-VERY- Newbie Home A/V Questions - AVS Forum
Home A/V Distribution > -VERY- Newbie Home A/V Questions
chas2k's Avatar chas2k 09:11 PM 04-23-2013
So I purchased a new home last week and now I'm ready to do a very basic home A/V setup. I come from a PC/Networking background, but to be honest... 90% of the posts on these forums are greek to me.

Here's what I have for my living room and here's what I want to do:

  • Yamaha RX-V573 7.1-Channel Network AV Receiver
  • LED TV (haven't purchased this yet)
  • XBOX 360
  • Blu-Ray Player
  • DirecTV Box
  • Logitech Harmony Remote

I would prefer to just hang the TV on the wall and have my XBOX/Blu-Ray Player/DirecTV Box/AV receiver all in a cabinet/rack in another room. I would assume that I need some kind of IR and/or RF extender to do this? How does that work? The cable from my "network room" to the TV will be approximately 60'. Does it make more sense to use 75' HDMI cables or HDMI over Ethernet or?

Also, here's a basic picture of the speakers I have (they're from an older 7.1 Onkyo system). Should I continue to use these speakers or are there any recommendations for replacements to use with the receiver listed above that can be mounted on the walls/in the ceiling?



In addition to that... any recommendations for speakers in my bedroom? The TV is about 15' away from the bed and I don't have any kind of receiver, just the TV and a DirecTV box. It's kind of hard to hear the TV that far away without cranking it up. I was thinking of maybe mounting a set of 2 speakers next to the headboard of the bed or something?

Sorry about the million questions... a newbie I am!

jautor's Avatar jautor 10:55 PM 04-23-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas2k View Post

I would prefer to just hang the TV on the wall and have my XBOX/Blu-Ray Player/DirecTV Box/AV receiver all in a cabinet/rack in another room. I would assume that I need some kind of IR and/or RF extender to do this? How does that work?

There are IR repeaters readily available (as cheap as $20 now), and plenty of RF-based remote control solutions. That's the control portion, and all of this will depend on what wiring you have between the TV location and wherever you want the equipment.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011009&p_id=9895&seq=1&format=2
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The cable from my "network room" to the TV will be approximately 60'. Does it make more sense to use 75' HDMI cables or HDMI over Ethernet or?

It's not "Ethernet", but it uses the same cat5e/cat6 wires. For that length of run, you'd want to use an HDMI-over-cat5e extender. The best ones, which can also provide IR repeating and Ethernet, use the HDBaseT technology:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011012&p_id=8123&seq=1&format=2

But if you want to locate all the equipment elsewhere, you'll also need to bring all the speaker wires to the room as well...
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Also, here's a basic picture of the speakers I have (they're from an older 7.1 Onkyo system). Should I continue to use these speakers or are there any recommendations for replacements to use with the receiver listed above that can be mounted on the walls/in the ceiling?

That will all depend on budget. You'll really want to listen to speakers and figure out what works for you... In general, though, freestanding speakers will sound better than in-wall / in-ceiling speakers in the same price range.
Quote:
In addition to that... any recommendations for speakers in my bedroom? The TV is about 15' away from the bed and I don't have any kind of receiver, just the TV and a DirecTV box. It's kind of hard to hear the TV that far away without cranking it up. I was thinking of maybe mounting a set of 2 speakers next to the headboard of the bed or something?

A "soundbar" product is the most efficient way to handle this, as they're simple to install.


Welcome to the forum!

Jeff
chas2k's Avatar chas2k 07:24 PM 04-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

There are IR repeaters readily available (as cheap as $20 now), and plenty of RF-based remote control solutions. That's the control portion, and all of this will depend on what wiring you have between the TV location and wherever you want the equipment.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011009&p_id=9895&seq=1&format=2

So it looks like in order to use this repeater, I would also need 3.5mm extension cables? Is my understanding correct that my Logitech Harmony would talk to that IR receiver and it would be transported back to my receiver and such? How does my XBOX controller talk to my XBOX with that solution?

I see that Logitech released a new harmony remote.. how does it work? It says that with the media hub you can control devices in a cabinet or through walls, etc. Is the remote 802.11 or something?

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-ultimate?crid=60
Quote:
It's not "Ethernet", but it uses the same cat5e/cat6 wires. For that length of run, you'd want to use an HDMI-over-cat5e extender. The best ones, which can also provide IR repeating and Ethernet, use the HDBaseT technology:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011012&p_id=8123&seq=1&format=2

Just out of curiosity, why not use a 100' HDMI cable like this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024006&p_id=7698&seq=1&format=1#largeimage

What is the advantage of the HDMI-over-cat5e-extender?
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But if you want to locate all the equipment elsewhere, you'll also need to bring all the speaker wires to the room as well...

Any recommendations on a specific type of speaker wire for those speakers?
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That will all depend on budget. You'll really want to listen to speakers and figure out what works for you... In general, though, freestanding speakers will sound better than in-wall / in-ceiling speakers in the same price range.

That's good to know.. is it a sizable difference? I'm torn between leaving the speakers on the floor or ground where they look terrible or buying wall/ceiling mounts (in white, of course) to give it a more sleek look.
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A "soundbar" product is the most efficient way to handle this, as they're simple to install.

It looks like these range from $100-$400. Any specific recommendations? I don't really think I need one with a sub-woofer. Do I mount the sound bar near my TV or over/behind my bed or?
jautor's Avatar jautor 07:39 PM 04-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas2k View Post

So it looks like in order to use this repeater, I would also need 3.5mm extension cables? Is my understanding correct that my Logitech Harmony would talk to that IR receiver and it would be transported back to my receiver and such?

Correct. If you're putting stuff in a closet far away, a cat5 wire can carry that IR signal, too.
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How does my XBOX controller talk to my XBOX with that solution?

It doesn't. Xbox / PS3 controllers are RF / Bluetooth, not IR. The console must be in range of the controller.
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I see that Logitech released a new harmony remote.. how does it work? It says that with the media hub you can control devices in a cabinet or through walls, etc. Is the remote 802.11 or something?

Yes, and RF.

Because it may not work in all cases. HDMI runs over 25' can be problematic without specialized cables. This one does have an equalization chip built-in (don't know if it's a Redmere cable or not - which would be one of the recommended solutions), so it's certainly better than a 'normal' cable, but it's still a pain to deal with.
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What is the advantage of the HDMI-over-cat5e-extender?

It will work. And the HDBaseT versions also solve the IR repeating problem and provide Ethernet connections (optionally) all at once...
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Any recommendations on a specific type of speaker wire for those speakers?

Monoprice in-wall rated (CL2 or CL3) speaker wire, 14AWG or 12AWG.
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It looks like these range from $100-$400. Any specific recommendations? I don't really think I need one with a sub-woofer. Do I mount the sound bar near my TV or over/behind my bed or?

Sound bar goes directly under the TV. You'll be able to hear it fine from the bed. Go to a store and listen to them to pick out one. I like the Boston Acoustics products, you can read threads about these products in the "Speakers -> Soundbars" forum above...

Jeff
chas2k's Avatar chas2k 07:50 PM 04-24-2013
Quote:
It doesn't. Xbox / PS3 controllers are RF / Bluetooth, not IR. The console must be in range of the controller.

I've seen a couple of pictures of people rack mounting their XBOX's in other rooms. So those rooms are just within 20' or whatever of the console?
Quote:
Yes, and RF.

Is it just me or does it seem like the harmony ultimate will do what I want to do? Is the remote RF to the media hub or does it use 802.11 from the remote --> router --> media hub?
Quote:
Because it may not work in all cases. HDMI runs over 25' can be problematic without specialized cables. This one does have an equalization chip built-in (don't know if it's a Redmere cable or not - which would be one of the recommended solutions), so it's certainly better than a 'normal' cable, but it's still a pain to deal with.

Weird, most of the cables have solid reviews. Is it just that the quality is slightly diminished or is it literally night and day difference and/or doesn't show any picture at all?
jautor's Avatar jautor 10:43 PM 04-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas2k View Post

I've seen a couple of pictures of people rack mounting their XBOX's in other rooms. So those rooms are just within 20' or whatever of the console?

Yes, or they're using them as media center extenders and controlling that aspect only with an IR remote.
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Is it just me or does it seem like the harmony ultimate will do what I want to do? Is the remote RF to the media hub or does it use 802.11 from the remote --> router --> media hub?

RF to the hub, the hub is WiFi to receive commands from the "app".
Quote:
Weird, most of the cables have solid reviews. Is it just that the quality is slightly diminished or is it literally night and day difference and/or doesn't show any picture at all?

Active cables with equalization have a good chance of working. But all HDMI links will be close to an all-or-nothing. You may see white speckles or no picture at all. You won't see a "better" image, though. It's a digital signal.

Jeff
BiggAW's Avatar BiggAW 01:09 PM 04-26-2013
God no, don't get a soundbar. If you're investing in a good home theater, the Onkyo stuff is a good start. I have their 9400THX system, and it's great, but in your case, you may want to look at something better to complement the installation. Once you have the wiring in, you can always add a better system later, as long as you pre-ran good 14 or 12 gauge speaker wire.
jautor's Avatar jautor 01:33 PM 04-26-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

God no, don't get a soundbar.

The soundbar suggestion was for his bedroom TV, not the main surround system... I think you'll agree that a soundbar would be a massive improvement over TV speakers.
BiggAW's Avatar BiggAW 03:23 PM 04-26-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

The soundbar suggestion was for his bedroom TV, not the main surround system... I think you'll agree that a soundbar would be a massive improvement over TV speakers.

Oh. Yeah, an improvement. I'd say a decent stereo setup would be better though for a location where rear channels can't be placed or aren't needed.
Matt L's Avatar Matt L 10:35 PM 04-26-2013
Yeah, a soundbar would be an improvement, but I'd opt for a decent audio system. You can get some decent used real equipment for the price of a soundbar.
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