The Ultimate Whole House Audio Video Wiring Guide
How to future proof a home by wiring for Multi-Room Audio Video
A question we are often asked (and we often see asked on home building forums etc) is what wiring to put it in to a new build property to cater for whole house AV. Installing cables correctly at the build (or renovation stage) can be done relatively cheaply and allow whole house / multi-room systems to be added at a later date with no disruption.
Follow this wiring guide and you’ll be as future proofed as it is possible to be!
At every possible TV point (behind where the TV might go):
- 4 x Cat5e or Cat6 cables
- 2 x Coax cables
In every room where stereo audio might be required:
- 2 x Speaker cables left in the ceiling void (at opposite ends of the room – eg either side of the bedhead)
In every room where surround sound might be required:
- 1 x speaker cable – Centre speaker – to behind the TV.
- 2 x speaker cables – Front Left and Right – to either side of the TV (in the corners and in the ceiling void)
- 2 x speaker cables – Back Left and Right – to the side of the room opposite the TV (in the corners and in the ceiling void)
- 1 x speaker cable and 1 x Cat5e at a low level on the same wall as the TV and near a power socket – Subwoofer.
All cables run back to a central location with a footprint of 600mm x 600mm and at least one meter of height (under the stairs, utility rooms etc are all good but avoid loft spaces). Do not daisy chain cables, each one should be a single cable home run to the ‘AV Hub’ and should be labelled. The AV hub will require at least four double 13A sockets and should ideally be on its own spur from the fuse board.
The above cables will allow you to run TV from centralised sources (Sky, Media streamers etc), send audio back from TVs (Netflix etc from the TV back to the ceiling speakers) and provide great wifi throughout. The speaker cables allow you to enjoy multiroom audio without hardware in the rooms.
Obviously with the advent of the likes of Sonos it is perfectly possible to run a multi-room audio system wirelessly. This can be a great solution for a retrofit project however we would still recommend installing the above where possible. The above cabling opens up many possibilities for TV distribution, in-ceiling speakers and wired surround sound. A truly flexible solution!