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post #1 of 76 Old 01-28-2013, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I am in the process of getting the design down for my basement bar. I am planning on doing the base of the bar and trim in the stain color "twilight" that we have in our upstairs. This picture isn't a perfect example but best one I had on hand. It's very dark but not black.

My main problem is figuring out what kind and color of top to use. I originally had in my head of using a wood top, but now can't see how that would look right. I think if the top was stained this same color it would just be too dark.

We don't have the flooring picked out yet, but have a general idea. I'm thinking it will be a medium colored tile. Exact shades and colors not decided.

I've been following a ton of great threads on here and love all the great ideas and input from so many of you. Just hoping someone may have some ideas or suggestions for me. Thanks!




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post #2 of 76 Old 01-28-2013, 11:27 AM
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I'm not sure how much natural light your basement has, but between fewer windows and a lower ceiling (and therefore less diffused light) generally it's best to keep things a bit lighter. If you have those same color cabinets with a darker tile floor and countertop stained dark it's going to look like a cave IMO. At the very least you'll have to plan your lighting accordingly.
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post #3 of 76 Old 01-28-2013, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree. Do you have any ideas or recommendations on what might look good?
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post #4 of 76 Old 02-01-2013, 03:23 PM
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I would recommend going with something lighter colored for the top since your cabs are already dark and it would add a nice contrast going lighter. I was going to go with a dark stain on the oak cabs like you and a light oak bar top, but my son had dark T&G oak flooring leftover from his living room remodel and I bought them from him to finished my bar top and stained the cabs a lighter color. I couldn't be happier. It really depends on what you want. Personally, I like contrast but I have seen dark cabs and dark bar tops that looked good too. Again, it's personal preference. Good luck and post your pics.
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post #5 of 76 Old 02-03-2013, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, I know this drawing sucks but I cant figure out how to put my Sketchup one on here, so this will have to do. I know Ive been posting a lot of questions and theyre kind of all over the place. Trying to figure so many things out at one time. Getting the feeling I cant move on to one thing with out getting "this" figured out, and on and on. Its a crazy cycle. I think Ive finally got the layout I want figured out and close to figuring out the sound system Im putting in.

Im going to have my TV on the N wall. Centered between the soffit and the W wall. Couch will be about 10' South. I will be building a in-wall a/v rack in the wall under the stairs behind the bar. After feeding up walls and over to the tv the run will need about 40'.

Ive really been trying to understand how this hdmi over cat5e/6 works but still am not positive. Should I run a HDMI or HDMI w/Redmere to it? ($35-65 on Monoprice) Or do I run dual Cat6 (7/piece, $14 total)? Is the picture the same? How about audio? Would I have to run separate audio cables? What do you recommend?

All of my speaker wire runs will be 50' or less. Probably not even that long. More around the 40' range but just to be safe im gonna sat 50'. Is 16awg ok, or do I need to go down to 14awg?

For audio ( I know this isnt top notch, but the majority of my budget is going into finishing the basement so Ill have to do a speaker upgrade when I can afford it) Im either going to get the Pioneer SP-PK22BS 5.1 system, or the Energy Take Classic 5.1. Im kind of leaning toward the Pioneer system, because Im not overly concerned about the size of the speakers (although I do not want towers) since the room is approximately 24x20. The TV will be mounted and all the a/v equipment will be on a shelf so it shouldnt look to cluttered. Not positive on the receiver but ill probably just get whatever is the best price with the most HDMI inputs. Ill be running DirecTV, BluRay and XBMC so no real need for anything special that I can think of. I was looking at some of the Denon AVR 1312 or maybe 1612. Any thoughts?

Will I need any other wires/cords for this setup? Anything for the sub, speakers, tv? as for now im thinking ...
approximately 300' speaker wire
4 - 1.5' to 3' hdmi cables (from components to a/v receiver and wall to tv)
2 - 40' cat6
2 - HDMI over Cat6 wall plates
6 - Wall plate with banana plug

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post #6 of 76 Old 02-04-2013, 09:00 AM
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In my opinion......

I would get a 50' HDMI cable with redmere and that should be fine. 50' runs of 16ga speaker cable is no problem. I would run conduit from the AV rack to the TV so you aren't locked into HDMI forever. I would also run cat6 ethernet to the TV and to the AV rack.

I'd go with the pioneers but people seem happy with both.

Have you considered having the door to the utility room in the bathroom instead of the main room?
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post #7 of 76 Old 02-04-2013, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bepperb View Post

In my opinion......

I would get a 50' HDMI cable with redmere and that should be fine. 50' runs of 16ga speaker cable is no problem. I would run conduit from the AV rack to the TV so you aren't locked into HDMI forever. I would also run cat6 ethernet to the TV and to the AV rack.

I'd go with the pioneers but people seem happy with both.

Have you considered having the door to the utility room in the bathroom instead of the main room?

Thanks for the response! I was getting nervous I wasn't going to get any feedback lol.
I would have loved to out the door in the bathroom but unfortunately the lower right hand part of the bathroom will be the shower, and the upper left hand jog of the utility room is where the furnace is.

As for the media cables...
I trust your opinion since I'm relatively new at a set up like this. One question though. Is there a reason or benefit to running both? Will there be a difference in quality between the two? Expecially with the cost difference between them?

Also, with a 5.1 setup any recommendations on where to put the speakers and subs? How high should I put my speaker wall plates? (ceilings are about 7'10) will I need to run any special cables for the sub?

Thanks again for the help!
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post #8 of 76 Old 02-04-2013, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Almost forgot, what kind of conduit should I run? Is there something it HAS to be or any recommendations? Just regular pvc ok? Also what size would you go with?
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post #9 of 76 Old 02-05-2013, 08:39 AM
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There isn't a huge difference in the quality of a signal over different HDMI cables, and since it's digital the picture should be perfect or not there at all (or dropping out intermittently). Really on the long runs you're more likely to have handshake issues or other annoying intermittent problems than a bad picture. Redmere is a chip built into the cable end that allows them to use twisted pair wires (rather than parallel pairs) which is cheaper to do and allows longer distances. Your other option is a higher quality cable 22 or 24 awg for a run that long, but that will cost more and not work any differently. So redmere is what I would recommend, but also use conduit since someday there will be something better. I would also run Cat6 since smart tv's or a video game console might need internet, or ??? you might want to place there in a year or two. Maybe not. But don't worry too much about the quality difference in HDMI cables and just go to monoprice or amazon and get something reasonably priced.

I understand the problem with the door and assumed there was a reason. I used R13 in the wall around my furnace and it helped a lot cutting down the noise of the blower, so I'd recommend that.

The grey pvc conduit for electrical apps is a lot cheaper than the white pluming pvc. I think I went 1-1/4 or 1-1/2. The pipes and elbows were "belled" so they just fit right into each other it was pretty easy. sucked a string through with the shop vac no problem.

The rear speakers should be 2' above the listeners head between 90 and 110 degrees behind them, pointed at the listener. I put them a little higher because mine are a bit in the way.

Sub needs an electrical outlet and an rca cable. Ideally it would be in a corner and close to the listener, but the sub placement isn't that critical because people don't have the ability to locate the source of deep bass the way we can with upper frequencies.

I'm off to buy one more box of flooring, don't make that mistake!
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post #10 of 76 Old 02-05-2013, 08:54 AM
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This is what you'd want to run from receiver to sub:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10236
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post #11 of 76 Old 02-06-2013, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great responses. I think I should be able to place my order through monoprice with that advice
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post #12 of 76 Old 02-07-2013, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
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If I run both hdmi and cat6 to my TV location, what kind of wall plate will I use? Will I need two separate hookups? I've been looking on monoprice but can't find one that has both. Just hdmi over cat6. Am I blind or what would be a good solution to this?
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post #13 of 76 Old 02-07-2013, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JReuter21 View Post

If I run both hdmi and cat6 to my TV location, what kind of wall plate will I use? Will I need two separate hookups? I've been looking on monoprice but can't find one that has both. Just hdmi over cat6. Am I blind or what would be a good solution to this?

I have a wall plate just for Cat 6, and a separate plate with power on the left side and an open spot on the right for any type of cable you want. I'll run the HDMI through the right side and also leave my two extra Cat6 runs behind the larger plate in case I need them in the future.

Sorry I don't have a link to the plates I'm using, but I got them from Home Depot. (Yes I'm an idiot who didn't bother to look on Monoprice for them as I probably would have save a bunch of $$)
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post #14 of 76 Old 02-09-2013, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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So now I'm trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to do my av rack. I would like to do a in-wall build behind my bar. It is the wall that runs along the stairs and is a load bearing wall. Will this be a problem? What dimensions is best for a av rack? It obviously won't fit between the 16oc studs so I will have to do some re framing. Is that okay on a load bearing wall. Gotta get this figured out so I can figure out where to run my conduit and know exactly how much to buy.
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post #15 of 76 Old 02-10-2013, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Not trying to be pushy, but am really trying to figure this all out and could really use some help. smile.gif Anyone have any idea on the size of a good av rack and if its ok to put in a load bearing wall?

Also, was at Lowes looking at conduit. I saw the grey electrical conduit. Im not sure exactly what size I should get? Any idea what size the Redmere HDMI cable heads are? Or what size of conduit will be recommended? From the feedback im getting it looks like Ill need to run 2 cat6 and a HDMI. Im assuming a minimum of 1 1/4". Or bigger?

My main concern with the electrical conduit is, it will have to run about 17' through (perpindicular) my floor joists. They are I beams spaced 19.2" apart. That conduit didnt seem to have much flex in it. Im not sure if ill be able to fish it through the floor joists. Anyone have any idea on this? If not what would be my next best option for a run of that length and thickness? Thanks guys
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post #16 of 76 Old 02-10-2013, 06:54 PM
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I can only speak from what I'm doing in my basement, so I may be wrong....but I'm not running any of my Cat6 or HDMI through conduit/PVC. I am running 3/4" smurf tube to the important locations like media cabinet, and behind the TV's. I'll use a vacum to suck a string through the tube to fish any cables I might need to run in the future. Smurf tube is pretty flexible so you should be able to move it around through your room as needed.

Sorry I can't help you on the media rack, and load bearing wall. I don't imagine attaching anything to a load bearing wall would be a problem, but I wouldn't cut into it.
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post #17 of 76 Old 02-10-2013, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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So, your just running your media cables on their own from the media area to the tv,and running empty smurf tube? Just wanted to make sure I got that right. Has anyone found smurf tube in a bigger diameter that 3/4"? Is that big enough? That's all I could find at the big box stores.
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post #18 of 76 Old 02-11-2013, 06:52 AM
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I can take pics tonight and post them, but yes. I have the media cables ran together being held by small "u" brackets. The 3/4" smurf tube won't fit and HDMI connector but it will fit Ethernet which is all I figured I would need it for. If we have CAT20 in the future pushing ridiculous fast connections then I can run it.
I'm pretty sure you can order larger dimensions online, but I couldn't find anything larger than 3/4" at any box stores in KC.
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post #19 of 76 Old 02-11-2013, 09:08 AM
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For the load bearing wall I would cut out the one stud, put a jack stud 5.5 inches shorter on the stud on either side of it, and use double 2x6 for the header (I think you could get away with double 2x4 but for the extra 2 bucks I'd rather avoid an inspection headache). This would give you a 27.5" opening that should fit any rack you want since they are usually around 20~22 inches wide.

Take a look here:

http://www.duluthmn.gov/building_safety/general/Header%20Tables%20-%202007%20MN%20Residential%20Code.pdf

for a picture of what you're doing and what spans are acceptable in the header you're going to put in.

Running the 1.25 or 1.5" conduit through the joists would be a huge pain. Is there any way you can do the runs parallel to the joists in the ceiling and then the perpendicular runs in/behind the walls? Or consider the smurf tubing since that would be much easier to run through the joists. A 1.5 inch hole with a holesaw would take ten times longer than a 3/4 or 7/8 hole with a speedbor bit. Probably more. IMO 3/4 conduit would be pretty full with the three cables you have planned. If you crimp your own ends on the cat6 that would help fit more in the smurf tube.

I looked and I ran 1.25 not 1.5 and that's plenty of space IMO.
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post #20 of 76 Old 02-11-2013, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Pics would be awesome, thanks! The only other ideas I can think of, would be 1 1/2 or 2" sump pump hose but can only find that in 24' runs so I would have to tie them together. Or split loom tubing, but they are both corrugated so idk how much of an issue that would be. The sump pump hose was cheap though (about$9 per 24')

Haven't posted any pics yet so I figured I'd post a few of my progress. I'm just finishing the framing and getting ready for data/electrical.

This is the load bearing wall under the stairs and behind the bar where I want to build my in wall av rack.


View that shows the layout somewhat. Marked with tape to show where the bar will be on the right, pool table in the middle and screen on the wall. And approximately where the couch will be

Just a pic of the back (where all our junk is right now). It will be BR, Bathroom, Utility room, BR (from right to left)



Just another view from the bottom of the stairs.
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post #21 of 76 Old 02-11-2013, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bepperb View Post

For the load bearing wall I would cut out the one stud, put a jack stud 5.5 inches shorter on the stud on either side of it, and use double 2x6 for the header (I think you could get away with double 2x4 but for the extra 2 bucks I'd rather avoid an inspection headache). This would give you a 27.5" opening that should fit any rack you want since they are usually around 20~22 inches wide.

Take a look here:

http://www.duluthmn.gov/building_safety/general/Header%20Tables%20-%202007%20MN%20Residential%20Code.pdf

for a picture of what you're doing and what spans are acceptable in the header you're going to put in.

Running the 1.25 or 1.5" conduit through the joists would be a huge pain. Is there any way you can do the runs parallel to the joists in the ceiling and then the perpendicular runs in/behind the walls? Or consider the smurf tubing since that would be much easier to run through the joists. A 1.5 inch hole with a holesaw would take ten times longer than a 3/4 or 7/8 hole with a speedbor bit. Probably more. IMO 3/4 conduit would be pretty full with the three cables you have planned. If you crimp your own ends on the cat6 that would help fit more in the smurf tube.

I looked and I ran 1.25 not 1.5 and that's plenty of space IMO.

Thanks for the link. That's just what I was looking for. That really helps.

As for the conduit,idk why I didn't think of it,but I have a soffit that will actually run that whole distance. So I should be able to run it that way and then run it along my sil plate and down to where I need it. I will just have to add to 90° elbows for for a total of 4.is that too many turns?
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post #22 of 76 Old 02-11-2013, 07:12 PM
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Shouldn't be too many turns, just suck a piece of string through it with a vacum and leave it in the conduit so you can pull future cables through.
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post #23 of 76 Old 02-11-2013, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Shouldn't be too many turns, just suck a piece of string through it with a vacum and leave it in the conduit so you can pull future cables through.

Would you recommend that I run my HDMI and/or cat 6 through the conduit, or run them along the outside of the empty conduit and just use it for future add ons?

Also,now that I have more room to work with,what size should I shoot for? 1.25, 1.5, 2?
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post #24 of 76 Old 02-12-2013, 07:43 AM
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The nice thing about the electrical conduit is that the 90 degree elbows have such a large radius it makes pulling cables through it... well... at least easier. I would run the cat6 and speaker wire alongside it and the HDMI in it, but it probably wouldn't matter. I think 1.5 is probably the largest I could see someone needing.
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post #25 of 76 Old 02-12-2013, 11:24 AM
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I'm not running any of my A/V wiring through conduit because I don't have enough room, which is also the reason for going with 3/4". Since you can run everything through your soffit, it wouldn't hurt to put the HDMI cable inside 1.5" PVC so that if it fails under warranty you can easily pull and replace.
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post #26 of 76 Old 02-13-2013, 02:43 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I now have been really looking through monoprice, and am learning there is a lot of cable technology I was not aware of. I'm trying to research it but was hoping you guys could cut out several hours of my research with your knowledge. I've somewhat asked these questions already, so I apologize a head of time, I hope you all don't think I'm an idiot.

Hdmi over cat6 vs hdmi with ethernet, is there a difference and what is the difference? I was under the impression that hdmi over cat6 was running 2 cat6 cables to your location then converting into hdmi out of the wall plate. On monoprice they have hdmi with ethernet that just looks like a hdmi. Was I just wrong about what it was or is that 2 different things? Is there a benefit of using one over the other?

If you can transfer hdmi quality signal over the 2 cat6 cables (hdm over cat6, if that's how it works) on a run of about 40 ft, why would I use the hdmi with redmere for about $70 when I could get a couple of cat6 for under $20? Also, why would I run both?

Also, is there any recommendations of things any of you have ran when setting up your ht/mr or wish you would have that I'm not thinking of, or will possibly have a use for in the future? I'm just getting ready to make the final order on monoprice as soon as I can get this figured out, and would prefer to only have to pay shipping once, so want to get it right on the first order. We're starting to run the electrical this weekend as well so I don't want to have to make too many separate orders.

Initially I will have my main tv, with a 5.1 setup, xbox 360 w/kinect (still don't know how that's going to work since I'm trying to have the 360 in the AV rack) blu ray player, and Directv box) future I will be adding one tv that will require another run of approximately 40'.

That's all I know of right now but feel like there may be something I'll wish I did once it's too late. Sorry I know these posts kind of drag on and on, I really appreciate your time, patience and knowledge.
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post #27 of 76 Old 02-13-2013, 09:23 AM
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HDMI over cat 6 is a way to run the HDMI signal over a different, cheaper cable. Ethernet over HDMI is a way to run the ethernet over the HDMI cable without having to run another Cat6 cable alongside it. They do two different things, one being allowing longer cable runs over 50 feet and the other eliminating the need to run two cables.

On a 50 foot run it's probably cheaper to run a thicker gauge cable or a redmere cable than to run the HDMI over Cat 6 because you are not including the cost of the HDMI to Cat 6 adapters. The good adapters are not cheap. If the price is killing you (and I understand because my game room is a playroom for my kids with a budget to match) you can probably find a 24 gauge HDMI cable in a 40 or 45 foot length without redmere for 30 bucks and give it a try, return it if it's flaky. Monoprice isn't the only game in town, it's just that their prices are decent and their selection is intelligently layed out. This might work, return it if it doesn't:

http://www.amazon.com/Aurum-Cables-High-Speed-Cable/dp/B004Q72PEM/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1360772670&sr=8-6&keywords=50+foot+hdmi+24

or maybe pay a bit more for a 24 (vs 26) awg cable:

http://www.amazon.com/Tartan-HDMI-Cable-Ethernet-Black/dp/B0032GJD4S/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1360772807&sr=8-3&keywords=50+foot+hdmi+24awg

I would run both the HDMI and the Cat 6.... the HDMI for video from your receiver in the rack and the Cat 6 for internet/ethernet up to the tv. Because at some point someone is going to want to hookup a playstation/xbox/boxee/whatever up there and want hardwired ethernet. Or you'll buy a smart TV and your wife will prefer to just use that and not spend twenty minutes figuring out the AV system to watch one show. Or whatever.

If it were me I would hope your tv supports audio return channel over the HDMI cable. Then you can hook the xbox 360 up in front of the room directly to the TV where the kinect, controllers, whatever comes next can hookup to it easily and still have your 5.1 through the AV system with no additional cabling. It's not that it couldn't be in the rack, but is the skylander's base or whatever the next thing you need to plugin going to make a 50 foot cable run?
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post #28 of 76 Old 02-14-2013, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bepperb View Post


I would run both the HDMI and the Cat 6.... the HDMI for video from your receiver in the rack and the Cat 6 for internet/ethernet up to the tv.

I think I will just go with the redmere cable and cat6. For the cat6 do I need to run 2(one the and one for return?) or is that just for doing the hdmi over cat6? Also what kind of wall plate will this require? Do they have 2gang data boxes?

If I do end up having to put my xbox hy the tv, that means I would have to run hdmi from xbox to TV then one from tv to avr? Along with the other one that's already connecting my avr to my TV? Or how does this reverse audio work? I haven't bought the tv yet so if needed ill make sure I buy one with it?
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post #29 of 76 Old 02-14-2013, 07:33 AM
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Go with one HDMI cable from AVR to TV, then for internet just run one Cat6 cable from TV to modem/router/switch. I ran 2 additional Cat6 cables along with the 1 for internet in case I decided to do HDMI over Cat6 in the future. If/When 4k TV's take off HDMI can handle the signal, but maybe not 4k 3D TV; and Cat6 could theoretically handle it. I will likely never have a need for them, but it was so cheap to run a extra so why not??

As far as placing your XBox at the TV, I'm not sure how that works. I was planning to put mine 25' away from the TV, so I'm interested in how this could work as well.

Don't worry about asking a bunch of questions, that's how we all learn. Better to ask and do it right the first time, then have "I wish" statements after you're done with your project.
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post #30 of 76 Old 02-14-2013, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Reyes View Post

Go with one HDMI cable from AVR to TV, then for internet just run one Cat6 cable from TV to modem/router/switch. I ran 2 additional Cat6 cables along with the 1 for internet in case I decided to do HDMI over Cat6 in the future. If/When 4k TV's take off HDMI can handle the signal, but maybe not 4k 3D TV; and Cat6 could theoretically handle it. I will likely never have a need for them, but it was so cheap to run a extra so why not??.
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Thats pretty much exactly what im thinking I want to do.
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As far as placing your XBox at the TV, I'm not sure how that works. I was planning to put mine 25' away from the TV, so I'm interested in how this could work as well.
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I found some extender cables on monoprice that were 10'. From the reviews it sounds like once you get more than 2 connected together it starts to lag. That might work for you? Might want to check it out. I dont think Ill be able to pull that off unless I find something that will give me more distance. I guess if it comes down to it when I want to use the Kinect (which isnt really very often) I could just unplug the xbox and take it over and hook it up, but have it in the av rack for the majority of the time. I really dont want to build an av rack in wall and have everything in it then have the xbox sitting over there by itself. Dont really want to put a stand under the tv.

Any other suggestions before I order? Anything else good that you ran besides things to the tv? How about the IR extender (or whatever it is. never used one) Is that something that will need to be hard wired or is that all wireless?
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