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Wiring for TV over fireplace

Posted by oldbat2be (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 13, 11 at 8:26

Our walls are still open to the studs. I asked the electrician to wire for a flat screen TV over the fireplace and he has placed an outlet here, with quad-shield coax RG6 and power.

Would I also want CAT-5 for any reason?

Thanks in advance....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

A lot of the TVs now include internet connectivity. Of course, many use wifi for this but you never know.


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

you need at least one hdmi cable to wherever your cablebox / receiver / home theater system is located. some providers require phone hookups to their box


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

Thanks Ronnatalie and Groundrod.

In my adult life, we've only ever been a 1 TV household. Now we're moving (down?) to a 2 TV one... So I don't really understand what's required.

Currently, we have a Verizon cablebox at the TV in our family room, and do not yet have HDTV. (No plans at this point, but eventually...?).

Do I need a cablebox at each TV or can one use a splitter of some sort? In the family room, we have more room for devices, so I'd much prefer to keep everything there. We watch a lot of Netflix movies using a laptop -- and I hate paying for cable TV -- I can envision increased internet viewing in the future.

My goal at this time is to get any wiring in place which we might use in the future.


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

With Verizon FIOS, you will probably have one of their HD DVR boxes at one TV and a regular box at other TVs. These boxes are connected by RG6 cable. With their system, the RG6 is also connected to the fiber network box (ONT). With other systems, the internet part might be CAT5E or CAT6. If it were me, I would do both RG6 and CAT6 and route them to a closet patch panel.


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

Unless you are using an OTA antenna, or very basic cable service, RG6 to the television isn't all that useful.

Also, there is no reason to use quad-shield in a home installation; it's specs the same as RG6 but with improved shielding for very noisy (as in interference) environments or when used with extremely low level signals. Let alone, it can be a PITA to work with.

Yes, you want coax to the STBs, but from your STB, DVD player, or other source to your television, you need video connections such as HDMI, Component, or Composite - along with audio.

You should run network CAT5e to both the equipment, and the television, for each installation. Most new televisions have apps such as Netflix built-in and just need a connection and account - wired is better. Blu-ray players also require a network connection for updates and enhanced features.

Your best bet is to run conduit, 2 inch flexible, from the television to an access point where AV cables can be pulled as required.

BTW, receptacles with built-in surge suppressors are also available and should be used for the television in-wall electrical outlet.


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

Thanks weedmeister and yosemitebill. I know we run Cat5 at work but what's the difference between running Cat5 and Cat6 at home?

I like the idea of the conduit!


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

Cat5 is specified for speeds up to 100MHz, and Cat6 is specified for speeds up to 250MHz. Cat6 is difficult to terminate properly in the field, meaning that you probably need to buy cables directly from the factory. Figure that Cat6 will cost you about an extra 25% over Cat5 for the extra bandwidth. In today's world, it's tough to justify running Cat6 to a TV, since its highly unlikely that the extra bandwidth will be justified. I'd install the conduit as suggested above for the future, and install Cat5 for today's needs inside that conduit.


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

Hi,

When I was in the same situation as you I tried to stuff in as many cables as possible. This is a once in a lifetime deal.

The trick is to decide where to put your stack of other equipment. E.G. DVR, cable box, etc. Then wire from there to your TV. You will need long cables. Try Pacific Cable.
I put in 30 feet worth from TV to equipment stack.

From TV to Eqipment stack:
DVI: I had one (now you need HDMI and I would recoment two)
RGB: I had two sets of triples for video.
Audio: I had two sets of twin for audio to match RGB sets
Ethernet: I had zero, but would put in one.
TV Coaxial: I would recomend two, I had one.

From basement point to TV stack (not the TV):
Ethernet
TV Coax

From basement point to TV:
TV Coax
Ethernet

Change power socket to surge suppressed power socked for TV.

Sounds like alot. But you only need to go to Best Buy and look at all the cables handing off the back of a set up to realize this is what you need to do.

Figure on about $US 300 worth of cables.

best, Mike.

P.S. AVOID Monster cables. They are a real rip off. Plain copper is just fine.

I bought my cables from this Pacific Cable place and they work good. My tv stack and TV are only about four or five feet away from each other. BUT by the time you wind the cables around the wall / fireplace you need about 30 feet worth.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pacific Cable


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

The only reason I mentioned RG6 is that it is what Verizon uses to interconnect their STBs to their network. It is also what is specified for satellite providers. Verizon also uses RG6 to connect their routers to their IP network. The cable carries more than just video, hence the higher bandwidth requirements.

CAT6 is used for Gigabit Ethernet. CAT5E is probably good enough and costs less. Get Plenum Rated cables.


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

I agree with weedmeister regarding running RG6 to the STBs. My point was there is absolutely no reason to use RG6 Quad Shield as the electrician has done - but it's there and it'll be fine.

Unless you are distributing RF to the television, such as OTA or Clear QAM Cable, the coax would only be used to send downconverted high definition RF modulated video to the television - kind of a waste. Still, it's practical to install it to the television for the above uses or other unforeseen needs.

CAT5e cabling is spec'd to 100 Mbs and up to 1 Gig - it's the routers, switches, and other hardware that can slow it down. Since Netflix requires roughly 1.5-2 Mbs for SD and 5-6 Mbs for HD streaming, you have more than enough overhead there!

Although it was probably a typo, I'm not sure why weedmeister recommended Plenum Rated (CMP) cables for inwall/riser (CMR) use. They are not being installed in any type of air handling system, or specified commercial installation, and the plenum rated cabling is considerably way more expensive.

Best bet is to run the CAT5e and RG6 to needed locations for now (one each min. to the AV equipment and television wall mount areas). Then use the conduit to provide the means to feed the appropriate AV cables between the television and AV equipment areas.


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

I ran 120 outlet and next to it a good size conduit for everything else. And that is what I recommend if you are keeping entertainment devices in an alcove near the TV or within 15'.

We had composite, component and one HDMI going through the conduit, but when our new TV came with three hdmi we switched cables in the conduit.

If you place connector plates for HDMI, you may as well place three, and that is expensive, can introduce problems signal degradation (yes even digital signals can have problems from too many connections, and HDMI is famously hinky sometimes)

We have cat5e from our home server and network distro going to our alcove next to our fireplace where a switch then distributes to WDTV Live, wii, and xbox. they variously feed audio to our receiver and a/v to the TV. we also have wires coming though the conduit to the TV for wii bar, center speaker, and RG6. there is also optical from the TV to the receiver to move 5.1 for live TV.

For example if i was installing plates, a couple of years ago I would have needed composite to feed video camera and now I do that DNLA from my phone to my home network to the WDTV to watch videos I shot from my phone on the TV.

Without a conduit we would be saddled with regularly changing needs and permanent obsolete hookups. Conduit for non 120 applications is code, and gives you flexibility. Just make sure it is wicked wide (ours is 3" diameter) so you have no trouble fishing cable heads through. It will be behind the TV and no one will ever see it, if you or future owner want to remove the end and cover it with a drywall patch a 3" hole is pretty manageable.

I echo the thoughts against expensive cables, they are mostly overpriced and almost never better. I use monoprice.com


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

If you have a reasonably capable AV receiver, you really only NEED one HDMI cable and possibly a CAT5 if you want wired ethernet. All of the various video sources (component, VGA, etc) can be connected to the AV receiver which will convert them to HDMI. And if you don't want to run HDMI through the walls, there are adapters that will let you run HDMI over CAT5 (usually this requires two dedicated CAT5 cables, in addition to the one used for ethernet).


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

Thanks again to all; the feedback has been terrific. I had DH read through all your input. He reminded me that we can access the space both from the attic and basement in future. In the meantime, plasterers have come and gone and the opportunity to do it right the first time is gone. We'll be busy with cleanup, painting, electrical finish, and assembling cabinets for a while. When the dust settles (couldn't resist!) we'll come back to this thread, probably pick out a TV and then take it from there. Best, oldbat2be


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RE: Wiring for TV over fireplace

BTW, unless you sit very far from the TV (over 15 feet away) or your fireplace is very low, the over-the-fireplace location will require you to always keep your head slightly tilted up when watching TV, straining your neck.


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