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post #1 of 8 Old 10-11-2013, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all. I'm new to the forum after having several google searches bring me here. I've also discovered that I can get a lot better help and advice on these forums than speaking with anyone in person. We recently bought a house (7 years old) that has a 'theatre room'. This is actually just kind of an 'area' off a rec room. Kind of like a 1/2 octagon.

So, I'm looking to get this set up in a clean looking way. I'll hang the TV in the middle and I want to run all of the wiring into a nearby storage room where I'll have the components based.

Last night, I started pulling the baseboards and cutting 1" of drywall off the bottom to create an area to run wires. As I move forward in this project I've got some questions that have come up as well as I'm sure they'll be many more to come. But....for starters can I get some thoughts/advice on these things I've thought of:

1. I'll need to run a couple of HDMI cables from the components (Cable Box, DVD/CD Player). I've done a little research and found that you can actually have HDMI 'outlets' on both ends and run the blue (CAT5?) cables in between. Is this right? Good? Easy?

2. I've also seen that there are wireless subwoofers now? Is this something that can just be added to my current system? Or do I need a special receiver?

3. My rear speakers are already wired and placed on the wall near the ceiling. Would I be able to cut a hole in the ceiling and fish around the top corner and be able to put ceilign speaker in vs on the wall? Or..actually are ceiling better than wall?

4. Any things to keep in mind to extend speaker wire? I ask because there are speaker wires ran to where my TV will be that run into another living room. I'll use this for zone 2 from my receiver to play music, etc, but wondering about any issues that might be caused by extending speaker wires.

5.Do I need special rated wires to run in the walls (behind baseboards)?

6. Is a speaker bar as good as having a L/R/C channel as separate units?

7. Basic train of thought regarding the wiring that is needed:
- Cable Box: HDMI from box to TV. Audio (RCA?) from box to receiver.
- CD/DVD: HDMT from unit to TV. Audio from unit to receiver.
- Receiver: speaker wires
-is this right? is the video suppose to run through the receiver too?


As I was typing this, I was thinking that it would have been a good idea to have my componet information to share. Sorry, I'm at work and didnt' grab that, but know this:
1. TV is a 6 (or so) year old Pioneer plasma (50 or 55"??)
2. Receiver is Integra.
3. DVD/CD player is Sony (has 5 disc tray)
4. Mediacom cable...whatever that is.
(I'll get the model numbers of these and some photos to help out as I go...)



Sorry for all of the questions at once...on my first post...but just really looking for information to make sure I've got this thought out.

Thanks in advance for all of your help and advice!!
Steve
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-11-2013, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Chalk View Post

1. I'll need to run a couple of HDMI cables from the components (Cable Box, DVD/CD Player). I've done a little research and found that you can actually have HDMI 'outlets' on both ends and run the blue (CAT5?) cables in between. Is this right? Good? Easy?

They exist, but are not recommended. There are plenty of HDMI extenders, which all use cat5e cable(s), though, that can work well if you don't have HDMI to the TV. The faceplate "outlet" versions are generally "bus powered" meaning they get their power from the HDMI cable. They can be hit-or-miss. Better are versions that plug in using cat5e patch cords and have their own power adapters. Best are the HDBaseT units that use a single cable (instead of the typical two cat5e), but will be $200+ for the solution.
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2. I've also seen that there are wireless subwoofers now? Is this something that can just be added to my current system? Or do I need a special receiver?

As long as your receiver (AVR) has a subwoofer output ".1" RCA jack, you'll be able to use the wireless subwoofer transmitter. Note that the subwoofer itself will need to be plugged into power - this is just to deliver the audio signal.
Quote:
3. My rear speakers are already wired and placed on the wall near the ceiling. Would I be able to cut a hole in the ceiling and fish around the top corner and be able to put ceilign speaker in vs on the wall? Or..actually are ceiling better than wall?

Probably better on the wall, and unless you know where the wires are going, I wouldn't start cutting into the ceiling.
Quote:
4. Any things to keep in mind to extend speaker wire? I ask because there are speaker wires ran to where my TV will be that run into another living room. I'll use this for zone 2 from my receiver to play music, etc, but wondering about any issues that might be caused by extending speaker wires.

Are you running more wires or just using the existing ones? Larger gauge wire is better - use 16AWG or bigger (14, 12). But if there's wire run - use it.
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5.Do I need special rated wires to run in the walls (behind baseboards)?

Use "in-wall rated" wire if you're going into the walls (called CL2 or CL3 in some descriptions).
Quote:
6. Is a speaker bar as good as having a L/R/C channel as separate units?

Speaker "bar" as in a set of three speakers in one cabinet - they can as good but that will depend a lot on the speakers in the comparison. Use a speaker bar if you're wall mounting the TV. If this is the "main" TV, I'd think about three separate speakers to up the quality. I have a speaker bar in my bedroom system where I didn't want to cut lots of holes for in-walls.
Quote:
7. Basic train of thought regarding the wiring that is needed:
- Cable Box: HDMI from box to TV. Audio (RCA?) from box to receiver.
- CD/DVD: HDMT from unit to TV. Audio from unit to receiver.
- Receiver: speaker wires
-is this right? is the video suppose to run through the receiver too?

Easier / better to run everything to the AVR, and then a single HDMI cable to the TV. That gets you the best quality audio, and the on-screen display for source selection, volume, etc. Also makes the remote control situation easier, as the only command to the TV is power on/off.

Do some reading around these forums - you'll find your questions in general are well-covered ground around here...

Jeff

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post #3 of 8 Old 10-11-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Great...thanks for the quick reply with info.

 

To expand on at least a couple of issues.

1.  The back of my receiver (Integra DTR-4.6) does not have any HDMI inputs.  Do newer receivers have that or do I do a HDMI to the component inputs or something?  It would be great to just run one HDMI connection under the base board to the TV.

2.  The current front speakers I have are Boston Accoustic shelf speakers.  They sound great, but I'm not going to be using those so am I best to go with the speaker bar underneath the TV with all 3 (LRC) or try to snake up the wall and mount in the wall.

4.  My question about extending speaker wire was in reference to the fact that the rear speakers are already ran through the ceiling and come out from behind where the TV will be.  I'll need to extend those down the wall, along the floor and to the receiver in the storage room.  Can I just use electrical connectors to extend those?

 

Thanks again for the help!

Steve

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post #4 of 8 Old 10-11-2013, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Chalk View Post

1.  The back of my receiver (Integra DTR-4.6) does not have any HDMI inputs.  Do newer receivers have that or do I do a HDMI to the component inputs or something?  It would be great to just run one HDMI connection under the base board to the TV.

You might thing about an upgrade... Even the least expensive AVR these days has HDMI switching built-in. For $300-500 you can get an quite a receiver these days, with Internet music services and a whole bunch of other features... I'd certainly rather spend money on that rather than snaking a bunch of HDMI cables to the TV..
Quote:
2.  The current front speakers I have are Boston Accoustic shelf speakers.  They sound great, but I'm not going to be using those so am I best to go with the speaker bar underneath the TV with all 3 (LRC) or try to snake up the wall and mount in the wall.

Will very much depend on the choice of speaker(s). Will the speaker bar be mounted on the wall or sitting in a cabinet or stand under the TV? Shallow speaker bars of good quality are not cheap. Same for in-walls.
Quote:
4.  My question about extending speaker wire was in reference to the fact that the rear speakers are already ran through the ceiling and come out from behind where the TV will be.  I'll need to extend those down the wall, along the floor and to the receiver in the storage room.  Can I just use electrical connectors to extend those?

Yes, any good splice method will be fine.

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Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-11-2013, 08:51 PM
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My preference would be 3 front speakers. Could go on-wall with something like NHT on-wall.

So how big is this room - isolated room always has me thinking projection not a TV set...
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-12-2013, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll try to give some perspective with these pictures:

 

This is from the 'main' part of the rec room where the pool table is (currently as table tennis).  At the 'end' of this room is a theatre area, you can see the start of it and it goes to the right a bit.

 

This is from straight on to where the TV would mount.  Like I said before it's really like 5/8 of an octagon.  The two side panel are about 6' wide and the other three (Where TV is mounted and on each side) are about 5' wide.

 

Basically same photo, just stepped back a few steps to show a little more area.  You can see the one rear speaker mounts (i've got some old sonys up there now to make sure it all worked.) The other would be just up and to my left in this photo.  They're really not symetrical.

 

Sorry for the mess in the photos, just went down and shot these quick this morning.

 

 

Projection...I'm not sure how well that would all work into there...???  I don't have access to the the joists, all walls shown are outside walls.

 

What does NHT stand for?

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post #7 of 8 Old 10-12-2013, 08:26 PM
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Got it, yeah, the space would take some work to set up for a projector. I would probably put it where the pong table is and swap uses.

NHT is a speaker company, they are on the web. Widely liked at decent prices.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-14-2013, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I've decided to upgraded the receiver. Looks like I've got about 100,000 options...I'll get that narrowed down.


My main 'concern' now is the placement of the front left and right speakers. If you can see in my picture the layout of the room, you can see the TV mounted on one of the 'panels'...the ones to the right and to the left are where I was planning on mounting the left and right fronts....but since they are on a different angle/plain that the TV, is that a concern i should be worrying about?

Also- what should be the hieght of the front left and rights? and is the center channel better above or below the TV?

Thanks guys!
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