Question for audio/video techies

I am in the process of fixing up our basement:

  • One room will have a desk and computer.
  • Another room will be a home theater w/ HD projector, receiver, amps, etc.
  • A third room will be a wet bar. Behind the bar will be a HD LCD TV.

I am currently in the process of running cables between the three areas. I do not yet have the system completely designed, so I am just running cables I *think *I will need.

As of right now, I have run CAT6 between the rooms. I have also run HDMI cables between the rooms.

What other types of cables should I run? The drywall will be installed in about a month, and my fear is that down the road I’ll say to myself, “Damn, I should have run XXX cable between the computer and the home theater & TV behind bar.”

I am not really “up” on what types of cables are used for transferring audio/video/data in home entertainment systems. In an effort to future-proof my new basement, I want to install cables I may (or may not) need.

Extra Cat-5. There is a whole world of balens to convert other signals to and from Cat5. Like HDMI to Cat5 and back again, or video component to Cat5. But whatever you run, there is no doubt that it won’t be enough to “future proof”. Remember that HDMI didn’t exist when HD first appeared. No, instead I’d spend the time actually putting in plastic piping from point to point so I could pull whatever cable I need in the future.

Yeah. run conduit and an access panel, and a nice string to pull things either way.

Agree with gaffa on the extra Cat5 (or 6). Stick in a half dozen runs, the stuff isn’t expensive. You can run anything over it, while HD video standards seem to change weekly. I’ve run VGA signals through an entire 1000’ foot box of Cat5e using relatively inexpensive StarTech video baluns and the picture looked pretty much indistinguishable from a 6’ VGA cord - though I’m sure if actually measured there’d be some loss of dynamic range, etc.

Conduit is nice, but inevitably whatever size you put in will be 1/4" too small to pass the MegaHD3D format plugs, and terminating MHD3D yourself won’t be possible.

I did this a couple of years ago and blew it. I ran extra Coax, extra Cat5e, a 3/4" conduit - now I need better. Need Cat6 and HDMI and can’t do it.

If I had it to do over, I would run 2" conduit with pull strings.

What do you need to do with Cat6 that Cat5e won’t handle? The minimum standard is higher, but if you bought quality cable to begin with, they’re exactly the same thing.

Real Cat6 has extra plastic fibers to space the twisted pairs. Cat5e doesn’t.

The categories are performance standards. High-quality Cat5e cable met Cat6 standards before Cat6 was implemented, and there is no prescribed build strategy for meeting the standards.

True enough. But you can shave 1/8th inch off each end.:slight_smile:

I’ve had to do that to get an HDMI cable through. I had to pull all the other cable back out, pull the HDMI through, then re-pull all the rest.

Seriously, if you’re building a basement home theater from scratch, make sure you have full access to the area behind the display, the area behind where you’re going to put all the components (NOT, I repeat NOT all in a winking, blinking pile to the immediate left or right of the display like those morons who do the hyper-expensive systems featured in the home theater magazines) with a big cable trough between the two.

Even if it means actually pulling studs down and moving a wall, you need to do it. And have a trough to where the computer will go as well. Then, you can pull any and every cable you can imagine.