How to setup a media room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-08-2012, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi:

I am very new at this. We are designing a custom home. In the basement there will be a media room. My contructor and I don't know much about home theater. I want to prewire the room so in the future when I need to put in some good equipment, I don't have to open up the wall and pull wires. There is a closet under the stair and that is where I want to put all of the networking, AV equipment in there. Right now, I don't have any AV equipment except for a TV.

Here is Sketchup of the room.




I have the following questions.

1. Where can I learn about home theater setup?

2. Given the room I have, can any expert recommend how should I wire the room? I am in the process of spec out the house. I want to tell the builder what wire to pull and connector or outlets to put in the wall.

I am not an audio/vidoe fanatic. I don't mind spend a few hundred dollars to wire the room for future use. But I am not the type that will spend a few hundreds dollars on a speaker. My future budget for a receiver and speaker is $1000.

Thank you for all of the help.

Crazy Monkey
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-08-2012, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention. The room is 16' x 21'. It is in a daylight basement, so there is no window at all in that room.

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post #3 of 16 Old 01-08-2012, 11:31 AM
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1. read a ton here and search for specific questions.
1.2 what were you mostly curious on? like what to buy? what looks good? projection vs LCD/Plasma? etc.

2. regarding what to wire... are you talking about types of cables? (HDMI, coax, speaker/5.1/7.1/2, etc?)
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-08-2012, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I need to do a lot of reading. As it shows, I am so new, I don't even know what to ask. I don't care what to buy. I just want to wire the room so in the future if I buy something, I don't want to tear up the wall. Here are some specific questions.

1. Is there a good guide or reference for learning this for a newbie. I know there are a lot of discussions in the forum, but a lot of the information are way over my head.

2. Wall mounted speaker or stand alone? I can put wall mounted speaker in place, but I am not sure if that is a good idea or not. I do see a lot of receiver come with speakers. How do I pre-wire for that?

3. Do I pull speaker plug into the wall at certain locations? This way in the future, when I buy a system, I just plug in the speakers?

4. I am thinking putting 16awg wire into the wall. Since I don't have a system, how should I terminate the wire?

Thanks a lot for any information.


Willy

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post #5 of 16 Old 01-08-2012, 08:33 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

To answer a few of your questions we need some more info. You say right now that you are not the type to spend lots of money on all of this audio video stuff right? Well stick around here too long and you will be. It is like a virus or an infection it gets in you and just festers.

Now seriously lets get down to business. For the sake of simplicity lets assume that the top of your room or drawing is North. Now I need to know are you thinking flat screen TV or a projector? Which wall do you want the TV/screen on. In a room that size you could go with 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound depending on how you want to set up the room and how you want to do seating ie. couch, recliners, theater seating etc.

For speakers you obviously want to run in wall rated speaker cables like THESE to connect your speakers. If you do a projector you will need a ceiling mount and power and video cables (like HDMI) to the speaker location.

So for a simple example here goes.

You decide to put the TV on the North wall. You go with a 5.1 surround sound set up so your TV and front three speakers will be on the North wall and if you do a TV stand you need not do any wiring in wall as you can leave those wires exposed. You would then need a speaker plate like this CLICKIE which would then run in wall to your left and right surround speakers mounted on your East and West walls. Here is a website and diagram for surround sound set up HERE

To give you a picture instead of words here is what I did in my media area.

Prior to wall mounting.



After wall mounting.




This is purely your choice on what you want to do. When I wall mounted I then fished the wires through the wall to the back of the speakers to keep the install clean.

This is a picture of my rear surrounds on the wall.



As you noted there is a wide range of equipment available and the sky is the limit budget wise. I have the Onkyo 507 and Klipsch Quintet III 5.1 speaker system. I purchased both on sale and together was roughly 800-900. Don't remember the exact total but was less than one K. I have a 13.5 X 13.5 room and that setup works very nicely. You will also find that as many people that are here that is how many opinions you will get on equipment.

As far as terminating the speaker wire (oh and I would go 14ga. min not 16ga) you leave about 8 to 10 inches of extra wire in a low voltage box (typically the orange boxes) and cover with a blank outlet cover till needed.

I know there is a lot of info out there and it can be a bit overwhelming but continue to ask questions, read, read, and read some more, oh and ask questions (wait I said that already) we all started and learned from somewhere so don't feel bad about your knowledge level.

Good luck and I hope I have helped you and not confused you further.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #6 of 16 Old 01-10-2012, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you RTROSE. This will give me a good start. For now, no projection TV. The plan is to have a wall mounted Flat Screen. Here is a setup that I am think about.



I will take your advice on the 12 AWG speaker wire. Here comes more questions.

1. I have a closet under the stair, it will be a good place for a media closet. If I put my AV equipment in there, I guess I should run some HDMI cable from the closet to the TV location. What type of cable should I use and how many should I run.

2. If I hide my equipment in the closet, how will I get the remote to work? Normally people point remote at TV. Is there remote receiver that I can buy and connect to media closet. Links will be helpful on this one.

3. Am I right to assume that in wall mounted speaker are of lower quality in general. If I buy a Onkyo HS-S8409 system, it is better to wall mount those speakers instead of using in wall speaker. Are those HS-S8409 speaker wall mountable?

4. I like the speaker mount that you have. Looks very sturdy. Where do you get those?

5. If I connect the speaker wire directly into the receiver on one end and speaker on the other end, then I don't need any terminator or plate connector. Is that a good idea?

6. Sub woofer connection. Do they use different type of cable? Can anyone recommend one from Monoprice?

7. Besides HDMI and speaker wire, what else should I pull between the media closet and the TV location?

Thanks for all of the help.

Crazy Monkey
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-11-2012, 04:11 AM
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First of all, welcome to the madness. As you will find, there are multiple ways to accomplish each individual task. I also have my media closet under the stairs. Most remote controls use infrared light to communicate with the electronic equipment. If you do not have line of sight between your remote control and your equipment, you will either have to invest in an RF based remote control (usually expensive) or an infrared repeater (inexpensive).

Another option is to make a hole in your closet and make your equipment visible to your remote control. You will find this to be much easier when you are changing disks or troubleshooting your equipment. Here is how I did mine:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post19701357

You will also find the HDMI cables can get very expensive as they get longer. A solution that can be more cost effective and support longer cable runs is HDMI over category 5 cable.

If you think that at some point you will use a projector, I would highly recommend running the cables before your walls and ceiling are sealed up. Good luck! You will find that there is a ton of information in these forums and most problems that you will run into have already been solved by others.

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post #8 of 16 Old 01-11-2012, 04:40 AM
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well - I can tell you this. We can help you - and you're going to have a lot of fun :>)
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-11-2012, 04:41 AM
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I forgot to mention that you may be poor when we get done with you though
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-11-2012, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlin98004 View Post

Thank you RTROSE. This will give me a good start. For now, no projection TV. The plan is to have a wall mounted Flat Screen. Here is a setup that I am think about.

I will take your advice on the 12 AWG speaker wire. Here comes more questions.

Good man and I'm ready.

Quote:


1. I have a closet under the stair, it will be a good place for a media closet. If I put my AV equipment in there, I guess I should run some HDMI cable from the closet to the TV location. What type of cable should I use and how many should I run.

I would run two and some cat5 or cat6 for networking just in case.

I would either use Blue Jeans Cable or Monoprice for your HDMI cables. Buy from anywhere else and you WILL pay too much.


Quote:


2. If I hide my equipment in the closet, how will I get the remote to work? Normally people point remote at TV. Is there remote receiver that I can buy and connect to media closet. Links will be helpful on this one.

Already answered but here is a link to a IR repeater. Clickie and here is another way to do it. Clickie

Quote:


3. Am I right to assume that in wall mounted speaker are of lower quality in general. If I buy a Onkyo HS-S8409 system, it is better to wall mount those speakers instead of using in wall speaker. Are those HS-S8409 speaker wall mountable?

I'm not sure and the Onkyo website is down ATM. You could go the the HTiB threads HERE look for the thread specific to the model you are interested in and ask some owners.

As far as the quality question there is much debate on that, however inwall speakers have a lot more issues with getting proper sound out of them due to being inwall vs. a comparable set of "regular" speakers. It is all in the design, placement, and use of the speaker. I would stick with regular spekakers, but if you HAVE to go inwall the ones from monoprice seem to get pretty good reviews.

Quote:


4. I like the speaker mount that you have. Looks very sturdy. Where do you get those?

Thanks. They were included as part of the speaker package so if you buy the Klipsch Quintets you will get them too.

Quote:


5. If I connect the speaker wire directly into the receiver on one end and speaker on the other end, then I don't need any terminator or plate connector. Is that a good idea?

That is correct and that is just fine to do it that way. Personal preference.

Quote:


6. Sub woofer connection. Do they use different type of cable? Can anyone recommend one from Monoprice?

Yes they do. The use a single RCA cable, some times called a "subwoofer cable or a digital audio cable. But is is in simplest terms an RCA cable. Like this ONE


Quote:


7. Besides HDMI and speaker wire, what else should I pull between the media closet and the TV location?

Already answered but you could pull two HDMI, one set of component w/audio, and cat5.

Quote:


Thanks for all of the help.

Your welcome and I'm glad we can help.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #11 of 16 Old 01-12-2012, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi:

I am getting infected. After reading through the threads, now I got the idea to build an in wall rack. Now, I need to find the right rack. I came to this forum trying to save time and I end up spent a lot more time than I wanted.

Ignorance is a blessing. I wish I was never educated. Honestly, thank you for all of the help. Once I have a chance, I will summarize what I am going to do. It will help other readers and allow me to get more feedback.

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post #12 of 16 Old 01-16-2012, 02:53 PM
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I'd spend a couple of months in here and over in the dedicated forum to get ideas on what you want for a home theater as it's very subjective. I was going with a TV just like you until I found this site way back when and it didn't long to nix the TV and go with a PJ. I can't imagine not having anything smaller than a 110" screen.
Good luck and post some pics of your build along the way.


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post #13 of 16 Old 01-22-2012, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi:

Thank you for all of the input. I love this site and resisted to be pulled in. For me, I just want to put something into the wall, such that I don't have to string new wire when I want to do a basic A/V cabinet setup. Here is the layout of our meida room and the position of the speaker. The green boxes are the speakers. The letter A, B, C are the major drop points.



Here are the wires I am going to string between the closet under the stair to different points of the room. I hope this will enable me to put all equipment in a cabinet in the closet with an opening to the media room.


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post #14 of 16 Old 01-22-2012, 07:14 PM
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Looks good, I think you have as many bases covered as you can right now. Don't forget to run power to the PJ location as well as the A/V cables.

Good luck and keep us posted and post some pics when you get a chance.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #15 of 16 Old 01-22-2012, 07:23 PM
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This is a dangerous hobby. Beware! Leave now!




on the side note Many of us here can help you!

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

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post #16 of 16 Old 04-02-2013, 04:41 PM
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sorry to hijack thread but have similar but more elaborate multi room setup:

Just planning the wiring for a new home build and trying to see if what I want to do is indeed possible.

I would like to place all my media components into one dedicated, well ventilated media room. I would like all this equipment in one area and then be able to receive audio/visuals from this one location to separate rooms of the house.

Contents of the media room (location either in basement or upstairs office):

Pioneer receiver
bell 6131 PVR HD receiver
apple tv gen 1
bell 9242
apple tv black
bell 6131 PVR HD
apple tv gen 1
dvd
Yamaha receiver

Option A-->I need the pioneer/bell 6131 PVR/apple tv gen to be accessible in my family room powering a 46inch samsung smart tv and a 5.1 infinity surround system. I also need the Bell 6131 PVR and apple tv to be accessible in an an adjacent room on a 32 inch samsung...no surround speakers.

Option B-->Then I need the Bell 9242 and Apple Tv black to be accessible in my master bedroom on a 32 samsung lcd

Option C-->Then I need the Yamaha/bell 6131 PVR HD/apple gen 1 to be accessible in my basement home theatre powering an Optoma HD projector and an Athena 5.1 surround system. I would also like the Bell 6131 PVR HD and the Apple tv to be viewable in an adjacent fitness room...do not need both viewable in both locations at same time

Does this make sense? Is it possible? Better setups? Opinions?

Thanks
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