Home Theater Components

I'm getting ready to run cables up for my new Samsung TV.  Question is what cables do I need.  Electrician coming in two weeks and want to order cables before he gets here. 

The three components are

BOSE 3-21 system w/ HDMI

Verizon FIOS box with DVR


I think the Bose (came with 6 ft HDMI) would go into cable box - then HDMI up to TV.

PS3 would have HDMI from it to TV - but what would I get the sound to Bose with RCA

I think I need at least 2 HDMI cables run up to the TV..

Any help would be appreciated

For the DVR - I currently have one digitial box and a couple regular converter boxes.  Which ones will be able to access the DVR?  Just the other Digital box?


Re: Home Theater Components
Specialist - Level 1

Few things:

1) You don't really need to "order" HDMI cables. Any electronics store, Sears, Best Buy, etc., will have them. They're just not cheap.

2) You don't really need an electrician to do the setup unless you're running coax through the wall to the room.

3) I'm not sure of the specifics of your Bose system. How you connect your STB, TV, and PS3 to/from it would depend on its connections.

4) Only your regular STBs (not digital converters) will work for the DVR. Make sure you are signed up for Home Media DVR though; regular DVR service will not work for watching programs on other STBs.

Re: Home Theater Components

Thanks - Cables are being run behind the wall along with electricity.  monoprice.com has the best price I have seen on cables along with Flat Panel mounts - considerably lower than anywhere else.

Re: Home Theater Components
Enthusiast - Level 3

If the location between your TV and the AV equipment is reasonably close, you may want to consider putting in a conduit or chaseway instead of directly installing the wires.  This leaves your options open for the future as technologies do change and you don't want to have to tear your walls apart just because the next great technology requires a new cable type.

I redid my basement last year, and part of that was doing a full AV system.  The only wires I installed directly into the walls and ceiling were the speaker wires (7.2), which all run back to a termination panel behind the AV equipment.  For the TV, I put a chaseway in (an electrical box with the bottom cut out of it) behind where the TV was going to mount into the wall.  This allows me to run whatever wires I need.

As for the wires, my TV is a Sony XBR9.  I ended up with five wires running from the TV through the chaseway:

  • RG-6 to pickup the unencoded QAM channels directly on the TV
  • Power for the TV from a surge supressor (actually a smart strip which turns on and off some auxiliary components)
  • Ethernet since this is an Internet connected TV for streaming content such as Netflix
  • HDMI to bring video up from the receiver
  • Fiber TOSlink to take 5.1 audio from the TV (for Internet video and internal tuner) back to the receiver

You can see why I wouldn't want to run wires directly in the wall as these are all specialized cables and there is no telling what the next great TV may require.

I'm not sure why you are connecting your game machine directly to the TV.  If you really need to do this then the TOSlink cable will take audio back down to your receiver.  If you have enough HDMI ports on the receiver (most have three to five these days) then you should really connect all of the components directly to the receiver and let it switch the signals up to the TV and speakers.

I have my Verizon DVR, Blu-Ray player, and Standard Def DVD player all connecting to the receiver via HDMI.  I also have an old TiVo S2 connected to the receiver via composite video and two channel audio.  The receiver still has one vacant HDMI port so I can add another component in the future (such as a HTPC or a game machine if that should ever interest me).  None of these extra devices require a cable running directly to the TV.

There is the drawback that the receiver must always be on when watching anything, but as I always want the surround speakers working this is fine for me.  Also, the Verizon remote can be setup to turn-on the TV, DVR, and receiver at the same time as well as to always change volume on the receiver even when the DVR (STB) is the selected device.

As for your actual HDMI cables, I've been using ones I buy off of Amazon.com which cost about $3.00 with shipping.  I've had one flakey cable so far (out of five purchased), but at the price I can afford a few failures.  I woudn't trust these for direct install inside of a wall, but for device to device where the cables can be swapped out they have been fine.  Remember, when dealing with HDMI, it is digital.  The signal either gets through or it does not.  This is not like the analog days when the quality of the cable affected the quality of sound or picture.  There is no degredation as long as the signal comes through well enough to be decoded.  Monster (and some other companies) is making a lot of money trying to make people believe that HDMI is the same as the analog market.  Don't fall for it.

Hope this helps you in the planning and installation.