AV Wiring – Part 1: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too LateTim Shea
It happens all the time. We get a call from a client, asking us to provide electronics for their brand new home. The wiring is in place, the construction is completed and they’re ready to install the equipment. Of course we’re happy to help, but this project is almost certain to involve challenges, compromises and extra costs that could have been avoided had we been involved earlier in the process. This is especially true if the pre-wiring was done by an electrician or other trade without AV wiring/home-automation expertise.
Why your electrician shouldn’t run your AV wiring:
Here’s an analogy. Your framer and your cabinetmaker are both carpenters, but you wouldn’t have your framer build your cabinets, or vice-versa. No disrespect to skilled electricians, but configuring and running low-voltage wiring for electronic systems is not their expertise. They are high-voltage specialists, and low-voltage wiring is very different. Different systems require different cable types, signals run in both directions, and there are important considerations for running low-voltage wiring that go beyond simply getting it from point A to point B.
The most expensive cable is the one you didn’t run.
The infrastructure of low-voltage wiring you build into your home will be the backbone of its electronic systems, both now and in the future.
Consider each of the following applications:
• Satellite and/or Cable TV
• Internet/Home Broadband Network
• Multi-Room Audio
• Lighting & Blinds
• Distributed Video
• Home Cinema
Even if you don’t plan to implement them all at once, you or a potential home buyer may at some point in the future. And retrofit wiring is messy and expensive. Because technology is constantly changing, it’s important to future-proof your wiring before you close up the walls. So important that we’re going to devote our next posts to guidelines and best-practices for ensuring that your home’s electronic backbone is state-of-the-art.