Media Closet

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Bob.S, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. Bob.S

    Bob.S Auditioning

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    I am moving into a new house tomorrow, which has a Media closet.

    Basically, every communication wire terminates in this closet (Cable, data, phone, security system)

    The cable is all labeled High Definition
    phone is CAT5
    data is CAT5E
    Security is ?

    in a perfect world, I would like to have all my home theater equipment in this closet, so I can watch any given component on any TV in the house.

    As far as equipment goes, I have Dish Network with the PVR + 2 more units, Hitachi big screen, Sony 6.1 surround. I am considering a new plasma screen and moving the hitachi to the bedroom. Is there an affordable way to distribute the various programming this way? I am trying to be able to watch the PVR in the bedroom or main room, flip flopping depending on what is on TV and who is watching. I am mostly concerned with a super clean look in this house... I don't really want the components visible.

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    First things first, Congratulations on your new home.

    Second of all, you are right on the best forum to answer all your questions. The folks here are awesome and I have personally benefited a lot in terms of knowledge, less efforts, save $$s by chatting with HTFers here.

    Bob, I have a similar setup. When we moved into our house two years ago, our closet under the stairs had all the cables terminated there. Cable, Phone, Data, and Security.
    But we did not get our house pre-wired for HT, since we thought that we could do a better job than the cheap stuff that the builder was offering.
    Last fall we did it. We prewired our house through the crawl space and ran pipes and cables for speakers, A/V cables to the family room where we our HT setup.

    Later we are planning to run the wires through attic for our second floor.

    From the way you have described, seems like you do not have you home prewired for HT. So for starters, you have to prewire for speakers, A/V cables. Once you have them setup, spending under a 100 bucks you can install IR repeaters to transmit the signal from remote rooms to the equipment closet.

    Yes components are hidden. Only speaker wires are visible.
    It looks good.
     
  3. Bob.S

    Bob.S Auditioning

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    that sounds good, I can run any additional wires necessary through the attic, it doesn't look hard as it seems pretty spacious.

    How good is wireless Vs. wired ? I am used to the computer world where wireless just hasn't caught up yet.. because of that, I was hoping to utilize the cables in the home so I wouldn't have any quality issues.

    when it comes to wireless, what do you suggest? any wired options?

    Thanks for all the help... I probably won't get back online until monday, so don't think i am ignoring anyone until then; no cable modem, satellite, or even phone until late next week[​IMG]

    Thanks for the quick feedback too! I am looking forward to learning more about everthing here! [​IMG]
     
  4. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    I rely on wireless for browsing from anywhere from my home and around. But for my HT, I prefer hardwiring. Lot easier and reliable.

    First I guess you to have decide what all you want to wire and which rooms, and then come up with a design.

    I have a crawl foundation in my home and it was lot easier to drill holes through the base boards and drywalls to run pipes and wires. It should be equally easier to run wires through attic too. I ran quite a few 3/4 inch PVC pipes from my equipment closet to all the termination point. Then I bought a spool of 12 ga Speaker cable from www.partsexpress.com and measured and terminated in the walls.

    You would need the following tools if you want to do it on your own.

    1. Speaker Cable Spool (depending on how much you want to wire calculate accordingly and be generous)
    2. Banana plug or Spade plugs to terminate at both the ends.
    3. Depending on your video cables needs, so many ft of component video cable/composite cable/DVI cable/S-Video cable..
    4. cable splicer
    5. Drywall blade or utility knife to make holes in your new home.
    6. A good power drill

    These may look confusing at the begining. But, it should be a piece of cake if you think you are a handy person.
     
  5. Jason__

    Jason__ Auditioning

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    We're about to begin the design process on a new house, and this is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for -- one space where I could keep all this type of equipment.

    One question I had though, do you keep a DVD player in there as well? If you mostly watch DVDs in a room adjacent to the closet, it's fine, but I'd hate to have to walk downstairs to put a disc in when I was upstairs wanting to watch a movie . . . how does that work?

    Is there a good "starter guide" out there (or on this forum) for things to think about when designing a house from scratch? I'm pretty handy, and very geeky ;-) so I'd like to build a house that's going to be as "future-proof" as possible. I'd also like to defer some of the costs till later on, wherever possible . . .

    The idea of running PVC through the walls during construction has a lot of appeal, I imagine that as long as there are no branches in the pipes (i.e. everything is point to point) you pretty easily push wire through a fairly long length of PVC? I came across what seems like a good tip on how to handle longer runs:

     
  6. Bob.S

    Bob.S Auditioning

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    If you are building a new house, you can run wire for speakers for sure.

    One thing that is more costly, but well worth it is CAT5 for phone lines and data. I only used CAT5 and CAT5E for the security system, phone, and data lines (the whole house is networked). Wireless has come a long way, but I always feel more better with hard lines so some stupid hacker can't sit down the street and get into my stuff.

    As far as my place goes, I am going to see how well the satellite intall goes. If the wires for the dish go into the media closet, all will be fine for long term. if not, I will plan from there[​IMG]
     

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