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cabling and wiring (1 Viewer)

gsiegel

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Dec 30, 2006
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gary
I am in the midst of putting an addition on my house. As part of the project I would like to put basic wiring/cabling in the walls for a Family Room Type home theatre (Large screen plasma/LCD Viewing device, surround sound speakers and likely some audio speakers in other rooms). I have a cabinet planned for a rack and equipment. I have not yet selected any equipment, and may not for a bit since budget has become an issue but I want to get wires and cables in the walls since I have the chance.

My questions are:
1) What sort of video cabling should I put in the wall between where the plasma will go and the equipment cabinet? HDMI, multiples others etc. Should i put a 2nd one in as a backup? .... I am planning for some sort of A/V receiver to control/feed it all.

2) What is a good high quality speaker cable to use (again for in wall and speakers will likely go in the ceiling or in the wall)
3) What sort of IR cabling and receiver should I put in so i can control the devices in the cabinet by pointing at the TV.
4) Any other "preconstruction" suggestions from the pros?
5) Any good web sites on basic speaker placement guidelines?

Any help is seriously appreciated.

Thanks.
 

JKL1960

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Dec 11, 2006
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Jim
1) I think the answer to this question is to imagine that the cable you want run to your display hasn't been invented yet. Put in conduit or at least make it so that cabling to the display can be easily changed. Just a few years ago you might have wondered should you run component or S-video. Now it's HDMI. A couple of years from now, maybe it will still be HDMI, maybe not.

2) You need wire rated for in wall use CL2 or CL3. Depending on who you ask 14g should be good if the run is under 50 ft. Use 12g for longer. You can just run 12g and forget it.

3) Cat5 can work here too.

4) Plan, plan, plan. I went through a good half a dozen or more plans for my room. When planning think about potential problems. If you can't find a potential problem you aren't trying hard enough. Plan in upgradability if possible.

5) Don't forget about seating placement which is usually dictated by screen size.
 

gsiegel

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Dec 30, 2006
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gary
Very Helpful. Thank you for the quick and detailed responses. To Followup a question in one of the respones...its a family room but center piece will be TV over fireplace. Should I have dedicated circuit put in for the TV? what about the gear?

amperage, if dedicated circuits? is 15 enough or should I do 20 or more? What about filters and surge protection, can these be "wired into the circuit" rather than in a power strip?

Thanks for the advice.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Wayne
Gary,

You might want to re-think the fireplace thing. Generally, you want the display to be at or near eye-level (unless perhaps you like to watch from a recliner). It’s going to get annoying after a while craning your neck upwards to watch everything.

Also, fireplace placement can be problematic for speaker placement, since there is often not an ideal location to the sides of it for the L/R speakers.

Not to mention, the center speaker: Is it going to hang from the wall above the TV, sit on top of the mantel, or what?

These are all things you need to consider with any home theater arrangement, not just a fireplace placement.

As far as electrical, typically a single 15 or 20 amp circuit is fine, unless you have a stack of power amps or a maybe a mundo subwoofer. The TV doesn’t have to be on a different circuit, as they typically don’t draw much current.

Everyone has their own take on filtering and surge protection. Mine is that if you’re already using them because the power grid in your area is problematic, then continue to do so. Otherwise, don’t bother.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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