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What to consider for a professional looking setup?

mike79

Active Member
We are getting set to move into a new house, and will be decorating each room before we move in. I have a window of around 3 days to install and set up the TV and surround sound in the lounge before the decorators put the wall paper up.

I want a professional looking finish to the home theatre installation, so what all should I be considering when I am completing it?

It is a Bose Acoustimass system, so we are not talking fat wires. I plan on having only 1 HDMI from my AV receiver to the TV. Each of the speakers will be wall mounted using the Bose brackets.

The walls are brick with a plaster finish, so I will be chipping out channels in the walls to chase cables. Do I need these in trunking? What is the benefits of trunking versus just having the cables in the plaster?

Are the wall plates worthwhile, or is a wall plate with the bristles good enough? Trying to avoid unecessary connections in the cabling where possible.

Any other pointers or advice much appreciated!

Thanks
 

mike79

Active Member
I should add, from my initial scouting about the net, I plan to run a spur off a wall socket with a flush mounted single socket behing the TV on the wall. I was also going to have a single gang brush wall plate behind the tv for the HDMI to come from. Behing my AV rack, another single gang brush wall plate where the HDMI and 5 speaker cables will go into the wall. Each speaker cable will come out of the wall at their relevant locations and will be hidden by the speaker bracket.

I will have the spur running through separate channeling in the wall from the speaker and HDMI cables.

I think my key to making it look good is ensuring there is no mess of cables behind the AV rack - this will be in the middle of a wall rather than in a corner, so it has to look tidy. 0.5m cables would be a god send - why do most lead come in 1.5m?!?!
 

Geps

Well-known Member
What about acoustic treatment? Surely if you're spending alot of money on the sources and speakers you'd want a decent (acoustically speaking) room to start from?

Also re the spur.....you can't just spur off any old socket there must be certain criteria it falls into for it to be compliant.

For single cables look at PVC capping - either way I'd strongly recommend you don't just embed the cable in the plaster....what happens if you break it during install? You can't take it out and replace it unless it's in some form of protection.
 

mike79

Active Member
thanks Geps. I will look into the details for a spur. I thought it just had to come off an existing ring (i.e. not off another spur) so will check what the esisting socket is.

I was at B&Q at lunch and saw thet do quite narrow oval trunking which would be ideal for the speakers. I could then get some larger trunking for the HDMI etc up to the TV. The oval would also have been good for a single power cable for the spur.

It also got me thinking. If I am chasing cables, then wall papering, perhaps I should over-enginner initially?

I was initially going to run just 1 HDMI, but if I use the wall plates behind the AV rack to hide any unused cables, I could have cables that are not required now without the mess, thereby future proofing.

Should I go this way and have 2 x HDMI, 1 x VGA, 1 x coaxial and 1 x CAT5/6 network cable? I can't seem to find something that offers just these, and if I went the modular plate route, I could only have 4 of these. I see you can get a VGA to HDMI connector so perhaps the VGA connection is not required?
 

Geps

Well-known Member
That's true but you don't always know exactly what you're spurring off.....just because it has two cables out the back it doesn't mean it's a ring.

The larger the conduit the better of course, but there is a maximum depth you can chase - I can't remember exactly though.

I wouldn't convert an HDMI signal to a VGA connector if you can avoid it. HDMI is a fast bus with a high bandwidth and you want to reduce the need to keep adding extra connectors.
 

mike79

Active Member
re HDMI / VGA... I was more thinking of connecting a laptop via VGA to an HDMI, as opposed to an HDMI device to VGA.
 

mike79

Active Member
well, I've done my research and have started my buying. This was an area I have never really looked into, hence my uneducated, vague questions. I have got most of my answers from other threads on here and my best friend google.

Have bought the items below, to cover the needs now and allow for potential additions:

- 4 new 1m HDMI cables, to minimise the cable mess behind the AV rack (can then lose the existing 1.8m cables)
- 2 new 5m HDMI cables to run 1 from AV receiver to the TV and the other to be a spare connected to the TV for - future
- 5m VGA cable
- 5m CAT5e cable
- 5m USB extension
- Component lead for the Wii (to run through the AV receiver)
- Sensor bar extension for the Wii
- Double brush wall plate (behind AV rack)
- Single brush wall plate (behind TV)
- Single wall power socket (behind TV)

I've also got the TV wall bracket and the 5 speaker brackets ready to go.

Decided that I won't run a spur to the TV - I have a Belkin surge protector, and so will just have the socket behind the TV as an extension plugged into the surge protector (will be in separate trunking from brush wall plate to socket behind TV).

Only things left to pick up is a few lengths of 16mm oval trunking for the speaker cables, a larger section of trunking for the cables up to the tv and some cable ties.

The work starts next Friday so I will start a thread showing the before, after and the progress along the way...

Looking forward to it, and there is a bit of time pressure as the decorators are wall papering the house from the Monday.
 

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