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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are in the process of adding on a rectangular 18X24' family room. Walls are up. Initially, it wasn't supposed to be a "theater room", but now the wife says, maybe we should wire it for the TV and surround. So what am I to say to that? I tried searching, but either used the wrong terms (likely) or they were for projects that were not in my scope.


So now I have a short window of opportunity to put in wiring now instead of after the fact. But I haven't been really up on what I should include. I figure I need wiring for a surround either a 5.1 or a 7.1?? Not really sure, at a minimum, a 5.1 would be way better than what we have now. right now our equipment includes: 55" Panasonic Plasma which we would hang on the wall. A cabinet on an adjacent wall to hold a DISH HD DVR, and a PS3 (also our BD player and an older Yamaha AV receiver (hoping for an upgrade here). What sorts of wiring should I run and to where? What about for future upgrades.


I figure since I don't know the exact speaker locations that I would run the speaker wiring out from the receiver area to the general locations and fish them later from the ceiling. I would put the LCR speakers between the suds on the wall. Other than HDMI, what else to the plasma from the receiver? I thought I read somewhere that you can use Cat5/6 for speaker and most everything else, but I am not sure.


Is it better to use keystone plates, I was just thinking of using an open type of plate and have the wires run through?



Any help will be appreciated.


Thanks
 

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Since you're not sure - run a flex conduit from the TV location to the cabinet where your equipment will be. That will allow you to run cables later.


To the TV from the cabinet, I would run at least 1 RG6, 1 HDMI, and 2-3 Cat5/Cat6. Fishing the speaker wire later is a good idea as long as you document where the wire is. Don't use cat5 for speaker wire - use speaker wire. Monoprice is an excellent source for in-wall rated speaker wire, and cat5/cat6.


Use an Arlington TV box or similar product behind the TV with a power outlet, the conduit and the rest of the cables:

http://www.amazon.com/Arlington-TVB6.../dp/B001XQA352


If your room has placement for 7.1 speakers, run them. If not, 5.1...


Sounds like you got here just in time!!!



Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I was planning on going with monoprice as they've been great in the past and their prices are great too! A couple of questions. 1) why rg6 from the cab to tv? For future or something I should be doing now? Currently running an hdmi and component for the dish and ps3. Rg6 is going into the dish. Also I was planning on using speaker wire, so I must have heard wrong about using cat5/6 for that. How much room would I need for 7.1. The room will be 18x24 with the tv on the 18 end. I'll have to read up on that as I am obviously not that familiar with it.



Thanks again
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawa900stx /forum/post/20883600


1) why rg6 from the cab to tv? For future or something I should be doing now? Currently running an hdmi and component for the dish and ps3. Rg6 is going into the dish.

For future use - lots of reasons you may want an RG6 in the future, and also, for resale.

Quote:
Also I was planning on using speaker wire, so I must have heard wrong about using cat5/6 for that. How much room would I need for 7.1. The room will be 18x24 with the tv on the 18 end. I'll have to read up on that as I am obviously not that familiar with it.

The size of the room isn't the question - but rather, are there locations in the room for all 7 speakers? If it's a simple rectangle with walls on all sides, then sure. If it's a different shape or has open sides or lots of windows - finding a place to mount the "side" channels can be an issue. In-ceiling speakers for surround/side channels is an option (though not a preference).


Jeff
 

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Yes... I concur. If you can avoid them, do not use in-ceiling speakers! Matching in-walls or on-walls if you must for at least the surrounds. In-ceiling speakers are an integration nightmare unless you think you'll need them for extra over your head "voice of god" channels from some new format in the future.


Don't hold your breath that that'll happen anytime soon.



If you have the room, wire for 7.1 and maybe run multiple sub cables... Depending on where your subwoofers sound the best you might need one or two in the front and one or two in the back. You just never know.


I'm also a big fan of running Romex from various dummy outlet plug locations to the main equipment closet and its subsequent inlet boxes for use as code-friendly in-wall extension cords. Then at least your TV and subs (and maybe a projector down the line) can be plugged right into a central surge and filtration unit in the equipment closet (maybe a home theater UPS as well). No need for wall warts or other unsightly surge units out in the "theater" room if you can help it. Search for Power Bridge and that'll give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.


Can you post pix of your room so we can give better advice?


I really like the Belden 10 and 12 gauge in-wall speaker wire from Blue Jeans Cable. Quality copper.


If the closet is out of the remote's line of sight, then you'll need to go with either an RF remote setup (two decent enough products are from Logitech) or splurge a bit for a wireless/IP control system that works with one of the various touchpads on the market (Apple, Google Android, etc.). There is some talk on this site about the iRule wireless touchpad system that isn't hugely expensive, though it is quite DIY.


One of the better recommended 7.1 speaker layout configurations:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
here a picture, sorry not the best, all I had with me right now. The PDF is bigger image.


So I was planning on using in-walls, but it sounds like they may not be the best, but my only choice. The wife isn't thrilled about having boxes cluttering up her new addition. Its been all I can do to keep my old Infinity reference speakers, she hates their size. So I was tring to go in the walls to eliminate her issue with that. I already know I wont get the sound with inwalls vs my Infinity, especially for general music listening. For music listening, do you also use the same speakers, or use dedicated ones?


 

0830230858.pdf 152.048828125k . file
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawa900stx /forum/post/20885427


here a picture, sorry not the best, all I had with me right now. The PDF is bigger image.


So I was planning on using in-walls, but it sounds like they may not be the best, but my only choice. The wife isn't thrilled about having boxes cluttering up her new addition. Its been all I can do to keep my old Infinity reference speakers, she hates their size. So I was tring to go in the walls to eliminate her issue with that. I already know I wont get the sound with inwalls vs my Infinity, especially for general music listening. For music listening, do you also use the same speakers, or use dedicated ones?

You can use mountable on-wall surrounds (they have fairly slim profiles). The best in-walls and on-walls I've come across are from Triad. They have four levels of speakers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum). Their on and in-wall speakers sound exactly the same as their regular in-room box speakers, which is a rare feet. They sound amazing as well.


There are other good options as well such as Atlantic Technology. Axiom, well liked on the various forums, makes good on-wall's and surrounds that match their other box speakers, though I have not heard them myself.


In your sketch, are the windows and doors already set? They'll be super-fun to try and place surround speakers around, that's for sure.



You might take some digital snapshots of the area and post them as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawa900stx /forum/post/20885635


Yes the door and window is already framed. The windows along the front of the room we decided against. It's now just a wall this where the tv will be mounted.

Good to hear that the windows, at least, were deleted. Photos of the space and exact measurements of the room (door widths, height of doors, etc. etc.) would be great.


Also, give us some idea about how far back you were thinking of sitting from your TV. I would assume there would be only one row of seating... no second riser, correct?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawa900stx /forum/post/20885427


here a picture, sorry not the best, all I had with me right now. The PDF is bigger image.


So I was planning on using in-walls, but it sounds like they may not be the best, but my only choice. The wife isn't thrilled about having boxes cluttering up her new addition. Its been all I can do to keep my old Infinity reference speakers, she hates their size. So I was tring to go in the walls to eliminate her issue with that. I already know I wont get the sound with inwalls vs my Infinity, especially for general music listening. For music listening, do you also use the same speakers, or use dedicated ones?

I just posted a similar room build at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1357151 It has a linkk to my website where I documented all my plans and ideas.


I have a few wiring suggestions that I learned from my own Family/Media room build:

- Wire more coax than you think. It can be used for composite video signals, audio, as well as regular TV video. I ended up using it the most so-far.

- Wire a few runs of Cat 6 to your TV location. All TVs, Bluray players, set top boxes all usually want a network connection.

- I ran my main wires to an Arlington recessed box higher up on the wall that hides behind a plasma panel. (2 HDMI, 2 COAX, 1 cat6, 4 16AWG for audio or other)

- Run an HDMI from the higher box to a lower box that might hide behind a media center? Run a seperate cat6 to that lower location as well. Also an open outlet with conduit to hide any future cables.

- Run 14 AWG for subs to a few different places (I ran to 2 different places ) just in case you want to have your subWoofer elsewhere.

- I ran 11.2 speaker locations and glad I did. I find that the front wide speakers are much better spatially than rear surrounds. (I am using both) I have not installed the front highs yet but the wires are behind the drywall waiting if needed.
- Take lots of pictures

- Use open mud rings for places where you know you want floor or wall mounted speakers

- I install In-wall PSB speakers for my L&R surrounds. If you go with in-wall extpect the sound to bleed around to other rooms. Mine are enclosed in MDF speaker boxes mounted in the walls with rubber soundclips and the sound still gets out. Especially the ceiling.

- my rear surrounds had to be in the ceiling (same MDF boxes as above) .

- home run it all to a central location and terminate them when you have time.

- If you are terminating the coax - get a good compression tool. They make coax terminations very easy and quick

- oh ya, take lots of pictures


Take a look at my site with plans . It might help (then again it might just make you stressed)


hope it helps!

tom
 
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