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Topic # 25600 26-Aug-2008 20:47 Send private message

Hi Guys

Can anyone either tell me or direct me to some form of standard as too what is an acceptable  grade of wiring to use for  a better quality inwall speaker cable  &  HDMI TV cabling. Also convential type speakers in a home theatre room.

What distances can you safely run HDMI cable before your signal strength drops and you need amplification?.

What is good practice in spacing of the above cables from power, phone and data cables.

Is anyone aware of a website that can give the pros and cons of any " video & sound" distribution system like Axium, Sonos etc.

Any guidance greatly appreciated?


Thanks

Warrenz
 

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  Reply # 160026 27-Aug-2008 05:45 Send private message

Hey Warren, some tips as follows...
I can recommend Pro-link speaker cable for both your home theatre and multi room audio system. It’s available in both 2 core and 4 core - 4 core is the better cable for the multi room speakers, 2 core will be fine for the l/c/r array and arguably you could run either 2 x 2core or 1x 4 core run to the surrounds, depending on where you’re placing them.
Use the 2.1mm for the theatre, 1.3mm for the multi-room. (This size relates to the copper core size – the actual wire size)I don’t believe you’d need to change the cable depending on whether you were installing in walls, or a more conventional speaker. Interested in your choice of in-walls, what are you considering? Remember you will need to cable for a subwoofer, I often cable to two separate positions within the room. Just a single good quality shielded cable, (the sub’s only mono) and don’t forget to have a power point adjacent.
There are HDMI cables that enable 1080p transmission to 45m (it’s not a single cable, rather a series of shorter cables that feature equalization and signal boosting built in as well as the option of plug in power if necessary).
15m -20m runs are easily achieved without additional boosting.
As for signal and power, try to keep them as far apart as possible in particular where they run parallel for long stretches…200mm min. They can cross each other quite happily. (i.e at 60 – 90 deg)
You cannot put signal and power through the same hole under any circumstances, i.e through the top plate, studs, nogs , etc.
Obviously this would have them running parallel, a no no as above, but from a safety angle, the signal cable (regardless of what it is) won’t have 240v rated insulation. Should the TPS be damaged in some way and the wire exposed AC current could end up on the signal cable, the resultant “drop in picture quality” would be the least of your worries!
I’ve not experienced any issues ever running the data, phone, RF, and speaker cables togetherI’m a firm supporter of the central hub where absolutely everything to do with AV, phone, data, security and the like goes to first (i.e phone, RF) and from this point you feed out to the various points around your home.
Keep in mind many components including Blu-ray, My Sky HDi, AV receivers, displays, your multiroom audio amp and the like will all have Ethernet connectivity and can integrate into you LAN enabling all sorts of exciting future possibilities.
This would include your multiroom audio system also.Regarding that specifically, I feel that the video side of “whole home AV” is lacking compared to the audio side.
Assuming you plan to send distribute HDTV to your various viewing points I’m not aware of an in integrated multi-room audio/video system that can do that.At this point I believe you’d need to treat them with a degree of independence
Be aware too that it’s now recommended you run 2x RF feed from your satellite dish to the position of your decoder…per decoder. That is to say if you plan some day to have say, a pair of HDi decoders plus, a 3rd  SD digital decoder , you should run total of 6 RFs from your dish to the hub (if you do the hub thing).
As a rule of thumb I run 2x RF and 4x Cat 5/6 to each TV point. This enables standard RF distribution with a spare. You then have 2x data runs for HDMI (you need to stay under 30m and you must be extremely careful running the cable – you may get up to 45m across Cat 6), 1x data for IR (generally uses a single pair of the available 4) plus 1x spare. (Which could transmit component video if needed)
Depending on your choice of multi-room audio system and how you’d like it configured (for things like local source inputs, etc) will determine the cable backbone required.Have a look at www.nuvotechnologies.com they make a range of fantastic sounding whole home audio distribution systems.Hope this gives you some idea, good luck!

 
Cheers

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  Reply # 160050 27-Aug-2008 08:31 Send private message

There is no regulations in NZ for what ELV/SELV/TNV (<50V) cables you put in the walls of domestic homes, however the wiring rules ASNZ3000 does state how they should be run with respect to clearance of LV (230V) cables, ie 50mm clearance must be adhered to for safety, 300mm is recommended for interference mitigation otherwise 50mm. You must not place ELV/SELV/TNV mechanisims on the same faceplate as LV, there must be a minumum of 200mm horizontal seperation of ELV/SELV/TNV fittings (flush boxs and simialr terminations) and LV unless a suitable barrier is in place, this could be a stud/nog, or suitable flush box (standard flushboxs are not suited but you can get ones with higher levels of restriction).

There are no issues with running most ELV cables tightly together. ie RG6, Cat5/6, HDMI, baseband video, however I normally seperate speaker cables from cat5/6,HDMI/video as the currents in speaker cables can be quite high, thus are more prone to induce inteference in low current cables, probably not a real issue for RF carrying RG6 as this has not response in the audio band.


As HiDef says you can get speaker cable that is round and constructed very similar to a power cord,  but in 1.3 (16AWG) and 2.1mm sq (14AWG) in both 2 and 4 conductor, Tradetech do sell it, but I am sure only by the roll so can be a bit expensive if you only need a few meters, I think a 2.1mm 2core starts at around $250 for a 75m roll. These cables have both good tough sheaths, but reasonably flexible.

I try to use cables that have good PVC insulation, the semi transparent size magnifying insulation that is market trend for trendy speaker cables I personally dont beleive is adequate, due to the very flexible nature of this insulation, I have found over years that the extra plastiser used in these cables leaches out making both a mess and weaking the original insulation structure.

Cyril

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  Reply # 160065 27-Aug-2008 09:34 Send private message

Warrenz, suggest you also have a read of the sticky at the start of the Home Theatre category, "How to correctly wire your house" has a lot of good advice from Cyril and others.

With regard to HDMI check some of the recent posts related to the trials and tribulations of HDMI distribution. Have noticed a lot more interest in this area lately probably due to the arrival of My Sky HDi. Firstly, HDMI is a high capacity system ,gigabits, so needs to be undertaken with some care and precision. Secondly, the HDi itself is probably not the greatest example of HDMI implementation and does not play nice with all the switches and splitters used in distribution so be wary.

With regard to length for HDMI 10m is fine, 15m should be ok but may require an extender device. Beyond that is possible with extenders or baluns but results can be unpredictable. HDMI is not field terminating and cables require a 25mm hole. Baluns use cat5e/6 cable, shielded might be advisable.

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  Reply # 160565 28-Aug-2008 21:40 Send private message

Agreed that the fancy seethru ones are crap. I have some where a pinclip has left a very visible indentaion in the cable. If the insulation wasnt such a huge portion of the cable it would have gone thru to the core.

If you want power and signal on the one flushplate clipsal make flushboxes with partitions you can attach into them that satisfy the requirements for seperation, then a coverplate goes over all the plates to make them look like one - its in the 2000 series which is a little ugly IMO but the dollys match the 2000 series and the slimline plates as well which is mrore important. Or you could go for those ugly 800 series pdl ones, but then you are limited to how many per plate (Was no more then 2 when I looked, but they were apparanlty going to make some longer plates to hold more gangs.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 160595 28-Aug-2008 23:45 Send private message

Having just been in the US on a training course for the Colorado vNet products I am going to wait a year before doing my house.
They have some awesome products coming next year for video/audio distribution as well as lighting control and home automation.
Everything will run over a TCP/IP network so will be pretty easy to install.  You will most likely require a layer 3 managed gigabit switch though.

Also talking to the Sonos guys and they reckon that as soon as the 802.11n wireless standard is finalised they will be releasing video distribution units to go along with their audio.  If their video works as well as the audio then they will be a tough product to beat.




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  Reply # 160600 29-Aug-2008 00:36 Send private message

Sonos is a non starter for me because of the track limits and the closed wireless they use. without being able to use my existing wifi for the controllers, I either have to duplicate coverage with their overpriced propriatary mesh accesspoints, or locate the player in the room that the remote is to be used in, and then have issues with overlapping wifi channels.

Really that is a huge showstopper for me. The track limit thing I could live with since I prob never want to listen to 50-60% of what I have, so could seperate it out...

There is lots of room for innovation in the area, and I am expecting to see things get really interesting in the IP connected home soon. I know that there are plans already for more IP security system integration.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 160624 29-Aug-2008 09:18 Send private message

richms: Sonos is a non starter for me because of the track limits and the closed wireless they use. without being able to use my existing wifi for the controllers, I either have to duplicate coverage with their overpriced propriatary mesh accesspoints, or locate the player in the room that the remote is to be used in, and then have issues with overlapping wifi channels.

Really that is a huge showstopper for me. The track limit thing I could live with since I prob never want to listen to 50-60% of what I have, so could seperate it out...

There is lots of room for innovation in the area, and I am expecting to see things get really interesting in the IP connected home soon. I know that there are plans already for more IP security system integration.


65,000 tracks not enough for you??

I have never had a problem with Sonos wifi and computer wifi interfering with each other.
They are going to be releasing an app for the iPhone / iPod Touch that will allow you to use them as a controller which would work over you existing wifi.




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  Reply # 160640 29-Aug-2008 09:50 Send private message

I think the issue that richard (and I) have with the sonos RF interface is that is sidesteps WiFi, this is a bit of a dissappointment as if it used WiFi as its transport then for those of us that have good WiFi infrastucture it would use it rather than side step it. Personally I find this an issue, that said most of the sonos systems I have installed I have done using Wired Ethernet.

For me other than the Wireless interface (which I prefer not to use) then its a cool product.

Cyril

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