Residential, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Basics for Installing Home Theater Wiring – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, entertainment and sports fans typically spend thousands of dollars on electronic equipment and seating for their home theaters. However, they rarely consider their wiring requirements.
Part 2 will discuss Proper Hardware, Raceways, and Separation of AV Cables and Power Cables. Bring in an experienced and licensed electrician from your area to get the best results.

3) Proper Hardware

Choosing the proper hardware for home theater wiring is of utmost importance because the choices will have a direct affect on audio quality. The speaker wire’s gauge (thickness), as expressed in terms of AWG (American Wire Gauge), will be its most important feature. A speaker wire will be thicker the lower its AWG number. Ensure that the speaker cable’s thickness will work well with your audio equipment.
The typical recommendation for the majority of home theater speakers is the 16-gauge wire. In cases where the need of the network’s wiring exceeds 50 feet in length or ceiling or in-wall speakers will be set up, a thicker wire gauge, 12 or 14-gauge, will be preferable. Thicker wire helps compensate for the significant power losses of longer cable runs.

4) Raceways

A top priority for home theaters is making sure every cable and wire is hidden. This can be accomplished by covering them with rugs or putting them between baseboards and carpets. However, utilizing cable raceways is probably the best way to go.
Raceways are channels made of wood or plastic that can cover wiring efficiently and aesthetically. Kits usually feature anchors, covers, connectors, double-sided tape, elbow joints, and screws.

5) Separation of AV Cables and Power Cables

In comparison to 60Hz power cables, audio and video (AV) cables are of low voltage. Thus, electromagnetic interference (EMI) can result if they are near each other. Making sure they are separated at an adequate distance helps prevent EMI. This can be accomplished by using cable hangers or managers for running AV cables and power cables on separate sides of an area.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.