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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize for the cross posting, but I wanted to reach the largest audience, and my questions pertain to several different areas.


I am building a new home, and I meet with the home technology wiring contractor next week to discuss my plans. To assist in the meeting, I plan to fax over a rough blueprint of my ideas on Monday. Would you please review this and comment as necessary. All assistance is appreciated.


Structured Wiring Plan


I recognize technology changes rapidly and I would like to live in my home for several years to come. Therefore, in creating this outline, I have tried to be forward looking. I have included an “upgrade path†of how I might use the wiring in the future. I have also listed my current equipment.


In general, I would like to have a home theater in the basement morning room (19’ long by 12’ wide).


Also, I plan to have Directv install a satellite dish soon after moving in to watch satellite TV in several rooms. Presumably, the Directv dish would be installed on the roof, with a RG-6 run into the attic. I would like dual (Directv, HDTV) RG-6s in the attic and fed through to the basement, and connected to a multi-splitter. I currently own a dual tuner Directv-TIVO (dual RG-6s) and have plans for additional TIVOs in other rooms and HDTV down the road. Therefore, I would like several rooms to have dual RG-6 panels, and one or more rooms with a single RG-6.


Lastly, I would like a home network with a Cat-5 outlet installed in several rooms to accommodate broadband internet, networked TIVOs, and other devices. I have confirmed the community can receive both DSL and Cable high speed internet service. Therefore, I would like the home networked to accommodate both technologies depending on my choice after move in.



Video picture

Current:


Ceiling mounted Infocus X1 front video projector (S-video, Component)


Upgrade Path:


Upgraded front video projector for HDTV (DVI, HDMI)


Wiring Request:

(1)

(a) S-video, component, and DVI/HDMI from central wiring panel to designated point above ceiling in basement; (OR)

(b) Conduit from central wiring panel to designated point above ceiling in basement (will allow homeowner to run wires after move-in).


(2) Ceiling electrical outlet for projector (recessed plug if possible but not critical).


Video Sources

Current: DVD player (S-video)

Directv satellite television dual tuner TIVO (S-video)

Xbox game console (s-video, component)


Upgrade Path: DVD player (DVI, HDMI)

Directv HDTV multi-tuner receiver/TIVO (DVI, HDMI)


Wiring Plan:


(1) Satellite TV wiring, Dual RG-6 from attic to basement central wiring panel. Satellite TV multiswitch (4 X 8) splitter to multiple rooms installed in utility room. Dual RG-6 to the following rooms: basement (2 RG-6s), 1st floor living room (2), 2nd floor master bedroom (2). Single RG-6 to 2nd floor bedroom 1 (1), 2nd floor bedroom 2 (1), 1st floor morning room (1). Note: One room would not be connected to multiswitch since total of outputs (9) exceeds multiswitch (8) (larger multiswitch cost prohibitive).


Extra power outlets in utility room for mutliswitch, router, etc.


Dolby Digital Receiver

Current: 100 watt x 5 channels Dolby Digital receiver (5.1)


Upgrade Path: Dolby EX Receiver 100 watt x 7 (7.1 channels)


Wiring Plan: See speakers below.


Speakers

Current: Left/Right front floor standing speakers 450 watt, 4 ohm; Center 4 ohm speaker; rear (L/R) satellite speakers; subwoofer.


Upgrade Path: Floor standing or wall mounted 7.1 speaker system.


Wiring Plan: 7.1 wiring. 14 gauge wire for Front L/R 4 ohm speakers; 14/16 gauge for all other channels. Subwoofer wire. Electrical outlet close to powered subwoofer.


Home Computer Network

Current: Linksys 4 port router; personal computer; Directv TIVO.


Upgrade Path: Multi-room networked TIVO and computers


Wiring Plan: Cat 5 LAN to allow for DSL and Cable depending on choice. Cable Internet wire to central wiring panel or to my router.



Questions:

1) How will the wiring be done for the home theater 7.1 wiring? What terminals/panels used and what locations (low/high on wall)? What subwoofer wiring is used?

2) Can I use my own router, or do I need to purchase one from you? Should the router be located in the central wiring panel (utility room) or should it be located in my office near the PC?

3) What wiring plan will be used to accommodate cable and dsl broadband (will a cable internet from the outside be run to the utility room for cable internet; would DSL be hooked up directly from the central wiring panel in the utility room to a router (yours/mine)?
 

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One little thing to consider is Wireless LAN 802.11A/B/G. Also called WiFi. Once you have changed to wireless you'd never want to go back. You can move your systems around the room without regard to where the LAN drop is. If you have a notebook computer (get one!) you can surf on the deck, in any room of the house, sitting on the couch while watching TV etc. Installing the Cat5 or Cat6 is not a bad idea because you may need it too. But think about WiFi. You'll like it. For $1000 I'll prewire your house for wireless. ;)
 

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That's going to be an expensive setup for someone to do, just prepare yourself. Might I make one suggestion and then I’ll go into what I think you should do. Maybe have that targeted movie room studded and dry walled but hung with drywall screws only or not dry walled at all so that you can make your own changes, add your own plugs and run your own wires... Just a thought, it's hard to know where everything is going to go, couch, screen, mounting position for projector etc.... now, when 12 months from now, probably when you are moving in, technology will be different once again. Conduits are important if you are closing everything in. Might just want conduits and no wire since things might change. Also wire by the foot from an electrician is going to be really expensive, you can do so much better by making those purchases on the internet. Another thought is to do all the wiring yourself prior to house getting dry walled. Many builders will let you do that as long as you are using approved cable


Plan for dedicated 20 amp circuits in the movie room, at least one for the projector another for the Audio equipment and then I would put one line for the sub that has three or 4 plugs associated with it. That sub could end up needing to be in the left corner not the right corner or the back wall etc…. Typically you wouldn't use wire as in speaker for the sub, there would be an RCA or Subwoofer dedicated RCA back to your AMP/Receiver. This you'll probably want exposed so you can move that sub around, otherwise you are going to need terminals all over the room.


Wireless networks are great but like wireless phones are not consistent. Get the house wired where you need it and use a wireless router as needed. Hard wire is better where possible for continued strong signals. Cable/DSL signals obviously begin at either a phone line or a cable in line. IN either case the location of your Modem isn't too big of a concern. When I had my wired I put the router where the cable comes in the house and then hub out from there to the rooms where needed. Have them use cat 5 for both phone and Ethernet. It’s just as cheap and should you need that extra bandwidth you’ll have another 4 twisted pair to use.


Speakers. I just ran my 7.1 system in my new HT and this is pretty straight forward. Obviously you'll need two terminations in the front wall for your two front speakers. Your primary surrounds or those that hang on the wall are usually placed about 5 feet off the ground at the location where your head will be when watching the screen. Your secondary surrounds or the ones I like to call spatial surrounds go in the ceiling/wall directly behind your listening position above your head but pointed at you if possible. Speaker Craft AIM series are a nice product for this.


On a side note, I also ran a 3" PVC pipe directly up the HVAC shaft when my house was being built. This offers me an easy conduit to run cords, power, whatever to the attic space should I need to. One more thing, there is no reason to have the satellite on the roof, as a matter of fact put it down as low as you can where obstruction won't occur for the next several years. My satellite, don't use anymore, HD over cable better in my opinion, is mounted on the side of my house where the chimney is and the wires run about 10 feet into my basement where they terminate. Since you are going to ultimately want those wires in your basement there is no reason to run them 30-50 feet down the house and over to there anyway. Hope you are following.


Also make sure that when they run signal wire and power wire that different avenues are taken. That might be common sense for some but you would be surprised.
 
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