDTV by that date, you'll have to purchase a special converter to make your old analog television compatible. If you're one of those rare birds who doesn't subscribe to cable or satellite television, you'll also want to have an antenna capable of receiving HD broadcasts installed at the time of your new television purchase.
Where Does This Wire Go?
Besides whether to have your new television physically installed by a professional, you'll also want to consider how deft you are at hooking it up to the rest of your equipment. A complicated home theater system can make even the simple chore of hooking up your new television to the rest of your equipment a daunting task, especially for the technologically challenged. If you plan to do it yourself, make sure you get all your manuals out ahead of time, and label all the wiring as you go so you can troubleshoot if you experience problems. Of course, you might want to take the easy route here, too. There are contractors who specialize in home theater installation, and often the retailer where you purchase your new television will offer TV installation services for free or at a small cost, saving you the trouble.
Need a little help with that TV? Use this link to hire local forTV Installation
Cable or Satellite
The final step is to decide what kind of service you want. If you're old school and still pick up your television reception the old fashioned way, refer back to the section on HD televisions to learn about coming changes in FCC regulations regarding digital broadcasts. Otherwise you're going to have to choose between cable and satellite service. Personal preference and local prices are the best guides here, as both services deliver excellent pictures and a myriad of packages to choose from. As for wiring, again this is a project that you'll probably want to leave to an expert. And since installation usually comes with the service, you might as well have your cable or satellite provider do it for you.
A Final Note
As mentioned before, there are contractors who specialize in audio/visual and home theater installation. Whether you have them perform the actual installation or not, it doesn't hurt to sit down and talk with them about your coming installation and the options available to you. Once you get all the basics figured out, you'll be able to proceed with your new TV installation post haste, and enjoy your new television for years to come.