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Walmart Begins HD Home Installations

Despite attractive price points for HD and Blu-ray wares in recent years, some big-box stores like Walmart have typically not provided the one service that a lot of would-be HD home theater consumers often find crucial to any big-ticket purchase: a convenient and relatively inexpensive way to set it all up back home.

Now Walmart said it has begun offering home installation services for HD sets, and home theaters for its customers in a new partnership with NEW — a national network of in-home of more than 10,000 certified installers.

The initiative comes as Walmart begins to contemplate entering the crucial holiday sales season at the same time the world’s biggest retailer is busy revamping many of its CE departments to compete more directly with major CE competitors like Best Buy (America’s top CE retailer). Walmart also has begun stocking up on more brand-name HD and Blu-ray products, as well.

Walmart’s basic home-install services start at $99 and jump to about $340 for "premium services" which would include wall-mounting HD panels, concealing wiring, and providing two additional A/V component hook-ups.

The store chain’s home installation services will be sold using prepaid cards displayed throughout each outlet’s CE department. Walmart’s deal with NEW will not include home delivery in the set-up price, although such a service will be included in a similar home-install program (also in tandem with NEW) about to get underway at a major Walmart subsidiary —Sam’s Club big-box stores.