Rack distance question + IR solution - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-01-2012, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,

I am planning out my build which will be starting soon, its a garage conversion, complete with a false wall and stage,

I have been reading that it is a bad idea to locate the equipment rack in the theater room itself, also the only spot i would be able to put equipment if it was located in the room would be under the screen on the stage,

The next best room to locate the rack is on the second floor, i did some measurements and cable runs from that room to the garage could be anywhere between 40 to 75 feet,

Will this distance be to far to locate a rack? i would need to run not only speaker wires for 7.1, but also HDMI for the projector and several game consoles located in the room for easy access.

Also what about IR?, what IR solutions will work in my case assuming the rack distance is doable? I remember seeing solutions where the main receiver part sits in the theater and connects via CAT5 back to a module in the rack with all the IR emitters, but never caught any brands or product numbers,

Looking forward to the responses,

Thanks,

Mike.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-01-2012, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhypolite View Post

I have been reading that it is a bad idea to locate the equipment rack in the theater room itself, also the only spot i would be able to put equipment if it was located in the room would be under the screen on the stage.

There are trade-offs in practically every element of theater design. Having equipment in the room, in cabinetry below the screen is fine. Certainly doesn't qualify as a "bad idea". You'll want to conceal the equipment behind some non-reflective doors (so the lights from the gear aren't shining out at the seats), and will need to deal with heat, but it's fine.
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The next best room to locate the rack is on the second floor, i did some measurements and cable runs from that room to the garage could be anywhere between 40 to 75 feet. Will this distance be to far to locate a rack? i would need to run not only speaker wires for 7.1, but also HDMI for the projector and several game consoles located in the room for easy access.

Ick. Anyone claiming having equipment in the room is a bad idea would be pushing for a dedicated closet just outside the theater. I don't think anyone would claim a location on another floor is better than having gear in the room. Think about what you'd go through just to load up a movie... And if you're thinking the game consoles would be in the room - why would the amp/receiver/BD player be any different?
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Also what about IR?, what IR solutions will work in my case assuming the rack distance is doable? I remember seeing solutions where the main receiver part sits in the theater and connects via CAT5 back to a module in the rack with all the IR emitters, but never caught any brands or product numbers,

Well, you may want to consider RF remote solutions or IP/WiFi "apps" regardless of the equipment location, just to avoid general IR issues (line of sight, pointing the remote, etc.). But IR is easily repeated with cat5 cable or any number of other wiring possibilities...

Hope that helps,

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-02-2012, 08:40 AM
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My rack is about 50ft from the theather. The speaker wire fo 7.1 came out to 70ft while projector runs were 50ft. It was a pain to do that, but I think well worth it.

For IR, I originally used a Logitech Harmony 900 with the RF base. I had to scrap that because it would only work if you are standing against the back the wall. I instead wired a Xantech IR distribution block and integrated an IR receiver into the false wall masking panels. The Receiver is connected to the block via a cat5e cable. The IR is going through about a 60ft run, but the distribution block also provides amplification.

The only downside to the setup I've encountered so far is that I can't use my Logitech Wireless keyboard in the theater. I don't really need it in there. For the rare occasion I do I just use a keyboard app on my iPad which works via wifi.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-02-2012, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys,

Jeff, The game consoles was located in the theater room because i will have to change disc etc, loading up a move will not require me to insert any discs as i use a media server and digitize all my discs, unless friends brings some movies over, that can become a bit tedious yes, most people mainly sighted noise/heat as the major culprit for moving everything out of the main theater, my room is 25x13.5x10, first row 14 feet from screen don't know if i will hear the tiny fans in the media server from that distances or not. You have made some very interesting points to consider.

On using RF vs IR, does anyone know if these interfere with the 3D emitter that the JVC projectors use? i have read somewhere that mentioned the emitters use IR


Scl23, i was thinking about the same thing regarding using my keyboard in the room if the rack is located elsewhere, and was looking into this deice;

http://www.amazon.com/USB-Extension-Cable-RJ45-Adapter/dp/B004XYEXX4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1343950523&sr=8-6&keywords=usb+over+%20Ethernet

I will have the USB receiver hidden in a column close to my seating area. Also Scl23 with your HDMI runs at that distance, did you have to use any balance devices that do hdmi over cat5 or its a regular HDMI cable? and what gauge was your speaker wire and sub-woofer RCA cable for them distances?


Thanks
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-03-2012, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhypolite View Post

Scl23, i was thinking about the same thing regarding using my keyboard in the room if the rack is located elsewhere, and was looking into this deice;
http://www.amazon.com/USB-Extension-Cable-RJ45-Adapter/dp/B004XYEXX4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1343950523&sr=8-6&keywords=usb+over+%20Ethernet
I will have the USB receiver hidden in a column close to my seating area. Also Scl23 with your HDMI runs at that distance, did you have to use any balance devices that do hdmi over cat5 or its a regular HDMI cable? and what gauge was your speaker wire and sub-woofer RCA cable for them distances?
Thanks

USB devices over an extension can be finicky. While theoretically that should work, I'd test it out with the length of ethernet cable before you run it through the wall. I've gotten a wired keyboard and mouse to work over a 25' cat5e extension, but couldn't get a USB harddrive or the Kinect to connect. At worst a simple powered USB extender should do the trick. Thanks for reminding me, I should get around to installing one of those myself.

As for HDMI, I didn't use any baluns. I bought a 50ft cable from Monoprice and tested it before hand. It was passing through what I needed without issue (I don't run 3D and whatever else the new HDMI standards can transmit). My reasoning was if they make a cable that long, it should be doing the job. If you decide to use a straight cable, run a few cat6 lines along side of it. They are cheap and you can always add the baluns later.

The speaker wire was 12awg in wall wire. I'm not sure about the subwoofer guage. It's the 75' "high-quality" one from Monoprice though.
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