Installations: The House That Jim Built - Part Two Page 5

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Second Thoughts

Coming Attractions
:: Hitachi 55-inch CRT rear-projection HDTV :: Martin-Logan Quest Z speakers :: DirecTV HD satellite receiver :: Sony DVD player
As the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom near completion, our family is truly enjoying the new home-entertainment systems. (Tyler's reaction to seeing The Wiggles on the 50-inch plasma was priceless.) There are a few things I could have done differently, though. For example, since one of the living-room walls is almost all windows, an LCD set might have been better than a plasma, since LCDs are easier to see in bright light. But when I started on the project, there were only a few LCDs larger than 37 inches and they were too expensive.

I also really underestimated the complexity of wiring the house and constructing the home networks. Without help from Hudson Valley Home Media, I might still be ripping up drywall to rid my TV of 60-cycle hum bars or be up to my ears in Cat-5e cables trying to get the network to work. Installation specialist Paul Delgado and his crew really knew what they were doing. While they put in a solid 5 days to help get my systems up and running (at an average price of $100 per hour; you can do the math), they ultimately saved me a lot of money by helping me avoid costly pitfalls while there was still time to fix them without major reconstruction. And they created a centralized demarcation area way more professional and comprehensive than anything I could have envisioned, let alone installed. While my ego took a bit of a hit when my lack of knowledge about parts of the project was exposed, better my ego than my wallet - especially with a still-unfunded home theater project looming on the horizon.

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