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Newbie Help

by marcr1230 / January 9, 2015 1:46 PM PST

Hi All

I've just gotten into a new house, which is prewired for home automation and theater etc...

I've never worked with home theater setup so I've got a couple basic questions

I opened up a faceplate above a fireplace - This room is pre-wired for 7.1 home theater. now behind the faceplate are 3-4 thick wires - I assume cat 6. It does not appear that the wire have loose ends so I can terminate them and connect a TV (via a HDMI/eithernet balun).

How do there generally appear, should I pull on them, would they be somehow attached to something inside the little box in the wall ?

sorry for the dumb questions - I'm actually a little smarter than I sound, I just have no experience with this stuff and not sure of the right terminology

Thanks

marcr1230 has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
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Clarification Request
Upload a few photos
by Pepe7 / January 11, 2015 5:25 AM PST
In reply to: Newbie Help

Grab your smartphone and use your resources wisely. Also, look for other rooms/closets/etc. in thew new home where the whole system might reside/locate sources/wires terminate. Understand, any new home 'prewired for xxx' doesn't necessarily mean the same setup Wink

My latest 'go to' photo upload site is imgur.com, btw. Once you upload, share the links back here in this thread.

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by marcr1230

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next questions
by marcr1230 / January 15, 2015 1:08 AM PST
In reply to: Newbie Help

OK - looked into HDbaseT , seems like a good solution

now here's my plan

1, there is a mount called mantelmount, which can lower the TV 24 inches, from it's spot above the fireplace - might look into this.

2. ceiling speakers - can't get away from this until I build a dedicated home theater in my next house in 15 years,

3. The plan

3-4 sources --> Yamaha 677 --> HDBaseT transmitter --> Cat6 patch panel --> CAT6 to receivers --> HDBaseT receiver in TV rooms.

the idea would be that I would largely be watching in 2 home theater rooms (2 Yamaha receivers) and occassionaly manually move the transmitter output, patching it to a different room (guest bedroom etc...)

does this make sense ?

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Yes, for the most part
by Pepe7 / January 15, 2015 4:20 AM PST
In reply to: next questions

I believe Mantelmount is the one that was a kickstarter? Consider another if possible so you can explore all the options. There are other options that go beyond digital 'begging' IMNSHO. Probably cheaper too(!) Look in the AVSforum site too for recommendations (or use the search function here). Useful thread here:
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/166-lcd-flat-panel-displays/1187646-tv-above-fireplace-mounting-dilemma-need-tv-mount-does-3.html

#2- See my previous comments about exploring other options. This way you could actually enjoy real surround sound. Upload a quick sketch of the room space so we can take a peek Wink

#3- Sounds good. Did you choose a transmitter brand yet? Just run through both installation & user manual documents as much as possible before picking one.

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Answer
So there are connectors on these 4 cables and...
by ahtoi / January 9, 2015 4:15 PM PST
In reply to: Newbie Help

you assume it might be cat.6 and we are going with your assumption is correct. Of course the other end should go to somewhere (??). Don't pull on them, it won't tell you anything.

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Answer
I figured it out
by marcr1230 / January 11, 2015 7:07 AM PST
In reply to: Newbie Help

The cables actually were hanging from above and loose below. I was able to pull out the loose part - about 3 feet of cable came out - I think the are 2 CAT5e 1 CAT6 and 1 R6

Thanks all

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Answer
here's the pictures of the wires
by marcr1230 / January 11, 2015 11:22 PM PST
In reply to: Newbie Help
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What do the ends of the blue cables looks like?
by Pepe7 / January 12, 2015 12:11 AM PST

Also, more importantly, what are you goals for the new home? What sort of AV needs do you thing you will be accommodating? Be as detailed as possible so we can help Wink

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The wires
by marcr1230 / January 13, 2015 11:13 AM PST

The Blues are Cat 3

The immediate goal is to use the Cate5e and Cat6 to support HDMI from an equipment closet

the house is wired for home theater so I have 7 "buttons" on the ceiling with speaker wire and then
1 faceplate in the back of the room for sub
this plate is in front for the TV

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OK. I'd focus on HDBaseT
by Pepe7 / January 14, 2015 3:19 AM PST
In reply to: The wires

I suggest using either HDBaseT technology (or Redmere- see monoprice.com), depending on the distances you are looking at from the closet. IME HDBaseT is more bullet-proof and capable of the longer distances though. Here are a couple of related threads from AVS that may help:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-general-home-theater-media-game-rooms/1532794-hdmi-over-cat6-switcher-tv-projector.html

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-digital-projectors-under-3-000-usd-msrp/1532792-nvidia-gtx-780-optoma-hd131xe-without-hdmi.html

**post #11 of the above thread shares most of my sentiments recommendation for cabling requirements. HDBase T may be worth the investment in your case, if you cannot simply add/pull through thicker gauge HDMI cable for a shorter distance requirement.

Regarding surround sound, I would skip the ceiling 'bumps' as viable surround speaker locations since they do not properly orient the sound you need to have as a listener. This is one of the dumbest things ever typically seen in new homes, in addition to location large HDTVs high above fireplaces/mantles that causes you to get a neckache (really, chiropractor) over time ;). Anyway, here's a Dolby diagram/site for more info on how you should be positioning your speakers-

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/surround-sound-speaker-setup/5-1-setup.html

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Ok - HDBaseT
by marcr1230 / January 14, 2015 5:41 AM PST

HDBaseT makes some sense - from what I was able to glean, HDMI extenders bascially pipe the HDMI wires thru ethernet - requiring 2 cables to supply enough individual wires
HDBaseT looks like a protocol converter, incoming HDMI signals are decoded and converted to a wire protocol, then reconverted to the HDMI protocol at each end.

Now - yes, I have the stupid above fireplace setup, and regarding speakers, the ceiling is wired, not the walls and one side is kind of open so no real wall to use for wall mount.

so do I dramatically recomfigure the wiring to try non-ceiling speakers ? or just live with it ?

re the above fireplace - yes I've seen this a friends houses - definitely not the most comfortable - I believe some wall mounts articulate out and down so I could use one to make watching more reasonable

the HDBaseT kit is close to $200, the plain HDMI extender which uses 2 cables costs $56
the run is relatively short, less than 50 ft.

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I think you are onto it ;)
by Pepe7 / January 15, 2015 4:09 AM PST
In reply to: Ok - HDBaseT

Although an above fireplace is less than ideal, the articulating mounts can solve most of the problems associated with such a location. FWIW, I have seen Amazon carry at least one or two, apart from the model that seems to spam CNET forums every year or so. Even one that could move the viewing height down two feet would be a big improvement IMNSHO.

Definitely go with HDBaseT if you want the bullet proof extension.

Back to the surround speakers issue- why are you limiting yourself to wall mounts(?) Understand, the ceiling speakers (e.g. traditional, recessed) will not provide you with surround sound, only poorly reflected portions of the audio feed of whatever you decide you view. I'd look at trying lower profile platforms if you really wants surround sound. Keep in mind the speakers do not have to be big Wink

Could you perhaps sketch the room (overhead view) with MS Paint or Sketch (iOS) and upload again to IMGUR(?)

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floorplan
by marcr1230 / January 16, 2015 1:28 AM PST

Here's an image of the floor plan
not sure how to embed inline

as you can see - the TV will go above the fireplace, there is no wall on the left or right.
there are 7 pre-wired speaker connections in the ceiling and a sub connection at the back of the room on the wall by the floor

I'm going with Altona HDBaseT TX/RX things - These are easy to move if I want to "borrow" the feed and send it to another room temporarily - i.e. move the RX and re-patch the Yamaha receiver output to another room

http://i.imgur.com/d2QEkld.jpg

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Got it- thanks
by Pepe7 / January 16, 2015 4:18 AM PST
In reply to: floorplan

That helps.

I can think of a half solution, which could suffice.

Use the small space under the HDTV for the center channel, and right and left of fireplace for FR/FL speakers. More advance would be connecting the center channel with the bottom of the HDTV, where it can be pulled out using the articulating mount you acquire.

Second part of the equation would mean you retain two (or four) of the ceiling mounts, depending on where the holes are now. Proper separation is everything, or the sound just sounds quite muddled w/ 5.1/7.1 content. [Could you annotate/upload the first floor plans with location of the ceiling (speaker) openings?] If they are too close together, I would skip 7.1 and only use two of the four opening for 5.1 sound (which is more than enough for 98% of folks w/ HT). If you have to stick with ceiling mounted speakers, any speaker should ideally not be flush but use either slightly tipped base or a completely perpendicular mount hanging down from the ceiling. So you get to keep the ceiling connections but gain better orientation/direction of the rear sound stage.

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Ceiling pictures
by marcr1230 / January 16, 2015 11:14 PM PST
In reply to: Got it- thanks
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Still hard to follow- see my example
by Pepe7 / January 17, 2015 3:57 AM PST
In reply to: Ceiling pictures

This is the type of annotation I am looking for from you Happy

http://imgur.com/Gmar4FV

The green diamonds are examples in order to better understand where all the holes are located currently. Birds eye view is easier to work with Wink

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with green diamonds...
by marcr1230 / January 17, 2015 6:06 AM PST
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Got it(!)
by Pepe7 / January 18, 2015 4:03 AM PST
In reply to: with green diamonds...

OK. Assuming your coach/sectional furniture will typically be located 10-15' from the HDTV/fireplace, you can see how incorrect the ceiling speaker openings are from the get-go for 7.1 speaker placement.

Yes, use the rear two 'green diamonds' for Rear Left/Rear Right of DD5.1, but the next four spots (walking toward the mantle) won't be useful to direct the remainder of the sound.
Rears would be hanging from the ceiling and pointing (as much as possible) towards the listeners' ears (slightly behind). YMMV. Finding a route to coome up through the floor (etc.) into the areas just right and left of the fireplace won't be tough at all. The opening above for center channel is already there, so IMO you are halfway finished Wink

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