The Top 5 Home Theater Wiring Installation Tips

By: Jim Johnson

So now you have your brand new home theater system components sitting in their boxes in front of you and it's go time. You have to somehow connect all of these foreign objects together and make it all work. For many people this is a really intimidating scenario, but actually if you follow a few simple guidelines it doesn't have to be all that difficult. So here are the top 5 tips for home theater wiring installation.

1. This may sound corny but read the manual. I know that there are lots of you folks that prefer to just pick up a screwdriver and dive in, but you cannot believe how much you can mess up by not taking the time here to read the installation instructions through and get a good feel for what you need to do in advance. In fact, you may somehow get the system to work without doing that, but odds are that it will never perform as well as it should simply because a few steps were left out while it was being installed. So save your self the extra grief and just read the wiring installation instruction manual before you get started.

2. Use the correct gauge wire for your installation. Remember that when you have to run wire for longer distances it requires a heavier gauge to be able to successfully transmit the signal. Here is a simple general guideline that you can use: for lengths under 100 feet 16 gauge wire should be adequate, up to 200 feet 14 gauge wire will work and over that you will probably need 12 gauge wire to make sure things work properly.

3. Whenever you are making any kind of home theater wiring installation whether it be from one component to another or from a component to the speakers, make sure that both components are powered off when you connect them. Many is the heartache caused by someone turning on components before making the connections and experiencing high sudden power loads that damage their brand new equipment. Avoid that by always keeping the components powered off as you make wiring connections.

4. Gather your cables and wires together in advance and make sure that they will stretch far enough from each installed component before you begin installation. It's really frustrating to find out that one of your wires or cables isn't long enough after you already have everything else set up.

5. A common mistake that many people make when installing their own home theater setup is stacking the components like the receiver, dvd player, cable box and so on, so closely together that they have no room to breathe. Often they will even put them inside a closed cabinet too, which only compounds the problem. So before laying out your system try to think of a way to provide plenty of air flow between each component which will allow it to run more efficiently, last longer, and perform better.

If you plan ahead to set aside plenty of time for your home theater wiring installation, you should be able to get it done with little problem and frustration if you use the tips provided above.

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