Finishing my basement.
My wife wants a 50+" tv on the basement wall ..."whenever I'm done." We're
NOT trying to make a "media screening room" with perfect seating and acous
tics. Just a big tv with some comfy sofas.
My question is, is it worth the effort to extend the cable tv wire to this
location from the main floor tv/cable/dvr box? Or are today's tvs and perha
ps a dvr box upgrade so fantastic that I can just as well do everything via
my local wifi network in the house? I haven't stayed current with the lat
est A/V tech and I just don't want to go through all the trouble to run the
cable wire for nothing.
Related follow up question: my wife wants surround-sound and is asking me t
o install speakers in the walls and ceiling. Is this sort of thing done an
ymore? or strictly a 1990's thing? Again, I don't want to install somethin
g that is obsolete or even regrettable.
Experienced opinions greatly appreciated.
Online references and guides appreciated too.
If you have a smart TV and home network with good router it is possible.
Where is your cable entry point in your house? At my house, all cable
entry point is basement utility room and upper two floors have cable
connector in every room and loft.
We have a smart TV but that doesn't help you much to get anything but
streamed programs (not cable/sat or broadcast).
It does tag my network, get out to the web for Netflix etc or talk to
the media library on my PCs. IMHO that is more cumbersome that just
putting movies on a thumb stick and plugging them into the TV. I put a
4 port hub on mine so I can have 4 ports out front
You can also plug in a USB disk drive.
On 11/9/2015 7:31 PM, email@example.com wrote:
You can do a lot with "wireless". But, that means you are *depending* on
wireless! As the ether gets more congested with signals that *can't* find
copper/fiber paths from here to there, you may discover quality or even
connectivity suffer (or, have to be "upgraded" over time just to accommodate
more uses you've tried to address "without wires").
Also, wireless has to coexist with any/every other wireless user nearby.
If you're alone on a 4 acre spread, this might not be an issue. OTOH,
if you're in a townhouse with a neighbor on the other side of a stud wall...
I wired the house (retroactively, after it had been standing for a decade
or so) with phone, CATV and network. I don't want to *rely* on a wireless
technology (or even powerline carrier) as the basis for these things but,
rather, fall back on it if I find myself in a situation (later) that can't
easily be addressed with "wires".
[Why wire a home for phone? Doesn't *everyone* use a cellphone?? What about
the folks who don't??]
Originally, I planned on just doing *everything* "over ethernet". But, that
puts other prequisites in place that I -- or a future homeowner -- might not
be happy with. So, I ran phone, CATV and network to every location that might
need/want it (notable exception is the two countertop phone/network locations
don't include CATV -- if I want a TV on the kitchen counter, I'll have to
serve video over the network!)
In this case, that means two drops in each bedroom (because you don't
want to "force" the phone/TV/computer to reside in a specific location
chosen with one particular furniture arrangement that could change over
time: "Let's try moving the bed onto THAT wall, instead"), four in the
living room, three in the family room (one wall is essentially glass)
three in the dining room, one on each of the front and rear porches,
Once you've got things "exposed" to the point where you *can* run wire,
then you're really only saving a little bit of labor and a little money
(wire is cheap). OTOH, once you've *finished* the work/remodel, opening
things up to *add* wire is a real PITA!
Moral of story: run any wires you *think* you might need/want, now.
At the very least, a CAT6 drop so you can bring the network into the basement
(CAT5 if you want to save a few pennies on wire).
Again referring to my "everything over ethernet" comment, above, I chose
to locate speakers in certain places where I expected to want them in
the long run. E.g., the four corners of the kitchen (up high, near the
ceiling), two on the back porch (again, up high so out of the way),
and the four corners of the family room (up high, yada yada).
I did *not* install any in the living room as its a "less informal"
place (double negative?) and felt that the presence of permanent
speakers there would compromise how the room was used, etc.
But, instead of wiring them *to* a piece of "stereo equipment"
(or HiFi or multimedia or...), a single network cable brings the audio
program to each speaker (individually). Sort of like "internet
radio" but without the (visible) computer -- instead, the computer
is installed *in* the Jbox to which each speaker connects (it's REALLY
tiny!). I also deliver power to those little computers over the network
So, I can pipe "music" into any of those locations from a "multimedia server"
located in a closet. Because their power is sourced down the network cable,
I can power each "speaker computer" on or off without the need for a
power switch *on* the speaker. Or, a volume control knob, etc.
Because they are fed from a server, I can just as easily pipe the audio
content of a TV show through them. So, locate the "TV screen" wherever
that might be convenient and omit the need for *more* speakers just
for the TV.
I also have a pair of speakers located in the ceiling on different ends
of the house. These are hard-wired (via "speaker cable") to a computer
that handles my HVAC needs. Their primary purpose is to act as the
*doorbell* for the house as they are just trying to cover "general areas"
and not targeting a specific media listening/viewing environment.
[Eventually, I'll let them be used for a "paging" sort of function]
Most important issue is to realize that just because it's low voltage
cable, doesn't mean the Code doesn't apply! By way of specific example,
running typical "lamp/zip cord" ("speaker wire") in the walls is verbotten.
Lamp cord is STF1 or STF2 but you need CL2 (or CL3) certified cable to
comply! And, you can't just tack up cable wherever you deem it fit
[If you opt for running network cable, make sure you buy Riser (CMR)
cable at the very least. I buy it in 1000ft boxes as its more
affordable that way. You'll also have to learn how to crimp the
terminations -- such fun! :> ]
On Mon, 9 Nov 2015 18:31:25 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I ran cable throughout the house when I moved in 30 years ago, and I'd
do it again. Besides 18" long bits, which are easy to get, they also
sell flexible drill bits 3, 4, and 6 feet long, that can allow you to
cut a hole in the sheetrock and insert the drill and drill up to the
attic or down to the basement. I bought them at a telephone store,
but both of them have gone out of business. Now they even sell them
at Home Depot, though the selection was less. Probably the most
popular sizes and what you are most likely to want.
Originally I only had cable, with a box in my bedroom and the
basement, wired by the cable guy, but I got a VCR and stopped using
the basement box as much. I ran the output of the VCR, and not the
DVDR, to all the other rooms, and I found that every second splitter,
one needs a signal amplifier. So I have two signal amp/splitters and
they've been running 24/7 for 29 and 32 years and still work fine. One
was covered with clothes for a couple years but it didn't seem to
But you won't need a signal amp if you don't have splitters.
When the cable guy came, I asked him if, instead of putting the cable
box on top of the tv, he could put it in the closet, 8 feet away. I
don't know if he was serious or not, but he said he wasn't sure the
signal would go that far. A little later, when I was running the
cable to the kitchen, for some reason, I had the cable going down to
the basement 9 or 18 feet, then forward, back, and forward 35 feet,
for a total of 114 or 123 feet, and the picture and sound were fine.
Of course this is standard def, that's all there was then. But I
don't think 123 feet would be a problem for hi-def either. You can
check on that yourself.
So why did the installation think 8 feet might be a problem?
I have a TV in my bedroom, one cable up to the attic where I put a
spare TV, and a phone (in case the ladder gets knocked down again and
I want to call for help) a tv in the office bedroom.
The other line goes through the closet floor behind or into the corner
of (I forget) the built-in bookcase, where there's a splitter to the
living room TV, then through the floor to the basement to the work
shop TV, through the celing to the laundry room/wood shop for a tv,
and up to the kitchen for the kitchen tv. I live alone and can play
the same program whatever room I'm in. I'm going to connect it to
the computer in the next few months.
Wireless is great for devices that are mobile; tablets, laptops, etc. Wired
connections are still faster and more reliable for stationary devices like
At the very least, run a coax and CAT6 ethernet cable to your TV location.
If you think you may ever want to relocate the TV, go ahead and run extra
cables there too before you close everything up.
Absolutely. Just make sure you use plenum rated speaker wires if you run
them inside the walls.
I installed in-wall speakers around our house because I like the clean look
(no big speaker boxes sitting on shelves). But you could run the in-wall
wires to speaker jacks just as easy.
One of the best things I did when we built our house was to install conduit
and empty junction boxes. Rather than preinstalling a bunch of cables I may
or may not need, I can easily install new cables and cover plates as my
I'm probably just using the wrong terminology again. It has been 12 years
since we built our house, so some of the details get a little foggy these
When we built our house in 2003 we were required by code to use CL2 or CL3
rated speaker wire. Both types are widely available and relatively
The important tip was the original poster shouldn't just run bare two
conductor speaker wires inside the walls.
On 11/9/2015 9:31 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Depends on what the source of your TV content and the load on your WiFi
router as well as the quality of your WiFi router.
Many consumer WiFi routers can not handle much more than 10 - 15 devices
at once. Once you figure in all the iphones and ipads and computers and
other connected gear you get to that quantity in a hurry.
My main TV has a few runs of RG-6 coax running to it, one for DirecTV,
one for a roof antenna, one to feed output from another video source
upstairs back to this set in the family room. WiFi is also available to
play shows stored on a router connected 2TB hard drive.
I want to echo running flexible conduit, its cheap, easy to work with, and future proofs your install.
at one time i was a dish network dealer & installer.
potential subscribers had me give estimates
the trouble was they wanted to rg6, but sat had higher frequencies. which required RG 12
they tried to insist RG6 would work.
I refused, and some found other dealers who took the bait and used their existing rg6.
when it didnt work they called me.
i said just run all new cables. they didnt get it, they just knew their install didnt work...
i quoted them thousands to replace all their cables so they would quit calling me
these homes were big million dollar ones, one just 3 years old, last i heard the one owner was planning on suing the builder
On 11/09/2015 06:31 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Yes, of course. When I moved (back) to cable internet last year, I
routed a cable under the house from the j-box, and ending up coming out
of a wall plate to feed the modem. The cable company had originally
strung the cable around the outside of the house, and done a rather
piss-poor job at it, and I ended up removing it in the interim.
Should the time come when I no longer need it, the amount of work to
snip the cable and spackle up the hole in the wall is trivial.
On Monday, November 9, 2015 at 9:31:39 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
re NOT trying to make a "media screening room" with perfect seating and aco
ustics. Just a big tv with some comfy sofas.
s location from the main floor tv/cable/dvr box? Or are today's tvs and per
haps a dvr box upgrade so fantastic that I can just as well do everything v
ia my local wifi network in the house? I haven't stayed current with the l
atest A/V tech and I just don't want to go through all the trouble to run t
he cable wire for nothing.
to install speakers in the walls and ceiling. Is this sort of thing done
anymore? or strictly a 1990's thing? Again, I don't want to install someth
ing that is obsolete or even regrettable.
I hope you find the right speakers to install. Until then, you may want to
try these great speakers that I found. They offer a Bose-like sound, you ca
n Sync them wirelessly, they have 12 hours of playing time, a noise-cancell
ing microphone, playback control and much more. It is the perfect gift for
anyone who appreciates music. I was impressed by all of the great reviews a
nd they received a Buyer's Choice Award. Check them out using the link belo
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.