Newbie with questions!

Gavink

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Gavin Singh
Hi all!
So I recently purchased a home which is pre wired for a home theater system. I went crazy on Cyber Monday and bought some items:
2 Polk Audio RTI A7's
Polk Audio LSI M704c Center Channel Speaker
2 Polk Audio FXI A6 Surround Speakers
BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
Onkyo TX-NR717 7.2-Channel Home Theater A/V Receiver
I purchased these with some research, but did not find this forum until after, so I am hoping the equipment which I bought is decent enough!
The questions I have are, how do i go about connecting these? Are there any tips and tricks to a good theater set up.
http://imgur.com/a/pHNv7#0
That is a photo album of my living room. When facing the TV, the wires are all in the cabinet to the bottom left, and the other ends coming out in your standard 5.1 set up.
There are also 4 speakers outside on the patio which have wires going to the same area, a CAT5 wire, and also a wire for the cable box, which is currently being run through another port behind the TV.
Also the TV is on a stand which I had to make by myself. The in wall cabinet was installed when the house was built in 2008, and TVs were smaller then, so the 60 inch I have did not fit in the compartment!
I called out a company in my area for a quote on getting a home theater system installed professionally. It came out to a little over $4000, including labor and equipment. However, I felt as if they were going to cheap me out on equipment and charge me up the ass for labor! So I decided to go about it by myself.
Would love your guys input and thanks in advance for all your help!
 

Gavink

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Yeah they are all marked already further down the wire insulation.
 

schan1269

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The question I have...
You have a crap load more wire there than 5.1 plus 4 more speakers. It looks like you have wiring for 16 pairs of speakers.
 

Type A

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Welcome to the forum Gavin :)
Sounds like a good start to a sound system but I think that room will be a challenge. I say that based on the opening in the rear and that fixed cabinet in the front, challenging indeed. But it looks like its time to start reading about the basics. Feel free to ask follow up questions...
http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/speaker-setup-guidelines/home-theater-speaker-layout-an-essential-guide
http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/get-good-bass/basic-subwoofer-setup
 

Jason Charlton

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Gavin,

I think you did pretty good with choosing components. Well done!

A few thoughts on the hookup:

1) Since the speaker wires are in the cabinet, is that where the receiver will go? If so, you will need to be very mindful of overheating dangers and will need to consider ventilation. The doors will have to remain open when it's being used (also for the remote control to work unless you go with some sort of IR repeater system, but you still have the issue of heat...).

2) What do you mean by "wire for the cable box" - is that the standard RG-6 from the wall that feeds into the cable box? On a related note:

3) The typical method for connecting sources is to wire everything directly to the receiver (using HDMI for audio and video, or separate audio and video connections for non-HDMI devices) then running a single HDMI cable from the receiver to the TV.

Based on all three of the above considerations, if there's room, you may be better off placing all the components on the small open shelf beneath the TV (not sure if the receiver is too tall or not). This alleviates the ventilation issue, the need for any sort of IR repeater for your remote, and shortens the necessary cables between devices.

Of course, that would mean splicing speaker wires to get from inside the lower left cabinet over to the rest of the gear. Not a big deal, really, but time consuming. If that's something you'd be willing to consider, then there are all sorts of nice options for making a nice, finished look to the whole thing.
Edit above: checking the pictures, looks like you have plenty of slack in the speaker wires, so they should reach.

For the actual speaker connections, you only need two conductors per speaker (so if there are 4 conductors in each "wire" just pick two and connect both ends of one to the red speaker terminal and both ends of the other to the black terminal). The other two will go unused.
 

Gavink

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schan1269 said:
The question I have...
You have a crap load more wire there than 5.1 plus 4 more speakers. It looks like you have wiring for 16 pairs of speakers.
So when I had the audio company guy come out, he went over what we had. We had our living room pre wired and they are all blue wires and labeled. Then we have our data cables coming out of the main panel in the house, so we can connect the cable box there or the ethernet, but they are not connected in the main panel to anything, I would have to do that. As far as the rest of the cables, they are all for outside, there are 2 sets of 2 speakers with each pair having a volume control knob outside, and there is some sort of optional 5.2 upgrade I can do outside on the patio set of speakers. I am not too interested in the outside, as the back yard (1.5 acres) has not been landscaped yet, and that is probably another $100,000 I will have to drop further down the line to get it done properly. I've attached an album with the speakers which are outside - http://imgur.com/a/cBmM3#0
Type A said:
Welcome to the forum Gavin :)
Sounds like a good start to a sound system but I think that room will be a challenge. I say that based on the opening in the rear and that fixed cabinet in the front, challenging indeed. But it looks like its time to start reading about the basics. Feel free to ask follow up questions...
http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/speaker-setup-guidelines/home-theater-speaker-layout-an-essential-guide
http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/get-good-bass/basic-subwoofer-setup
Thank you! I will be asking many questions across the forums!
Jason Charlton said:
Gavin,
I think you did pretty good with choosing components.  Well done!
Thanks Jason!
I was a bit worried after ordering but feel a lot better now.
In response to your other points -
1) I was planning on having the receiver go there, and taking off the cabinet door for ventilation...thoughts?
2) Yeah I meant the RG-6, I just could not remember the name! The set of data cables have their other end in the cabinet with the main panel next to the master bedroom. So I would have to connect them there somehow.
3) Yeah I am planning to connect everything to the receiver then the receiver to the TV. However, I'm more confused as to how the speakers hookup, but after reading your other point is it simply connect to the receiver and connect the other end to the speaker in the appropriate red or black terminal?
Thanks for your guys' help!
 

schan1269

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1. Should work
2. Sucks it isn't already finished.
3. Exactly.
And it makes sense about the 4-strand wire then. Is all the outdoor wire what is 4 strand? (that is how I would have designed it...single 4 strand wire...then split at the other end).
 

Gavink

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Yeah all the outdoor wire is 4 strand. The two sets of speakers are on both sides of the patio which runs the length of the house. I guess for hosting parties and stuff it could add another dimension.
 

Gavink

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So I just noticed that there is not a wire for the center channel....how do I connect the center channel?
 

schan1269

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I would assume they ran the center from where it sits(the AVR) directly to the TV area. I bet they put the speaker on top of the TV that was in there.
Can't tell, but do the shelves in behind leave a gap where a single wire can go from that cabinet to either the shelf below where the TV was, or into the cabinet where it was? It would be simple to run the speaker wire with the HDMI(or whatever else they were using) and they just yanked out the center wire with the video wire...(which is why it would be missing)
 

Jason Charlton

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Well, depends on where you plan on placing the center channel speaker. Most of us place it just beneath the TV.

Any chance you could modify your makeshift stand to raise the TV up enough to slide a center speaker in underneath it?

If you place the speaker there, all you'd need is to pick up a few feet of 14 gauge speaker wire from Home Depot or Lowes and maybe drill a small hole from the center area of the shelves into the lower left cabinet and you're all set.
 

Gavink

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schan1269 said:
I would assume they ran the center from where it sits(the AVR) directly to the TV area. I bet they put the speaker on top of the TV that was in there.
Can't tell, but do the shelves in behind leave a gap where a single wire can go from that cabinet to either the shelf below where the TV was, or into the cabinet where it was? It would be simple to run the speaker wire with the HDMI(or whatever else they were using) and they just yanked out the center wire with the video wire...(which is why it would be missing)
There is not a gap, I would have to drill thorugh the cabinet. No problem with that though.
Jason Charlton said:
Well, depends on where you plan on placing the center channel speaker.  Most of us place it just beneath the TV.
Any chance you could modify your makeshift stand to raise the TV up enough to slide a center speaker in underneath it?
If you place the speaker there, all you'd need is to pick up a few feet of 14 gauge speaker wire from Home Depot or Lowes and maybe drill a small hole from the center area of the shelves into the lower left cabinet and you're all set.
What is the difference between putting it on top or underneath the TV?
I tried to fit the center channel into the gap underneath the TV, but it didn't fit. Only half an inch more space needed! I could try taking the TV off the stand and forcing it in that . I may be able to modify it if that does not work.
 

schan1269

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There is no "hole" already there to get the video cable from the AVR?
You could put in a 90 degree rotating mount...that way the tv stores in there when you aren't watching it...and, to boot, if you lay on the couch...
 

Jason Charlton

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Originally Posted by Gavink /t/325777/newbie-with-questions#post_4009985
What is the difference between putting it on top or underneath the TV?
In terms of performance, no different. The ideal location would be behind the TV, but you can only do that with front projection and a microperf/acoustically transparent screen which is designed to minimize the effect of the screen material on the sound.

Since the advent of flat panels as the standard in displays, it's simply a lot easier to place the speaker under the TV (or even have the TV sit ON the center speaker if necessary).
 

Gavink

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No there is not. i found it very weird. They seem to spent a lot of money on preparing this house for a home theater system, and an outdoor system, but at the same time, made it difficult to connect everything to the TV.
I will look into the 90 degree mount. I would like the option to store it. I get anxious when we have people over who have young kids that they may topple the TV.
 

Gavink

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Jason Charlton said:
In terms of performance, no different.  The ideal location would be behind the TV, but you can only do that with front projection and a microperf/acoustically transparent screen which is designed to minimize the effect of the screen material on the sound.
Since the advent of flat panels as the standard in displays, it's simply a lot easier to place the speaker under the TV (or even have the TV sit ON the center speaker if necessary).
Understood. I may mount the TV on a 90 degree swivel and place the center speaker underneath that. Any recommendations? I have a 60' Panasonic plasma. Pretty heavy.
 

schan1269

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Here you go, fully manual, not electric...
http://www.amazon.com/Rotating-Bracket-Samsung-UN55ES6100FXZA-Rotates/dp/B0091URQV6/ref=sr_1_127?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1354744072&sr=1-127&keywords=tv+mount+rotating+60%22
 

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