Conduit & general cabling question; also insulation

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Daniel Simon, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Daniel Simon

    Daniel Simon Extra

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    The framing is going up in our HT room in the basement. I plan on using a projector, so I need to figure out what cables to run to it. Now, I'm also planning on getting a receiver that upconverts to HDMI, so theoretically I shouldn't need anything other than one HDMI cable. I can also run a component, s-video, and composite, but is it really necessary? I figured a conduit would be better. If I do that instead, what do you guys use for pulling future cable? Maybe a long plastic cord? What diameter would you recommend for the conduit? (and I assume just regular pvc pipe is fine?)

    On sound absorbtion, is regular insulation recommended for the walls/ceiling, or is there something else that's better & cheaper? I
    m already using regular insulation for the perimeter walls in the basement, but would consider something cheaper for the interior wall of the HT room & ceiling. If not, should I just get the cheapest stuff, or would you get something towards the middle-end? And regarding the ceiling, we're doing drywall - is there a recommended mudding design for sound? We've got the circular 'dab' job throughout the rest of our house and figured I'd do that as well in the basement.

    Lastly, who's good for HDMI and other video cables? I've seen BlueJeans cable recommended a fair amount. Are they the preferred ones still? (I'd probably need like a 30' - 35' hdmi cable)
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    BlueJeans makes good cables.

    I would personally run at least HDMI and component just to have some options. I would run the largest diameter pvc pipe you can in your space since you're doing a daywall ceiling instead of a drop. Remember that the larger diameter will make it easier to fit cables with connectors (e.g. HDMI) instead of having to terminate the cables yourself after running them.

    Also, try not to put a 90 degree turn in the conduit as this can prove very difficult to pull cable through later.

    Some people use heavy fishing line and run several sets through the conduit and just tape the ends to the end of the conduit (preferably with some sort of colored identifier). I'm sure there are other things that would work as well or better though.
     
  3. Brian Osborne

    Brian Osborne Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd check on the upconverting to HDMI. I know a lot of the amps upconvert to Component, but not HDMI, most are just HDMI switching.
    I'm kinda in the same boat, waiting on a call back from the city inspector on if I need any special rating on the HDMI cable that will be run in the ceiling. I'm running home made component, composite video, and hdmi.
    Also, I'd run more cables to the projector as suggested by Seth. Not only to have options, but also, if your projector had PiP or PoP, you will need them. check your projector thought, as mine will only accept one of each type of input for PiP... ie... one has to be composite or s-video and the other has to be HDMI, Component or (BNC5).
    If you are looking for a good run of Component, consider making your own from QS RG6 cables. A run that long it is a lot cheaper to make your own than to purchase good cables at that length.
    As for insulation, a good heavy insulation for the cieling is good. If noise was a concern in the upper floors, you might consider doing 2 layers of drywall on the cieling. Same would go for the side walls.
     
  4. Ray**W

    Ray**W Auditioning

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    Dan,

    I am faced with the same issue for the cables & conduit. Coupe of pieces of info that may help.


    Take a look at monoprice.com for cabling. They get high marks for customer service and quality. Exceptional pricing.

    I think I will use either vinyl gutter, drain pipe or those accordian extenders that you attach to the bottom of drain pipe (large diameter & flexible to got around turns).
     
  5. Gerald LaFrance

    Gerald LaFrance Supporting Actor

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    The Other option for Cables would be RAM. they are in the HTF Mall they have some really High Quality cables at a good price.

    http://www.ramelectronics.net/

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    As Seth mentioned, you can’t just run conduit willy-nilly. If it has more than one 90 in it, you won’t be able to pull in any new cabling in the future.

    Regular RG-6 or even RG-59 will work just as well, if not better. I believe I’ve heard somewhere that QS has a copper-clad steel center conductor rather than solid copper. The latter is generally preferable for line-level signal applications. It’s also possible to get RG-6 and –59 with a copper shield, which is preferable for the same reasons.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Chip_Slattery

    Chip_Slattery Stunt Coordinator

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    All good advice so far and I'll second the recommendation for monoprice.com...nothing but good experiences with them.

    One thing to keep in mind when running cables is what output(s) your receiver can use to display it's setup menus. My Marantz SR8500 will not display the menu via HDMI, only composite, s-video or component. If I only had run HDMI I'd have to haul in another monitor or string up a direct connection to the PJ whenever I needed to adjust any settings.

    If I were pulling cable today I'd run HDMI, component, composite(video only) and at least one run of CAT5. HDMI and component should cover you for the foreseeable future on video sources, and the composite will handle any "low tech" devices you may need to run directly to the PJ. (and composite cables are so cheap it's not worth not running) The CAT5 will simply future proof your setup should you ever need to run any type of control to the PJ area, and again it's so cheap it's a no brainer. If you opt for conduit (a good idea) run all of your initial cabling outside the conduit, that way you have the full diameter to use in the future. Throw a length of CAT5 in there to use as a pull for future runs.

    I ran a lot of extra cable when I built my HT. I always said I'd rather have $200 worth of unused cable in the walls than have to run even 20' once the room was finished. Cabling while the walls are open is cheap in the overall scheme of things. Running it later can be a nightmare. (whether you use conduit, which I did, or not)
     

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