In-Wall Wiring

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Don:::A, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Don:::A

    Don:::A Auditioning

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    I am in the process of constructing my home theatre. I have a 42" plasma TV that will hang over the fireplace, and a built-in cabinet unit next to the fireplace that will house the receiver, DVD player, etc. I want to run all of the wires in the waal between the TV and the components.

    I plan to connect the TV with component cables...can I run an off-the-shelf cable thru the wall? Are there special termination plates that I should use? Do I have to run in conduit? Can I bundle audio/video cables together in the same run?

    Any comments appreciated....Don
     
  2. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Don, the problem you have is with running wires horizontally in the wall. You will probably have studs in the way, if you have a wood framed home, or furring strips if you have a cbs home.
    To get around /through the studs/furring strips, you have to open the wall up where they are. If you can't drill holes through them, notch them and then put a metal plate over them before you patch the wall, so that if someone drives a nail in the wall, it won't be able to penetrate the cables. If you are averse to making holes, AND if you have attic space above, you will have to fish the wires up the wall from your tv, through a hole that you drill in the header,through the attic, and back down the wall to your other components.Since you have a fireplace, fishing down to a basement isn't an option.
    Running a/v cables together isn't a problem, just don't run any power with them. I wouldn't worry about terminations at the wall, seems like you won't be able to see them anyway. I only use wall terminations for a/v cables when they will be seen and neatness counts. You will also avoid any problems with the terminations themselves. Just go direct component to component.
     
  3. Don:::A

    Don:::A Auditioning

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    Gary, thanks for the info. I should have mentioned that I am stripping all sheetrock off of the walls and ceiling as part of the re-model, so running wires will be pretty easy. I plan to terminate the speaker wires by each speaker with a standard wall plate with speaker jack. This way if I ever need to move/remove the speakers I can cover the junction box with a blank plate.

    I was mostly unsure about running component connections in the wall, but sounds like I'll be OK if I stay away from power lines. How close is too close to the power? Ideally, I'll have two "outlet" boxes behind the plasma set, one for 120v, the other for a/v connections. Can they be next to each other?
     
  4. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Don, if you can arrange the boxes so that the video cables don't cross the power, you should be okay. If you have to cross the cables, it is generally accepted that if you cross at right angles, you'll be okay. Two seperate boxes next to each other shouldn't be a problem, either.
    Speaker jack wall plates are a nice touch, but I would just use a plate with a hole in it for your component cables.
     
  5. Torgny Nilsson

    Torgny Nilsson Second Unit

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    I just did this. I ran 14 gauge wire through the studs below the power wires and hooked them up to some double banana jacks I found at Smarthome.com. If you have to cross power wires, do so as the prior poster said, at a right angle.

    Though I only have 1 subwoofer and 5 speakers, I wanted to future proof the room as much as possible. So I used the double output jacks (that let me connect 2 speakers to each jack) and wired jacks for 2 side speakers as well. I also wired the ceiling with a power outlet and a FP and ran conduit from that point to the far wall where my components will be (so I can run cable for a FP). I doubt I will get a FP soon, but it gives me the option and the drywall was down so it seemed silly not to do it.

    If I had to do it all over again, I would probably have added a jack for a rear center speaker, which I forgot to do. But I could use one of the extra rear side jacks for that in a pinch.
     

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