Fireplace mount questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 09-20-2006, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I hope this goes in this section but if not if a moderator could put it in it's proper place I'd appreciate it.

here is my issue I'm having, basement is almost done and just waiting for carpet and then a projector so in the meantime I bought a 42" Westinghouse LCD monitor. My dilemma is where to place it in my living room. The only wall to put it on would not work out because we couldn't place a couch anyplace without it A) cutting the room in half or b) blocking the fireplace. That said we think putting it above the fireplace would be a good idea. Easy right ? Oh no, hence my posting.

For those who have mounted their sets above their fireplaces did you have any issues? I figured I could just put a mount that can angle down a bit and place the set on it but how would I run the cords so they look neat? Would it be possible to drop it down the wall behind the TV? or since it's a fireplace wall will I run into issues because of the chimney? I'd have to run ALL the input cables this way to get the look I want.

There is also no power outlet nearby so I'd have to add another. Could people post their fireplace tv setups to give me a better idea?

here is a pic of the fireplace in question, also I'm not sure where I would place the AV equipment. Also the location of the couch in the picture is driving the fiance mad and is no way a solution lol

The window treatments on the right hide a large sliding glass door to my backyard, and the treatments on the left hide a window, makes it tough to place equipment in front of ya know.


Let me know if I can provide anymore answers to be more descriptive. I could always post pics of the entire living room and maybe get some suggestions on TV placement.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 29 Old 09-20-2006, 08:31 AM
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is there a brick wall under the plaster, or an open cavity. I had a gas fireplace, and it was open behind the wall, I could then run all my cables back there. Gas fireplaces should be insulated, so the cavity isn't that warm. The exhaust is directed outside, so the cables were fine. I had a shelf to the right, so I could run cables there, but you may need to go down to the basement, or up to the attic to reach the AV equipment in another part of the room.

Poking holes in the basement ceiling isn't too hard to repair unless you have that nasty popcorn treatment on the ceiling.

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post #3 of 29 Old 09-20-2006, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if there is brick behind the drywall, it is a woodburning fireplace so maybe? I don't have too much room on either side of the fireplace to run cables, hmm
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post #4 of 29 Old 09-20-2006, 02:43 PM
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Take a look at this...I just did the a few weeks ago.
All of the cables go back to the office where they hook up to the PC, DVR and a DVD player....So that way everything is nice and clean in the living room...All you see is the TV.
So I can use the 50" with a Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse as my PC monitor in my living room...That way I can surf the WEB or whatever and when I want to lesion to music I can pull up the itunes on the 50" and pick my music and lesion to it in the living room and in the office at the same time. ..VERY COOL


Opps...guy I trying to post the photos but they are to big...can you tell me how to post them?


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post #5 of 29 Old 09-20-2006, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillinintheoc View Post

Take a look at this...I just did the a few weeks ago.
All of the cables go back to the office where they hook up to the PC, DVR and a DVD player....So that way everything is nice and clean in the living room...All you see is the TV.
So I can use the 50" with a Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse as my PC monitor in my living room...That way I can surf the WEB or whatever and when I want to lesion to music I can pull up the itunes on the 50" and pick my music and lesion to it in the living room and in the office at the same time. ..VERY COOL


Opps...guy I trying to post the photos but they are to big...can you tell me how to post them?


Jim Maloney

resize them or email them to me to post for you (amdspitfire at netscape dotnet)
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post #6 of 29 Old 09-20-2006, 02:54 PM
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Here is a photo of the fireplace in my current new home build to give you an idea of a regular install.

Where I have the red outlines is where I'm adding some 2 x 4's to brace the LCD or Plasma set I will eventually be installing. The mount I've picked is an articulating arm type with a long range or movement and swing so I need to have a lot of strength in the bracing as many flat panels are quite heavy (especially plasmas).


Click on Photo to enlarge.


Check out my construction thread below -

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post #7 of 29 Old 09-20-2006, 03:02 PM
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on it's way to you

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post #8 of 29 Old 09-20-2006, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by amdspitfire View Post

resize them or email them to me to post for you (amdspitfire at netscape dotnet)

on its way to you

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post #9 of 29 Old 09-21-2006, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok now after sitting and thinking about this more I might have come up with a solution. Although I'd rather not I think I will have to add a recessed outlet above the mantel for the LCD to plug into. As far as my input cables go could I just keep the components on the opposite wall and run everything to my TV via ONE HDMI, DVI, or component given my receiver does HDMI switching or at least switching of the only cable type going to the TV? THe cable could be run underneath the living room floor (above my drop ceiling in the basement) and then up the inside of the wall into the back ot the set?

I'm guessint I would need a 25' cable, maybe more. Would I have degredation of signal at that length?

Hope all that made sense!
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post #10 of 29 Old 09-21-2006, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2panther View Post

Ok now after sitting and thinking about this more I might have come up with a solution. Although I'd rather not I think I will have to add a recessed outlet above the mantel for the LCD to plug into. As far as my input cables go could I just keep the components on the opposite wall and run everything to my TV via ONE HDMI, DVI, or component given my receiver does HDMI switching or at least switching of the only cable type going to the TV? THe cable could be run underneath the living room floor (above my drop ceiling in the basement) and then up the inside of the wall into the back ot the set?

I'm guessint I would need a 25' cable, maybe more. Would I have degredation of signal at that length?

Hope all that made sense!

Its a digital signal, so degredation shouldn't be an issue. Either you get the signal or you don't. Just test the cable before you run it. Test your whole setup to verify it works before you go cable fishing. Good Luck, and post some pics when you are done.

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post #11 of 29 Old 09-25-2006, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Still haven't put any holes in the walls yet as I'm still reseatching and I'd rather not patch drywall where I don't need to. Without putting holes in the wall is there a way to tell if there is brick behind the drywall? That would obviously limit my cable running ideas.

Also on the right hand side of the wood trim there is an outlet I noticed (we recently moved in) which comes out of the vent on the bottom of the fireplace and up the right hand side trim. I can only assume that the previous owners used it to light some lamps on the mantle or Christmas lights. I ended up taking the vent off to investigate and there is on outlet where this extention cord plugs in but it's not a normal outlet. It only has one plug and it's only two prong (no ground?) so it looks like that's out, anyone ever seen that before? Outlet underneath fireplace but hidden behind the vent panel?

I'm starting to think the only way to be sure if I can hide the wires is to just go ahead and start putting holes in the wall which makes me a tad nervous.
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post #12 of 29 Old 09-25-2006, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2panther View Post

Still haven't put any holes in the walls yet as I'm still reseatching and I'd rather not patch drywall where I don't need to. Without putting holes in the wall is there a way to tell if there is brick behind the drywall? That would obviously limit my cable running ideas.

Also on the right hand side of the wood trim there is an outlet I noticed (we recently moved in) which comes out of the vent on the bottom of the fireplace and up the right hand side trim. I can only assume that the previous owners used it to light some lamps on the mantle or Christmas lights. I ended up taking the vent off to investigate and there is on outlet where this extention cord plugs in but it's not a normal outlet. It only has one plug and it's only two prong (no ground?) so it looks like that's out, anyone ever seen that before? Outlet underneath fireplace but hidden behind the vent panel?

I'm starting to think the only way to be sure if I can hide the wires is to just go ahead and start putting holes in the wall which makes me a tad nervous.


Nail a finishing nail through the dry wall. Easy hole to patch, and you will know quickly if something hard is back there. If there is a cavity, there will be no resistance. If you have a wood burning fireplace, you will have something back there, the question is how much room do you have to deal with. A gas fire place, and it could be a wide open cavity back there.

For the outlet, take the cover off and see if a ground is in there. If a ground wire is back there, you can always change the outlet to a 3 prong. If you put in a 3 prong, you can get a simple tester at Home Depot or Lowes for less that $10 that can plug into any 3 prong outlet and tell you if it is wired correctly. It will let you know if your ground is hooked up.

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post #13 of 29 Old 09-25-2006, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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If you have a wood burning fireplace, you will have something back there, the question is how much room do you have to deal with.

It is indeed a wood burning fireplace and I was afraid of that, I'm thinking now that maybe a raceway or something will be a better choice, maybe run it down the side wood trim or something. Although I know it will bother the heck outta me to see the raceway even if I painted it to match the walls.

As far as the outlet is concerned it's in a spot that is difficult to get at so getting a screw drive in there to take the cover off and having enough room to actually wire it is just about impossible I think. My dreams of a fireplace mounted TV are fading. All I can say for my living room is....

worst. setup. ever.
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post #14 of 29 Old 09-25-2006, 08:44 AM
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I couldn't tell in the picture if the trim went up behind those curtains. You might be able to carefully pry those off, see if a gap was in the drywall, if not, dig a trench to run the cables down, then replace the trim to cover it. You can run over to the trim either just above or behind the mantel. The mantel should just be really thick trim that can be removed and replaced too. Things on the mantel can hide cables there. Or even different paintin techniques can help to hide it. In my last house, my wife stencelled ivy on the walls, that really helps to break of the visual patterns of the wire.

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post #15 of 29 Old 09-25-2006, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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The top piece of the mantel is an add on the other homeowners added, just another piece of wood screwed onto the original mantel to give them a wider top to put things on. I will have to investigate and see how it comes off.

I'm pretty sure I can get romex up from the basement to the bottom of the fireplace, could I run the romex up behind the fireplace trim?

Man I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this as I usually pick things up pretty quick but this is driving me nuts lol
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post #16 of 29 Old 09-25-2006, 11:21 AM
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I'm not an electrician, or an inspector, so I can't comment on if it is ok code wise, but physically, yes you should be able to run that.

I should correct my statement about the mantel. It may be attached simply like trim, or it could be pretty solid. Depends on how far the installer went. If you remove it carefully, you can re-apply it, and seal the edges (against the wall) with painters caulk, and it will look like it had never been moved.

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post #17 of 29 Old 04-23-2007, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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going through my subscriptions I found this thread. TV's been up for some time now. Here is the final product, sorry for the quality.



still need a component shelf or rack or something, can't find anything I really like.
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post #18 of 29 Old 06-20-2007, 03:51 PM
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In the July 2007 issue of "Home Theater" mag., in a letter to the editor, a reader asked about mounting a large flat-panel HDTV above his fireplace. The editor (Geoffrey Morrison) strongly recommended against this. For one, heat is very bad for electronics. Another reason is that it's literally a pain in the neck to tilt one's neck up to watch TV. That said, if one really wants to mount a large TV above the FP, plasma would be the best choice since it has the largest viewing angle (including vertical angle).

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post #19 of 29 Old 06-20-2007, 05:48 PM
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Regardless of the several "Don't Do It!" reason, it makes sense for many living rooms to maximize seating, visibility, and general decorating layout.

Here is my result after fishing power and video cables through my attic.

I have a gas fireplace so the wall above the fireplace is open.







As you can see I simply placed a 36" board across three studs and lag bolted them to the studs and then just lag bolted my mount to the board. Reduced holes cut in my drywall and definitely made it a simple process. I painted the board black to look as a part of the mount. I think it turned out nice.

TIP: Don't save this work for a day when it is 90F out because your attic will be over 120F!!!

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post #20 of 29 Old 06-21-2007, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulf7 View Post

In the July 2007 issue of "Home Theater" mag., in a letter to the editor, a reader asked about mounting a large flat-panel HDTV above his fireplace. The editor (Geoffrey Morrison) strongly recommended against this. For one, heat is very bad for electronics. Another reason is that it's literally a pain in the neck to tilt one's neck up to watch TV. That said, if one really wants to mount a large TV above the FP, plasma would be the best choice since it has the largest viewing angle (including vertical angle).

Both my fiance and I like the set above the fireplace. I have a tilt mount and the angle is great for viewing. Neither one of us have experienced neck pain either

Over the winter we had many fires (wood burning) in the fireplace and never had any smoke issues or heat, the wall behind the tv doesn't even get hot to the touch. Your mileage may vary though.
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post #21 of 29 Old 06-21-2007, 08:17 AM
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Brick or metal flue? If you see brick or masonry of any kind as the visible chimney above the roof you have a masonry flue. There are minimum clearances required around the flue and firebox. As this is an important safety consideration I suggest that you speak with a local fireplace builder or your building department before you do anything. If the chimney above the roof is encased in wood you have metal flue. These are double walled and require less clearance, so there is more room to work with behind the sheet rock.

Hiding the wires-- Because you are modifying existing closed space, most codes allow you to run wires in ways not permitted with new work. For example pulling off molding and cutting a channel in the sheet rock just deep enough to hold the wire, and then replacing the molding.

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post #22 of 29 Old 06-21-2007, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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metal flue...

doesn't really matter now anyway lol it's done and sealed up. Been finished for months plus we're selling the house at the end of the year
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post #23 of 29 Old 06-21-2007, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2panther View Post

Both my fiance and I like the set above the fireplace. I have a tilt mount and the angle is great for viewing. Neither one of us have experienced neck pain either

Over the winter we had many fires (wood burning) in the fireplace and never had any smoke issues or heat, the wall behind the tv doesn't even get hot to the touch. Your mileage may vary though.

Cool, if it works for you, all the merrier. If the wall is well insulated and doesn't get warm, then I guess it'll work just fine w/o long-term damage.

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post #24 of 29 Old 06-21-2007, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Cool, if it works for you, all the merrier. If the wall is well insulated and doesn't get warm, then I guess it'll work just fine w/o long-term damage.

yeah we've been happy with it but after all the frustration of getting the wires run and everything setup my fiance decides we need to move

haha, next house gets the dedicated HT, w00t!
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post #25 of 29 Old 06-21-2007, 10:57 AM
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yeah we've been happy with it but after all the frustration of getting the wires run and everything setup my fiance decides we need to move

haha, next house gets the dedicated HT, w00t!

LOL isn't that all the case. You get the house just like you want it, then it's time to move out. Let me guess - you bought the house before you met her. But now she wants a "we" house instead of "your" house. Women ...

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post #26 of 29 Old 06-25-2007, 06:55 AM
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I have a tilt mount on my 42" plasma above the fireplace... I love it! It left floor space for my aquarium and allowed seating that would view the fireplace and TV. It's a gas fireplace and I haven't had any heat issues.

The mount is bolted into a single stud with three bolts. We sit about 8-10' away. I could see where you'd have neck strain though if you sat only 3-5' away. The other nice thing, is I can fully recline in my recliner or lay on the couch and still see the tv without straining my down (and personally, I spend more time recling/laying than sitting.... something they never address in those "don't do it" articles).



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post #27 of 29 Old 06-25-2007, 03:36 PM
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Another thread that reminds me how useful AVS can be.

I'm finding myself looking at a house that might me a big reconfig of my HD/home theater setup. After 3-1/2 yrs in a condo, we find ourselves w/ a 'bun in the oven' and may be making an offer on a house we've come across. All great news, but...

The potential new digs has a 1st floor layout that is nice and bright, but the punctuation of the space w/ windows doesn't afford me the nice stretch of wall to accommodate my steel equipment rack which perfectly houses my components and a 55" Sony RP HDTV. So, I'm left w/ the most likely option being the [GASP!] sale of said rack and RPTV sizing down to a 46-50" LCD or Plasma flat panel over the gas fireplace. The house's unfinished basement has some "man cave" potential for a future home theater, but that is down the road a ways, I think. My wife, God bless her, is more upset about the prospects of a smaller screen than I am, but I think a 2007-08 model 1080p upgrade could work out just fine...

So, my big questions are:

1) The choice between LCD and Plasma still makes me scratch my head. The new 1080p Sony Bravia's look good, but I've always wished I had better detail in the blacks than my 2004-era LCD-based RPTV afforded me. But I'd really like the option of a 46" for the space (42" being perhaps too small, and 50" perhaps too big), and I just don't know if Plasma is that much more bang for the buck anymore. For a bright open viewing space, which do folks think is a stronger choice? I.E., is the viewing angle advantage of Plasma that much an issue with the latest sets?

2) Should I run cables for every input or only the ones used...and can you do so to some sort of nice faceplate w/ matching jacks on a nearby wall? I like the idea of being a completist from the start so I don't have to do line-fishing down the line. I would love to have the option to reconfigure to my hearts content by simply shuffling things around in a nearby low-height console that will house my components (only about 10ft from the set).

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post #28 of 29 Old 06-25-2007, 04:44 PM
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I too am trying to do the same thing. This thread has been helpful but I must say I have another problem (possibly someone has a solution). How do you fish a DVI or HDMI cable because the heads are larger than fishing regular electrical wiring (of course HDMI is much smaller than DVI)? How do you drill a hole that big to fish such a wide head?
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post #29 of 29 Old 06-26-2007, 06:01 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanewalker View Post

1) The choice between LCD and Plasma still makes me scratch my head. The new 1080p Sony Bravia's look good, but I've always wished I had better detail in the blacks than my 2004-era LCD-based RPTV afforded me. But I'd really like the option of a 46" for the space (42" being perhaps too small, and 50" perhaps too big), and I just don't know if Plasma is that much more bang for the buck anymore. For a bright open viewing space, which do folks think is a stronger choice? I.E., is the viewing angle advantage of Plasma that much an issue with the latest sets?

2) Should I run cables for every input or only the ones used...and can you do so to some sort of nice faceplate w/ matching jacks on a nearby wall? I like the idea of being a completist from the start so I don't have to do line-fishing down the line. I would love to have the option to reconfigure to my hearts content by simply shuffling things around in a nearby low-height console that will house my components (only about 10ft from the set).

Great to hear that you are getting useful information from here. Be careful not to get your questions buried inside other threads as yours might not ever get addressed.

1.)For a bright open space, that you want to stay bright and open an LCD should be a no brainer. For me the technology was changing so fast that I opted for the best of the value brands and have plenty left over to wait and see what features will be standard in the years to come instead of worrying whether or not the latest revision of HDMI will be compatible with all the hardware I am connecting to it, etc. What is your viewing distance as this will affect what size TV you should buy and what resolution? I decided on a 42" LCD at 768p because I was only going to be 10ft from the TV and I wanted to be able to set stuff on the mantle still (actually the wife wanted to use the mantle still!).


2.)I did the same thing I think you are talking about. I only started with a VGA cable with audio and a coax for my OTA antenna. It is easy enough (not really fun though) to fish another cable through my low voltage opening (not wall plate) through the attic and down to the tv later. If I had the time and money I would have ordered a whole bunch of cables from Monoprice to future proof it but I didn't feel like I needed them and I don't at the moment.

Here is a picture of my setup (sometimes pictures don't load and I don't know why!).

Greg


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