Help me design a home entertainment system

I am in the process of finishing the basement. Right now it’s nothing but poured concrete walls and concrete floor. I plan on doing it right… stud walls, subfloor, drop ceiling, insulation, etc.

One room is going to be an entertainment system w/ HDTV, stereo, 7.1 sound, etc. The other room will be a bar. Am thinking of putting a smaller HDTV behind the bar.

It’s been a *long *time since I’ve built an entertainment system. Seems a LOT has changed since I was into it in the 1990s.

Generally speaking, what components do I need? I obviously need a couple HDTVs (a large one for the entertainment room, a smaller one for the bar), and a 7.1 receiver for the entertainment room. I will also need a BlueRay DVD player and some speakers. What else do I need? What about a PC? What kind of speakers – free-standing or in-wall? Since I will sorta have two systems (main entertainment room and bar TV) Is there a way to tie the systems together?

What cables should I run in the walls? I am building the walls next month, and I want to run any cable that I might need. Even if I don’t need it, I may want to run it for future use/future expansion. Should I run CAT5 or CAT6? RG6? Phone lines? How many of each?

I guess I’m just looking for advice on overall system design and cabling. Thanks.

You might want to look at something like this for wiring

As far as cables go, I think you should allow for several cable tv (coax) drops, but not actually complete the wiring of them, since it adds to overall line resistance. With a drop ceiling, you can easily make adjustments later.

Several years ago, I went through the hassle of trying to put Cat-5 everywhere I could. That was a waste. With wireless-G and wireless -N being put into nearly everything anymore… why run physical cables?

I like the PS3 for a gaming system. Plays Blu-ray. Has a web browser built in. ( Not a great interface…but it works )

Your A/V receiver should have 4-5 HDMI inputs and a good upscaling chip.