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Help with home cinema set up and installation

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by rumba, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. rumba

    rumba
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    Hi Guys, this is my first post, so hopefully some of you may feel pity for a newbie and offer your pearls of wisdom.

    Currently I have the money sitting in my account ready to buy a Philips 32PF9986 LCD TV. I've searched this forum far and wide over the past few months whilst saving up, and now I feel that my choice of purchase has been wisely researched. Now all that is left is to make that phone call and see all my hard earned savings disappear into my credit card.

    The reason I post is that I require advice on my set up and installation. Firstly, I'll give you a bit of background, including a picture of the proposed location:
    [​IMG]
    My TV is to be wall mounted as seen above, over my electric fire. There is a surround which will shield the TV from heat, plus the fire will be used more as a decoration and will not be on too much, seeing as we have central heating anyway. Additionally, the wall at present is plastered over completely by the previous house owners. I get the electric fire delivered in the next few days, thus plan to install my fire and TV at the same time to lessen the disruption. I plan to do this in a few weeks once I have had a chance to get used to my TV, and make sure all is working ok before I sink the cables into the wall for the rest of eternity.

    The wall is part of a chimney and is plaster over brick. I want to chase the cables into the wall so they are hidden. I intend to do all the work myself. There are a number of reasons for this (1) I like my diy and I'm not too bad at it, if I do say so myself (2) I'm a northerner living in London, so am "tight" by nature and refuse to pay "London prices" to get workmen in. (3) I want the job to look perfect.

    I'll give you some background on its usage too. It will be mainly used for watching sky, but also DVDs and games. It will need to be connected to my sky+ box, my Xbox, and also a DVD player soon as I intend to stop using my Xbox to watch movies on. So, a possibility of 3 connections going to the TV. we still have a lot of videos, and our existing video player is a bit crap, so I'm considering a DVD/video combi as an early xmas present for myself. the room is relatively small and the walls relatively thin, so I don't expect a need for surround sound, although it would be nice. As such I may opt for a DVD/video combi instead of DVD/surround home cinema system. I suppose if I got the video combi, I could get a cheap amp as well. are there any benefits to this?

    Ok, I have a few questions:
    1. I'm ok with the fixing to walls and chasing walls for cabling, however I am concerned at the amount of wires that will be needed. do I need to get some kind of 3 into 1 switching box, so I only have 1 cable going to the TV. If so, does anyone have any recommendations? Or do I connect all 3 devices straight to the TV? if so, it will need to be 3 scarts looking at the connections on the back of my TV. does this mean I'd have to get scart cables that can disconnect at the end, if I need to remove or feed them through.

    2. do I really need to separate the power cable from the others to stop interference? does this mean that I have to chase in two channels on the wall, or just 1 big one, with 2 lots of plastic pipe imbedded?

    3. I doubt that the plug that comes with the TV will stretch to my plug point. As I can see, I have a few options: a. take apart the TV and replace the power cable with a longer one. b. extend my plug point to a new closer plug. c. strip the plug off the end and hard wire it to some kind of switch point with fuse, like you get with cookers in the kitchen. Can anyone with this TV confirm the power cable length?

    4. Depending on what the chimney is like, which I won't see until after I open it up to install the fireplace, I guess I have 2 options for the cabling. I could either drill through behind the TV and then out through the right side of the chimney breast to where I intend to put the hardware on one of the right-hand shelves. the bonus of this is that I don't need to cut channels into the plaster, and could just run coving down the internal corner to the power point. Alternatively, if I can't drill through, I will have to chase through the plaster and probably a bit of brick too. I also take it that it's best to install a box behind the TV where the wires will exit the wall.


    basically it would be great if people could come up with some solutions or suggestions to my problems. I've had a look around these forums but haven't managed to find much which is suitable for my particular situation. Even if you cant be bothered to post a long reply, any url links where I can do the footwork and research myself would be much appreciated. also any url link to products that you think may be useful, e.g. scart solutions, electrical hardware/sockets/switches etc

    cheers guys :thumbsup:
     
  2. rumba

    rumba
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    Well, no replys as of yet, but i've just ordered the tv so there's no going back now!

    :suicide:
     
  3. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    All I can say is good luck...hope it goes ok...
     
  4. Up The Spurs!

    Up The Spurs!
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    Had my telly for a while, excellent choice ;o)

    Decided to remove the gas fireplace as the telly will be to high for my viewing! And managed to pursuade the missus we should get the Sony DAVLF1, and not swap the fire place for a in the wall type, yeppie!!

    1. Same concerns...As I've got this task to do very soon. Probably going to have to buy all new scart leads (length).
    2. I'll be chasing two into the wall.
    3. Cable is short, but it disconnects (cheap replacement). Going to us a fuse switch (like in Kitchens) which is already there for the fire.
    4. Channel the cables don't go into the chimney...
     
  5. Howbury

    Howbury
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    Rumba

    If you are going to the expense of getting a good picture then it makes sense to get good sound from DVDs. I opted for the Panasonic SC-HT520 which is quite cheap and effective (to my ears) to tide me over for a couple of years.

    Hiding the cables is a problem that I haven't solved yet. I think that systems with an umbilical chord to a connection box are the best solution but seem to be rare with LCD TVs. I am not keen to permanently embed cables. This is certainly a problem with the DVI-i connector unless you replicate the socket with a cable. You will have the choice of connecting straight to the DVI-i, or via the VGA convertor or the Component video cable. I guess that it would be best to keep the mains cable (a couple of inches less than 6 feet) away from the data cables. There is not a lot of room to work with under the TV. My centre speaker sits below the TV which hinders positioning of cables. I could use the TV as my centre speaker. To hide my cables I might build a removable cover painted the same as the wall. In your position I think that I would opt for going through the chimney and allow access to the cables. It solves having to go around the corner of the chimney breast in the plaster.

    I would run a spur from the back of your existing mains socket and install a gang of 4 sockets exactly where you want them for your devices. This will leave your current 2 sockets free for plugging in the hoover etc. and you won't have trailing mains cables.

    Hope this helps a little bit.

    John
     
  6. MikeRJ

    MikeRJ
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    I think technicaly any more than one (double) socket on a spur requires the spur to be fused.
     
  7. brendank

    brendank
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    hi

    i have similiar layout to yourself except my crt tv is on right side with an electric projection screen over the fireplace.

    anyways heres what i done

    all speaker cables were routed at ceiling level and dropped down to speaker wall plates behind the plaster board with coving to be installed later to cover it all up. all the cables came back to small equipment rack on left hand side of fireplace.

    the equipment rack looks like a small drinks cabinet for all intents and purposes and i have IR distribution amp on top, alongside phone etc very wife friendly and functional

    i bought the belkin 8 way av surge master and ran spur from socket to behind the equipment rack for connecting up everything

    the crt tv on the other side has storage space for sky and dvd player/vcr and all i have coming out of this to equipment rack is 1 digital lead and 1 optical back to equipment rack running up channel on corner of wall up to ceiling height back down another channel on other side of chimney breast back to equipment rack

    on the back wall i have the pj and rear speakers mounted on 3 glass shelfs www.soundstyle.com which are pretty neat looking especially with the backlight option.

    in your scenario you will need to figure out where to locate tuner box,dvd sky etc i.e which side of chimney i would consider extending extending chimney breast on both sides with false panel essentially i.e nail 2 by 1 batens on both sides and plaster board over of course and use this as a channel for running your cables remembering to leave a letter box type opening for cables to terminate to equipment rack etc. this is quick and easy option if you dont fancy cutting channels into existing plasterwork also a good way of tidying up chipped edges on old plasterwork.

    you definely need to cut a channel on chimney breast for tv/sat coax wall plate and/or electric socket and to route all your cables back to equipment rack.

    have fun :smoke:
     
  8. rumba

    rumba
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    thanks for your replys fellas.

    i'll try and get some pictures of the work when i start it (which shouldn't be until xmas time).

    i think i'm going to have all my sky, dvd, etc located on the left hand side of the chimney breast, and run a spur from the other side of my room so i have electrics on that side. i've read a bit about it in one of my diy manuals and although it sounds a bit daunting, it looks simple enough.

    also if i hire one of those twin disk cutters from hss then is should only take a few days.

    just a shame that myself and my girlfriend only bought the house and redecorated this year! oh well, i was getting tired of the wallpapaper already. it has been up for about 6 months after all!!!
    :(
     
  9. brendank

    brendank
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    enjoy :thumbsup:

    once its finished it should look cool

    dont forget the belkin av 8 way surgemaster, probably the best value piece of kit you will buy :)

    brendan
     

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