Yikes! Looking for some help in getting started... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-05-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all. I've spent some time surfing around on here and on manufactures sites looking for basic information on where to start planning a possible install of av distribution in our house.

First off; wow! I had no idea that there were systems this complex and feature rich. I am a fair ways off deciding the brand of equipment yet. My first step is to try and understand how the heck this stuff all ties together with cabling.

My situation is a 2 storey home with a finished basement and finished ceiling. I may get lucky on some parts of the retrofit as I have access to a very large fireplace chase on the main floor that has access from the basement. My plan is to have the ability to watch TV in multiple rooms without having equipment in every room. Separately from that, I would also like to be able to install a few ceiling mounted speakers throughout the house for music.

So, the real question, and sorry for the stupid question that this will be for most of you on here. What cabling is utilized for the audio and video from the 'receiver' to the TV's? I looked at a home on the weekend that had a distrubted AV system. I noticed a rack in the mechanical room with a few components and a distribution panel. It appeared to be a whole bunch of coaxial cable and Cat5 cabling. However, when I peeked at the back of a TV mounted on a wall, all I could see is Component cabling plugged into the TV.

Is the video signal from the 'receiver' an HDMI signal over a Cat5/6 cable that gets converted at the TV location to a Component or HDMI cable via a magic box at the TV?

Sorry for all the questions. Just trying to find a place to start looking at installing a modern system for our family.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-05-2012, 06:41 PM
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It depends on the system - setups more than a few years old are very likely component video-based, probably using 3x coax runs to carry the component video. Newer setups will typically run over 1-2 cat5e/cat6 cables from the distribution hub to each display. Take a look at the HDMI-over-cat5e matrix switch products for typical solutions. These are not without their issues.

If I were looking at a system to install today, I'd be looking at the new Atlona model which uses HDBaseT on a 4x4 matrix, so it puts everything over one category cable and handles IR repeating.

If you're doing this on anything resembling a "budget", you'll want to keep the "whole house audio" separate from the video distribution - they can certainly share sources, but operate independently. Merging the two into one integrated system has its advantages - cost is not one of them! biggrin.gif

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 7 Old 09-05-2012, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Jeff. It's starting to make a bit more sense. If I'm understanding this correctly, the Atlona switcher is really intended for video. I'd still need a system if I was looking for 5.1 or 7.1 sound?

The nice thing about this install is that I'm starting with a clean slate. I don't have any real equipment yet
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-05-2012, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hit the submit button too soon! I can see the Altona unit working for audio if I put the avr with the TV, but I want to keep all the equipment hidden in the basement.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-06-2012, 05:48 AM
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Receiver would go in the basement with HDMI (probably HDBaseT over cat5e) and IR going to the room, along with the speaker wire. Note that hiding all of the equipment for a "main" system can be a pain - if you have to go downstairs to load a disc or game. Perhaps a built-in or a closet nearby the main system?


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 #6 of 7 Old 09-06-2012, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeff, I just went through your theatre build. I can honestly say that is the nicest home theatre I have ever seen! It was great to go through the progress and have you share what you would do different. Forums like these are invaluable to most of us trying to get traction on starting projects.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-06-2012, 08:36 PM
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Thanks! I learned a lot from reading the forum over the years, so I wanted to contribute back as much as I could. Glad you found it useful!

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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