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New home cinema prewiring and setup - do I need a professional?

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Hi guys, I’m about 3 weeks away from prewiring the theatre room in our new renovation and would love your advice. I’m pretty confident with wiring and have installed my old cinema by crawling around in the roof but this time it’s at frame stage and I really want to get it 100% right. I’ve had the builder get sound insulation for the walls and we are installing 2 layers of sound check plaster in here. I’m going for a 7.1.4 Atmos setup. The room we s 6.5m long and 3.2m wide.


The equipment I have is



Samsung KS8000 4K TV to be mounted on the wall

Epson TW9300

120” Elegance 2.35:1 motorized tab tension screen ( the projector screen will drop down in front of the TV screen)



Fronts: Martin Logan Motion 40s

Center: Martin Logan Motion 30

Sub: Martin Logan Dynamo 1000

L/R surrounds: Martin Logan FX

Rear surrounds: Martin Logan EM IW (in wall)

Atmos In ceilings: 4 x Krix Atmospherix AS



Amps and AV equip:

Yamaha Avantage 3070

2 ch Power amp Rotel 1582 mk I (for fl and fr speakers)

Oppo UDP 203

Project essentials turntable

Amazon fire TV 4K

Google Chrome cast ultra 4K

Google Home Assistants throughout the house



Wiring I have purchased:

2x 4K 18gb/sec 20 meter fibre optic cable

200m in wall fire rated 12 AWG speaker cable



My questions are:


- I would like to have multi room audio, would I just wire extra cable to the Yamaha and do a long run to speakers in other rooms (20m) or would I need to get another Yamaha amp for other rooms? Or Sonos? Does Sonos talk with Yamaha?


- how many other ethernet ports should I get in this room?


- should I buy the custom speaker installation brackets for the ceiling and walls or make the out of cardboard. These are the ones that the plasterers can see where the speakers go.


- I’ve heard that you need to keep av cables (speaker and HDMI) away from power cables in the wall. How far away do they need to be not to cause interference?


- even though I’ve only got 1 sub should I wire for another one? Where should I put it.


- I want to put my hdmi cables through conduit in the wall or under the floor so I can replace them later if needed. Anyone done this? Any tips?


- I’ve got AV wall plates from selby for the speakers but I’ve heard that a hdmi wall plate will make the 4K hdmi not work as well. I think I’ll go with a port that allows the hdmi direct connection? Good idea?


- how do I wire the speaker cable so it will be easily accessible after plaster is on?


- would I be better off paying a professional to do this?


- any tips on anything I’ve missed?





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I would talk to one of the professional AV installation mobs around Melbourne Paul, for sure. This is a significant investment and you need to do it right. They might also have some great suggestions about hat else to incorporate, alternative products, futureproofing and so on. They will also help with what you might be missing as they will have vast previous experience with other clients etc. They will help with room acoustics, maybe lighting, all sorts of stuff.


Once you have good rapport going with a given mob, then keep the discussion going and eventually all of your questions will become clear in your head as only you know what you do or don't want/need. It will take time to be clear but I think starting the conversation with a professional AV/Audio company/installers is the only way to go in your scenario.


When you weight all of that up, I think it would be false economy to try and do your own thing for a project of this size. Paying money only hurts for a little while, you will enjoy the end product for decades. Just my opinion.

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Sounds like a good idea Darren. It’s a case of I don’t know what I’ll miss out on if I go it alone. Happy for any recommendations from anyone who has employed a good installation crew?


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Your plan doesn't give enough information as to what the roof structure/ cavity space will be above the room so determinations of what may be required are hard to make regarding access and controls. There are at least 10 questions I would ask as an installer if I was looking at the job without even getting down to small details. Significant costs could be made in terms of noise abatement or funds redirected into significant variations that would lead to improved performance. Cable runnering as you have done before is one thing but getting this to be a high performance system is going to require significantly more input than the questions you have asked.

i used to do this type of installation as a job for quite a few years so I know a thing or 2 about what you are after.

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The ceilings are 2.7m high with a 300mm cavity in the roof. Double layer plaster with sound proofing insulation in walls and ceiling. Here is what it’s like today..

Any installer recommendations?


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I am in NE NSW sorry.

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I like those rafters, solid as.


The side surrounds should probably be further forward shouldn't they? I'd hang it on the rack door at a minimum.


Any chance you can move that door at the front closer to the stairs? That's a rubbish spot for it, doesn't give you much space at the front


That's quite an investment in gear....if I were you I'd drop a couple of grand on a professional layout - Shawn Byrne does one.....you wont get it done in time for wiring though.....




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Had a call from Universal Home Theatre Melbourne today. They will do speaker placement and pre-wire for $880. I reckon that sounds ok? Anyone used them?

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Ive never heard of them but im in NSW.

price sounds very reasonable.


Just a side note; Im running similar equipment in a similar sized room.


I would recommend ceiling mounting the projector closer to the screen.

Around 4.5m from the screen would produce a brighter image and still leave plenty of zoom for adjustment.


Also, have you thought about running all of your "ground" speakers off the avr and running the atmos of the external amp? (you will need a 4 channel external amp).

By wiring this way, you can by wire and bi amp your front mains.

Also, you will have all the "ground" speakers running off the same amp/s producing the same warm yamaha sound.

Having the fronts on a different external amp may make them sound a bit different to the centre channel and the rest of the speakers.


Im running an emotiva 5 channel amp, just for my atmospherix, they're great speakers.




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