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  1. #1
    Water4fire's Avatar
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    Audio video TV help needed, new house cable questions; HDMI, CAT5e/CAT6, coax, etc

    Guys I am building a new home and am having tons of problems finding the correct way to run my AV cables. See I am locating the cable boxes in closets and under the stair case as to not see any of the cable boxes in the home. I'm also going to use IR receivers to control them.

    The questions I have is what all do I need to run to the tv area on the wall and above the fireplace? I was going to just run HDMI. from the hidden box to the tv. and of coarse a wall outlet hidden behind the TV. But is this going to be ok. I mean I just don't know. I do want my TVs. to be internet compatible of coarse for downloads. Just need help. We are installing a 180inch theater room so no real audio needed for the rest.
    Last edited by K447; 02-02-2014 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Thread title clarification


  2. #2
    YoYamma's Avatar
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    Yeah HDMI is pretty cool. I'm not an expert but I was able to get rid of most of the mass of traditional wiring connections in my system and replace them with HDMI.

    You can run HDMI from the cable box, but it really depends on how many sources you want to view from on that TV, (for example you might want another connection from a Blu-ray player or DVR). Right now, I'm streaming Netflix HD in via my Blu-ray player then HDMI to my Samsung TV and it works great.

    It also depends on what quality of sound you expect from it. In my experience, most of these big flat screen TV's have terrible sound quality, (really bad). If you're like me you're gonna need at least 5.1 for a large room and that involves a sub with digital AV receiver/amplifier. They also make various types of 'sound bars' that might help. But in the end, these are all handled pretty well by HDMI connections in my setup.

  3. #3
    GZA's Avatar
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    I ran rca's, hdmi and a data cable from my cupboard. I also have an hdmi wall socket and power point below the tv so a ps3/xbox can be plugged in easy at any time.
    Our satelitte decoder is also in the cupboard. I found a transmitter that takes the place of one of the remote batteries and sends the remote signals back to a little eye thing that sits in front of the decoder. Channel changes without having to run a cable for the ir receiver!

    This setup has worked great with a now 2 year old, no wires etc to pull.

    Rob

  4. #4
    www.eastcoastpwc.net Scott's Avatar
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    I run EVERYTHING through my pioneer sc-75 receiver. All hdmi's in and 1 hdmi out to the tv. I use one remote, Logitech harmony ultimate.

    Hopefully this helps

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  6. #5
    Water4fire's Avatar
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    Guys thank you for all the responses. I am going to take all this input and run wires before my sheetrock is installed.

  7. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Suggestions for whole house network cabling, HDMI TV wiring, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Water4fire View Post
    Guys I am building a new home and am having tons of problems finding the correct way to run my AV cables. See I am locating the cable boxes in closets and under the stair case as to not see any of the cable boxes in the home. I'm also going to use IR receivers to control them.
    The questions I have is what all do I need to run to the tv area on the wall and above the fireplace? I was going to just run HDMI. from the hidden box to the tv. and of coarse a wall outlet hidden behind the TV. But is this going to be ok. I mean I just don't know. I do want my TVs. to be internet compatible of coarse for downloads. Just need help. We are installing a 180inch theater room so no real audio needed for the rest.
    Here are my comments, in no particular order;

    An excellent source for cables, adapters, wall plates, etc is www.monoprice.com

    I have been using monoprice for years and the prices, especially for cables, will raise your eyebrows if you are only used to Best-Buy prices. Product quality for the cables tends to range between quite good and excellent.

    Run Ethernet network cables everywhere. Install at least CAT5e and preferably in a new building run CAT6 cable everywhere.

    Do not run just one network cable to an important location. Run two or three cables. Even if you never use 80% of the 'extra cables' the cost and trouble of running just one or two cables after construction is finished will make you glad you ran the extra cables.

    Do not assume that the location of equipment will never change. Especially the stuff that uses network cabling. For example, you may initially locate the WiFi router in one spot, then discover that the radio signals work better if you move it to another location.

    Run UTP cables to every room, even the rooms you don't expect to put any electronics in right now. CAT cable can be used for all sorts of things other than just Internet.

    For example I have a USB printer which does not have networking built in. In order to put that printer where I wanted it I used a pair of USB extenders. These allow me to put the USB printer in one room and connect it to the USB port of the computer in another room.

    I recently relocated my home office from the basement to the main floor, at the opposite end of the house. Suddenly all the network jacks in the old office were unimportant and what I needed was plenty of jacks in the new office, which previously was a bedroom. I was very happy to already have enough network cabling in that room to allow me to connect all the office equipment.

    Things which you don't think of needing network connections now might be different in the future. For example, networked thermostats and now smoke detectors are available. These examples use WiFi but hard wired products are also available, and might be even more reliable.

    Security systems which previously used specialized wiring can now be done using CAT cabling.

    Doorbell, run CAT cabling.
    Multi-room speakers or wall controls, run network cables.
    Large room, run network cables to several walls, not just one wall.

    Upstairs storage closet, consider installing a AC outlet and several network jacks. Might be useful later to expand the WiFi network. Check your local electrical codes regarding AC power in enclosed spaces.

    WiFi signals are affected by the structure. Locate the WiFi router in a central location mid-way between floor and ceiling on the main floor. If the house is large then plan for several WiFi Access Points, where the 'main' router may be best located not in the centre of the structure.

    WiFi signal strength is affected by many things, so allow for equipment locations to be changed if needed. Metal ductwork, for example, may cause dead spots in the house.

    In the future (actually it is happening right now) everything will be networked.

    WiFi is great but nothing beats the reliability and consistent performance of actual wired network connections. If a device has both WiFi and Ethernet jacks, use the wired network connection wherever possible. Use WiFi mostly for things that must use WiFi.

    HDMI has had several iterations of the specification. Make sure all the HDMI connection cables, connectors, and in-wall stuff still is all up to the most current HDMI specification.

    Run at least two HDMI cables in the walls to every important equipment location. The first reason is that cables can fail over time, just because. It is also possible that you may change the gear around later and need to run additional signals back and forth.

    A very flexible wiring method is known as the star configuration, where most or all of the network and other cables run from a central wiring closet. You will end up with a lot of cables in that closet, so don't make the space too cramped. Over time you will be changing what equipment is installed in that wiring closet and an overstuffed space is a pain to work in.

    Allow for proper ventilation of every closet/space that will hold equipment. One simple method is to install a vent grill into the door itself, one near the top and one near the bottom. Or into the back or side walls of the space.

    Run a separate AC circuit into each wiring closet and each important equipment location around the house.

    Later on you may want to add a generator or large UPS and having separate AC wiring makes it much easier to provide power to just the places that need it.

    Put a tidy ceiling lamp in the closet so you can see what you are doing
    If it was me I would probably install strip LED lighting with a door switch so the light would always go out when I closed the door.

    Run at least one and probably two coax cables to every 'TV location'. Again this gives you options going forward.

    Advanced tip; run empty flex cable conduits from the wiring closet to several locations in the building. Makes it much easier to run a new cable afterwards. I have one that runs from my basement wiring area all the way up into the attic. Just last week I learned that my main coax cable feed from outside has become degraded and the actual cable inside the wall is no good now. It is buried inside the walls and must be abandoned. I will run the replacement coax cable up through that empty flex conduit into the attic and then outside to meet the cable TV company's feed connection.

    AC wiring is a whole topic of its own. In general, run more than one circuit to each room. For example, I prefer to have the lighting for several rooms combined on one circuit breaker, but that lighting circuit will feed zero outlets. If I trip the breaker from an overload plugged into the outlets, none of the lights are affected so I can still see.


    If you are thinking of ever having a generator, plan for the generator transfer panel and run the heavy wiring to the planned generator location now. Much cheaper than retrofitting it later.
    Last edited by K447; 02-02-2014 at 12:37 AM.

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  9. #7
    Water4fire's Avatar
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    Wow, there is a bunch of stuff I don't understand.

    So if I plan on putting a Tv in my main room over the fire place. I need Cat cable? I mean I just really want the ability to watch TV via my Netflix account and stuff. So I need all this stuff wire to my fire place?

    I thought maybe 3 HDMI cables and a plug.
    My TV is a Samsung Smart TV. SO you saying I should hook it up via Cat6 cable to the cable box?

    See the way I have it now is the coax comes into the house into my Cable box and then I have HDMI cables to the TV from my cable box and my DVD player. My TV and DVD are both wifi and it all just works. BUT you say direct cat cable is better?

    Please excuse my electronic stupidity.

  10. #8
    AWA MEMBER
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    I thought you needed hdmi cable to get true hd picture

  11. #9

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    K447, Extremely good advice. I did most of what you said, used CAT6 and glad I did. Wifi sucks sometimes no matter how much you spend on the router. I've also used some of the extra unused CAT6 cables to power and run security cameras that were suddenly needed, the best part being that all wires ran to my Hubbell networking box where I could put the DVR. So that later installation was a breeze, as was a few other home automation projects, all because I did the hard work up front.

    And yes, Monoprice is a standup company with mostly excellent products. Only had a few issues with minor stuff, but they were good about it..

  12. #10
    liquid chicken's Avatar
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    another +1 for monoprice.com every thing in my house that uses HDMI cables or network cables CAT6 came from monoprice. I really like how they offer different colors. makes it so much easier to identify what is plugged in where if something goes out.

    i have i think 7 or so HDMI cables ranging from 3ft to 6ft and including shipping i do not think i have paid over $50 for all of them.

    Try going to best buy and get high quality cables in that qty for that price. wont happen.
    Last edited by K447; 02-02-2014 at 12:34 AM.

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