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Media wiring, Part 1

It’s been a while since I posted, partly because I haven’t gotten a lot done in the last few weeks until just recently. I did get all the media wiring installed, however.

image87I’ll be mounting an LCD TV to the wall, and so I put in a recessed media box to hold all the cables. There’s also a 110v plug inside this box.

I really like the idea behind this (as opposed to putting keystone jacks behind the TV) since it means one less connection for all the wires, the excess wires tuck inside the box, and it’s easy to add to later. To make sure of this, I put in two 2″ x 5′ lengths of conduit, which is actually 2″ PVC central vac piping. I like this stuff because it’s mostly rigid, but bends enough to install it in the wall, and the actual pipe is very thin – which means for a 2″ outside diameter, I have 1 7/8″ inside diameter.

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The open end is right beside the furnace, which I’ll be able to get at since I’m not drywalling the inside of the furnace room. The same wall is where the back of the jacks are, so it will be easy to add new wiring/jacks as needed in the future.

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image150To the TV, I have two HDMI cables, one component video, one composite video, and stereo RCA. I also have wiring for 5 speakers. I’m not buying into this 7/9/whatever channel stuff yet – I thought about it, but I don’t know how the room will be set up exactly, so it’s too hard to predict where speakers should go. If I do need to go that route, I can run wires since it’s a suspended ceiling, and I have drilled 1″ holes in the tops of all the headers so I can drop wires down into the wall cavity. For now I’m happy with my 5.1 channels.

There are also two Cat 5e network drops, and one RG-6 coaxial cable, which all go back to the patch panel in the crawlspace.

image89I also ran cables over to where my desk will go – one set of component video (which can also be used as composite video, stereo RCA or digital audio), and one HDMI – which terminate beside the rest of the jacks for the TV. The idea here is that I can have my computer on the TV, or play music through the main sound system, or whatever. Also at the desk is one RG-6 coaxial cable and four Cat 5e network drops (which again go back to the patch panel).

I’ve also finished up the electrical at this point. There are two separate circuits for plugs in the main rec room, one circuit for the laundry room, and one for the bathroom (which is shared with the upstairs bathroom). There is also another circuit dedicated to the lights. I personally hate when the lights in a room are on the same breaker as the plugs, as it means whenever you’re doing work on something electrical, you have to run power for lights from another room. It’s pretty trivial, but since I’m redoing all the wiring, it’s not any extra work to do it this way (besides installing maybe one more breaker).

Now that all the wiring is in place, I’m finally ready to move on to the drywall..

Update: Finishing up after drywall

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    • http://www.shaneandcasey.com Shane

      I wish I had the patience to do all those runs. I ran two speaker wires into our kitchen and that was stressful enough :)

    • Scott

      Where can I buy recessed media box?? Boxes available with all necessary audio and video concetors in box

    • http://www.gregmaclellan.com groogs

      The media box is from Monoprice: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10425&cs_id=1042505&p_id=4654&seq=1&format=2. I don’t know of any that would have cables/connectors included — since there are so many possibilities. I also would not recommend putting connectors behind the TV, this box is great because you can just have the cables. With connectors, you need short cables anyways, and have one more connection to worry about. With cables, you just pull them out of the wall and go into the TV.

      Also, this is now a year later since I ran this stuff. For all the cables I put in, I only actually use one HDMI, and have my receiver do all the switching/conversions. Something to keep in mind.

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