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Old 05-30-2008   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: CT
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Default working on new HT now; couple of questions...

hi all. trying my best to figure out location of everything in a basement remodel before the sheet rock goes up. i'm pretty sure i've got the speaker (5.1) placement figure out, but will be running extra 12 AWG and subwoofer cable elsewhere to have some options.

1st question:

i'm still unsure about where to locate the cablevision cable box (for HDTV 42" plasma) and DVD player (will prob. upgrade to Blu-Ray eventually) and, accordingly, which cables to prewire. here's my thinking:

one corner of the basement will be the home theater area, with the HDTV mounted on the wall and the couch positioned more or less in the center of the room facing that wall. there will be a bar area in the opposite corner from the tv corner (about 35 feet away) and i would prefer to locate the amp rack and associated components in the bar area to keep all that stuff out of reach of the kids, etc. the cable box and DVD player under the tv (the only items the kids/wife will care about) or with the other equipment at the rack?

here's my dilemna, and i just don't understand enough to make a decision. if everything is located at the rack, what cables do i need to prewire from the rack to where the TV will be mounted (excluding speakers wires)? a looooong HDMI cable, which i understand can be expensive?

if the cable box/DVD player is under the tv, what cable needs to be run back to the amp? an "optical cable" is what i think i've read, but again this will be a 35 foot run and is that advisable/affordable?

as i don't have much time, i think i'll run a conduit between the two positions to be safe and then all can be figured out later (i haven't even figured out what amp, components, etc. i'll be selecting -- starting from scatch here -- and no doubt those will influence the system and layout.

my 2nd question:

is it necessary to have the circuit for the subwoofer be a dedicated 15A or 20A? i'm ultimately planning to go pretty big on the subwoofer (big room), so should i tell the electrician i need a dedicated 20A? unfort. the subwoofer placement I'm just not sure about yet and i was figuring on running cable to 2 different spots and I don't know if this will create too much of an expense

sorry for the long post. any guidance appreciated
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Old 05-31-2008   #2
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Join Date: May 2007
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Posts: 2,422
Default Re: working on new HT now; couple of questions...

Well, first off, the subwoofer placement is something you have to try and see, no one can tell you where it will work, and the two spots you might 'pick' might not be best.... so this will be a challenge until you hook it up and see what works.

As for running the cable box and DVD 35 feet away from your rack, I wouldn't. You will need long cable runs that could be avoided by using a good RF remote (I prefer the Harmony 890 which is ~$289 @ Amazon) that way all the gear can be out of sight, and be controlled easily. This will mean you'd need to go to the other side of the room to put a DVD in, but that is a minor thing, and one only done at most every two hours, so should be tolerated even by the most demanding of wives. With a good remote, the cable box can be controlled form 100 feet or more away without a line of sight.

You will definitely want an HDMI cable to the TV, but depending on what you have/buy, you might also need component if you receiver or pre/pro doesn't transcode video to HDMI, if it does/will, then HDMI will be fine. 35' isn't outside the realm of HDMI, I have a friend who uses a 50' Monoprice for his projector and it works well, and Monoprice is the cheapest HDMI cable I know of.

Do you need a 20A dedicated line for a subwoofer?? Probably not, but I like the way you think, I DO have dedicated lines for my subs, but I am not the norm.
Ken Taraszka, MD
Associate Editor
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