What's a good general assortment of connectivity is good to have behind TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-17-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I am remodeling my entertainment room and I have the walls out so while I can, I want to run as many cables as I might need in the forseeable future behind the walls. I already have a wall plate with plug-ins for all my speakers. What else would be advisable to include to have connectivity terminating in a wall plate behind my entertainment center? I'm thinking ethernet and coaxial plugin for starters along with the aforementioned speaker ports.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-17-2012, 09:49 AM
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At a minimum, I would do:

3x Cat6 although more is better as they are so versatile. Only one will be for ethernet. The rest will go to a patch panel or something for use with baluns and extenders.
1x Coax
1x Empty 2" conduit in case you missed anything at the planning stage

Try to figure out what you'll want to connect to the system. For example:

- Cat6 can be used singly or in pairs for HDMI with baluns
- Will you want wired IR for control or will you use RF? If the former, is it included with your baluns?
- For HTPC/xbox use, you may want to do USB over Cat6 for control.
- If you have a smart TV, you'll want one line for ethernet. Also, with a smart TV, will you need to use Audio Return Channel capability to get 5.1 audio from Netflix etc back to your receiver? This is not a feature of most HDMI over Cat6 baluns. Another option would be a Roku or something as an additional source in the media closet instead of using the smart TV apps.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-17-2012, 06:34 PM
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I'd put the following in.

1. 2-4 cat5 or cat6. Remember nowadays virtually every component can/needs a network connection - tv, blu ray, receiver, cablebox/sat receiver etc.
2. 2 coax as you may want a receiver with dual input.
3. Conduit or pull cord
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-18-2012, 12:28 PM
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I'm at the tail end of my basement development, and this is what I did.

Every room (in the location where the TV would go), I pulled the following:

4 - CAT6 (2 for an HDMI/IR balun, 1 for Internet, 1 for phone*)
3 - Coax (2 for dual tuner satellite feed, 1 for standard cable TV feeds)
1 - Power (of course).

2 - double gang box with 2 CAT6 on the wall for whole home sound
1 - pair of speaker wires in the walls for a couple in wall speakers
these terminate in the media room on the equipment wall.

This happened in every room in the basement. I've also retrofitted the whole home sound throughout 4 other locations in my home.

The equipment wall is where all this cabling terminates. From there, I've run a conduit to the projector location (used central vacuum line) to pull all of the necessary cables to the projector. Also ran 3 - CAT6 to the projector location for a balun and internet just in case.

That's pretty much what I did. Hopefully I've run enough cables, as I've closed up the walls already. That amounted to quite a monsterous amount of cabling. I also made sure I ran all of my network/AV cables away from the power runs to avoid interference.

* Yes I know CAT6 is overkill for phone, but that's all I had...
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-18-2012, 02:12 PM
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Glad I stumbled upon this thread as I'm about to open up the wall above my fireplace for a flat screen as I need an electrical plug at a minimum. Was also thinking 2, maybe 3 HDMI, 1-2 Cat5/6 (although everything is wi-fi nowadays), 4-6 RG6 for component or whatever.

As far conduit - what do folks recommend? I've seen the solid stuff and the flexible stuff. Don't cables get stuck on the ridges of the flexible conduit?

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post #6 of 9 Old 04-19-2012, 05:38 AM
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I would highly recommend not running HDMI in-wall unless there is a specific need (like ARC support) that would be too expensive to do with HDBaseT baluns. HDMI cable is more expensive, less versatile, less reliable for long runs and is pretty close to be obsolete for in-wall installations as the baluns improve. If you decide to run the line anyway, why would you need more than one?? HDMI switching should be done with an AV receiver or HDMI switch in the closet, not with the TV.

As for the Cat5e/6, I would run at least 3 but 5 would be better if its in the budget. Sure 4 coax would cover cable TV + 3 for component video but you could always do a balun over Cat6 for that as well with a single run.

What are you left with?

- 3 to 5 Cat5e/Cat6
- 1-2 coax for cable/satellite etc
- 1 HDMI (if needed for ARC)
- 1 empty conduit
- electrical outlets

Also, one other piece of advice - if you're mounting your TV on the wall, put all these runs into a recessed box. It will give you a lot more room to work with.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-28-2012, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Many thanks to ljo000, COREi7, and jagphys90 for taking the time for informative replies. I plan to use your suggestions
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-28-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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If you are using a AVRS to do all of the component switching for a/v inputs, along with not using tv speakers for sound, all you need is either HDMI or Component video only. 3 runs of RG-6 for the Component video, or Cat-6 for HDMI over ethernet. No need for anything else but power.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-28-2012, 08:06 PM
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+1 conduit, the most futureproof solution

No, the ridges are used to reduce surface tension and for flexion. You'll either install a pull string in the conduit and leave it there, or use a pull string or fishtape later, to pull the cable(s) through. All cables installed now should be outside of the empty conduit. Avoid sharp bends when installing the conduit.

As Greg said, the conduit isn't required, but may avoid the use of a catx extender, in the future, if the run is short.

For my current new TV location, I'm installing cat6 x 4, empty conduit, and coax x 1. I haven't decided on the flex conduit size yet, but probably 1.5".

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