How do I connect speaker system (RF Speaker with Fireplace) - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-08, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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How do I connect speaker system (RF Speaker with Fireplace)

I'm fairly knowledgeable about A/V issues but I'm stumped on one issue.

I'm going to buy a new TV and mount it above our fireplace but I can't figure out a way to elegantly connect a 5.1 speaker system.

This may be a little difficult to describe but here's my arrangement:
- TV mounted over the fireplace
- A/V cabinet located to the left of the fireplace
- L & R front speakers located to the left and right of the fireplace
- L & R rear speakers mounted in the ceiling with hidden wiring to the rear of the A/V cabinet
- sub woofer located beside the A/V cabinet
- center speaker mounted below the TV but above the fireplace.

I can conceal wiring and connect all speakers except the front right speaker. However, I can't see how I can conceal the wiring to the right front speaker. The basement ceiling below the fireplace is finished and I don't want to rip it up to conceal the wiring.

I've looked on line to see if I could find a TV with 5.1 outputs but can find one.

I was thinking about using the TV speakers as the L & R front speakers but can't see how I would use them with the sub woofer and rear speakers without separate remotes to control the TV and A/V receive volumes. That would be very awkward.

I'd rather not abandon the 5.1 set up and just use the TV speakers since that sound quality is usually pretty crappy.

Does any installation expert have a suggestion how I can conceal wiring on a 5.1 system? (really just for the front right speaker)

Alternatively, does anyone know of a 60" TV with an excellent native sound system.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-08, 11:45 AM
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How is the wiring routed to the center speaker and other speakers?

A picture of the sound system and fireplace might help.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-08, 01:14 PM
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To sum up, the main issue is connecting the right front speaker to the AVR system on the left side of the fireplace.

There are 2 possibilities:
1. Depending on the flooring in front of the fireplace, you may be able to run speaker wire along a flooring transition.
2. You can run speaker wire along the baseboard and around the top of the fireplace. This can be fairly inconspicuous, depending on the exterior fireplace materials and the mantle. It sounds like you are already running one speaker wire to the center speaker above the fireplace, so you are half-way there.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-08, 02:23 PM
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If there are studs "in the way," you can perhaps cut a channel about 1/4" deep in the drywall from the centre speaker to the RF speaker. Place the speaker cable in that channel, cover with "plaster," sand and paint the (damaged) area. This assumes that the RF speaker is a "box" speaker and not an in-wall speaker. If in-wall, it should be possible to cut the hole for the speaker and then reach the stud(s) from the RF and centre.

A picture and further explanation would help.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-08, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I can't really provide a picture since we have recently bought this home but not yet taken possession. However, here is a photo of the fireplace from the real estate listing.
I'm going to install a 60" TV in place of the current 50" and hopefully add a 5.1 audio system.

The speaker wires to the rear (ceiling) speakers are already installed and the wires are hidden with connectors on the wall behind the location of the A/V cabinet.

The wires to the left speaker and subwoofer can be directly connected on the left side of the fireplace and hidden behind the cabinet and speakers.

There is a conduit from the left side of the fireplace to the center of the wall above the fireplace. This provides hidden routing for the TV power cable and HDMI cable. I can also use this conduit for the center channel speaker and mount it directly below or above the TV.

This leaves me with the right front speaker.

Cutting a channel through the fireplace isn't really an option.

Running a surface cable around the fireplace would be possible but I'd like to be a little more sophisticated than that.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-08, 05:27 PM
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With a 60" TV, you should be able to cut a hole (about a 6 x 6") behind the TV to get into the cavity above the fireplace and run a speaker wire to the right of the fireplace.

You can either fix the "hole" or leave it since it's behind the TV. The "channel" I was talking about was not through the fireplace, but rather only 1/4" deep by 1/4" wide into the drywall. You then lay the cable into the drywall and patch the drywall. Obviously, it would then require repainting.

You didn't say what kind of speaker the RF is and if it's on a stand, floor standing, etc.

We see this sort of layout a lot, but frankly, a TV over a fireplace is usually a terrible idea from a viewing standpoint and the TV is often too high and a literal pain in the neck for anyone seated, unless you're in a recliner. Speaker placement also becomes an issue since the front speakers can rarely be "in line" (at the same height). There are lots of previous threads on that topic if you search this forum for "fireplace neck".

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-09, 10:24 AM
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The only good way I see to do this is through the basement and putting a speaker connection plate on the wall. Run the wire up inside the wall on both sides. It will mean cutting the finished ceiling in the basement but that will be a lot easier to patch than the living room.

I don't see leaving a hole behind the TV as a good option. It might be possible to run the cable that way but the hole needs to be patched. Using a fire rated cable is a necessity due to the proximity of the fireplace. Even then, it will be necessary to keep the cable at a good distance from the chimney.

As for having a TV over the fireplace, I agree that it is a bad idea. It's not good for the TV either. It's one of those, "It looks good in the catalog." ideas.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-09, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thank-you for all of the suggestions.

First - I am aware that a TV above the fireplace is not the best idea for the TV or for the neck. However, I'm dealing with a bit of a trade off. Our main TV will be located in a traditional manner in the rec room in the basement. While the rec room is a really nice area, it is still the basement and I'm not sure how I feel about being forced to spend all of our TV watching time in the basement. Therefore, I want to have the option to watch some TV on the main floor.

Second - Since the living room is open concept, there is no place for the TV other than over the fireplace or against a wall of windows (which I feel is a worse option).

I think that 57's suggestion of a hole behind the TV to run the cable to the right speaker is probably the best idea.

There is a bedroom located behind the fireplace and there will be a dresser on that wall. A friend suggested running the right speaker cable from the A/V cabinet through the wall to the bedroom and then back through the wall to the right speaker. Since it will be behind a dresser, I could either leave it (an idea that I hate) or put a channel in the wall and patch it as 57 suggested in post #4.

I'm going to continue to "mull" these two options before I break plaster.

Thank-you again for all the suggestions. I really appreciate the time and effort you invested in replying.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-09, 05:13 PM
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Another way is to cut a small hole in the drywall near each joist in the bedroom, drill a hole through each joist to run the cable and then patch the holes. Use a fish tape or coat hanger to help run the wire. The holes will be fairly easy to patch. I've done this in the past and ended up with a good looking wall afterwards.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 2017-01-10, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank-you ExDilbert,

That sounds like a reasonable alternative. I'll consider that alternative too.

BTW, After we move, we'll almost be neighbors. We're moving to 43 N, 81.3 W!

Cheers,
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