For Do-It-Yourself Home Theater Wiring – Read
If you are a
do-it-yourself type, an important part of setting up your home
theater system is configuring the home theater wiring
correctly. Common knowledge is that men don't read
manuals - but this is one area where the manual is critical to the
performance of those expensive components you just purchased.
If you have just unpacked your new system,
remember that you will need space to attach and configure the
wiring so don't put all the heavy equipment back against the wall
until the job is completed. When placing the components avoid
using enclosed spaces such as close cabinets as the heat generated
by the system needs space to dissipate. Providing an
insufficient area for air circulation and cooling could damage
those expensive components. Also consider weight so that you
don't stack them in a way that is likely to fall and could injure a
child or pet.
When purchasing your cable and wiring for the
project remember to look for connections of sufficient size that
you can attach them with your hands. Avoid both the high cost
products that promise magic performance benefits and the low end
cables that will need frequent replacement and not allow the best
picture and sound possible from your system. The length of
speaker wire needed will dictate the wire gauge required. For
less than 100 feet, a 16 gauge wire is fine, while for longer
distances you will need 14 gauge or even 12 gauge speaker
wire. Don't guess - measure.
Label your connections once you have them
completed. If you change the arrangement of your room or need
to move your system, the few minutes you spend now labeling the
connections on the cables and wires can save you hours when you
reinstall the components. Always remember that when you are
connecting your system, you are not trying to be fancy - you just
want the cleanest way to connect each of the components to each
other. Most systems have very clear instructions for doing
this - read them!
There are solutions available for the problem of
a mass wires and cables that are an eyesore. These are known
as cable management systems and include a product known as raceways
which are smooth plastic strips that enclose your wiring as it goes
around the room. The raceways are attached to the wall just
above the baseboard and provide a neat way to run your wires.
An alternative is to use what is known as a sleeve, a simple tube
of plastic or metal that you slide the wiring through before making
the connections. After you have installed cables
and wires properly, add the last important part of your home
theater wiring - a high quality surge protector.