Idiots Guide - New Home

ekay

Active Member
apologies in advance for such a basic question!

I am moving soon and I am hoping to buy a decent TV, Amp, 5.1 kit (room is relatively small). I have a Sky HD subscription plus a PS3.

I wanted to buy the TV/Home theater later on, as it all will depend on budget I have left over from re-decorating etc.

I would love to put a tv up above a fire place we have. To me it seems very messy...I'm not a DIY master or anything close! I would want it done so that there is no wiring on display etc. The problem is that I assume that this needs to be done BEFORE painting or wall papering the wall? Is that correct? I was told by a friend that it needs to be plastered over?

Secondly, I am getting the carpet changed, so I thought it could be a good idea to lay some wiring down where the rear speakers may go, before hand. is this a good idea? If so....any recommendations? Again I'm assuming most amps take all modern/current cables?

As you can see I have very little idea of what I'm doing so any advice would be great!!
 

DJTipster

Active Member
Eskay, I am sort of doing something similar, but in the master bedroom we have. We are mounting our TV on the wall with all the cables being chased behind the wall so nothing, apart from TV, will be on show. We have had to do our cables through the wall first, then plaster, then finish off with painting the wall (or wallpaper.) Same with cables, lay these down before putting your flooring down. Again, that's what we did in our lounge. With respect to the amp, I am assuming that Sky will sit very near to the amp, so just use a HDMI cable from that to your amp. Your speakers will only use speaker cable so that will need to go underneath the new flooring
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Yes, you'd need to channel out the existing plaster and run conduit in the channel. The wire carrying the signal to your TV will be concealed within the conduit. The conduit is then replastered over and you can then paint or wallpaper over it. Also note that you are going to need a power point behind the TV for you to be able to plug it into the mains or you are going to need conduit that will also conceal a power cable for the TV. I'd suggest you run power, HDMI, coax and an ethernet cable to the location where you intend to hang the TV.

There are surface mountable conduits on the market, but these will obviosly still be visible to you.

Are you intending to lay the wire beneath the carpet or under the floorboards? You can get flat speaker wire that makes it easier to lay under carpets, but if simply looking for a good cable you can lay under the floorboards suitable for most tasks then this should suffice:

Fisual S-Flex Black Studio Grade Speaker Cable 2 x 2.5mm - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists
 

ekay

Active Member
Thanks both for your comments. I'm starting to understand the process A LOT better now!

I'm starting to lean toward simply having a TV stand in the corner with Amp etc shelved below it. so the only pre-prep I will need to do it Speaker wire it seems? 2 wires running into the back 2 corners of the wall.....feel free to shout if that sounds incorrect?

The wires will be going beneath carpet/underlay. I'm happy to spend a good amount on cables....I would say my total TV and Sound budget would be around £2000. More if the numbers come in on Friday!!!

More suggestions welcome and thanks again.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
In a corner is the worst place you can possible place a TV if wanting to use it in conjunction with a surround sound setup.Try to locate the TV central to a wall so that the speakers can be arranged correctly in relation to both it and your primary listening position:

ollg.jpg


Home Theater Surround Sound Speaker Placement and Setup Guide
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Do you have a sketch of your ideal seating layout?

You can call in a local Installer to install the wiring you require if you want a 'clean' install - you/your decorator can take on the finishing to keep the spend down.

If you go down the corner placement there may be other options (Soundbar, Soundbase, PLAYBAR or stick with 2.0) - your layout sketch will help here to suggest options.

Joe
 

ekay

Active Member
LR.JPG


Once again...thank you so much everyone!

I have attached a layout of the room. My initial plan is to put the tv above the fireplace on the right hand side. As you can see....the sofa (against left wall) will not be square in front of the fire place.

Current plan is possibly to put the tv in top right corner, with speakers behind each corner of sofa.
 

DJTipster

Active Member
Whilst I agree that having the TV in the corner is not the ideal place for surround side, it is up to where you put it, as there maybe reasons that you cannot sit straight. Take my lounge for example. We didn't want the TV above the fireplace, and we don't have a "spare" wall to have the TV to watch it straight on, so we have ours in the corner. For us we didn't want the focal point in the lounge to be the TV, so it is a fireplace and nice mirror. We have surround sound, and we use 7 speakers, albeit I know we are not getting proper full joy out of 7.1 itself, when we watch a movie we love it as we can still hear the sounds that are supposed to be for the rears, and when we watch the footie we are immersed in sound. It is much better than using standard TV speakers, and when we go the step further and change the set up of the lounge slightly, and install a projector screen and projector (you will get hooked, trust me!) then this will change so w do get full on 7.1 as it is supposed to sound. Let me explain what we have and what we are doing in the future....

Pic of how the lounge looks now - (Sorry the pic is so small - I cannot make it bigger!)

So the yellow blob top left is a one seater armchair, yellow blob on the right is a 3 seater sofa, yellow blob and black line bottom left is the location of our TV, stand, amp, sky+HD and PS3. Ok so as you can see there the 3 x red blobs in front of TV location are left, centre, and right speaker respectively. The speakers are spaced out a lot more than my stupid pic suggests lol! The bottom right red blob is surround speaker 1, the middle left red blob is surround speaker 2, the top left red blob is rear speaker 1, and the top right red blob is rear speaker 2. Like I say, this is not the ideal for a 7.1 set up, but we love it and beats TV sound any day!

Lounge Now.JPG


Now on to what we are doing....So Mrs has agreed to have a projector screen and projector for that "big cinema experience". We are going to be changing the layout of the lounge slightly. The dining room wall is being knocked down so we have a bigger lounge. The TV will stay in the same place in the corner, as will only be watching general TV on that, so will not be using surround sound, and on the projector we will be watching films and sports so will be using surround sound. The amp will also stay in the same place but the speaker placement will change to this.....

Lounge New.JPG

So you can see the speaker placements change to proper 7.1 and will be watching projector screen square on. Projector screen will be going over bay window (blue line)

Like I say, we have used our current set up like this for just over a year, as we did not have anywhere else to put the TV and we absolutely love it
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Sorry, but if you stick a TV in a corner then you can forget about having a setup conducive with multichannel surround sound. Fair enough, if you cannot appropriately locate the screen and speakers then that is understandable, but this dictates that you shouldn't really be looking to shoehorn a surround sound setup in that room. You either compromise or do without. It is sometimes better to do without and spend your money elsewhere as opposed to forcing a square peg into a round hole. Even surround sound soundbars require walls to be orientated in certain ways in relation to them and your seating position for them to be able to create virtual surround. Calibration and room correction systems can do many things, but they cannot physically correct the incorrect location of speakers and one of the primary factors that determine the effectiveness of a surround sound setup is the correct placement and location of the speakers. If the fundamentals cannot be achieved then you unfortunately have to take a step back, take a breath and avoid the temptation to go ahead with the project.
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Personally I don’t find sticking to a decent 2.0 or 2.1 system to be a ‘compromise’ – I’d much rather have good quality dialogue from a good front LR (with/without Sub) vs. badly placed/under budgeted Side and Surrounds.

If the corner placement is what suits your preferred layout then work with it and optimise what you install.
As DJTipster points out you can still enjoy a less than ideal installation – though that option would not suit everyone.

Joe
 

ekay

Active Member
I favour Joe and DJTipster to be honest. I appreciate that it won't be a perfect situation. But I'm confident that I can get a 42-plus inch tv into the corner without it looking too silly.

So I think my approach is going to be buying some cabling for 2 speakers to go in the highlighted areas, and lay this down before carpet goes in. After all decorating is done, I will turn my attention to TV, Amp, stand etc choice. Providing this sounds good...does anyone have a cable suggestion? something of high quality that will future proof me for some time perhaps?

Finally I suppose I should leave around a meter on each side of the carpet?
LR.JPG
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I favour Joe and DJTipster to be honest. I appreciate that it won't be a perfect situation. But I'm confident that I can get a 42-plus inch tv into the corner without it looking too silly.


It has nothing to do with how it looks and is a matter of correctly locating speakers in relation to both the screen and your seating position. Speakers have to be located in certain location in relation to both the screen and where you sit while viewing the TV in order for surround sound to work correctly in relation to the content you are viewing.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Cable – VanDamme 2x2.5mm will cover for all but the most exotic/high powered solutions, Speaker Cable

Cable runs – I wouldn’t run cable ‘under’ carpet anywhere that folk will be walking. Keep the cables running around the perimeter of the room, you can use a double strip of gripper rod to form a cable way at the edge of the carpet.

Joe
 

ekay

Active Member
Cable – VanDamme 2x2.5mm will cover for all but the most exotic/high powered solutions, Speaker Cable

Cable runs – I wouldn’t run cable ‘under’ carpet anywhere that folk will be walking. Keep the cables running around the perimeter of the room, you can use a double strip of gripper rod to form a cable way at the edge of the carpet.

Joe

Terrific tip regarding the griper rod!!

My final 'dummy' question; how does the 2.5mm thickness differ, besides in the most obvious way? Will a 4mm deliver a better sound for instance?
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'Will a 4mm deliver a better sound for instance?' - No.

The heavier gauge cable is required if you have a power hungry set of speakers and a high power amplifier - for the vast majority of systems the 2x2.5mm will be more than adequate.

Joe

PS The 2x4mm cable is a bit of a monster to hide under a carpet!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The longer the run then the greater the cable diametre should be. You need not use anything more than 2.5mm diametre cable unless the runs are exeptionally long, longer than 10m. Using anything more than 2.5mm cable over distances less than 10m will yield no benefit. You can use thicker cables without it impeding the current or it being detrimental, but there's no reason to and it will cost you more to do so.
 
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ekay

Active Member
I can't thank you all enough for your help!

Watch out for my posts next week that will be asking about which amp and tv to buy :)

thanks guys.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I think it wise to mention that the active subwoofer used with AV setups will require an RCA (phono plug) terminated coax cable as opposed to conventional speaker wire. The sub will also need it own power supply so needs to be located close enough to a power point in order to facilitate this. The coax cable wouln't really suit being laid beneath a carpet.
 

ekay

Active Member
I think it wise to mention that the active subwoofer used with AV setups will require an RCA (phono plug) terminated coax cable as opposed to conventional speaker wire. The sub will also need it own power supply so needs to be located close enough to a power point in order to facilitate this. The coax cable wouln't really suit being laid beneath a carpet.

Thanks for the heads up. Would it be silly to put the sub behind the shelving unit which houses the tv/amp etc? I'm thinking there will be a fair gap in the corner of the room behind the TV stand. Otherwise it will have to go next to the stand....I'll be sure not to get a very wide one!
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
I'd suggest locating the sub well out of any corners or you'll run the risk of creating bass boom. Sound tends to bounce around in corners before it is heard and this is undesirable.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Again it’s all about that compromise between ‘ideal positioning’ and ‘I have to live with it’.

In an ideal situation you position the sub where it works best, place it where you would like it to live and use some form of room correction (within your AV Amp) to take care of any highs on the frequency curve or like many folk plonk it where it needs to live and hope t integrates well with the room/your speakers.

If you place it behind kit you will want to ensure none of the kit rattles when the sub is working and as dante01 says a corner will tend to reinforce the Subs output!

Joe
 

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