Starting HT, need some help please.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brian Kosmoski, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Brian Kosmoski

    Brian Kosmoski Auditioning

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    My first post here, thanks in advance for the advice.

    I'm building a home theater in my basement and I am as about as novice at this as you can get. Is there a good book out there to help with best practices for wiring audio/video in the wall? I need options for what kind of speaker wire as well as if any shielding is recommended for the speakers and video feed. Also, what is the best way to pick up the video feed from the dish?

    I currently have standard DirecTV which I need to wire for but am planning the upgrade to HD DirecTV. What do I have to do additionally to plan for both options?

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  2. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Well, I hate to see a post go unanswered... especially a first-time-post... from a fellow Milwaukeean, no less.

    I would recommend sheilded wire...at the very least, shielded coax on the video runs. Make sure the stuff you get is rated "in-wall"... particularly if you're planning on having an inspection done. Check Parts Express and MCM. They usually have pretty good deals on cabling describing their uses. (although I find the MCM site hard to search)

    As for the jump to HDTV... there shouldn't be much of a difference, except when I had my HD cable box put in, the tech explained I should make sure to use at least 900 MHz splitters if I plan to split my cable anyplace to allow for the HD bandwidth. I would assume the same applies for DTV in HD.

    Welcome aboard, BTW... and good luck.. keep us posted on your progress. We're a simple lot, we like to look at things with pictures so keep that in mind when you give us updates. [​IMG]

    P.S. check out MilwaukeeHDTV if you haven't already.
     
  3. Brian Kosmoski

    Brian Kosmoski Auditioning

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    Thanks for the help, I was a bit discouraged to see nobody responded to my post. I figure I was opening the flood gates with that one. I'm making a visit to our friends at Flanner's Audio & Video to get some more help as well.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Flanner's is a good place to go for information. But, shop around... especially for cable. I find Flanner's is pretty overpriced in most of their stuff.
     
  5. Derek1

    Derek1 Agent

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    Well I see there wasn't really too much information posted for you so I'll give it a go.

    First a few questions.

    Do you plan on using a RPTV (Big Screen Television) or a Front projection system (Projector and Screen)?

    What is the size of the room in question?

    Are you planning on a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 System?

    Do you have existing equipment that you are wanting or needing to use?

    If you plan on upgrading or purchasing new equipment what is the time frame of these additions?

    __________________________________________________ _________

    Ok now a couple of suggestions.

    Pull at least 4 Quad shield Coaxes for use with incoming signals. Two leads to your dish or multi switch (why two? HD Tivo's require two inputs to have the ability to record one show and watch another). One from an off air antenna, and one for cable/future use.

    If using a projector pull at least one component cable, one composite cable, one CAT 5. (Many current receivers can "upconvert" all signals to component, but may not pass the receivers onscreen setup screens through the component jacks. Thus the requirement of the composite cable)

    You may also want to run a HDMI or DVI cable if you have the budget and need to do so.

    Pull some Cat 5 for phone connections. (Sat, Tivo, Etc.)

    If there is any way at all to allow you the ability ro run cables to a projector later put it in place (Conduit etc.) Conduit for pulling something like a DVI-D cable needs to be quite large in diameter to accommodate the connector.

    14 gauge speaker wire should handle almost any possible speaker out there. If you plan on bi-wiring then wire accordingly.

    Do NOT use coax for your subwoofer cable run. If you plan to run cable in the wall for a subwoofer then use a proper shielded two conductor with drain. Also power to plug in your sub.

    Don't forget to put power in the ceiling for the projector. If you have the model of the projector picked out you can place the plug according to the throw distance. If you do not then several plugs in the ceiling might be required to cover all your options.

    If using a projector ceilings should be a dark flat/matte finish (personally I prefer black)so that you don't see the light spray and reflection along the ceiling leading to the screen.

    Walls should also be a flat or matte finish and darker colors work better and reflect less light against the screen.

    If there is to be a riser and or steps include a switched plug so that rope lighting can be installed.

    Budget some money for lighting control, even simple Lutron spacer system controls can add a very nice effect. Wire rows of can lights separately, so they can be dimmed independently. Also sconces should be on their own switch as well as the aforementioned rope light. Placing lighting on different circuits like this will allow the creation of lighting scenes via products like Lutron's Grafik Eye.

    If at all possible keep seating off of the back wall. The EX and ES speaker(s) (Used in 6.1 and 7.1 systems) in the rear wall are far more realistic if they aren't right behind your head.

    Use seating that does not have high backs. This is a very common mistake. It's far more difficult to hear sounds from the side and rear if your head is buried into a cushion. Seats like those available from acoustic innovations are still very comfortable yet they are truly designed with theaters in mind and thus have lower backs on most models to provide for proper sound. They are however not cheap.
    http://www.acousticinnovations.com/theater_chairs.htm


    Well that should at least give you a little bit of information to start you off. Hope it helped.
     

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