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Help with location of AV Rack

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
They have started framing our new home. I hear now is when the time really starts flying. I will be pulling all of my own Network Cable (CAT6), security wire, and anything else I can do to save money.

I am trying to figure out where to place our A/V equipment. The only place to mount the TV is above the fireplace.

The two places I can see an A/V rack going is directly behind the TV in my daughters playroom (That statement already worries me smile.gif )

Or in the closet beneath the stairs.

Thoughts or suggestions?

Cable Box
Sony STR-DN1040 Receiver
Blue Ray Player
iMac Media Server

post #2 of 12
Definitely under the stairs and have a piece of 1.5" conduit run between the stairs and the TV so you can add wiring later on as necessary.

Make sure that if you have a lot of heat generating equipment that you plan to include proper ventilation. Also, understand that having a decent rack in there on wheels or in a good location that gives you plenty of room to work will really make things better in the long run.

I recently moved my family room rack from next to the couch to a built-in location in a closet area.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
That is very nice.
I love the attention to detail on the trim work.

Do you have a picture of your wall plates behind the TV?
How do I handle the HDMI runs? Do I just use long HDMI cables or do HDMI over CAT6.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Do you use IR Repeaters for your boxes
post #5 of 12

I'm using a Crestron control system to run the show in my setup, but I program it and built it all up myself.

The devices in that small rack are just my game consoles and Blu-ray player which need to be local to the family room. They are IR controlled, but the Crestron system is using RF remotes, which then push out IR signals. Long runs in my house everywhere. I ran a 75' HDMI cable to my equipment racks in the basement, then 50' of HDMI back out to the TV. The 75' cable was longer than I wanted so I put in 50' cables, but they ended up not working well with skinny HDMI cables coupled at the end so finally I put in HDBaseT units and they worked perfectly. The 75' cable worked perfectly as well as long as I went directly from the source to my A/V receiver in the basement, so it was the couplers that caused me headache.

I would recommend not using a wall plate with connectors on it, but simply take your cable directly from the wall to your TV.

A universal remote with RF built in can handle the components in the closet and control your TV directly.

Worth saying, I've extended and relay control multiple Wii sensor bars in my home over cat-5 cable so you can extend a Wii sensor bar if you go that route, but otherwise, you really should only need a single long HDMI cable from the closet to your TV and a couple of pieces of cat5/6 cable to protect you for the future, but the conduit is your best and only insurance against obsolescence.

I have a thread on my setup here, but it lacks that new sub-rack location for my family room.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
What influenced your decision on not using wall plates. Does it degrade the signal.

I just sold aTON of crestron gear. I got it at an auction but figured I wouldn't need any of it. Remotes, three or four wall panels and a bunch of other stuff. I offered on this site first but did not get any bites.
post #7 of 12
I saw your mention of the stuff here, I just don't need any more equipment at the moment.

I don't use wall plates for HDMI connections mostly because they add another point of failure to the connection. If you have a failure in a wall plate behind a TV, then perhaps the TV needs to come off the wall to diagnose the issue. If the cable is running right from your source to the TV, then there are no added points of failure to the chain and you should expect far more predictable results. I have used wall plates in the past, and they look nice, but with scoops on the wall, you get excellent looking results by just coming straight from the wall to the devices and you can bundle all the cables together to make things look nicer if you want.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I should of never opened up your thread.
Just when I thought I had my home figured out (OmniPro ii, Nuvo Grand, etc... ) I started reading your thread and that somehow got me reading about RTI until about 1:00am this morning.

Great job on the wiring. I am an IT and one of my biggest pet peeves is sloppy wiring.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
How much usable closet space is there now that the rack is in there?
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
What are the dimensions of your rack.
I am going to have to ask the builder move the closet door but I am not sure how far.

AV Rack.jpg 227k .jpg file

post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by abernut View Post

How much usable closet space is there now that the rack is in there?
My closet is a standard coat closet which is about 65" wide. We lost about 12". The nice thing is that because the equipment is flush with the wall, we pick up 4" of depth by using the depth of the wall itself. So, the equipment can be up to 16" deep (in my case) and we only lose 12". Also, since it is fixed location and I can walk into the closet to service the rack from behind, I don't need anything on wheels. Our house is a 3-story with an unfinished basement, so we don't really 'need' this space, but I wanted the equipment faced into the room so the kids had good access to the gaming systems and good storage space. I'm psyched on how it turned out.
Originally Posted by abernut View Post

What are the dimensions of your rack.
I actually used Middle Atlantic rack rail. 27 rack spaces which must be mounted 19 1/8" apart from each other. The rails mount directly to the studs, so I modified the framing a bit (brought it in from 24" on center) so that it worked.


They have specifications for the rack rail there. I used RRF27, which is 47.25" tall. You can cut down rack rail if you want a specific height and just get their full length RRF45 which is 78.75" tall. Each rack space is 1.75" tall.

Since I already had all the rack plates, shelves, etc. the project I did was under a hundred bucks. Custom shelves are over 100 bucks each, while open shelves from Middle Atlantic are like 40 bucks each, and generic ones are about 20 bucks each. I like the finished look though, so I spent the money over time to get exactly what I wanted. It would take me a bit to give you a true 'MSRP' of the rack shelves, blanks, and rack rail, but I will put that together at some point for my records anyway.

Middle Atlantic has dozens of different types of racks though which are worth consideration. My basement racks are their Slim 5 series of racks. Not very pretty, but once I have my basement finished, they will be trimmed in similarly, and will look perfectly fine.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
What are your thoughts about installing my AV rack in the same wall as the fire place.
It would make running my cables extremely easy.

I called the manufacture of the chimney and they could not tell me how hot it gets behind the wall.
Could I just create an insulated AV Rack and insure it is properly vented.

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