How To Get The Most From Your Home Theater Installation Professional

by | May 7, 2014

Next Step Installer

When I get a call from a potential customer for Next Step Audio Enhancement, the first thing I do is ask for an appointment to consult with the customer in their home. Some may wonder why I want to come out to their home when the request may seem like a simple one. This initial consultation does a number of things for the customer. It lets me see what components are currently in the home and helps me determine what issues need to be resolved. Sometimes the issue described by the customer isn’t the root cause of the problem they are experiencing. My visit helps to determine what needs to be done to fix the problem. Often, the issue can be resolved by reconfiguring the existing components or by the customer picking up a simple component and installing it themselves. If this is the case, the consultation fee covers my time and everyone walks away happy. Initial consultations rarely take more than an hour.

Next Step applies the initial consultation fee towards the installation of the component(s).

If the resolution of the customer’s issue is more complex and requires an additional visit to install components for them, Next Step applies the initial consultation fee towards the installation of the component(s). This helps keep costs down for the customer. Once again everyone is happy.

One couple that I recently helped had two seemingly simple problems. They had several components that they wanted to connect to their TV and surround speakers that weren’t operating properly. The work-around the customer used to deal with multiple components was to unplug one device's HDMI cable from the back of their Panasonic flat screen TV and plug in the HDMI cable from another device. After assessing the situation and asking some questions, I recommended the addition of a current model receiver and a universal remote control. The receiver would solve both the connectivity issue and their surround sound issues while the remote would help solve the “spousal annoyance” issue.

The couple picked up a Yamaha RX-V377 sound receiver and a Logitech Harmony 650 remote on their own. They then called me to come and make everything work for them. On my Installation visit, I made room for the receiver in their cabinet, connected the TV, cable box, DVD player and computer to the AV receiver and made sure everything worked properly. While I was at it I tidied up all of their AV cables by zip tying everything in neat bundles that I tucked away behind their cabinet (The rat’s nest of cables was one of the customer’s complaints). Next I calibrated the receiver so they would get the best sound from their speakers. Finally, I programmed the Harmony remote to work with all of their components, and taught them how to use everything. The show and tell part of the visit is extremely important to me. If the customer doesn’t know how to use their new toys, what’s the use of having them?

Items Discussed


Logitech Harmony 650 Remote

$79.99 msrp

$73.99 online


Yamaha RX-V377 Receiver

$299.95 msrp

$249.95 online


Next Step Audio Enhancement Consultation & Installation


Call us at (510) 473-2887

The result of the installation was dramatic. All of their AV devices now switch through the Yamaha AV receiver with a push of a button on their Harmony remote control. All of the surround sound speakers now work properly and deliver balanced sound. Finally, their system is much easier to use thanks to the Harmony remote. The couple can enjoy their entertainment system again instead of being frustrated by it. The installation visit lasted for just about 2 hours.

Next Step Audio Enhancement’s motto is “Quality home theater at a reasonable price”. By advising our customers on how to solve their home entertainment issues without spending excessively and allowing our customers to shop for components themselves, we keep costs down and stay true to our motto. I believe that by doing so, we make our customers happy and everyone wins. This is one business model that should last a very long time!

Images by Steve Cooper


About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
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