If you're ready to take the plunge and purchase a state-of-the-art home theater system, you have more to consider than just the equipment you intend to purchase. Even if all of your components are top-of-the-line, you won't get the most bang for your buck without professional design and installation.

To make sure you get the home theater of your dreams, it's important to consult an electrician early on in the process. A quick electrical inspection of your desired theater space will help you understand what kinds of electrical upgrades you might need to set up a media center that is functional, safe and that provides the highest quality viewing experience.

Handle the Load

A big-screen TV by itself won't strain the electrical system in a modern home. But factor in a disc player, set top box, stereo receiver and multiple speakers, and you might be talking about a serious electrical load. A licensed electrician can easily test your system to ensure it's ready to power your dream theater. If upgrades are necessary, you can take confidence that new wiring or circuits will be installed by a qualified professional.

Hide the Cords

Wireless speakers and other multimedia components might seem like an attractive option because you want a streamlined look, but you'll often sacrifice a great deal of quality by cutting the cord. Instead, let an electrician make a plan for hiding all of your home theater's power cords away so that the room looks great and there's no risk of tripping in a darkened room. Without tearing up your decor, a professional installer can run cables within your walls and install new outlets to avoid that snarl of wires.

Protect Your Investment

You probably already use a surge protector to safeguard your home computer against the threat of power surges. But your home theater equipment is just as vulnerable, and a single lightning strike can turn thousands of dollars in equipment into trash. While you can protect your home entertainment technology using surge protection adapters, the best solution is to install a whole-home surge protection system. There's no need for clunky power strips, and your entire home's electronics and appliances will be safeguarded.

Unless you have extensive electrical experience, don't go it alone when setting up your home theater. Make sure your design is smart, safe and spectacular by enlisting the talents of a licensed local electrician.

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