Home Theater Installation education

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jean D, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Not sure if this is in the right forum, but I am seriously thinking about getting certified or whatever it takes to get into the home theater installation field. Cause I really enjoy doing it. I do the best I can with my current knowledge to help my friends and family out for free, but I kind of want a career change. I figure I might as well make money at doing something I love. And besides that, its just wrong for electricians to run home theater lines when they don't know what they are doing. So my question is this:

    Does anyone know where I could get some form of authentic education or point me in the right direction for this type of field?
     
  2. Paul-D

    Paul-D Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here are some places you will definitely want to check out:

    CEDIA

    ICIA

    According to things I've read and seen these are 2 certifications that are a must.

    Good luck to you
     
  3. MikeWelsh

    MikeWelsh Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Perhaps you could take a class at a local community college in electrical technology or become an apprentice electrician. This might give you some basic electrical/electronic theory as well as teaching you how to efficiently and SAFELY install wiring and low voltage systems. It might also give you some perspective as to what actually happens on a real job site. I understand the point you are trying to make. I feel you should not make a generalization like that without a basic understanding of what an electrician does or how a project involving a home theater is built. I would not hire an electrician to design my home theater. I would hire an electrician to install the wiring and take care of wire management. Sorry for the rant, as a master electrician I take my trade, knowledge, and experience in the field very serious.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Mike, I think what he meant was the situation when a house is built, that it is usually the electrician that ends up running the home theater wiring. I’ve seen plenty of posts on this Forum from people really jammed up because the electrician ran the wrong wire for the application, so I think Jean’s point is well taken. I too would prefer a home theater contractor to take care of that stuff rather than an electrician, especially if the system is complicated.

    It’s always nice to have a qualified electrician on board here at the Forum, but I’m sure you know better than any of us that most of your colleagues have at best only a rudimentary knowledge of the wiring requirements of a home theater system, especially the non-electrical wiring.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Jean, I wonder if you have really considered what you’re asking here. When you say you’ve helped your friends for free, does that mean you helped them hook up and tweak their system? If so you’ve barely scratched the surface.

    Basically, there are two aspects to home theater installations: Design and the actual installation.

    To put it simply, home theater installations is nasty work that entails crawling through hot, dirty attics and crawl spaces, pulling cables from one place to another. That’s the retro jobs. If you’re lucky enough to get in on a house that’s still being built you can avoid the blazing attics, but you’re working outdoors in whatever weather conditions prevail that day – hot, cold, wet, windy, etc. In other words, on those gigs you’re a glorified construction worker.

    Any way you cut it, installations is just “grunt” work. There’s nothing glamorous about it, and the pay isn’t all that good, unless perhaps you’re the foreman of a crew.

    It’s actually the system designers that get to do all the fun work. They come in after the “work” is done and tweak the system and train the owners on how to use it, while the grunts are off to the next job.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the responses guys, and the websites Paul, I'll definitely check em out.
    Mike I didn't mean to offend you, Wayne understood what I meant. Nothing against electricians, cause I wouldn't want a plumber doing my HT install either. [​IMG]

    Wayne, I think I actually mean System Designer. But I wouldn't mind doing the occasional install. I enjoy the satisfaction I get when it all comes together. Either way, Id like to move beyond the "self taught" aspect of my basic knowledge, and learn more in-depth.
     
  7. DustinT

    DustinT Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's funny because i have an opposite experience resume then 99% of everyone i meet. I am in the cable industry, and have been selling cable assemblies for about 5 years, so while I get to know cable assemblies very well, and find decent prices along with the capability of building some custom cables, I usually am far behind in the hardware knowledge! I hear people say DVI, Toslink, fiber optic, Serial/Parallel, etc. and to many these are new words on their lips, but for me it pays the house payment! lol [​IMG]
     
  8. MikeWelsh

    MikeWelsh Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jean,

    I looked at my response and I think I was a bit harsh. I do not want to discourage you from a career in this field. As an electrical contractor I am responsible for all electrical systems installed (every thing is under my permit). This includes phone, data, fire alarm, and every other inch of wire installed on the project. I think that people who blame electricians for poor home theater installations may have been trying to cut corners. This might be a good start for a basic specification thread for home theater wiring. I am going to start a new thread ,please add to it.
     
  9. gabeG

    gabeG Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jean, for clarificaton, CEDIA offers training for residential installers, ICIA offers some great training for commercial techs. Mobile Dynamics (not sure of the URL) is where I expect potential new techs to have gotten their basic education, followed by either CEDIA for someone wanting into our residential division or ICIA for the commercial side. If you have both, so much the better.

    Go for it. There is lots of room for new, trained people in the industry. Just get the training!

    Gabe
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You need to know acoustics, you need to know how to draw up good design plans, and you also need to know automation, i.e. computer programming etc.
     

Share This Page