Still not clear on a few things - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-21-2009, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Guys,

I have been lurking for awhile trying to absorb as much info as I can. I am to the point where I need to get my A/V cables installed so I can drywall so I am trying to get as much info as possible, now.

My build is a family room/rec room and if I figure out how to add pics I will try to get those on here. This is a very humble build compared to some of the awesome, dedicated HT's I have seen on here.

I am installing a new LCD tv and want to have the option to move it should we want to change the room around. I have laid out the two locations for that as well as the speakers that would need to be rearranged for the surround system to follow.

My question basically lies around the cabling, wiring and connectors involved with this. I see guys running CAT5, CAT6, coax cable and more for their drops, but how do you get a coax cable to connect to an HDMI port? Or any other RCA-style (component, composite) connectors?

Do I need these things called baluns? My A/V setup (AVR receiver, cd, dvd, DVR (directv) and ipod) will be located on a shelf in one location and I want to have a connection to reach to my main PC in another room at the other end of the house (same floor) for playing movies or whatever off the PC or recording to it from my DVR.

The family and rec rooms are really one 20x22 room. I want to be able to play music when we are playing pool or foosball or just for entertaining. I want to also have the family room side with the lcd (may add a projector down the road as well) with surround sound (7.1 but 5.1 would suffice) and be able to hook up a Wii or PS2 or PS3 as well.

Maybe I am asking too many things at once here. I am capable of installing all of this (though it sounds like I am not!!), but just need some direction. I haven't yet found a thread that hits on the specifics of that. If there are threads that hit on this or an excellent book I can pick up that will work.

Can anyone help?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-21-2009, 12:14 PM
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If you run Cat5e/cat6, then it gives you an option to buy a balun to make your connection but I would not stop their. You can measure the length and buy a hdmi cable from monoprice.com or an equivilant store. Another option is to buy rapid run. Rapid Run is more expensive but makes it very easy to change out connectors (pretty flexible solution).

From what I have learned though, your best solution might be to invest into smurf tube and pull your wire later. Get a minimum of 1 inch in diameter of smurf tube. You want 1 inch in diameter due to the size of the hdmi head. This is the ultimate flexible solution.

You will need to figure out speaker locations for your home theater and pull speaker wire to each speaker location. You will need to terminate the speaker wires near your chosen location of you a/v equipment.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-21-2009, 01:27 PM
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I have some wiring diagrams and other stuff in the site in my sig.

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I'm onĀ Google Plus a lot moreĀ than online forums now, contact me there if you want something.

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post #4 of 9 Old 03-23-2009, 03:20 PM
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Here are some sites that helped me out, and they have diagrams, and I own and use their products. Highly recommend all of them...

http://www.htd.com/

http://www.avovercat5.com/

http://www.techtoolsupply.com/index....tion=CONTACTUS

Hope this helps!
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-02-2009, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, in the interest of getting the sheetrock moving I elected for the smurf tube option. I thought I bought the 3/4" at Lowe's but I bought and installed 200' of the 1/2".

I only realized it when I went out and got more 3/4 and when I got home and began to run it---oops!!

So I exchanged that for more 1/2" and ended up running 390' of 1/2" and my kids think the tube is SO cool since you can literally whisper in one end and here it perfectly at the other end!!!

When I was at Lowe's talking to one of their reps I explained that I wanted at least 1" diameter for the TV hookups. He suggested that black sewer hose. The flexible stuff that you might use for a sump pump. It's 1 1/4" diameter and comes in 20' lengths for like $7.50. This was perfect in my case so I ran that for two (2) different TV drops.

I ran two lines of the tube from the A/V to the computer for data lines and ran the rest for speakers terminating them at speaker locations. I also ran a tube to the back deck for future expansion to a radio or speakers by the pool.

I determined the speaker locations based on the fact that the family room is nowsd set-up to have the TV mounted in two different locations. A) on the "long" wall with a shorter viewing distance. B) on the "short" wall above the fireplace with a longer viewing distance. We are installing with option A for now but can switch to B. Both have the 1 1/4" drops.

The speakers have been set-up to run 7.1 and be able to swap locations based on the fact that the TV would be moved to a wall 90-degrees to where we are going to mount it. I have created a color-coded chart for each smurf drop at the A/V cabinet.

That stuff is pretty cool and easy to work with.

I am going to run 2-wire speaker wires through all the speaker tubes and will get 25' HDMI cables for the two TV drops.

I am looking for suggestions as to what other wires I should run with the HDMI cables in the 1 1/4" tubes? CAT5e? Coax? All?

Thanks guys, I appreciate it!! Time to go home and start hanging drywall now!!!!!

Oh, one thing on the speaker locations. I can only find the standard-sized connector plates at the stores. I would HATE to have those giant plates at each and every speaker location. Does anyone make a more discrete way to connect the speakers? like a micro-sized connector or something?

Thanks again!!
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-02-2009, 12:44 PM
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PM me if you find smaller wall plates.

http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/ind...howtopic=13053

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #7 of 9 Old 04-02-2009, 01:15 PM
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One thought in reading your action plan is you don't need to run your source or a/v cabling IN the smurf or other tube your using, the smurf tube is for future proofing so that if/when you upgrade your equipment or a better cable comes along (like next week!) you'll have a completely empty tube in which you can pull the new cable through it. my .02 cents.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-02-2009, 01:27 PM
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to your other question on what to run, here is what I'm doing:
for my home theater:
1. to the projector from media stack: hdmi, component, dvi, s video, and then a smurf tube for future proofing
2. to the 5.1 speakers, 12 gauge wire

for each room of the house
(2) rg6 coax cable
(1) cat 6
(1) cat 5e for phone

Basically, what I did was rather than try to attach coax to HDMI to cat, is to have each room have a drop for each type of cable. I know some here have done HDMI over cat or other type of stuff, I just kept mine basic and simple.

also, I didn't see any mention of having a central location where all of these above cables "home run" to. Having a central location where all of this stuff feeds into allows you to easily "patch" one room with video, another with internet, etc...

This is probably after the fact since it sounds like you already to sheetrock, but hope it helps
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-03-2009, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for not mentioning it. Yes, I ran all of the smurf tubing as home runs. I am building an A/V shelf (not a rack system - I don't have that much money - or that much gear for that matter!!). I am trying to be basic as well.
The reason I ran the tube now is not only for future-proofing, but so I could get the sheetrock up and going and THEN worry about running all my cables (suggested early, thanks!). This also allows me to kind of "module-ize" the system. Meaning, I can run my TV connections and some speakers now and then run more speakers, the additional TV drops or the ones to the deck at a later date.
The "data" cables are b/c my computer is at the other end of the house (same floor) so if I want to hook up a media center or something I can do that.
However, I will get all my cables the length I need. The 20' 1-1/4" tube reached all the way in one run so no cables to my TV's will be longer than 30' and I can probably use 25'.
The A/V box will be on long, heavy duty roller tracks so I can pull the unit straight out from the wall in order to make/change any rear connections. There are other items in the way that prevent me from making the connections any other way.
Btw, I haven't found squat in the form of a "small-form-factor" speaker connectors!!
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