When it came to custom installation of home AV gear, automation systems, and security equipment, there used to be two ways of accomplishing it: you could hire a pro, or you could do it yourself. Hiring a professional not only had the benefit of not having to do the work yourself, it often came with access to components and systems that wasn’t available to purchase at retail—along with the expertise to install and program it all. Of course, the drawback for most folks was the cost. Doing it yourself had the advantage of a much lower total cost (unless you screwed something up) but required a lot of research time and personal labor to get the project completed. In many cases, the systems, components, and various necessary parts and pieces that were available over-the-counter or over-the-internet weren’t as sophisticated or as reliable as what the pros were able to provide.