Audio/Visual Telecomm Install
We've hard-wired up the whole house for internet, audio, & visual, big thanks to my buddy Cole for his help with the connections! We have cat6 wired to most rooms, and then some special audio/video stuff going on. I understand that most of this can be handled through wireless, but I'm not going to put all my eggs in that potentially cancerous basket.. :p.
Our strategy is to place all internet, audio, & visual equipment in the mechanical room, leaving a clean look with only the TV visible on the wall. We trenched a 1.5" plastic conduit from the garage, right on top of the electrical service, which can be used to bring cable/telephone service into the house. This conduit extends into the mechanical room, which will be where the cable box, etc. will live. We have two planned tv locations, a small TV the upstairs living room and a larger TV in the basement lounge. The idea is that the HDMI signal from both the cable box or media computer will be available from both locations, with wired infra-red signal transfer as well. IE, you can sit in the living room, point the cable remote at the TV and it'll act just like if the cable box was present. I found a nifty system from monoprice.com (totally worth using for large orders, even after Duty to Canada) that allows for HDMI & Infrared signals to be shared over two Cat6 lines:
Using the shielded Cat6 I ran for the LAN, I was able to save the coin on long HDMI cables, and get the remote signal extender all in one. To operate the media computer, the tv will connect the same way, with control via wireless keyboard/trackpad.
Finally, I've picked a couple of discrete locations for audio amplification and run speaker wire to appropriate wall plates as well. 5.1 amp for the basement, 2 channel stereo for the upstairs. The 5.1 basement amp will also live in the mechanical room, with remote signal stolen through the media computer's CAT6 over HDMI kit (computer controlled wirelessly). The upstairs amp will take audio from the TV's toslink output, or use local input (ipod dock, etc).
Since this is using some new tech, I'll be testing these connections prior to drywall. UPDATE: System works great. As a backup plan, we've also run coaxial cables from the mechanical room to the two TV locations and also the attic, for future options.