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Need some help with Video planning/wiring

shenandoah75

Active Member
this is somewhat a continuation of my mistakenly misplaced post in HA forum...


When i bought my house i ran 2 cat6 / 2 R6QS to about 4 locations (with some extra and unused cat6 runs just in case. I also ran 14/4 moster speaker cable and dedicated CAT5 drops for whole house audio.

* However, these runs were only long enough to get me into my leviton wiring panel. My cabinet with a/v equipment in the same closet will likely be 5-6' away. in hind site i regret that...


Everything i've in this forum this morning seems to gravitate towards component outputs to each location. I could use Balun to achieve that without a whole lot of work, or i could try to get another COAX run where needed. Or i can get long HDMI cable(s) to do the same. Given my ability to snake though the space between the st/2nd story is limited, additional runs are my least favorite, but as you'll see below, i intend to ata minimum do it for HDMI somehow.


The two most critical points are:
1) HD Home theater in living room (downstairs)
1) HD Flat panel in master (downstairs - sharing same wall/drop as living room)

I may late on add the folloowing (maybe HD, but likely not at first)*:
Porch
Kitchen
Family / Playroom upstairs
My office in my outbuilding

I don't intend on putting video in the kids bedrooms nor bathrooms/dining/etc (ever)

* Not critical and i don't mine considering those local zones with their own cable boxes, etc if needed. though it would be nice to have the porch as an option (currently not wired at all though except for audio). The kitchen is on the other side of my closet where equipment/wiring is so i can easily add whatever i want there.

Note: i don't intend to base this on software like CQC, i really want it hardware based with the ability to add an HTPC as a source(s) later.



My #1 preference is this:
Living area components in a central closet in the middle of the house. Denon 2307ci or similar as the main receiver/controller. I currently plan on using the second zone variable line level output on this for audio distribution to main living area (all one zone) - the entire downstairs is too open to justify multi-source there. Then i would plan on running HDMI in from cable/dvd and a 50' hdmi cable directly to the flat panel in the living room. This will be a pain, but i'm willing to do it.

My #2/#3 need is considering the master bed/upstairs/porch
Since the master bedroom is next important (though HD may be a ways off - if will happen and i want to design around it). For now and even later, i could rely on individual components located in the bedroom, but i think i'd prefer to have components in the central closet as well. similar with porch, but that will not be surround for sure and i dont mind using the theater's receiver to share output there.

With the upstairs, this would generally be the kids area play and i think for sanity alone i'd rather keep them out of the closet and give them local vcr/dvd and maybe send cable up there to a dedicated box directly.



Questions

1) Is HDMI alone enough for the living room given that i can upconvert/switch HDMI/component with the receiver. Or do i really need 3 component runs too? Would a 50' hdmi cable be a problem?

2) The denon supports HDMI upversion on inputs. However, it supports 1080p on 1 input only and doesn't appear to support 1080i at all. I've been warned that 1080 is just a really high standard not needed and that only the decerning eye can tell. But i'll tell you this, i'm very picky on my LCD's on my PC and i can tell the difference between VGA/DVI output of the same signal, different refresh rates, etc. Should i look for another receiver that supports all possible intelaced/non-interlaced formats and/or one that offers them on both hdmi inputs or will this be ok?

3) Not being sure if i want surround in the bedroom, should i prepare on getting a dedicated receiver for it just in case? I could rely on coax for now, maybe run a second HDMI connector from master back to the closet for later. But again, would that enough or should i run the extra coax lines to get component as well.

4) If i do want HDMI to two locations and i use different receivers to achieve, can you split HDMI in two? Or should i rely on dedicated DVD players and Cable boxes. I know the latter gives me multi-source/multi-zone cababilty, but assuming i didn't want it?

5) if i do create an HTPC eventually, as i noted above, i'm really picky on VGA vs DVI. If i tie up the 2 switchable HDMI inputs with cable/dvd, will i be happy with say component output from a video card? Or should i use component on DVD, and dvi-> hdmi on the PC?

6) Also consider that because this is retro, any current and future wires runs are likely going to cross and potentially at times parallel lighting. i.e. on their way to the closet, all runs to living/master have to cross a ceiling with recessed cans in it. I know this is not ideal, but i do not have a choice. Should i go with baluns for that reason alone (if you say i should run comp/coax)? Would quality suffer in the conversion of component video? should the hdmi shielding be enough to avoid problems?

many, many thx in advance
-brad
 

jlehnert

Active Member
Yikes.

My knowledge of HDMI consists of how to spell it......


As for the short cables....

Well, s*** happens. You're not the first for it to happen to, nor will you be the last. Go ahead and extend the cables as needed.

RG6QS -Terminate the cable with an F connector, connect it to a double female connector, and terminate another piece of cable and continue. Yup, you lose a measurable amount of signal with every termination (3 DB IIRC), but if it's the only way to get the job done......

Cat-5E - Use the appropriate RJ45 plug/jack combinations to extend the wire. Again, you'll be shooting the ethernet standards to shreds, but......

Sometimes when you need a hammer, a wrench will jsut have to do. :D

Edit: I'm writing this while watching a documentary on the Blue Man Group. Talk about unorthodox solutions....
 

shenandoah75

Active Member
BTW - i've been talked out of some of my dilemmas over the last 24 hours or so. The mrs. no longer wants HT downstairs in the living room, but upstairs in bonus/damily area - and she maintains that's not a knee jerk reaction / opinion that will change (i've made sure!). This means i no longer have to worry about trying to conceal equipment and speakers for that area. I may eventually have an HTPC up there which could serve as an ML Client, but that's a long ways off. For now, the coax runs will get my Time Warner feed upstrairs and into cable box and hdmi cable length is a non-issue. All the HT equipment would be in an entertainment center.

Anyways, my massive closet plans just shrunk by a huge factor and it looks like i will not need to extend my wire (speaker and cat5 runs for the whole house audio are all plenty long).

Still would be interested in the answers as some still apply and some could later on, just not in the immediate future.

btw - my current/slimmed down plans for whole house audio can be seen here:
http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?showtopic=7126


thx
-brad
 
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