Originally Posted by abstracted
I just moved into a new house that is supposed to be wired properly for a centralized media cabinet with distributed audio and video, but I'm a little lost as to how to go about it. Can someone provide some guidance on where to start, what components I'll need, etc.?
Supposed to be?
Well, turns out - it is!
In addition to the A/V the house has 3 zones for in-ceiling speakers. There are two spots in the 3 main rooms (living room, den, and master bedroom) that have wires ran for speakers. All those wires end up in the basement (pictured below). In each of these rooms there is a wall plate that has speaker wire + cat5 as seen in the pictures below. I assume these are for volume/zone control for certain systems? I intend to use sonos for my music zones, so I think I can ignore those.
Correct - if you plan to use a Sonos unit per zone (3 total) that's all you'll need. Looks like the keypad locations were done correctly, you're set up to use most any whole-house audio system on the market.
For the TV locations, in the 3 main spots there appears to be two cat5e & two coax ran to each location. In our master bathroom TV there is just one cat5e & one coax. All of these also appear to end up in the basement. As far as components, at each TV there will be a satellite receiver.
Your photos appear to show recessed wall boxes, probably higher on the wall to end up behind a wall-mounted flat panel? You can either put your set-top boxes on a shelf below those (GASP - using the coax in the walls!!!!
), tuck them behind the TV (need a mount that provides enough space, although the Joey boxes are quite small) along with RF remotes, or centralize them down in the basement, using either an HDMI-over-cat5 extender or an HDMI matrix switch (also with cat5e distribution). The HDBaseT extenders only require one cable, for example.
I have a PS3 and a HTPC for our den, so I'm not sure how that would work. I would love if the HTPC was accessible on other TVs. I currently use a WDLive in our master bedroom but it's garbage.
You can centralize those sources and make them available to any display by installing an HDMI matrix switch. There are a wide range of prices for these systems, and all of them have some limitations by their nature. Lots of threads here about the concept / products.
Any advice on where to start? I'd love to learn and do this myself, rather than pay a professional if I can avoid it. I understand everything, I just need advice.
Read lots of threads in this forum. Keywords: HDBaseT, distrributed video, HDMI Matrix switch, and "common denominator" audio problem.