New house, but where to put the backend?

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justinh
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New house, but where to put the backend?

Post by justinh » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:16 pm

I've recently moved to a newly built house. It's lovely, well laid out & all but as per usual there are no really easy places to route cables or put hardware.

We're upgrading to HD soon, and because we have young kids the TV will be wall mounted & there won't be a traditional 'unit' under the TV housing the AV amp etc. With the advent of HD I see no point in keeping my aging frontend so am thinking about binning it & making the backend perform frontend duties. It's always on, always has been & has a Nvidia card with HDMI output.

In my old house we were 'lucky' in that we had a crawlspace under the floor where I could easily (ish) run cabling - but no such luck in the new place - it's all concrete flooring. Internal walls are either 'dot & dab' (drywall board stuck onto thermalite blocks) or traditional plasterboard on top of wooden stud beams.

Next to the lounge is a utility room, which is where I reckon is a good place for the backend/frontend and AV receiver. All the cabling *should* be easy to route in the wall (no going on about codes etc - I couldn't give a fig about those here - since they're only signals anyway).

Anybody here had experience routing cables behind dot & dab walls? I think I'm going to need a set of cable pulling rods & there's likely no way around cutting small holes in plasterboard to pull the wiring around.

I've also pondered getting or making a childproof cabinet to put all the gear in, which would live unobtrusively in the corner of the room, vastly simplifying the cable routing...

I'd like all the cabling to be hidden - my wife says she wouldn't mind trunking but I *hate* that stuff. What are your ideas folks?

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stuarta
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Re: New house, but where to put the backend?

Post by stuarta » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:43 am

justinh wrote: Anybody here had experience routing cables behind dot & dab walls? I think I'm going to need a set of cable pulling rods & there's likely no way around cutting small holes in plasterboard to pull the wiring around.
I have these styles of wall. The issue I ran into was an inability to move between floors inside the wall. Going between rooms with the interior walls works okay, although I only ever went between adjacent rooms (ie. cable length <30cm), literally through the wall. As a result i've ended up with powerline networking, not ideal, but after upgrading to 500Mbs units, it seems to work okay.

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warpme
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Re: New house, but where to put the backend?

Post by warpme » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:02 pm

justinh,

Just quick Q: are You absolutely sure You will NOT need more that 1 TV in future?
If yes - then all this fight with HDMI/IR cabling is worth.
If no (because You suspect at some point of time it might be comfortable to have TV in livingroom, sleepingroom, childerenroom, kitchen, etc) - then experience of all ppl I convenience to MythTV shows me that intermediately solutions (combined FE/BE with long cables) sooner or latter will be replaced by separate FE & BE + networking.
Heh - even my system was combined during first 4y of operation. When I moved to separate BE & FE (and small, disk-less network booted FE) - I asked myself with surprise many times: why I didn't do this earlier?. Why at all I loose money for nice HiFi-like case for combined FE/BE?
Sure - You can have initially combined FE/BE and next add additional, remote FE - but this will require some-day to address networking.
So if You will address networking anyway - why not do this now and build target architecture but in stepped way?

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justinh
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Re: New house, but where to put the backend?

Post by justinh » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:58 pm

There's a plan to put a TV in the kitchen, but elsewhere is a definite no-no for a very long time. For one thing, we don't have the budget for more. I'm likely going to run 2 network cables into every room after the lounge install is done - then maybe by that point a low-power, low-cost frontend will be a real possibility. Right now, it isn't.
stuarta wrote:
justinh wrote: Anybody here had experience routing cables behind dot & dab walls? I think I'm going to need a set of cable pulling rods & there's likely no way around cutting small holes in plasterboard to pull the wiring around.
I have these styles of wall. The issue I ran into was an inability to move between floors inside the wall. Going between rooms with the interior walls works okay, although I only ever went between adjacent rooms (ie. cable length <30cm), literally through the wall. As a result i've ended up with powerline networking, not ideal, but after upgrading to 500Mbs units, it seems to work okay.
Ahh that'd likely be because of the huge 'dab' of board adhesive they slap at the top & bottom of the walls (I've read about it).. there's no getting past that without digging a channel - and if you're gonna end up doing that you may as well chop some conduit in & patch the whole wall later ;-)

As for frontends - there's only ever going to be one for the forseeable future. We're never going to have TV in the bedroom - and I'll fight the kids having their own to the bitter death - until they're much older.

Powerline networking seems like a good deal less hassle than digging walls out - and cheaper than redecorating too

Gary Buhrmaster
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Re: New house, but where to put the backend?

Post by Gary Buhrmaster » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:48 am

Over at avsforum, there are others with opinions regarding dot and dap wall wiring. I would look there for other options/alternatives

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