What Cables and support for a Front Projector?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Ray Stericker, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Ray Stericker

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    I am building a home theatre in my basement. I am interested in learning about the cabling and mounting requirements for a ceiling mounted front projector. It would be a LCD or DLP machine, not a big CRT type projector.

    I want to pre-wire with anything I would require in the foreseeable future. I think that means at least composite, S-Video and component video cables. I am not sure what to do about DVI? Does running a DVI-I cable cover me for all DVI type devices? Is there any other cable I should run for video or control?

    What kind of structure should I put in the ceiling to mount the projector to? I see projectors up to 20 lbs and wonder if I need anything special. The ceiling is 1/2" drywall over steel studs.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Do you access to any wooden beams above the ceiling in your basement?
     
  3. Ray Stericker

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    Not directly, that is why I am asking. The projector will be on the bottom of a box that is enclosing some ducts and a steel beam. This lowers the ceiling about 10" in this area. The box is made of 1.5" steel studs so I was thinking I might put some wooden reinforcement in the area where the projecter will be mounted. I can build down from the floor joist in that area if I need to.

    I am just getting into the FP technology and am not really sure what "ceiling mount" brackets want to attach to.
     
  4. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Please please PLEASE consider putting some conduit between the projector and your electronics. I went the first way (putting cables directly in ceiling), then ended up ripping down all the drywall again and redoing it.

    You'll save yourself a lot of hassle if you put in 3" conduit.

    This being said, you can try:

    HDMI cabling
    DVI-D cabling
    VGA cabling
    5-BNC cabling (5 RG6 runs)
    Component cabling (3 RG6)
    S-Video breakout (two RG6 runs)
    Composite cabling (1 RG6 run)
    Serial cabling (RS232)
    18 gauge with 1/8" mono plug (12v trigger)
    Ethernet (CAT6)

    Also put a 12v trigger cable between your screen area (top left) and your projector, as well as your screen and your electronics.
     
  5. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Hi Ray

    Take Gabriel's advice and run conduit between electronics and projector, and leave some strings in it so you can pull cables through in the future. This will save you a lot of hassel.

    If S-Video is important to you, make sure you get a good one for long lengths. S-Video is most prone to a reduction in amplitude in the higher frequencies (where the higher resolution is) and makes the images looks 'soft'. A better cable should reduce this.

    Go with excellent quality component cables and a good composite cable, you may never know if you'll need it, especially if the projector does excellent Y/C separation.

    As far as DVI and HDMI cables, it's totally a toss up. It may not even benefit you right now based on the quality of product available with a DVI out and the industry is abandoning DVI anyways in favour of HDMI (being backward compatable with DVI). At this time, these cables don't like long runs without repeaters...hence the value of conduit and strings... An excellent analogue component output from a player can be superior in many ways.

    If you want high-quality component and composite cables, fire off an email to me. I make Transparent HPCV cables with the proper soldered ends and have been trained by them to do it. I use them in my system and they look great. I'm not too far from you so if you are interested let me know.

    Mike
     
  6. Ray Stericker

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    Thanks for the responses about cables.

    I do have a problem with a 3" conduit. I don't want to cut a 3" hole in the top plate of the wall (2x4") if I can avoid it. If I pre-wire most of these cables do I still need to go that big? If I run an empty 3/4" id conduit for future needs would that not enough?

    About the DVI and HDMI cables. How bad is the distance issue? I am looking at about 25 to 30 ft. Also should I run HDMI and use adapters for now? My projector will probably be DVI for a while.
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I ran 1.5" a conduit and althoug all my cables fit, I wished I had a larger conduit for future purposes. I would not run as small as 0.75".
     
  8. Wayne_H

    Wayne_H Auditioning

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    Just as I was preparing to ask an almost identical question, I read this thread and already have answers. Thanks for the info!
    Any recommendations on wallplate jacks to tie it all in together?
     
  9. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    An empty 1.5" or 2" might work.
     
  10. Ray Stericker

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    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    Just so I understand, is the size required to pass the connectors or for volume of wires? I think I could go 2" but I don't know if that would fit a DVI connector if I had to pull another one.
     
  11. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    Reasonably tight if you have other wires in there. You may have to put the DVI through first, then others. Looks like even 1.5" is a no-go.

    Of course, if you go fiber optic DVI, you can go with even a .75" thick conduit.

    BTW, that DVI-D cable, with fat 24AWG wires is from BetterCables. 9m. [​IMG]
     
  12. Ray Stericker

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    Great Picture[​IMG] Now I have to ask another question. What's fiber optic DVI? Does that affect the conduit size? I know the new HDMI cables have a smaller connector, but I need an adapter to convert to DVI at the projector.
     
  13. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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  14. DennisMurphy

    DennisMurphy Auditioning

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    Hello all,

    I just found this thread as I began building my own home theater. Gabriel, the 3" conduit seems like a great idea. I'm going to run the conduit but could you provide a bit
    more detail on the cable usage esp. the trigger wires you specify. Bear in mind I'm figuring out all of the AV stuff as I go!


    Thanks
    Dennis Murphy
     
  15. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    If you do the conduit, the wire you put in is not as critical (since you can pull wire later). I would suggest with 3" conduit, that you put 10 pull-strings (basically just thick fishing wire) in there, to make pulling new cabling easy.

    Most 12v triggers are simply 1/8" mono plugs, though some (like my Lexicon MC-8b) use bare wire.

    I'd say for the trigger, if you don't know what kind of ends you need, the easiest (and cheapest) thing to find is RCA cabling. For instance:

    24' Speaker Cabling (18 gauge) with Phono RCA type Plugs for $5.99 from Radio Shack

    [​IMG]

    Then, you can use RCA to 1/8" miniplugs which are about a buck or two each if you need 1/8", or you can strip the end off if you simply need bare wire.

    The important thing is figuring out where you need the trigger wire to go. For instance:

    Between screen and equipment rack (so equipment turns screen on and off)
    Between screen and projector (so projector turns screen on/off)
    Between equipment and projector (so equipment turns projector on/off)
     

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