Home Theater Wiring

Get all the info you'll need on home theater wiring, and get ready to create an efficient, safe and hidden wiring network for your home theater.
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Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

By: Sean McEvoy

When it comes to home theater installations or redesigns, one of the chief considerations is home theater wiring. Whether you're having your home theater professionally installed or choosing to embark on a DIY adventure for your entertainment space, ensuring that the wiring is installed safely, correctly and discreetly is one of the most important aspects of home theater design.

Home Theater Designs

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The Tuscan Theater

The Tuscan Theater

The Tuscan Theater

The Tuscan Theater

©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

Bringing 3D to Life

Bringing 3D to Life

Bringing 3D to Life

Traditional Flair & Solid Performance

Traditional Flair & Solid Performance

Traditional Flair & Solid Performance

The Collaborative Cinema

Photo By: copyrighted by Papilios LLC

The Collaborative Cinema

Photo By: copyrighted by Papilios LLC

The Collaborative Cinema

Photo By: copyrighted by Papilios LLC

Classic Comfort

Classic Comfort

Classic Comfort

Classic Comfort

Stylish Functionality

Stylish Functionality

©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

Stylish Functionality

Basement Theater or Cinematic Experience?

Photo By: William Psolka

Basement Theater or Cinematic Experience?

Photo By: William Psolka

Strictly Budgeted Design

Photo By: William Psolka

Strictly Budgeted Design

Photo By: William Psolka

Simple Look, Intricate Design

©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

Simple Look, Intricate Design

Simple Look, Intricate Design

Simple Look, Intricate Design

Simple Look, Intricate Design

Escape from Reality

Escape from Reality

Escape from Reality

Escape from Reality

Escape from Reality

Double-Duty Home Theater

Double-Duty Home Theater

Double-Duty Home Theater

Double-Duty Home Theater

Double-Duty Home Theater

Modern Elegance

Modern Elegance

Desert Getaway

Desert Getaway

Desert Getaway

Desert Getaway

One High Performance Anniversary Gift

One High Performance Anniversary Gift

©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

One High Performance Anniversary Gift

City Retreat

Photo By: William Psolka

City Retreat

Photo By: William Psolka

Stealth Home Theater

©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

Stealth Home Theater

Stealth Home Theater

Professional-Grade Screening Room

Photo By: Alan Shaffer ©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

Professional-Grade Screening Room

Photo By: Alan Shaffer

Professional-Grade Screening Room

Photo By: Alan Shaffer

Professional-Grade Screening Room

Photo By: Alan Shaffer

Professional-Grade Screening Room

Photo By: Alan Shaffer

Inviting Entertainment Space

Photo By: Wing Lian

Inviting Entertainment Space

Photo By: Wing Lian

Inviting Entertainment Space

Photo By: Wing Lian

Unique on a Budget

Photo By: Wing Lian ©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

Unique on a Budget

Photo By: Wing Lian

Custom Functionality

Photo By: Wing Lian

Custom Functionality

Photo By: Wing Lian

Renovated for Private Performance

Renovated for Private Performance

Renovated for Private Performance

Renovated for Private Performance

Ultimate Retreat

Photo By: Lisa Russman, Lisa Russman Photography

Ultimate Retreat

Photo By: Lisa Russman, Lisa Russman Photography

Ultimate Retreat

Photo By: Lisa Russman, Lisa Russman Photography

Styled Seating for Six

Photo By: Sold Right Away

Styled Seating for Six

Photo By: Sold Right Away

The Studio Room

Photo By: Dean Summers

The Studio Room

Photo By: Dean Summers

The Studio Room

Photo By: Dean Summers

The Studio Room

Photo By: Dean Summers

The Studio Room

Photo By: Dean Summers

Creatively Constructed

Creatively Constructed

Photo By: Martin King

Contemporary Integration

Photo By: Martin King

Contemporary Integration

Photo By: Martin King

Inspired by Italian Luxury

Inspired by Italian Luxury

Inspired by Italian Luxury

An Entertainer's Paradise

Photo By: Adam Hagerman ©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

An Entertainer's Paradise

Photo By: Adam Hagerman

An Entertainer's Paradise

Photo By: Adam Hagerman

An Entertainer's Paradise

Photo By: Adam Hagerman

An Entertainer's Paradise

Photo By: Adam Hagerman

Electrifying Experience

Electrifying Experience

Electrifying Experience

Electrifying Experience

Electrifying Experience

Theater of Dreams

Photo By: Picasa

Theater of Dreams

Photo By: Picasa

Theater of Dreams

Photo By: Picasa

Theater of Dreams

Photo By: Picasa ©Cedia 2014 Peoples Pick

Generally speaking, home theater wiring will relate to two key elements of your home theater setup: electronics and lighting. Both of these features are essential to the home theater experience and need to function properly, reliably and conveniently in order for guests to sit back and enjoy the show. Additionally, you'll want to avoid any unsightly tangles of wiring so they don't ruin the aesthetic design of your home theater and cause a potential safety hazard.

If you're considering a self-install of your home theater wiring, it's highly recommended that you consult an electrical professional before doing so. Unless you have extensive electrical engineering expertise, it can be dangerous to attempt a fully DIY home theater wiring project. Even if you do have experience, it's advisable to consult a home theater professional who's certified through the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA). A professional will be able to ensure that you're meeting safety standards, as well as recommend materials and techniques to increase the reliability and performance of your home theater's wiring.

You'll also need to make sure that your wiring is up to local and national codes, whether you're installing it yourself or you've hired a professional. You can find the National Electric Code (NEC) at most booksellers or online, but know that many localities have additional statutes that you'll need to follow. For example, if you'll be prewiring the space before you install drywall and insulation, your locality will potentially require an inspection while the wires are still accessible.

Once you've got all the safety and inspection items sorted out and decided on a DIY or professional installation, you'll want to start thinking about your lighting and electronics setup within the space, which will likely determine the layout of your wiring. Things like the number of guests, type, size and layout of furniture, the location and size of your TV or projection screen, and the type and quantity of lighting will be key considerations.

When the plan is in place for the wiring layout for your lighting and electronics, you'll need to decide how your lighting scheme is going to be controlled. Your options here will be broad, particularly for new construction home theaters—you could choose anything from a hard-wired in-room control system to a smart-device-controlled system linked to a whole-home automation system. The varying control schemes are attached to differing tiers of cost and complexity, so you'll want to explore the full range to determine which one is right for your home theater's wiring scheme.

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