Prewiring for home theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-06-2019, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Prewiring for home theater

Hello - I am finishing my basement. Pictures shown below are the wall to wall area. All walls will come down and be redone. The gap in the wall will be closed. This will not be a perfect layout. I have provided the floor plan too. If you look at the plan and third picture there is a protrusion of a door under stairs on the other side of the opening. So seating on other end will be a bit offset. I called in an A/v guy for prewiring a 7.2.4 and his estimate is $600 including all cables, HDMI, wall mounts. My questions are:

1. Is that a reasonable price?
2. Is it ok to have this layout for a theater and will room support an Atmos configuration on a 7.2.4 or is this an overkill?
3. I asked him about conduits and he said he doesn't usually do them and does not see applicability here as each wire will be going a different direction. Is it absolutely essential to have conduits?
4. He is recommending housing the equipment inside the door leading under stairs. He says it will be a cleaner layout with a screen and inwall speakers. Is this a good idea?

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 03:50 AM
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Conduits are not required for speaker wire.
Putting your equipment behind the door is not a good idea.



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post #3 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Can you tell me why it's not a good idea to put equipment behind door?

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post #4 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 04:04 AM
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Ventilation is needed for equipment.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 04:14 AM
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$600 seems to be reasonable if they provide all material and labor and expertise
Can't really tell how big the room is, but mine is roughly 14x20 and I have a 7.1.4 configuration and love it
Conduits are not needed as long as you plan properly. Maybe run some extra wire for Auro3D? If you have a projector or TV, running a conduit would be a good idea to future proof HDMI cables
Putting equipment behind the door will be cleaner, but main concern is airflow and cooling. My equipment is in a dedicated closet about 5x8 with an air vent, but it's still 3 to 5 degrees warmer than the other rooms. A small closet will heat up even more
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok thanks. So should I just keep them outside on a table or something?

Also would appreciate inputs on my other questions.

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post #7 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htnoobnc View Post
$600 seems to be reasonable if they provide all material and labor and expertise

Can't really tell how big the room is, but mine is roughly 14x20 and I have a 7.1.4 configuration and love it

Conduits are not needed as long as you plan properly. Maybe run some extra wire for Auro3D? If you have a projector or TV, running a conduit would be a good idea to future proof HDMI cables

Putting equipment behind the door will be cleaner, but main concern is airflow and cooling. My equipment is in a dedicated closet about 5x8 with an air vent, but it's still 3 to 5 degrees warmer than the other rooms. A small closet will heat up even more
Ok. I will assemble a floor plan and post.

Should I just leave the equipment exposed on a table?

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post #8 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post
Ok. I will assemble a floor plan and post.

Should I just leave the equipment exposed on a table?

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In addition to ventilation for your equipment you need easy access to the rear of your equipment for dealing with all the wires/cables you'll have to plug/unplug. Once upon a time I designed our family room with all the A/V gear on a built in rack up against a wall and, even though I left room behind the gear for all the cables, accessing the back panels to change out or reconfigure equipment has been a never ending nightmare. Placing your equipment on/in a dedicated piece of A/V furniture would be a much better idea than in that closet. OTOH, if that closet is a really good place to put your equipment then remove the closet and replace it with an open A/V rack.



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post #9 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post
Ok. I will assemble a floor plan and post.

Should I just leave the equipment exposed on a table?

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I like the idea of everything being hidden. You could get a rack with wheels so you can easily pull the entire rack out of the closet to work on it. Just make sure you leave enough slack when running all your cables.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htnoobnc View Post
I like the idea of everything being hidden. You could get a rack with wheels so you can easily pull the entire rack out of the closet to work on it. Just make sure you leave enough slack when running all your cables.
Unfortunately folks are saying it will be overheated. No one has suggested an alternative.

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post #11 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 06:41 PM
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I put mine in a 2’x5’x7’ closet. I have 2 4-in holes cut into the ceiling bays. No insulation in there.

If it gets too hot in there I may install a fan in that 4-in hole.

I’ll be running 7.1.4 using 2 amps to power these.

Maybe consider doing something similar?

Do you have any way to get some type of air flow in there?

There are also companies that make small-ish racks that have cooling fans built in.

Sanus makes one for sure.
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htnoobnc View Post
$600 seems to be reasonable if they provide all material and labor and expertise
Can't really tell how big the room is, but mine is roughly 14x20 and I have a 7.1.4 configuration and love it
Conduits are not needed as long as you plan properly. Maybe run some extra wire for Auro3D? If you have a projector or TV, running a conduit would be a good idea to future proof HDMI cables
Putting equipment behind the door will be cleaner, but main concern is airflow and cooling. My equipment is in a dedicated closet about 5x8 with an air vent, but it's still 3 to 5 degrees warmer than the other rooms. A small closet will heat up even more
I have attached a floor plan.
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbodude99 View Post
I put mine in a 2’x5’x7’ closet. I have 2 4-in holes cut into the ceiling bays. No insulation in there.

If it gets too hot in there I may install a fan in that 4-in hole.

I’ll be running 7.1.4 using 2 amps to power these.

Maybe consider doing something similar?

Do you have any way to get some type of air flow in there?

There are also companies that make small-ish racks that have cooling fans built in.

Sanus makes one for sure.
Let me explore the racks with cooling fans. So, if I had it, would it be a good idea to put inside closet?
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 09:15 PM
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No, the closet needs ventilation. If you leave a gap at the bottom of the door, say 3/4 of an inch, then you can mount one or two fans 4 or 5 inch fans to vent out the top of the closet or out of the top of one wall. Getting a rack with built in fans only works in an open space.

Think cool air in low, hot air out high ...

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post #15 of 16 Old 05-08-2019, 04:01 AM
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You have some corners that you have to be creative with, but size wise, you can totally pull off 4 Atmos speakers.
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-08-2019, 04:49 AM
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Bit late and probably a dollar short but here's my input based on DIY-ing my 13 ft x 15 ft upstairs media room a couple of years ago:
  1. In-wall speaker cables do not need to be run through conduit provided you use cables that have insulation that is CL2-rated for in-wall use. Conduit will make them easier to replace in 10, 20, 30 years but the pre-investment probably isn't worth it.
  2. I used Mediabridge 12-gauge CL-2 rated speaker cable from Amazon for my HT setup - costs $52 for a 100 foot roll on Amazon. 12-gauge wire may be a bit over the top but it reduces signal losses and "future proofs" against later amplifier / speaker upgrades.
  3. Figure out how much speaker cable you think you will need, then buy twice as much as that.
  4. Put a 2-foot circumference loop or "pigtail" in at each end of each speaker run. That gives you enough speaker cable slack to connect things up and to re-terminate later a couple of times if you need to.
  5. Run your speaker cables to a wall plate behind your AVR then use jumper cables with banana plugs to connect from the wall plate to the AVR. I used Sewell Silverleaf 6-foot speaker cables but you could also make up your own jumpers using banana plugs and the same speaker wire as you put in the walls.
  6. For AVR use "audiophile" speaker cables aren't worth the extra tens (hundreds?) of dollars spent.
  7. Various wall plates on Amazon, use two side-by-side if you need to. Labeling optional but it can make things easier to hook up later.
  8. If your banana plugs have metal covers, insulate the covers using electrical tape or (neater) heat shrink. It will prevent shorts on the wall plates and / or the back of the AVR.
  9. Box in your speakers. Use cheap lumber and build the boxes before you put the sheetrock up if you can. They don't need to be all PBS New Yankee Workshop fancy, just sealed to keep dust, insulation and the wee beasties out. Boxing in improves sound projection into the room and keeps insulation and other crud out of the speakers, and provides air space that prevents the coils and crossovers from overheating and starting a fire.
  10. I couldn't make out where that closet is in relation to your planned screen location, but if on the same wall, I would tear it out and move it to a different corner. Right now it'll either cramp the space for a screen or for the in-wall front speakers, which need to be placed more or less level with the horizontal centerline of your screen.
  11. Don't put your AVR and other electronics in a closet unless you provide positive air ventilation (i.e. a fan) to keep them cool. The devices pump out a LOT of heat.
  12. If you're on a budget spend modest amounts on your surround and overhead speakers. They are for effect (i.e. ATMOSphere) more than substance. Spend the money on your fronts and center instead.
  13. Pre-wire if you can for a 7.2.4, 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 setup to "future proof". I made the mistake of only having my media room pre-wired for 5.x.2 and basically had to re-wire for 7.2.4 from scratch as a result. I still have the original two Atmos speakers in my ceiling (plus the four replacements) because I still don't have tme to fix the holes in the ceiling that will result when I take them out...
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