noob, just getting started in a pre-wired home

IM1340

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Hello all, first post. Finally ready to put in some equipment in a prewired living room and adjoining patio. I had a local home theatre guy come out but his quote was pretty high (receiver alone $1000). So I went out and researched as best I could and made some purchases and would like to do at least some of the install myself. What I have coming: Denon AVR 1713 5.14 polk audio RC80i in ceiling speakersPolk audio CS10 center channel speakerpolk subwoofer ( not sure of model)The prewired seems pretty extensive (I've taken pics but can't figure out how to post them) but it does not appear there is a prewire for a center channel and so far I have not figured out where the subwoofer wires run. the wiring starts in a cabinet to the right of a fireplace mantle where the TV sits. there is an HDMI and a set of red,green,blue,yellow,white cables that run from the cabinet to the TV area and a bunch of speaker wires that come out of the same area. There is also an fios cable and an ethernet port. In the ceiling there are four prewired plugs for front and back and two more plugs out on the patio. there are a couple plates on the walls, one next to light switches that have what look like a couple speaker wires and another wire that has a bunch of tiny wires that are multi colored and another that is down by the floor in the back of the room that has a bunch of capped wires, most of which don't match any of the other wires except for on red/black that could be the subwoofer. So this is what I am starting with. I can post pics if someone can tell me how. Besides the obvious - install the speakers, where should I start, just hook everything up and let her rip? I know it can't be that simple so any recommendations are appreciated.
 

Adam Gregorich

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There are a couple of ways to post pics, click on the picture icon (middle of bottom row) and you can either just paste in the link if your pics are hosted on flicker (or a similar site), or you can hit the upload tab and browse your PC click add this file and then the attach to post next to the image when it appears on the photo uploader window.

If the TV is going above the mantle is there a speaker wire in that bundle? If not then it sounds like they didn't prewire for one.

The speaker wire behind a blank plate is prewired for a volume switch. Is that by a door or someplace that it indicates its for the outdoor speakers, hopefully there isn't one for the indoor speakers. The multi-colored wire is a Cat-5 cable that could be used for a keypad to control the patio if you went with a more elaborate system.

By FIOS cable do you mean a coax cable with a connection that looks kind of like this?

coax.jpg


Are there a total of 12 speaker wires or conductors coming out of the wall? Note that each "wire" could have 2-4 conductors, one red, one black, and even one white, one green. There should be a two for each speaker, so that will let us know how many speakers they pre-wired for.

I would like to see a pic of the bundle of capped wires near the floor at the back of the room. Most prewired subwoofer cables use and RCA connection, which is the same type of connection on the red/green/blue/yellow/white cables going to your TV (if they are terminated).
 

schan1269

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Pictures are the most beneficial here.Ceiling wiring the front stereo channel is the dumbest idea there ever was. I absolutely laugh everytime I see it. I would totally forgo putting the main speakers in the ceiling(unless you want to do height) and chalk it up to an idiot theater designer.But once we see what you have going on, we can offer real solutions.
 

IM1340

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Thanks guys for the responses. I did mean a coaxial cable. I agree about the ceiling speaker, what I meant was I don't think they ran a speaker wire up to where the TV is, there are other cables going there HDMI etc so should be easy to string a wire up there for the center channel.
Here is a link to my photos, still couldn't get them on this site.

www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?saved=1
I can put more on if you need them.
 

Adam Gregorich

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second set of wires in cabinet by IM1340, on Flickr

This is a pair of cat5 cables, one is probably going to the box covered by the blank plate near the light switches to use with a keypad, not sure where the other is going.


main set of wires in cabinet by IM1340, on Flickr

The yellow wire is I am assuming for the outdoor speakers. It goes to the blank plate box near the light switches. Looking at the white speaker cables there are 5 here, not four, so you either have a cable for the sub or center channel. You need to find where that fifth wire goes. I would guess that it is in the plate behind the TV. It would be worth taking that plate off and looking behind it to see if its tucked up there.


cables to TV by IM1340, on Flickr

This is an analog component cable and an analog stereo audio connection. If you have HDMI you will use that instead and these cables won't be used.


wires from wall plate by IM1340, on Flickr

I'm guessing this is for your outdoor speakers. You have a lot of options here. If you are going to get a multizone receiver with zone 2 volume controls you will need to connect the two white speaker cables to the yellow with wire nuts: One black from the white, to the black from the yellow, the red from the same white wire to the red from the yellow, then connect the wires from the second white cable to the green and white conductors on the yellow cable.

If you want to put a knob type volume control in the wall here all three wires will be connected to that. The yellow will be the input and the two white cables will be the outputs.


wires from plate by the floor by IM1340, on Flickr

This is all high voltage electrical. Carefully put it back in the wall and put the plate over it. An electrician could probably put an outlet here if you needed an additional outlet, but don't try that by yourself.
 

schan1269

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^^^What he said. Find where that 5th wire goes.And a 2nd on the bottom pic. Cover that back up, you only get one mistake that stuff...Hopefully when you pull the plates where the speakers go, you'll see remnants of white or yellow speaker jackets. Or you'll see red/black in both somewhere...then the 4 colors(two each) in the other spot.Your pic 1 and 4...I bet that is the "other end" of the mystery cat5. But if that is the case, maybe your 4 speakers in this room aren't split. Maybe they simply wired it dual stereo...instead of 4 separate spots.Edit:I looked at the link, your pic 4 makes more sense now that I saw the one that goes with it. Looks like they intended to run a LCD pad. But what doesn't make any sense is why they would put speaker wire with Cat. It should have been RCA with CAT, cause an LCD pad doesn't need speaker wire from an AVR...it needs line level.
 

IM1340

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So the outdoor speakers seem to make sense now as there is a yellow jacket cable in the cabinet that matches what is behind the wall plate. So if I connect them as you have said I should be able to hook those up to the second zone (yes I have a 2 zone receiver coming) and they should be good to go. What about the yellow jacket cable in the cabinet - one each of red, black, green , and white - which I assume are for the out door speakers. do they connect in a similar way as what is in the wall plate? Thank you again for your replies. I plated everything back up after taking pics, didn't think the capped wires were part of the system and don't want to mess with anything that is live. The other question I have is, what about the main wires coming out in the cabinet, there are 5 black and red and one big black, I assumed that these were for front, back, center and a subwoofer although, I don't seem to have the other end for the 5th black and white or the sub.
 

IM1340

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Another question, in your description on how to hook up the wires in the wall plate, after hooking up black on black and red on red, how do I attach the other black and red to the green and white? altogether or one with green and one with white?
 

schan1269

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Nobody knows "how" to hook them up, as they aren't labeled.

You will need to put your speakers in, then try each wire to see what it does. IF where you want it on the AVR, great...move on to the next one. But you have a 5th wire. There is a 99% chance it is near the TV.
 

MomOfTwins

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Another question, in your description on how to hook up the wires in the wall plate, after hooking up black on black and red on red, how do I attach the other black and red to the green and white? altogether or one with green and one with white?
Yes. The yellow wire will get hooked up to the left and right speaker terminals for zone 2 on your receiver, the other end behind the plate will get connected to the two white wires. You will need remember how you hooked up the green and white wires. So if you hook up the black to the green and the red to the white, you will need to make sure that you put the white to the red or "+" terminal on the back of the receiver and the green to the black or "-" terminal.
 

IM1340

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Thanks momoftwins, that is what I needed to know, outdoor speakers now working! now on to the rest of the speakers.
 

IM1340

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schan1269 said:
Nobody knows "how" to hook them up, as they aren't labeled.

You will need to put your speakers in, then try each wire to see what it does. IF where you want it on the AVR, great...move on to the next one. But you have a 5th wire. There is a 99% chance it is near the TV.
You were right schan1269, I removed the plate behind the TV and was able to fish out the 5th speaker wire so looks like we found the center channel wire. Thanks for the suggestion. It looks like there are also 3 CAT5 lines in that bundle as well. Just have to find that sub now, does that typically look like a coaxial line with a single center wire?
 

schan1269

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RCA cables are always* RG59/6. The same "cable" used to bring in your sat/cable also is used to make composite video, analog audio, component video, digital coax and subwoofer cable.

The only difference is a twist end vs RCA.

There are times you "always use" RG59, just like there are times you "always use" RG6.

*as long as they aren't super duper cheap Walmart bin.
 

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