Ashburn, VA 20149
Home Theater specialist on Thumbtack cost
$2000 - $33000
Price based on average
35 Home Theater specialist found near you!
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The concept of "home theater" is more than simply mounting a flat-screen TV on a wall. Home theaters integrate all kinds of entertainment components into a theater-worthy experience. Professional installation specialists handle every aspect of the job, from advising on the best equipment and newest technology to electrical installation and setup. From TVs and DVD or Blu-ray players to gaming systems and projector screens—home theater specialists are on the job. Audio components can include a surround-sound system, receiver, in-wall speakers, standard speakers, subwoofer, soundbars and more.

The pros can also conceal wires and equipment for a polished look. Whether the walls in a space are brick, concrete, stone, plaster, wood or drywall, there’s a streamlined way to install s home theater. Many home theater pros can also help with remotes or wireless control systems, custom lighting, blackout curtains or shades, and theater-worthy seating or furniture. Several factors contribute to the cost of installing a home theater.

Price ranges

The cost of home theater is directly related to the number and type of components incorporated as well as the level of luxury intended. "I have installed home theaters that ranged in price from $2,500 up to $75,000," says John Young with Smart Home Systems in Lakewood, Colorado. Less than 5 percent of the projects are at the higher end of the scale, he says. Most clients of Smart Home Systems install home theaters that range from $5,000 to $20,000, which allows for an equally balanced audio and video system. “The upper portion of that price range even allows for very good quality Dolby Atmos surround and anamorphic projection video, which, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of what the home theater experience should be,” Young says. Dolby Atmos is a surround-sound system that uses advanced audio triangulation technology to trick the ear into believing a sound is actually moving around a room.

Home theaters

Because every job is unique, costs vary greatly and depend on whether or not a homeowner already has the equipment, the extent of installation and remodel work required, and how elaborate the technology is. The labor costs for installation also vary, depending on the work required. The examples below show specific job details in specific geographic regions.

60-inch TV and small home system: $2,080 from Jim Stastny of Starview Enterprises in Omaha, Nebraska

  • Equipment cost: $1,680

    • Five box speakers and subwoofer: $500

    • Three HDMI wires: $30

    • Surround amp: $250

    • 60-inch TV and bracket: $900
  • Labor cost: $400

    • Including setup, wiring and TV mounting

Dolby Surround 7.1 Theater: $6,500 from Smart Home Systems

  • Equipment cost $5,000

    • 80-inch UHDTV

    • Seven surround speakers

    • One subwoofer

    • This was a more basic theater design and did not include Dolby Atmos Surround Sound.

    • An easy-to-use universal remote controls the electronics, which are located in an electronics closet next to the theater.
  • Labor cost $1,500

    • Including system design, installation, programming and customer education

Projector and screen system + audio wiring throughout home: $12,900 from Starview Enterprises

  • Equipment cost: $9,900

    • Approximate wire costs: $2,700

    • Projector and bracket: $1,500

    • 110-inch screen: $600

    • Surround amp: $500

    • 5-inch ceiling speakers and sub: $1,400

    • Remote control system: $400

    • Eight zones of speakers and volume controls: $2,800 ($350 per)
  • Labor cost: $3,000

    • Including prewiring for 5-inch ceiling speakers, one subwoofer, one 20- to 50-inch HDMI, Cat. 6 control wire to projector, 1.5-inch tube for future wire changes, wiring for two to eight additional audio zones (throughout the home)

    • All equipment (audio boxes, amps, cable box, etc.) is concealed.

    • The audio zones are controllable by iOS devices from anywhere in the home.

Dolby Atmos 7.4.2 theater: $33,500 from Smart Home Systems

  • Equipment Cost $30,000

    • Dolby Atmos surround sound

    • 2.40:1 projector and screen combination

    • Motorized anamorphic lens kit for the projector that can be engaged with the push of a button on the remote

    • 130-inch Screen Innovations Black Diamond screen, which is actually black as opposed to the traditional white —when paired with a high-performance projector, the black levels rival that of the best UHDTVs and the white levels are equally impressive.
  • Labor Cost $3,500

    • Including system design, installation, programming and customer education

Home theater components

Home theaters by definition can be as simple as a Home Theater in Box or as complex as the imagination allows, says Young with Smart Home Systems. "From bean bags to custom motorized Italian leather theater chairs, I’ve done it all," he says. The key factors that ultimately determine the cost of a theater directly correspond to how much technology and finishes go into the theater. Here are some key areas most properly designed home theaters have, according to Young from Smart Home Systems:

  • Audio. Receivers, amplifiers and speakers are the primary components that make up the audio portion of a home theater. Properly planning the types, quantities and locations for the speakers is the key to great sound.
  • Video. Although HDTVs are now available in much larger sizes, a projector will provide a much more cinema-like experience. Not only does a projector provide an image considerably larger than even the largest TV, it provides a viewing experience that is much less tiring on the eyes—which comes in handy if you decide to watch the entire Lord of the Rings series. An additional benefit to a projector is that it can be fitted with an anamorphic lens kit, which, when used with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio screen, eliminates those annoying black bars at the top and bottom of widescreen movies.
  • Seating. Theater seating is one of the key components that make a theater feel like a theater. Sure, a couch will work, but if you are building a theater, theater seating is ideal.
  • Acoustic treatments. Acoustic treatments are the most overlooked aspect of a home theater. If the speaker budget is $5,000, Young recommends allocating 20 percent to 25 percent of that budget for acoustic treatments. This equation makes for better sound quality rather than spending the entire speaker budget on higher-quality speakers.
  • Lighting Control. Adding lighting control can enhance the entire viewing experience by allowing homeowners to recall preprogrammed lighting scenes that compliment the before, during and post-viewing experience.
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