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post #1 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I wish to wire my 25 year old home with for an AV and computer network. There will be six rooms for this: den, kitchen, and four bedrooms in a two story house with an attic and crawl space. I want to bring all wiring to a central location on the first floor to a closet under the stairs to the second floor.

I can pull wire from the second floor up to the attic, down a chase to the crawl space, and up into the closet. I can pull wire from the first floor down to the crawl space and up into the closet.

I would like to pull cat6 to deliver AV for 1080p television in each of the six rooms. I would also like internet access across network for each room as well.

In the beginning sources will be two cable boxes, a blu-ray player, and a VCR. I would like to be able to play each source at any display. I also have a Denon receiver for radio and speaker hookup.

I would like to use an HDMI matrix switch. Any suggestions on which one? Some are HDMI in and out; some are HDMI in and Cat5e/6 out. Does this matter?

How many wires should be pulled per outlet?

Any suggestions on a rack for cable management and equipment?

What power is needed for closet?

Should I pull speaker wire to central closet? Is this where Denon receiver should go. Want to use surround sound system in den. All others will use built in TV speaker.

All responses, suggestions, comments, etc welcome.
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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suggestion 1) Hire a competent professional.

2) If you want ethernet AND HDMi distribution over cat to each room, you'd need minium 3 pulls to each location, I'd do 4 at least for that. HDMI distribution is a nightmare, particularly with long distance runs with cat baluns.

You will have complicated audio problems trying to do 2-channel over HDMI to all the TVs, and surround at a different location.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-04-2009, 08:04 AM
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What Chris said.

For HDMI matrix switches, if you're going to use Cat5 distribution, you should get a matrix that has Cat5 outputs. Much simpler wiring, and likely gets you IR remote repeating with much less hassle (and cost).

A VCR or other SD source is difficult to integrate because it needs to be upconverted/digitized to HDMI.

As Chris said, HDMI audio is difficult, and for 'whole house audio', you should consider a separate system that just shares some of the same sources.

Read the Wiring 101 and 102 guides at coocoontech, and David's ebook here on House Wiring (a work in process) for a lot of info...

Jeff


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post #4 of 9 Old 12-04-2009, 08:41 AM
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I've been wiring my new home for component video distribution, security cameras, audio, touchscreens and intercoms.

From what I've encountered, it may be more difficult than it seems to get into a closet that has a floor above it. Thinking of what you'll need doesn't do the amount of work needed justice. Even trying to pull a wire horizontally through 2 studs is not easy. If I were you, I'd diagram it out and go through your attic and crawl spaces to see just what is possible. It's hard to realize until you're doing it but lots of things cause problems. Like maybe only 1 wall is accessible, but you want speakers on two different walls. Or there's a duct over part of the attic where the wall is and you can't reach any wires you pull through there.

I'd consider having an electrician come in and do some of the work at least. Whenever my electrician was around, I'd follow them around asking questions about what they were doing, why and even questions about other stuff I was planning on doing myself. Even if you have them run just 1 wire, you can always go back and follow their route to add more (maybe ask them to use a larger drill bit).
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-04-2009, 11:21 AM
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For what to run to each TV location:
1) For HDMI Baluns-->2 Cat5e or 6
2) For TCP/IP Network-->1 Cat5e or 6
3) For IR repeating, etc-->1 Cat 5e or 6
4) For future use-->1 or 2 Cat 5e or 6
5) 1 or 2 coaxial cables for backwards compatibility. You may want to consider a cable that could be used for baseband video or 2 channel stereo and RF video (OTA or cable) to be flexible.

3 & 4 & 5 could be skipped if you don't have an immediate need and the location is easy to access. If you are fishing/cutting holes etc to a location, run the extra.

I don't think you need to hire a professional if you are willing to invest some time into this and learn. If you will not enjoy learning it or doing it yourself, then hire someone, because it will take you a while to learn it all if you have not done this before.

As Chris and jautor said, the VCR and 2 channel audio will be a challenge to distribute over a HDMI Matrix switch. I have a seperate switch that distributes 2 channel audio and composite video. I do all my audio with this and some legacy video sources like a VCR. You can pick up a component/stereo matrix used pretty cheap. I have some for sale here for only $70 which is what I used. They are serial control though, so you need a control program (I use CQC) The composite I transmit over the one extra coax cable to the TV with F to RCA adapters. I just need to switch the source at the TV to see it.

For the audio, if your Denon has A and B outputs you could use A for the Den, then B for the rest of the home audio. Run the A wires directly and the B wires into an analog matrix
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-04-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suepafly View Post

I've been wiring my new home for component video distribution, security cameras, audio, touchscreens and intercoms.
...
I'd consider having an electrician come in and do some of the work at least. Whenever my electrician was around, I'd follow them around asking questions about what they were doing, why and even questions about other stuff I was planning on doing myself. Even if you have them run just 1 wire, you can always go back and follow their route to add more (maybe ask them to use a larger drill bit).

Um, maybe, but keep in mind that if the electrician, presumably, is pulling high-voltage lines, it is not legal to use the same wire pathway for low-voltage lines, including the same bore holes, etc. You can follow their route by drilling holes near theirs for low-voltage, but high and low voltage have to be kept separate.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-04-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

What Chris said.

For HDMI matrix switches, if you're going to use Cat5 distribution, you should get a matrix that has Cat5 outputs. Much simpler wiring, and likely gets you IR remote repeating with much less hassle (and cost).

A VCR or other SD source is difficult to integrate because it needs to be upconverted/digitized to HDMI.

As Chris said, HDMI audio is difficult, and for 'whole house audio', you should consider a separate system that just shares some of the same sources.

Read the Wiring 101 and 102 guides at coocoontech, and David's ebook here on House Wiring (a work in process) for a lot of info...

Jeff

I don't agree with the suggestion to use a HDMI matrix switch with cat5 outputs. I don't disagree either, but the reason you point out of wiring simplicity (and also less added connections) isn't necessarily the only thing to consider.

The media adapter/balun portion of it then means you're stuck with the capabilities of the outputs of the matrix switch that you bought (which will be expensive!), which means if you run into long runs or particular issues where runs don't work, you can't easily switch the baluns to try other balun solutions.

Also, I have seen HDMI matrix switches with cat-5 outputs that literally were just a regular HDMI matrix switch with HDMI jumpers to a large circuit board that were just a bunch of adapters to cat5. And I have seen one that literally was just an HDMI matrix switch and a bunch of adapters, and you actually had to use small HDMI jumpers to connect the switch to the baluns!

My concern with an all-in-one box is that what if the balun doesn't work on one or more runs? You don't have a way of switching the baluns because it's all integrated into the matrix switch.

Either route has its own weaknesses. But given how unrealiable HDMI switching AND baluns are, I'd try to keep them separated because it makes it less expensive to try to fix whatever issues crop up.

So anyway, my point is just that while an all-in-one switcher/balun solution seems like a great idea at first, I would just be aware of the consideration of what happens when something doesn't work: you're kind of screwed in a big (expen$ive)way.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-04-2009, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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If you had to choose an HDMI switch, which would you choose? While cost is important, I want it to work.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-04-2009, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Um, maybe, but keep in mind that if the electrician, presumably, is pulling high-voltage lines, it is not legal to use the same wire pathway for low-voltage lines, including the same bore holes, etc. You can follow their route by drilling holes near theirs for low-voltage, but high and low voltage have to be kept separate.

Sorry I didn't specify what I had the electrician do, he ran low voltage from one end of the house to the other end and up two stories. I followed his route for that.
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