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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 198690 19-Jul-2016 10:32
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Hi there,

 

We are building a new home at the moment, and I'm looking to pre-wire for a home theatre system in the new lounge. Very little experience in this area.

Current setup is a 65" Samsung 4k Curved tv, PS3, PS4, Vodafone TV Box, with an out of the box Sony 5.1 speaker system. I find the 5.1 system clumsy and messy, with wires running everywhere and I would like to get as much of this wiring done behind the walls in the new place.

The floor plans of the new place are:

 

 

 

Budget is probably capped at the $5k mark and it is mainly used for playstation, movies, and sport.

 

Three areas I would love some advice:

 

1. What audio systems should I be considering? 

 

2. What kind of pre-wiring should I be asking the electrician to do? Meeting with him on Thursday morning to discuss a few things.

 

3. Mounting suggestions for the TV. I would love to avoid the situation where the TV is wall mounted but there is a line of cables running straight up the wall from all the connected playstations etc.

 

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed!

 

 


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  Reply # 1594962 19-Jul-2016 12:03
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We have similar layout and use profile as you describe. 

 

I'd suggest a reasonable quality network capable receiver and a 5 or 5.1 set up.  A decent receiver will allow you to hook up half a dozen HDMI devices and stream audio.

 

I would be running a few things inside the walls/ceilings: -

 

- HDMI cable for the TV

 

- Coax cables for the TV and any separate decoder.

 

- Cables for speakers

 

- Wall plates for HDMI (behind AV cabinet and behind TV).

 

- Wall plate for coax behind TV

 

- Wall plate for coax behind AV cabinet

 

- Wall plates for speakers (behind AV cabinet  and at each speaker position).

 

- Wall plates for behind your AV cabinet (~4 outlets) and your TV (~2 outlets).

 

Which speakers you wire in-wall depends on their positioning.  If you have your front and front-centre speakers sitting on an AV cabinet or shelf, wires can be easily out of site without being in-wall.  If the speakers are wall mounted around the TV, then in-wall wires make sense. 

 

In wall speaker wires have to be done right.  You need the right gauge of cable (distance and load) and ideally the right type of insulation for in wall use.

 

Final thought: Unless your electrician really does know what he is doing, I wouldn't let him anywhere near the AV cabling.  As a minimum make sure you choose the HDMI cable, speaker wires, and placement of wall plates. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Mike

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  Reply # 1595200 19-Jul-2016 18:39
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1: HDMI cables will date, while it may work today, they may be obsolete in a few years time... run Cat6 instead.

 

As a minimum I recommend running 3 x Cat6 from the receiver to the TV. 2 for video, 1 for redundancy (just in case)... Why 2 for video? Well at this stage UHD expanded colour gamut video will most likely be transmitted over decent distances via 2 runs of Cat6).

 

THEN run 1 x Cat6 from your cabinet to your TV for data.

 

Make sure you run multiple Cat6 from your cabinet to your amplifier location too (for smart receivers / streams / Blu-ray / console etc).

 

Cat6 is cheap - it can be used for multiple uses too!

 

2: Don't use a sparky, they are good with power... but that's where they should stop.

 

Sorry.

 

The amount of AV gear I've seen stuffed up by sparkies (who saw it as a quick add-on job to give to the apprentice / take no care over) is MASSIVE.

 

What part of the country are you in? I could potentially recommend someone for you.


 
 
 
 


Hmm, what to write...
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  Reply # 1595207 19-Jul-2016 18:54
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TV mounting:

 

you can get a flush mount box that goes behind the TV . it is like a box where the power points etc go around the edge.. following picture is similar, you can get 600mm wide ones that go between 2 studs if you like

 

 

 

Image result for recessed tv outlet nz

 

 

 

then it is mounted like this:

 

Image result for recessed tv outlet nz

 

You will need exactly twice the connections you think you will need, I have already used up 5 of my 6 available cat 6 cables...

 

 

 

For the play station you run the cables down through this box and out behind the cabinet, hint use a bit of 40mm waste pipe between the boxes and up to the ceiling (yes stuff the top with batts)





Matthew


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  Reply # 1595268 19-Jul-2016 19:39
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Dunnersfella:

 

1: HDMI cables will date, while it may work today, they may be obsolete in a few years time... run Cat6 instead.

 

 

 

 

I think that the only way to totally future proof is to run conduits in your walls so that the next generation of cabling (or perhaps it'll all go to fibre optic in a few years) can be easily installed.


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  Reply # 1595423 20-Jul-2016 08:16
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If you enjoy your gaming go 7.1 on speakers and amp.

 

 


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  Reply # 1595454 20-Jul-2016 09:11
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One option is to avoid using wall plates for all and sundry cables (speaker, HDMI etc). First off, while it may be neater, it's going to add to your cost. Given your proposed budget of $5k, buying cables, plates etc within that budget as well as the actual equipment (receiver etc) means you may want to make sure every dollar counts. Not only that, for analogue signals like speaker cables it's ideal to not to have to break the path with a wall plate and additional connector.

 

I was in a similar position when putting my HT together; while I already had some decent fronts and centre, given my tight budget I had to make sure I got best bang for buck. This meant I did things like did the wiring myself, while the room was being built. I read a decent amount on-line and spoke to a AV retailer/installer for advice, and ensured I planned things out carefully before; while I'm sure it's not a perfect job, it's absolutely fine relative to its budget. I'd also do things differently and provide for more redundancy next time, but that's life! I had been warned off using the electrician for HT cabling (here, I think!), but did use him to do the other stuff I wasn't comfortable with - coax and network cabling.

 

Speaker cable I bought from the US, after researching good-quality budget cables. As mentioned at the top, I avoided using plates (for the reasons given), and just used light sockets and plates to ensure the cables were kept contained and neat. Where the speaker cables come out of the walls directly behind the rears I used washers to provide a neat exit point, and then just painted over them. Brackets for rears off Trade Me; one set of rears s/h off TM, the other (identical) pair new but on special. Initial sub s/h off TM (since replaced with a new SVS - best purchase ever!). Receiver when at a stupid discount from JB Hifi... All just mentioned to show that a decent result can be got even when working to a tight budget.

 

One thing - if you're going to wire for a sub, think carefully about where it will be placed, as sub placement can be somewhat tricky (and usually needs to be a compromise between best sound and practical/aesthetic location!). What I did was ensure the cable (which goes in the wall for around 1/4 of the room) was long enough to provide flexibility of placement.

 

I see a mention above re 7.1 - sometimes this can be tricky to achieve in certain spaces, and yours may well be one of them, given the lack of a usable rear wall; similarly, a single pair of rears may need to be located a decent amount forward of the main seating position, given the location of the sliding door; this may have some bearing on the type of speakers that would be suitable in this position.


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  Reply # 1595501 20-Jul-2016 10:42
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Best wall plates are the brush type such as these.

 

http://www.darkstar.co.nz/wall-plates/brush-plates.html

 

Makes for a tidy job.

 

Whats on the other side of the TV wall can you build back in to that room with shelfs and put a glass door on the front for housing equipment

 

 


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  Reply # 1595502 20-Jul-2016 10:42
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  As mentioned at the top, I avoided using plates (for the reasons given), and just used light sockets and plates to ensure the cables were kept contained and neat. Where the speaker cables come out of the walls directly behind the rears I used washers to provide a neat exit point, and then just painted over them.

 

Great ideas.

 

 





Mike

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  Reply # 1595566 20-Jul-2016 12:11
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Also make sure the sparky runs conduit through where possible, not simply wires through holes, conduit is a lot easier to pull cable through should you need to run something else, damage a cable etc. Get them to leave in a draw wire or 2.

 

Put more wires / options in than you think are necessary. The cost of adding a few wires now that may be superfluous is not as much as having to add wires later because you ran short (see note above about conduit).

 

You may want to think about in ceiling speakers for the rears, surround speakers infront of the listening position is more of a compromise than ceiling speakers in my opinion.

 

Good luck


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  Reply # 1595588 20-Jul-2016 12:40
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I think a few things need to be cleared up here

 

Firstly, don't fob off sparkies in general.  Some sparkies do specialise in data/AV or are equally capable in both areas.

 

 

 

As for HDMI/Cat6, use HDMI for shorter runs ensuring that you run the cable so that it can be upgraded if necessary.  Use Cat6 with HDMI converters on the longer runs.  You need take into consideration frame rates, resolution and copy protection especially if you're wanting to future proof.


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  Reply # 1595590 20-Jul-2016 12:44
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And always run multiple HDMIs for anywhere you are running one. The number of times I have seen the ends of HDMI cables break/snap is frightening. If you run them in a conduit or can easily run another after everything is gibbed and painted, then fine, but if it is a one time chance to get the cables in, run at least 2x or 3x the number you need!


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  Reply # 1595597 20-Jul-2016 12:53
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MadEngineer:

 

I think a few things need to be cleared up here

 

Firstly, don't fob off sparkies in general.  Some sparkies do specialise in data/AV or are equally capable in both areas.

 

 

 

As for HDMI/Cat6, use HDMI for shorter runs ensuring that you run the cable so that it can be upgraded if necessary.  Use Cat6 with HDMI converters on the longer runs.  You need take into consideration frame rates, resolution and copy protection especially if you're wanting to future proof.

 

 

 

 

I'd expect sparkies trained in data/av would advertise as such. 

 

My electrician was hopeless. 


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  Reply # 1595628 20-Jul-2016 13:54
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On a simple set up like your 5.1, most electricians will be more than capable of running some cables and would have a good idea as to what is needed, if you are after multi-room capability with complicated requirements, then a specialist AV installer is probably going to be the better route.


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  Reply # 1595642 20-Jul-2016 14:05
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mdooher:

 

TV mounting:

 

you can get a flush mount box that goes behind the TV . it is like a box where the power points etc go around the edge.. following picture is similar, you can get 600mm wide ones that go between 2 studs if you like

 

 

 

 

 

where can you get these flush boxes???  I'm looking at using CYP HDMI over cat6 plate (http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=ADPCYP1053&name=CYP-HDBT-HDMI-Receiver-Wall-Plate---5Play:-HDMI-PO)

 

If I could include that in a flush wall box with power that would be brilliant.


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  Reply # 1595652 20-Jul-2016 14:24
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what do you guys recommend to use a conduit for cables?  32mm round tubing like this?

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/building-renovation/electrical-lighting/other/auction-1123996505.htm

 

 

 

or this type?

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/building-renovation/electrical-lighting/other/auction-1122956879.htm

 

 

 

Moving house in 6 weeks, will be ripping up walls during reno so will install cat6a (cat7a is too hard to come by ATM).  Last time my electrician said dont bother.  I really wished i bothered, so yeah wanting to get this right this time and be able to easily pull out the cat6a and replace it with cat10a in future years :)

 

I'll need to accommodate 6 to 8 cat6a cables in some conduits, so yeah bigger is probably better, or would you recommend running multiple conduits with a maximum of X cables?  

 

Won't be running any HDMI anywhere, all via cat6a cables. USB works well over cat6 also I found. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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