TV Prewires in 2018


Active Member
It has been about 6 years since I set constructed my house.  My brother is having a house built for him and we were thinking about the TV prewire.   For wall mounted TVS,

We were thinking :
1)ethernet cables to media closet.    Thought here was one for TV and one for any small set top box that would go behind TV but could benifit from wired internet. 
2)1 Coax to media closet - (Some cable companies still seem to use this)  Just in case we want to put cable box in media closet
3) 2 HDMI cables to bookcase or other area in room for gaming systems or if you wanted to drop a cable set top box in the room

Are we missing anything?
You might want to pre-wire for over-the-air broadcast TV.  A couple of coax lines to the most likely spot for an antenna and an extra coax to the TV locations.  OTA is...wait for it...FREE.  Normally better picture quality than the cableco, too.  
Also, who knows what kind of boxes we're going to be connecting to our TVs in the next few years.  So far, there is no one platform to rule them all.  We may all be combining various services for the foreseeable future.  Flexibility is key.
It is really inexpensive to pull wire before the walls go up.  Put in some extras; leave them unterminated behind the drywall if they aren't currently needed.
Just posted concurrently here and lost post.  Mentioned:
new LCD TV install RG6 for OTA, HDMI and Ethernet for back of TV for a friend.
They went to using base internet for smart tv (Roku Netflix, AOD, et al) and OTA.  Basic internet package for on demand TV and OTA.
Here utilize RG6 for OTA, Satellite and Ethernet.  (TV is doing satellite, OTA and on demand TV).
Wife's TV is satellite and mine is Kodi.
Recently wired a room for my brother with on wall TV and recessed shelf below for media and electronics.
RG6 for OTA
4 X HDMI from TV to shelf below
CAT6 for built-in streaming and firmware updates
Shelf Below:
CAT6 for Blu-ray for firmware updates and other network features
CAT6 for gaming console
CAT6 for cable or satellite box
CAT6 for unforeseen future use
RG6 for cable or satellite box
I installed a 50' Cables-To-GO Rapid-run multi-purpose cable for the main TV in my house. It is versatile but for HDMI I needed to use a signal booster. Back then they used an "active" wall plate that required AC power and it works up to 720P over 50'. I lose the picture when I turn the resolution up at the source pc. I imagine that they may have improved over the years and may be worth looking at. One cable can serve many purposes by just changing the screw-on cable end.
The most time consuming piece of the friend's LCD TV mounting was that it was one of two basements (quad level home) which was finished - great room (ceiling was drywall and floor was cement).  The lowest basement was finished with a drop ceiling which worked passing the cables to the other side of the basement where the utility room was (comm closet).  Comm closet was just installation of one 12 port patch panel and the combo CC modem in the rafters.  I suggested the add of a ceiling mounted WAP up two floors at a later time.  It was more expensive to terminate the connections in the upper and lower boxes.  Electric was easiest.  HDMI and Cat5e easiest.  RG6 was OK with thin coaxial cable.  I did not pass any wires from hole to hole (looks mickey mouse to me).  The up and down wall boxes were on an outside insulated wall.  To get the cabling to the comm closet in the main basement removed the bottom wall trim and used a dremel to cut a grove in the drywall from the TV area (middle of room) to one side of the basement to pass the wires then replaced the trim (~ 25 feet?). Used my drywall cutting Dremel tool for a even cuts.  Originally it was going to be wireless everything to the LCD TV and I suggested running the cables and doing it.  TV was 65" and thin and not too heavy.  Main bracket was bolted to a stud for best support.  In wall box was adjacent to stud.  Used a triple in wall box with one separate compartment at a angle for 120VAC outlet.  Bottom box was flush mounted to the wall.  Originally volunteered to do this thinking it was take only maybe 2-3 hours.  It was a two visit endeavor. 
My current house has coax but I don't use it. I've put my sat/DVR (DirecTV HR44) and Roku in my wiring area in the basement with an HDMI switcher. Then I have an HDMI extender that works over Cat5e (which has an IR back channel). One tiny box at the TV is all that is needed. Minimal wires. No noise. No heat. About 3 years now - love it.
My new build has no coax runs within the house. I'll definitely run Cat6 or higher. I may run HDMI; haven't decided yet. I'm having my house built with open trusses for the floor and I'm putting in short runs of conduit to every wall plate so changing wires will be trivial in the future. I'm also contemplating putting my audio receiver in the central area too.
We are in a technology transition period. Coax is fading. HDMI is pretty bulky and iffy for long runs. IMO Cat is likely the future.
I'd put in the few cables you know you need now. Then also run smurf pipes between media room and TV locations for future changes..
If you put enough CAT6 in then you can always do HDMI over UTP. I think it takes two CAT6 cables for each HDMI run though.
upstatemike said:
If you put enough CAT6 in then you can always do HDMI over UTP. I think it takes two CAT6 cables for each HDMI run though.
Gefen extenders use 1 cable. Distance and resolution varies with either Cat5e or Cat6.
If I could do anything, I'd run 2x RG6 and 2x Cat6 per TV; bonus if you can add smurf tube for expansion.
Like it or not, DirecTV and Comcast both still run over Coax and really don't support Ethernet well.  You can use the RG6 for HD-SDI (HDMI over Coax) and you can use HDBaseT over Cat6. 
My preferred method for the last several years has been Matrix Switchers.  This is largely in part to the fact that Cable and Satellite providers expect to charge per receiver - meaning one house might pay for 5-7 receivers while only ever using 1-2 at a time.  Being able to show the same source on multiple TV's is even more advantageous - you can put on a game and have it in perfect sync with the whole house speakers and showing on 7+ TV's around the house.  You can have a movie playing in the theater and the bar in perfect sync.  HDBaseT can carry ethernet, IR Control, video (up to 4K), etc - the possibilities are endless.
An empty conduit, HDMI, RG6 and as much cat6 is the best bet. Just about anything can run over cat6 for A/V. We haven't used a cable box in many years and instead use a HDHomeRun to distribute TV. Works great with streaming devices unless your provider encrypts channels in which case you'd need another solution, such as a computer.
+10, empty conduit is the only future-proof 'cable' option
Cables will be different if equipment is located at/below the TV, across the room from the TV, or in another room/basement.
For a basic install, with the cable box mounted on the back of the TV, I would run RG6x1, cat6 x 2-3, plus empty conduit to basement or attic. Use a combined line voltage and LV TV box, behind the TV.


This is my final solution as of now.. 

To TV - smurf tube to attic..  2 cat5, coax and string from attic through tv lv ring to outlet hight LV ring.   
 From TV to bookcase - 2 HDMI, 1 coat, 1 cat, 1 smurf. 
 From bookcase to attic - 2 cat, 1 coax, 1 smurf.( not in my picture ) 
Link to picture -

Is there any good program to diagram this without taking a ton of time
Make sure the conduit is large enough to accommodate a new HDMI cable, with relatively large connectors at each end.  I chose 1.5" diameter flex conduit, for my recent installs.
Electric supply houses are good sources of LV flex conduit.  I've also bought some from Worthington Distribution.