Turning My Unfinished Third Floor Into Our New Family Room: The Purchases
If you’ve been reading my previous postings here and here, you’ll know that I am in the midst of turning an unfinished room (~600 sq ft.) into a family room. This project has a limited budget so improvements like a projector didn’t make the cut. But I have bought items that will allow me clear up a lot of clutter and improve performance, particularly as it relates to my network. Before I share my list of purchases, let me list the items that I had already.
TV: Samsung 40” LCD 60Hz
Receivers: Onkyo TX-SR607 (hooked to the TV), Onkyo HT-SR800 (will go behind the bar)
Speakers: the ones that came with Onkyo HT-SR800 (2 front, 1 center, 4 rear, subwoofer)
Networking: Linksys WRT610N wireless router
Other: PS3, Wii, HTPC, Apple Airport Express
Remote: Logitech Harmony One
If you look at this post, you can see a rough sketch of how I intend to set everything up. Once I get the paint and the flooring put in, I’ll give you guys plenty of pictures of everything as I install it.
Here is a list of the things I bought for this project. I’ll put notes next to each item explaining why I bought it.
Networking: I decided to take this opportunity to hard-wire not only the third floor but also the bedrooms on the second floor. I went with 500’ of Cat 6 cable from Cables to Go that I purchased from Amazon.
All of these runs will terminate in a storage area on the third floor that will also serve as a network closet. In there will be a sixteen port Trendnet Cat6 patch panel, a sixteen port TP-Link Gigabit unmanaged switch, and a Tripp Lite 4U Rackmount.
To make the runs, I ordered a Greenlee 25’ steel fish tape.
In order to terminate the runs, I purchased a punch down tool made by Trendnet.
For the wall plates in the bedrooms, I went with two port keystone wall plates from Cables to Go. The reason being so that I could use the same gang boxes that were already there for the coaxial runs.Instead of having two separate gang boxes, I consolidated them into one. Each wall plate has a coaxial keystone and a Cat 6 keystone.
For behind the TV, I bought an eight port keystone wall plate, which will require a double width gang box. In addition to four Cat 6 keystones, it has an HDMI keystone so that I could run the HDMI cable for the TV behind the wall.
TV: For the TV mount, I picked the Matix MB6000. I got it from Newegg, but it looks like it has been discontinued. Here is a picture.
Speakers: I really wanted to mount my surround speakers, so I bought six ceiling mounts made by a company called Omnimount, off of Amazon. Here’s what they look like.
Also from Amazon I ordered 100ft of fourteen gauge in-wall speaker wire for the four surround speakers mounted to the ceiling and the two speakers I plan on mounting behind the bar.
The four surround speaker runs will feed into a Pyle 7.1 Post Binding/Banana Plug face plate below the TV. The bindings on the side that goes in the wall are crazy looking; I don’t know how well this item is going to work.
In the ceiling, I am going to install post binding face plates for each speaker. I don’t know if this is necessary, but I am going to hammer in gang boxes for each speaker run and screw the face plates into those.
So those are the purchases I’ve made so far. Nothing sexy like a new 55” TV but I think these purchases will help make my new room less of an eyesore than my current arrangement. Let me know what you think.