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Pre-wire for projector?


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45 replies to this topic

#1 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 01 2012 - 01:00 PM

Need a sanity check on pre-wiring for a projector. I'm building a home with a finished basement. For $600 I can pre-wire HDMI from the front wall to the ceiling 14' back, with an AC outlet in the ceiling. Ceiling is 9'. This is forward looking planning, as I don't plan to get a projector and set up the movie room for a year or two. My thought is it's better to pre-wire while I can than to deal with a finished space later. What are your thoughts? I've never done a projector; it's been on the wish list for years. Or is there too much variability in projectors to wire without a having chosen the projector and screen and electronics layout?

#2 of 46 Jason Charlton

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Posted June 01 2012 - 02:37 PM

We'll see if anyone else concurs, but with a ceiling height of 9', I think that gives you a lot more options when it comes to selecting a projector.  You'll be able to deal with offset without having to resort to any keystoning, and a 14' throw distance seems to be pretty much in the sweet zone ballpark for many projectors these days (most have zooms of 1.5x to 2x, which yields a very generous throw range).


I think it would be a different story if you had only 7' or 7'6" to work with - that would be a bigger risk.  But with a 9' ceiling, I would lean towards getting it prewired.


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#3 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 01 2012 - 03:48 PM

Thats a great tip. I'll double check the ceiling height to make sure.

#4 of 46 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 01 2012 - 04:03 PM

You will be pretty safe with an outlet at 14', but it also depends on what size screen you may want. Not 100% safe, but good. I would also put in a piece of PVC conduit(maybe 2") from A/V rack to projector.

#5 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 02 2012 - 02:05 AM

You mean put in a full length conduit in case i need to run new video cable in the future?

#6 of 46 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 02 2012 - 06:46 AM

You mean put in a full length conduit in case i need to run new video cable in the future?

Yes. You never know when a cable may go bad either. I would go with a 1.5" or 2" inside diameter. Another thing I would recommend is to run an ethernet cable to where your A/V rack will be(Netflix streaming, etc).

#7 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 03 2012 - 09:38 AM

I checked: 9' ceiling. I need to check on PVC routing in case there's an extra premium. The location is an interesting issue... Im assuming I'd have the gear and center speak under the screen, but I don't know for sure. Maybe I should try and plan for gear to be off to the side. Maybe even a 5.1 speaker pre-wire

#8 of 46 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 03 2012 - 11:22 AM

It doesn't have to be PVC. Maybe there's something better to use these days. I recommend you DO NOT put the gear under the screen. All the lights on the components are very distracting. The best spot is in the rear of the room. The second best spot is one of the side walls, near the rear of room.

#9 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 03 2012 - 02:18 PM

It's tough to pre-plan a system I've not planned for :)


Here's the Basement. Screen goes at the "top". Left alcove is tentatively planned for the wet-bar. Projector output would be centered in the narrow portion, 14' back from the screen wall. I'll put in rear speaker pre-wiring towards the rear of the room.


So maybe I put the video input in the top-right corner (back wall). I might also need to pre-wire for 5.1, and not just rears, in the configuration. (The under-stairs storage might be the best pre-wiring plan for electronics. But that might be a negotiation with my wife.)


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#10 of 46 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 03 2012 - 03:24 PM

It's impossible to pre-wire for the surround speakers if you don't know where the seating will be. But since you know where the screen will be, you can pre-wire for the 3 front speakers and subwoofer. If the ceiling is going to be a drop ceiling, that would make wiring much easier down the road.

#11 of 46 Brian Dobbs

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Posted June 04 2012 - 07:58 AM

I would run at least 2 HDMI cables, plus conduit in case they invent something newer for 4K. Also 110V.

#12 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 04 2012 - 03:32 PM

Why 2 HDMI? I'd never have more than a single projector.

#13 of 46 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 04 2012 - 07:28 PM

Why 2 HDMI? I'd never have more than a single projector.

That sounds strange to me also.

#14 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 09 2012 - 04:56 AM

Here's where I'm leaning. Sub on the front right.

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#15 of 46 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 09 2012 - 07:12 AM

Where will your A/V rack be?

#16 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 09 2012 - 08:01 AM

The blue "AVR" box on the upper left, below. Basically, in some sort of entertainment center in the left alcove.

(I learned the egress window was on the opposite side, so I flipped my sketch)


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#17 of 46 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 09 2012 - 10:17 AM

Is that your only choice for the A/V rack?

#18 of 46 Jason Charlton

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Posted June 09 2012 - 11:24 AM

I have my setup in the basement, and one thing I did was utilize the space under the stairs for the equipment.


My setup is slightly different - imagine the door to your storage area on the other wall - facing towards the top of your picture.  I cut out a large section of wall on the side (the area in your picture where the door is currently positioned) - an area I sized just large enough for the equipment rack that I already had.  I positioned the rack flush with the wall, and have easy access to the cabling via the door to the storage area.  Ventilation is not a problem, and the lights are not distracting, but I can still turn my head to see the volume level, etc. when I need to.


One other word of caution - if wall-mounting a surround speaker on the wall with the stairs - fishing speaker wire may be a bit more tricky due to the extra framing for the stairs (depending on how things are built - you may not have an open channel all the way down between the studs).  If you're not prewiring the surrounds, be sure to check out the framing before drywall goes up, and maybe take a picture or two so you know what you're dealing with later.


Otherwise, the setup looks great!


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#19 of 46 DaveF

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Posted June 09 2012 - 01:36 PM

This is all pre-wiring so the AV rack could somewhere else. The difficulty is the basement is being finished with the home build, but I may not be able to buy the electronics for the movie room for a year or two. So I want to pre-wire smartly and flexibly, but I can't be extravagant in my spending :) I like the idea of integrating the electronics into a wall mount with the connectors hidden on an unfinished side. But I'm not sure how to pre-plan for that. My rear speakers are on stands, so I don't plan for wall mounts.

#20 of 46 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 09 2012 - 03:51 PM

The front wall is the worst spot for the A/V rack. What about the spot labeled storage? Is that an open or enclosed space? Can the A/V rack go there?