Moving a TV - Need advice on signal cables and wall panels

6 Jul 2004
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hi folks,

As I mentioned in my other post, I’m looking for some input for a spring project, and hoping somebody here can give me a nudge in the right direction, or point out problems I need to watch out for.

Essentially we're re-organising the lounge in the new year, which will mean moving the TV, and all the cabling that goes along with that. What makes this a little more complicated are those extra little details that I haven’t had to deal with before:
- We have four devices currently directly connected to the TV via various inputs
- We have two satellite cables running to the Sky+ HD box
- We have an RF out socket on the wall, feeding Sky all around the house
- I want to do a proper job of wall mounting the telly, hiding all the cables

The first stage is moving the Sky+ cables. That at least shouldn't be a problem, I can make up some Coax extension sets and either hide the satellite cables behind the skirting board before plugging straight in to the Sky+ box, or do a proper job and actually terminate the cables in a wall socket. And the same approach will work for the RF lead which we have going from the Sky+ box to a repeater under the stairs.

However, when it comes to the connections to the TV it’s way more complicated. I have four devices feeding the TV with a variety of sockets in use:
- Composite video from XBox which connects to the TV via a SCART adaptor.
- Composite video from Wii which connects directly to the TV
- HDMI from Sky+ HD
- HDMI from Computer

I know you can get some nice panels with Composite video and a couple of HDMI sockets. It’s very tempting to go with something like that, but since I’m hiding all the terminating ends of the cables behind the TV anyway, I’m wondering if it’s really necessary. Should I make up or buy some extension wires and just plug them straight into the TV?

I also don’t know what kind of cable you would need to run at the back if you wanted to wire up a HDMI socket on the wall?

And while I think two HDMI cables is reasonable, it feels like two sets of composite cabling may be a little overboard. I’m wondering if you can get either an automatic or IR controlled composite splitter of some kind?

Finally, if I’m going to all this effort, I’d like to future proof this as much as possible. Is there anything else that’s worth wiring in at the same time?

What would you folks suggest? Are wall mounted sockets worth the effort? What connector types would you run? And what cables would I need?


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With reference to this and your other thread:

Cables in to the unused chimney would look neatest. However, there are some considerations for you and any future tenants/owners:

1) Drilling in to the chimney breast might require going through 3 brick depth depending on the construction. So is your drill bit long enough?

2) What's inside the chimney. If there's a flue liner (a foil metal tube used to bring older chimneys up to code) then will you be drilling in to that and wrecking it? [Think of the cost of reinstatement]

3) If you do manage to miss or avoid the liner (if fitted) then you still need to think about reinstating if ever the use changes or you sell the property. Polyfiller won't work. You'll need fire-proof mortar and to bung up to the inner face of the chimney, not just the outside.

All the above said, going in through the chimney will give the neatest solution. One other idea is to build a false face out of MDF which effectively provides a chimney-wide pocket of approx 30mm access space for your cable runs. Combine this with a a swing out bracket
LINK and you can hide the bracket inside the wall by having a large enough opening to allow the bracket to fix directly to the solid chimney wall and then "float" the TV through an aperture that allows the TV back to sit almost flush with the wall and conceal not only the bracket but all the connection cables too.

As for the idea of some kind of IR or auto "splitter"...... a) it's a switch and not a splitter. Splitters take one source signal and multiply it for tow or more displays. Switches allow two or more source devices to share a single input on a TV. b) The cost of any such switch will be mad. It's much cheaper to run the cable. End of story.

Cable runs: If you follow the idea of the false wall/face which is then decorated over so it looks like part of the existing fireplace/chimney breast then you can get all your cables in before fitting the front panel. This avoids issues with bulky plug ends.

If you do decide to go with drilling in to the chimney then most cables can be terminated after threading. The exception is with premade HDMI leads. However, the hole diameter is easily catered for with a large diameter drill bit. There's no need to go mad with core drills. You will need to give some thought though to the power cable. Many TVs now come with a captive mains lead. If yours is like this then you'll need to extend the cable in a safe way. Look up IEC plug and socket.

Future-proofing: HDMI auto switches are cheap and readily available. So the chances of you running out of HDMI connections is slim to none even if you populate all of the HDMI ports on the TV with cables.

Apart from RF and whatever composite/component/SCART cables might be required then the only other thing to add at install would be two or three runs of Cat6 cable. 1 for a direct network connection. Two more to add a balun kit to cope with any future cable spec. The future for 4K is still HDMI at the moment. DisplayPort is the coming standard, but until things are ratified then including any kind of DisplayPort cable is purely speculative and there's no guarantee it will actually be used.

If you want a simple life then an installer such as me can put together a made-to-measure cable kit of the appropriate types and quality to handle all the above (inc power) along with plug ends either fitted or supplied loose.
Any extension to the Sky LNB cables will reduce the signal (and your "rain margin"). If your signal is strong and the total cable length is short, you are unlikely to notice any adverse effects. It doesn't affect picture quality - just the point at which the picture is lost during bad weather.

A WF65 (thin) cable extension is more flexible to route than WF100 but it still can't be bent too tightly and it has double the signal loss of WF100.
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