Installing projector cables in walls - cost? DIY? Toronto?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by GrahamTAK, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Hi All!

    I plan to install a projector in my new place which is under construction. So this is my first of many posts!

    My plan is to run cable across the ceiling from the projector, down thru a drywall wall, along this wall, around a corner, through some more drywall, where it will eventually pop out and connect with:
    - dvd player
    - tv tuner / vcr
    - xbox
    - possibly my pc.

    i.e.

    ./----Projector
    /
    |
    | [​IMG] [​IMG]
    |
    |
    |-----DVD (Screen)


    I've been going thru a lot of these posts, and many have been helpful. ("Component Video Connectors" and "What Cables and support for a Front Projector?" especially.)

    But I have two groups of questions:

    1) CABLES:
    A - how much ($USD) should it 45' of component, vga, s-video cost?
    B - how much would a contractor bill me to install it?
    C - would these be sufficient for DVD, XBOX, CATV, and PC?

    2) CONNECTIONS:
    A - Cant I just send a component cable up to the projector and have all the other units feed into some other central unit?
    B - What would this be (an AV receiver, switcher, tuner?)
    C - Can you recommend a no-fuss cheap one that you don't need a degree in astrophysics to use?
    D - Do these do anything to the input signal along the way, like switch the resolution?

    3) CONTRACTORS:
    A - Finally, going out on a limb here, do you know of any professionals in TORONTO Ontario, Canada (Soviet Canuckistan to some) that installs this cable?


    Thanks!

    Graham
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    You are in the same position I was in over a year ago with my own home under construction.

    First thing to do is to work out arrangements with the home builder so you have an agreement (written if necessary) with what you are allowed to do. With me, I was able to do all of my own wiring, conduit installation etc but I WAS NOT allowed to do ANY electrical work, even though I am qualified to do so. The electrician's signature goes on all the wiring so he would be at fault if anything happens.

    Make sure you plan this on paper well beforehand and allow for futureproofing, ie, installing cabling you may not need now but may in the future. For instance, when I began my own HT installation/pre-wiring project, I did not have 6.1 capability. Now I do and I sure am glad I thought ahead.

    Um... no! And if it did, I would be afraid to ask the price [​IMG]

    Tell us more about the room. What size will it be, how far is the seating from the screen? We can help with screen size suggestions. What projector will you be using? You will need to know this to have a flawless plan.
     
  3. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Wow!
    You're amazing Neil!

    This being my second post, I have been informed I cant post links yet. Argh.

    I posted these files on www3,sympatico,ca/judigram/
    (commas inserted since I cant post links!)

    1 floorplan-small.png
    2 pic1-240h.jpg
    3 pic2-240h.jpg
    4 opt1.jpg
    5 opt2.jpg
    6 opt3.jpg

    These pictures show my floor plan, some recent pics of construction (no drywall yet), and three connection options (where blue is the ceiling conduit and red represents cable through the wall).

    Some details -
    1) FLOORPLAN

    the ceilings are 10'6" high
    the width of the room is 18'6"
    I figured the projector would be located 12-14' from the south wall. The I-beam at 12' from the wall would hide the conduit, and the projector could be moved back or forth to get the right position. I don't think I'm allowed to install it above the wood ceiling, hence the conduit.

    2) and 3) INTERIOR SHOTS

    pic1 - the building under construction and clean-up (it's a loft conversion)

    pic2 - the floorplan, as Judi see's it. (Note: the closest post in the pic is the little box in the lower left corner of the room in the floorplan, and I figured the conduit would run along the next beam...)

    4, 5, 6) CONDUIT OPTIONS

    opt1 - how I like it (but what do I know) - the conduit runs 9' along the beam (blue) then (vertically) down the wall 9'6" (leaving a foot to the floor) then down through the west wall 12', around the corner 4' and out to the DVD player.
    (note: the 25'4" shown in the picture is not the distance to the projector, it's the full length of the west wall to the kitchen)

    opt2 - if that's too much cable, I could stick all the stuff at the bottom of the post.

    opt3 - Or... I can run the conduit along the ceiling. I really dont want to do this as it would stick out like a sore thumb and have to cross some track lighting.


    I'll follow-up with some questions to your answers (i.e. "do I really need a surge protector?" and other things that will make you gasp) and some other stuff right after this post...

    I just want to make sure those links I'm not supposed to be posting post!

    Thanks!
    Graham
     
  4. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Here's some more information.

    THEATRE LAYOUT:

    I figure the couches will place the viewers 10' from the south wall where the screen would be, and the projector around 12'-14' from the south wall. I have some time on actual projector selection. The location of the projector may be a few feet from where the cables are run - s'okay.

    The projector I was looking at was the BenQ PB6200, but am open to suggestions. The best I can afford seems to be an XGA DLP around 1700 lumens. (note those huge windows - I need to save some money for drapes... thankfully, I'll be watching at night 99% of the time.)

    I originally wanted a 110" (diag) 16:9 screen when I was looking at the distance required in the (pdf) manuals. However/, I am now thinking I should keep the same width and get a 4:3 screen so I can better use both formats.

    The screen would be a manual roll-down type. Maybe a Luma or something like that.


    BUILDING / CONTRACTS & FUTUREPROOFING:

    Building:
    I haven't figured out how the contract admin works - the condo builders will be installing the electrical, but I don't yet know how someone else would be able to put in the cables. If only they would return my calls...

    Elbows / Corners:
    A pain - yes. That's why I want the cables installed before the walls are competed. I figure it'll be easier that way.

    Future proofing:
    I saw some huge prices for DVI cables on the internet... I figure that's too much for me. I don't think I would have a use for it in the next 5 years, after which I'll probably move. Not very nice of me for the next people - but what are the chances they'll want a projector system and DVi? I'm doing this on a tight budget. That girl in pic2 wants a diamond ring more than a projector... [​IMG]

    Truetone:
    Thanks for the tip Neil! and Nice Holodeck!

    Cheers,

    Graham
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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  6. James Gumbart

    James Gumbart Stunt Coordinator

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  7. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Thanks James,

    I think that price puts DVi in perspective. The price I saw earlier was a bit rediculous.

    I'll be sure to have more photos and news as I proceed - right now I'm looking to get the cables installed and have to go through the developers.

    Now that I have the first letter stating the building's occupancy date (I dont know how it is elsewhere, but in Toronto a condo is never built when they first say!) all I have left to do is arrange the contractor for the cable and wait...
     
  8. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Hey Neil!

    I found the thread "Wiring, conduit, power, wall plate questions" - then realized it must be the post you made when you were in the same position as me - on paper, running theoretical cables...
     
  9. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    Graham, I'm a bit late, but I'll chime in as well with a few little tidbits.

    2) If you don't have a receiver yet, or will be upgrading to a new one, it seems to me that many new models do the component video switching that would allow you to run one wire. As far as I have seen, they take any video input (component, composite, S-vid, etc.) and convert it to a single switchable component output. This might be a good solution for you.

    3) I have had good experiences at Trutone as well, and I don't know if they do installs or not, but I also like Kromer Radio. It is probably worth giving them a call.

    And then follow the advice of everyone else and try to future-proof yourself as much as you can (within reason) by pre-wiring for 7.1, etc. If you think you'll be outta there in 5 years you can probably get by without DVI.

    Hope everything works out!
     
  10. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Thanks Owen,

    I have also been looking at receivers and it seems there are a few that output the component cables AND aren't too expensive for my budget.

    I'll check out Trutone and Kromer as well - I think by the time I move in, I'll be a pro.

    Graham
     
  11. Steve Lucas

    Steve Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    Some of the new Yamaha models (and a few other brands latest models) do the video converson from any input type to component. If I were building a HT now, I'd give them serious consideration since they also (the Yamaha's ata least) have the automatic room eq feature.
    As for cables, I had really good results using RG-6 coaxial cable for my long (25 ft) run from my equipment rack to my projector. I had a local electronics store put RCA ends on the cable so that I wouldn't need to use adaptors. Three 25' cables with ends soldered on and color coded shrink wrap cost me a total of $17.
     
  12. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    So far I've been looking at:
    Yamaha HTR-5640
    Panasonic SA-HE100
    (i.e. low end...)

    What's 7.1?
    I see Dolby 6.1... and can't find 7.1 in the glossary?
     
  13. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    Graham, I'm not sure what your budget is, but have a look at some Denon and Onkyo receivers, I have used and liked both of them. I'm also not sure which models do component switching, but its worth a look. If I remember right, Trutone carries Onkyo, and Kromer has Denon.

    As far as I know, the difference between 6.1 and 7.1 is just having a second discrete rear surround signal (so the rear channels are separated into L/R instead of a single signal which can either be played by one speaker or "matrixed" and played by both in a 7.1 system). It depends how the movie is encoded and how your receiver decodes it. I think. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong here.
     
  14. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    My budget is "low"... I originally was budgeting for a projector, screen, and some cables, and maybe a switch box of sorts but am now going for the whole av receiver, speakers, etc etc etc and the money has to come from somewhere.

    I'll cehck out onkyo and denon. I think denon might be too rich for my blood. The panny has appeal for me because it seems to have all the bells I need for the minimum price. Even if I could tell the difference between a statavarius and a violin, I wouldn't be willing to pay the difference, if you know what I mean.

    Thanks for the tips fellas! [​IMG]
     
  15. Steve_Wingman

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    Graham, did you get a contractor to do your wiring yet?
    Steve
     
  16. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Not yet - I have a few names though. I'm attempting to line something up with the builders. Whoever we get would come in with them* when the walls go up.

    The building is an old warehouse conversion - right now they're still gutting and renovating the structural walls, pouring the floors, and haven't approached actually building the suites.

    * sub-contracted through the developers, paid by the developers... the only way to get on the construction site during construction for liability reasons / cash grab.
     
  17. Steve_Wingman

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    Graham, If you need an alternative choice in contractors I have one for you, whom I used to install structured cabling in my dad's condo. A small job but well done.
    Cheers!
    Steve
     
  18. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Thanks Steve,

    Apparently the builders have their guy - I can go with him at their price or do it after the walls go up. I'm waiting on their quote now.
    In the end, it looks like the time/money saved in concurrent installation will be offset by a markup...
    If the price is wrong, I'll be looking Jan 2005.
     
  19. Glenn McKee

    Glenn McKee Auditioning

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    Hi Graham,

    What receiver did you go for?

    I see you were considering the Panasonic SAHE 100.

    It's an excellent receiver, sound quality, build, ease of use and features.

    I notice they're a big seller across the pond and at a good price too, mine cost me the equiv of about $600ca around 18mths ago and I thought, still do, that it was a good bargain for our prices here are high for electronics.

    I seem to be only person to own one here, and cos it's a Panny it's the biz!

    Ps. I love Toronto it's a cool place! (The Kit Kat, Montreal Jazz Bar - The people are 'dead on'[​IMG] )
     
  20. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

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    Thanks Glenn,

    Actually I haven't bought yet - the building is still under construction and I'm buying after occupancy...
     

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