When renovating or building, special planning has to go into the most important room of the house - the Home Theatre! This is where you will spend all those hours being entertained. However, we see many new properties with a mass of exposed cables, hugely unnecessary complexity, and the worst sin of all - not using the latest cables.
This article highlights that all your problems can be solved with one cable - HDMI. However, remember not all HDMI is the same!
What is HDMI?
HDMI stands for "High Definition Multi Media Interface". It is a licensing organisation that defines the specifications of this very sophisticated cable. There are also many types of HDMI cable. We are only going to discuss version 1.4 as that is the only type you should install (version 2 is also now defined, but not really available).
In simple terms, the new HDMI v1.4 cable means YOU ONLY NEED ONE CABLE BETWEEN YOUR TV AND YOUR AMPLIFIER. You do not need audio cables, video cables, and data cables as this cable does it all.
What does version 1.4 HDMI do?
Version 1.4 handles the highest definition TVs, internet (data) / smart TVs, and 3D TVs. It also can send and receive full digital audio. It is also known as "High Speed HDMI with Ethernet".
The two way audio feature is important as it means that if your antenna is plugged into the TV the sound it receives is sent to the amplifier. Or if you are playing a DVD, or using a game console, the sound is transmitted to the TV via the same HDMI cord. One cord can send sound in both directions.
If you have an HDMI v1.4 connected to your smart TV from a compatible amplifier then you do not need to run a separate data cable (ethernet cable) as the HDMI does this for you.
Keeping it tidy
Having one cable for your TV that does everything avoids the mess of cables. And it is far easier to plan to hide one cable in the wall than many. It also greatly simplifies your system as there is only one connection - so you do not have to keep switching between inputs to watch different devices.
This will greatly enhance the spouse acceptance factor as the home theatre can be what it is meant to be: simple to use and no mess of wires.
Finish it off professionally
We recommend that you install your HDMI (and speaker wires) in the walls and ceiling so that nothing ugly is exposed. Renovator Store sells HDMI v1.4 cables specifically designed for in-wall installation. Long lengths and extra insulation are important when installing in the walls.
Finish off the installation by installing professional wall plates too. Another way to keep it all spouse friendly!
These are an inexpensive way to professionally finish off the most important room in the house.
A plan to set up your home cinema
Whilst your home cinema can be infinitely less complex than a couple of years ago given HDMI v1.4 is available - remember to plan for the rest of the wiring.
Every speaker needs to be cabled back to where your amplifier is going to reside - and these days most media room setups have 8 or more speakers and a sub-woofer. Check out the simple wiring diagram below and ensure you utilise good quality in-wall speaker wires (12AWG to 16AWG), and in-wall sub-woofer cables.