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Basic Home Theater Wiring Tips

Basic Home Theater Wiring Tips


Many homeowners are apprehensive and put off from the home theater wiring aspect of their system. And you can’t blame them. Wiring for a home entertainment or home media system can get complicated.

The wiring system you need for your home theater will depend on what devices and appliances you have or planning to have. Nowadays, most devices will already come with the required wires. They will also have the instructions prepared on how you need to work the wiring.

While it’s mostly just connecting and matching the right terminals that are labeled, there may be more to it – especially if you have a more elaborate system.

Home Media Wiring: Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Not That Daunting

Although home theater wiring may seem like a daunting and overwhelming feat, that may just be the preamble. It gets easier, the longer and the more you get into it. In today’s post, we’ll share some practical home theater wiring tips. From making sure how to properly hide the cords and wires to knowing the basic wiring terminologies to determine what gauge wiring is and more.

Home Theater Wiring: The Setup

Don't let wires and cables intimidate you from building a home theater.

Before embarking on a home theater project, the first thing you must know is the scale of your project.

If you have a more massive home theater project, one that involves installing in-wall ceiling speakers, a more elaborate video system, or more home theater seating that need structural construction, your best bet is to hire a professional home theater installer.

However, if you’re just looking to install a smaller-scale system with minimal home theater wiring requirements and you are more or less confident in your DIY abilities, then, by all means, go forth and do the project yourself.

There are plenty of online resources that should help you get started and finish your project.

One caveat about doing the DIY route is the project might take longer to be completed. So weigh your options, no matter what the scale of the project is – whether you want to go DIY or hire a professional.

Types of Home Theater Wiring

Another important thing for you to consider is what specific type of home theater wiring you need along with the connections you need. AV receivers and televisions will have many possible connections. However, many manufacturers provide helpful instructions and labeling guides. This helps consumers know what goes where.

Surround systems and other sound systems usually are trickier to wire.

Sound system wiring is more complex than video.

This is because they tend to require specific wiring setup.

You may need to purchase different gauge wires for your sound needs. However, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

Wiring Terminologies

Another vital information worth knowing when it comes to wiring setup is the various terminologies used in the wiring process. Here are some basic ones you may come across as you read and research more about it.

Wire or Cable – these terms can be used interchangeably, yet if you break them down, you’ll discover some differences. They refer to the physical channels that transmit audio signals from amplifiers to the speaker system. 

Interconnect – this term refers to the cable or wire that is responsible for joining together two AV devices. For instance, a wire that joins a DVD to the television, or a wire that joins to AV receiver to the TV is called an interconnect.

  • HDMI – the standard cable that connects the television to other devices or appliances.
  • DVI – these are the cables that transmit either analog or digital signals for computers or projectors.
  • SCART – these are older cables that you may need if you are connecting a VCR or some other older appliances.
  • VGA/RGB – these are conventional connection cables for laptops and computers.
  • S-Video – An analog video connection that is available on many appliances.
  • Coaxial – This term refers to when you need to transfer high-quality audio transmissions between separate devices. Home theater enthusiasts – not novices – would be more familiar about this term.