Home Theater Products: A Word on Price vs. Quality


Home Theater Plasma TV in Family Room or DenIf you ask a home theater installer the differences between their products versus a name-brand TV or stereo system that you can pick up off a shelf at Best Buy, most are going to claim a huge difference in quality.

I tend to be a bit more open with my reply: As a rule of thumb, there are very subtle quality differences between, say, a Samsung or Sony or other name brand that you can purchase at Best Buy versus the higher-end systems that we sell. Unless you’ve purchased a low-end, no-name brand piece of equipment, most people aren’t going to notice these differences.

But for the true audio junkie or videophile or a customer who wants the best quality entertainment available these subtleties are worth paying a little extra for.

Plus, there’s the installation side of this equation: Getting the components to work together and correctly, to ensure that all the cables and wires are best-in-class, and perhaps just as importantly making sure those ugly but important cables and wires are hidden from view.

The difference in going with a CEDIA-certified home theater installer comes down to sound and video clarity, greater dynamic range of sound, brighter colors, and customer service.

Higher-end home theater systems (for instance, Integra, which is to Onkyo what Cadillac is to General Motors) are more dependable and come with longer warranties. At Sound and Image, we’ve only had to use warranties a few times here and there. When we do activate a warranty, you wouldn’t believe how fast manufacturers react. We’re talking two-day air shipping directly to the customer. It’s an amazing degree of customer service.

And that�s the other part of what you pay for: Service.  The cost of any product you buy from us (generally only around 5 to 10 percent more than the store) includes our phone number for whenever you have issues (hopefully you won’t if we do our jobs right) or need questions answered.

Here’s a great piece from that we always give to customers when they ask about the benefits of hiring a pro. At Sound and Image Design, we strive to be as open and transparent as possible with you about service, cost or product quality. Drop me an email at [email protected] if you have questions. I love talking about this stuff!

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