TV above fireplace--how do you run cables for cable box/DVD

breezygirlDecember 8, 2010

I'm not sure exactly where I should be asking this question. Usually I'm on the kitchen forum, but I need to figure out my TV problem some place else.

The only good place to put a TV in our new family room is above the new direct vent, see through gas fireplace. I've read all about heat problems and height issues. The TV won't be mounted very high, and seating is about 15 feet away. We will be getting a new TV to fit the space.

I can't seem to find out how/where you put the cables to run from the TV to the cable box and DVD player, etc. There is NO place on the fireplace wall to put the cable box and DVD player. The wall is 5' wide, 2' thick, and in the middle of the house separating the family and living rooms. The only option for components (box and player) location would be on a cabinet across the room from the TV. Does this even work? Do you run cables up the fireplace wall, across the attic, down through the adjacent wall, and out at the components area?

Sorry if I sound ignorant. I am! TIA for any help!

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ours is new construction but we ran component cables through walls to RCA HDMI wall jacks.(one behind the TV and one behind the components) That way you end up with outlet type things instead of wires running everywhere. Then you just plug your cables from your tv and components to the wall jacks. I got mine a Ram Electronics online. I ended up calling them and they told me exactly what I needed and got it ordered. We are getting drywall soon(hopefully) If it was completed I'd try to post pics. google tv component wall jacks if you need more ideas.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:07PM
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Yes, you are correct, the cables need to run from behind the television back to the video sources. It normally gets "fished" through walls, attic, basement.. whatever, to get there. You also have to run an 120 volt electrical outlet up behind to the television, as well.

You are already aware of the possible problems from where you wish to install it, but from an installation point there are several others: what is the finish surface of the wall, where does the fireplace flue/vent run, is there normal stud construction behind the wall, etc...?

When mounting on brick or a stone/brick facade, you typically want to run mounting bolts through the mortar into studs, as opposed to through the stone/brick, which is then damaged and not easily repairable if you end up either not liking the location or are selling the home.

Unless you know exactly what is behind that wall, it's can become risky, or least frustrating, to do it. That said, if it's done during a remodel, during new construction, or if a side wall can be opened up, it can be pretty straight forward.

As far as the wiring that needs to be fished through, it depends upon your sources and equipment setup. Some people will tell you to run a single HDMI cable from a home theater audio receiver, but maybe you don't always want to turn on the entire entertainment system just to watch a little of the news at night.

None of this is too difficult if you know what you know exactly what you want, but things really need to be thought out well beforehand.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:51PM
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bh401--Thanks for the info on where to look online. It would be nice for someone to just tell me what I needed!

Yosemitebill--The fireplace and wall will be all new construction. I definetly want an outlet behind the TV. DH is a huge couch potato and has the TV on for hours at night. I don't think we'd want to turn on a whole entertainment system just for that, just the TV and cable box.

Do you have to place the cable box facing the same way as the TV to make sure the cable box has reception? I'm confused about that. Do I point the remote across one side of the room to change the channel on the cable box and then point the remote at the TV to turn the sound up? Sorry if I sound techno-illiterate!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 12:30AM
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My components will be in a small corner cabinet. That way they are on an angle and hopefully won't cause problems with remote not working. Wanted to put them on adjacent wall but think there will be remote issues. The other option was to have a shelf built between the fireplace and the TV for the components. But, I didn't want to look at them and it raised the TV height. Making a shelf to fit current boxes. What if we changed boxes and new ones wouldn't fit. Shelf over TV-too high for remotes without stretching to change channels. The shelf option raised too many issues. Fingers crossed, the corner cabinet will work perfectly.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 12:28PM
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Well, you point the remote at the device you wish to control, however, human nature always makes you want to point it at the television. If the cable box and television are roughly in the same area, the cable box will hopefully "see" the remote control's IR (infrared) signal.

If they are too far away, or if the A/V components are in a cabinet, you can purchase an "IR repeater". The repeater consists of a IR receiver which you discreetly place near the television. It then sends the IR signal to small IR emitters that you place near your A/V components. They come in both wired and wireless versions between the receiver and emitters.

You may need some help from somebody that can look at the outputs available on your A/V components: Cable Box, DVD player, etc, and the input options of the television to determine what types of connection/cables you will need between the two. You may also want to add some additional cables for "future components." Additionally, Ethernet wiring (for an internet connection) should be run to the television and also another to where your A/V components are located.

If you're installing a home theater sound system, the wiring for that needs to be figured out as well. The single HDMI cable reference I made earlier refers to connecting all you A/V components to the receiver for the sound system, and using it to control which source is displayed on the television. Many people end up preferring to send the signals to both the receiver and the television. That way, if you are "just watching TV" you can use just the TV. If you are watching a movie on DVD and want the full surround sound, then you turn on the receiver as well.

By the way, the cables/wiring used in-wall to the television (and speakers wiring if done in-wall) need to be in-wall rated. That refers to the type of insulation used in the cable for safety purposes.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 12:54PM
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