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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of ordering a 50PHD6UY but my last hurdle (hopefully) is to find a good local installer in the SF Bay Area.


I'm assuming that the local retail stores aren't going to be too interested in installing a Plasma TV that I didn't purchase from them. I've searched this forum, checked the CEDIA web site for referrals but they only come back with the Retail stores, I've searched the Internet, and checked the yellow pages all with no luck.


I'm hoping there are others in this forum that have already gone through this process and can point me in the right direction? Or perhaps there is an installer in my area that frequents this forum that would be interested?


In addition to installing the Plasma, I will also need surround speakers installed in the ceiling, and some cable run under the house for the front left and right channel speakers. I also need another speaker installed in a bathroom ceiling as part of a multi-room audio setup.


Thanks.
 

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i would love to know more information about this also.


from what i can tell on most sites and from the sales guy at my local CC, it seems installing plasma with in-wall cables = $500-$600 no matter what?


kind of odd, considering that i am quoted $70-$90 an hour for AV installers if i want to buy other types of TVs / Stero / in-wall speakers etc. etc.


installing plasma has it's own industry set price?
 

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Harmony audio and video does plasma installs(very good too).They're in SF.They may go to SJ.Call info for their number.Bm
 

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Here's three South Bay installers that you may want to contact:


1) Century Stereo ( http://www.centurystereo.com )

2) Paradise Audio & Video ( http://www.paradiseav.com )

3) Audio Arts ( http://www.askaudioarts.com )


Century and Paradise (both in San Jose) are listed on the CEDIA web site, so I'm not sure why your search didn't turn them up. They are retail stores too, but leagues ahead of the Best Buys and Circuit Citys of the world.


I've been talking to Century Stereo about doing an install. They seem like good people - knowledgeable, friendly and CEDIA certified (level I).


I don't know much about Paradise, but they have CEDIA level I and II installers, so they appear pretty serious about custom installation.


Audio Arts is a little hole in the wall in Saratoga. Not sure that they're CEDIA certified (didn't show up on the CEDIA site), but a friend had them do a custom install and they were pretty happy.


Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did see the CEDIA certified companies you have listed. However I do not believe they want to install something they didn't sell to me. Just for grins I tried one of them today and here was the result.


If you try and get a CEDIA certified retail store to do the install on a commercial Panasonic Plasma they are more than willing to do it, at least the one I contacted was. However, they tried every sales scare tactic known to disuade you from buying the Commercial Panny including the following abbreviated list:


1.) The picture quality is not the same on commercial vs. consumer.

2.) Buy on the internet? Are you crazy. Follow that up with pictures of smashed in Plasma display from one of their current customers that tried the internet experience and failed and then turned to them for a new Plasma.

3.) The $3,500 difference in price between a P50 and Panny 6UY is more than worth the price difference as the commercial model is not even close to the picture quality of the P50.


When he realized he wasn't going to sell me a P50, the earliest they could come out and take a look at my install for a quote would be in a 1.5 weeks. I'm sure if I was buying the P50 it could have been tomorrow.

However, I did say I'd buy a new receiver, center channel speaker, and ceiling speakers but didn't get too excited about that.
 

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It can indeed be hard to find a qualified installer without purchasing the equipment from them. I have serviced your area for well over 10 years, and have taken a much different stance since 9/11. I am no longer corporate, I will install equipment purchased elsewhere, however, I would like to do a calibration with a Plasma install.

I am familiar with the Panny's, as I was the consultant, designer, and installer of the Panasonic Digital Concepts center in Santa Clara.


I promote what I call a zero floorspace home theater, which kind of sounds like what you are putting together. I have a couple of pics of this on the home theater page of my website, if you want to take a look.


As far as the pricing differences noted above, some will give an overall bid, while others will quote an hourly rate. There are reasons for this. Most store installers are not licensed contractors, and as such, it is illegal to give a formal bid (CA), and must offer an hourly rate. While the contractor has the freedom to offer you a complete price for the job on a bid, they must attempt to cover his/her butt by not under bidding. An analogy:


I came in house for an A/V store, to setup their custom install department. The owner handed me a set of plans to bid, and when I was done, we compared our bids. They were actually pretty close to each other, and also ended up being right on track at the completion of the job. He asked how I came about my bid, and I said that I have done this so many times, I knew how long it would take. Then I asked him the same. He said he figured all the time that would be involved too, and then he doubled it, just to be safe, and maybe make some extra.


So it can go both ways. When you go hourly, you get what you pay for, you just don't know how much that is until the end. With a bid, it's much less pressure, you either accept it or you don't, and the rest is up to the installer to get it done in a timely fashion.
 

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fyi- harmony does not do installs unless you buy the plasma from them according to the person i just spoke with on the phone.
 

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Hi...my partner and I have just opened up the doors of our new company - Aveotech, offering computer & custom H/T services (based in San Francisco) =)


If you're still looking for an installer, we may be able to help you out.


Good luck!
 
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