Fireplace install-- where do the wires go? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-11-2007, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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So my wife really wanted a small flatpanel for our living room, and liked the idea of a fireplace install. I thought, "great!" and bought us a new 32" Bravia. Of course, she is one of those "no wires at all" types, which left me a little puzzled. My puzzlement came from where the wires can go. I am not an electrician, but it seems to me that if I routed A/V wires on the inside of the fireplace, that would be a bad idea. Wouldn't the wires melt? The fireplace is old red-brick.

I am just about to call an install service, but I thought that I might throw it out to the wisdom of the forum to see if I am missing something.

Any tips you could provide would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks again!
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-12-2007, 03:45 PM
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No, you won't want them in the fireplace, yes, they would melt and be a safety
& insurance issue. You certainly don't want to poke a hole through your flue either.

You should talk to a general contractor or fireplace expert. Typically the
flu inside the brick is where the heat is, and there is likely room for
AV wiring and AC power by an electrician. You should consult a pro,
since they would likely make the smallest mess removing and installing
bricks for routing wires and running romex for AC. Make sure you list everything
you plan to use with this tv (cable, satellite, DVD, etc....) The wires add
up quickly, and you have to figure out where all the boxes will go. If the boxes
are a long distance away, the HDMI cables can get expensive. The last thing you
want to do is run a couple of wires and AC and have all the mess, then realize
you are missing some wires to watch certain content. I have two TV's
over two fireplaces, but I don't have a brick facing. Each TV has 8 AV wires,
and I could have used more coax w/ F-type connectors.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-12-2007, 05:47 PM
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I'm looking to do an above fireplace install soon (no brick facing). I've been assuming the best way to handle that would be to buy a flat-panel with a media box. Otherwise, I think it would get really ugly. Unfortunately, that rules out a lot of the best new models.

David
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-13-2007, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddell View Post

I'm looking to do an above fireplace install soon (no brick facing). I've been assuming the best way to handle that would be to buy a flat-panel with a media box. Otherwise, I think it would get really ugly. Unfortunately, that rules out a lot of the best new models.


What do you mean by "media box"? I have my sony 32" over the fireplace and it only looks
great when you don't see anything but the TV. Wiring was not simple and you have to
plan ahead, but I was able to keep my wire run to ~15' so the hdmi cable wasn't
outrageous. I have power and 1 HDMI, 4 RCA, 1 F-type coax, 1 ethernet, 2 cat 6, 1 mini stereo,
and one VGA cable in the wall from behind the TV to a cabinet at the side of the room.
Power was tapped off a local outlet by an electrician, with a surge protector clock outlet.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-13-2007, 10:05 PM
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By media box, I mean the Media Receiver setup that some Pioneer Plasmas have and Sharp Aquos used to have. Here are a couple of models:

Pioneer PRO-1130HD or PDP5060HD or Sharp LC-45GX6U (which I own).

This way all the connections or into the media receiver box in the cabinet with only power and one system cable connected to the TV on the wall. I like that design, but these models are harder to find than they used to be.

Of course, with good installation you can make it beautiful with the integrated inputs, but I think it's more work when it's wall mounted.

David
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-15-2007, 10:21 PM
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Mine looks like this. Can't get much cleaner looking.
LL
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-15-2007, 11:44 PM
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Beautiful! Did you have to re-sheet rock / paint?

David
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-16-2007, 12:18 PM
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Not on that wall, but there was repair needed on the ceiling and a side wall where
the wires were run.

It just so happened we had the house replumbed, which ripped up a lot of
sheetrock. A few extra holes cost nothing to have the sheetrock folks
patch everything. Regarding painting, the inside needed new painting and we
wanted to change the color scheme, so we did it in order so the extra cost was
negligible.

If you don't have other work going on, it would take about a 6 inch hole at the ceiling / wall
area above the TV, then similar sized holes at each stud if you wire against the joists, or
only near the walls if you run with the joists. KEEP ALL THESE CUTOUTS AND NUMBER
THEM ON THE BACK! The cutouts have fuzzy edges which helps them be blended and
textured. It is almost impossible to get an invisible sheetrock patch if you're filling a hole
with a new sharp edge of sheetrock.

For going through the joists, I used a spade bit on my 3/8" drill. It only needs to accomodate
the largest connector, which is probably the HDMI connector. My advice would be to
put 3 extra RCA cables and at least 2 F-type coax cables. The extra RCA's can be used for
component, composite, L/R stereo, and be used to or from the TV. (suppose you want
to tune the tv and send stereo back to your receiver to use the room speakers)
My cable bundle is 3-4 inches in diameter to this tv. You don't need a 4 inch hole in
each joist though, you only have the bundle all together behind the TV and where it
comes out of the wall behind your component area. They have nice clean wall covers
the size of regular outlet covers with big holes for cable bundles.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-16-2007, 01:25 PM
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if you don't want to rip open the drywall, you can get creative with mouldings and trim.



Fortunately, my Pioneer has a separate media receiver, so i had two cables to hide. you might be able to get away with something similar if you only use HDMI. a switcher with a long run to the tv would eliminate the amount of cables to hide. similarly, an HDMI A/V receiver would work as well, but cost more (maybe the wife will go for it?) the color of the media receiver cable perfectly matches the brick mortar. so three grout lines up on the right side of the panel is the cable for the MR, which is attached with a single cable tie and blends in. the mantel i built myself with access on the right side for the cables to pass down the side inconspicuosly. you can see on the wall a simple plastic cable cover i bought from HD that's painted to match the wall. voila! no more cables. at least if you're not looking for them. sometimes it's easier to create an illusion than a solution.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-16-2007, 09:21 PM
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Clever! Good job!
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-17-2007, 05:06 AM
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CHolleman

A very nice installation, congratulations.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-18-2007, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenkriege View Post

So my wife really wanted a small flatpanel for our living room, and liked the idea of a fireplace install. I thought, "great!" and bought us a new 32" Bravia. Of course, she is one of those "no wires at all" types, which left me a little puzzled. My puzzlement came from where the wires can go. I am not an electrician, but it seems to me that if I routed A/V wires on the inside of the fireplace, that would be a bad idea. Wouldn't the wires melt? The fireplace is old red-brick.

I am just about to call an install service, but I thought that I might throw it out to the wisdom of the forum to see if I am missing something.

Any tips you could provide would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks again!

Hello:

See the pics below. There is a pipe running behind my fireplace, outside the fireplace unit that conveys the wires around the 'firebox'.

Any good contractor can do it for you. I am in homebuilding and I use one of our low voltage contractors (alarms and cable) to do all my wiring, rather then an electrician. They are very familiar with what will and won't work.

If you don't know anyone, drive through you nearest new home community and look for the homes that are almost complete. You will be able to find someone who will be able to help you out.

Splotto
LL
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