Building Out My Home Theater (7.1 Speaker Wiring)

In my old setup I was content with 5.1 surround sound.  With a dedicated room, I was going for 7.1 Speaker wiring.  7.1 Surround Sound  is 1.0 Center + 6.0 Satellite + 0.1 Subwoofer.

My positioning of the 6 satellite speakers was driven by the earlier blog post on sound panels.  Subwoofer was placed front right with the placement driven by room layout.  I then proceeded to wire up the speakers, and other wires, so that the wires are hidden behind the baseboard and drywall.

Using the Baseboards For Hidden Wiring

Wiring was easy given that I used the open space behind the baseboard to wire things from the AV closet around to the speakers, subwoofer and projector.

When you remove baseboard there will be drywall.  But behind it is hollow space between studs.  If you mark the height of the baseboard, subtract a few inches and then start cutting with drywall saw you can access this hollow space in most cases.  The image below shows faintly where the baseboard ends and how to cut out to access hidden space.  Then use a drill, with or without a 90 degree drill bit, to cut a hole in the stud to access next hidden space.

By end of this effort, you’ll will have a clear path to route wires around the room.  And when you reached a space where you wall mount a speaker or position the projector, you can work the wire up behind the drywall.  When complete, re-position the baseboard and nail to wall.


Wiring Up Things Once Wires Routed Properly

Once wiring is complete around the room, reaching speakers is straight-forward.  In addition, each of the speaker wires must start at a central source, in this case the AV cabinet as shown in the below picture.


Future Proofing

Always use this setup / installation time to future proof best you can.  I future-proofed things by wiring a HDMI over Cat6 connection from the AV closet to the front of the room.  If I mount a TV behind the screen, the source cable is in place.

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