Multiroom - HELP!


New member
Aug 10, 2019

This is my first post on this forum and I hope that I have started the thread in the right place.

I am currently building my own home and first fix is approaching. I want to take this opportunity to install as much cat 5, coax and speaker cable as I can with a view to building a multiroom system in the future.

I have been to my local hifi shops and seen how much they charge for consultation which makes my stomach churn!

I was impressed by the IUS Media Server PC but cannot get my head round how I will integrate it in my house.

Ideally I would like to access music in every room via keypad and watch tv in bedrooms and front room (cinema set up dolby 5.1). I cannot find any advice on the internet regarding how everything will link together. You guys really are my only hope!

Any thoughts would be greatfully received!!


Well-known member
Jul 16, 2008
Hi Rob,

This is always a difficult one as your requirements and needs will no doubt change over time and especially as technology changes.

Don't be down on consultation charges - There's a reason that specialists will charge a consultation fee and that's because you'll be calling on their expertise and experience to help you work out what's best for your needs. I'm sure you'd find that if you ordered all your kit from a particular supplier as well as the consultation, you'd be able to work out a deal anyway.

Your cheaper but more time consuming alternative is to come here and work things out for yourself (with a little help!). However, it's not a simple question to answer as there are several ways and levels of cost to achieve what you want to achieve and some of it may depend on decisions you haven't even made about your house yet.

Have you got a 'central technical area' (CTA) to install and store equipment? That would be a good place to start. Also, if there's any way of fitting some sort of trunking that will allow you to add or change certain cables at a later date (when the successor to HDMI is created, for example), that would also be a good thing. If you can sort out a CTA, then you'll want to run all your cables from different rooms to that location in a 'star' configuration.

How far you go depends on what your demands are and how much you're prepared to spend. You could, for example, consider running two or three cat5e cables to every room and three or four to the more important rooms (living room(s), kitchen, master bedroom, study. This gives you flexibility and you can use one cat5 cable as high quality phone cable where necessary (it could run 4 independent phone lines on one cable). When it comes to coax, run at least two to each room (four or even five to the living room). It would also be prudent to run four coax cables from the potential Satellite dish location to the CTA and to run one from your aerial location to the CTA. When it comes to speaker cables, run them from the speaker locations to wherever your AV kit will be (could be in same room or CTA depending on how your set up works). Similar for HDMI cables although make sure you read up about long HDMI runs and also choose your cable carefully if it's going to be buried in cement and plaster (some cable sheaths don't react well with cement). There are plenty of discussions on line about this sort of thing (or you could visit a specialist).

As you can see, wiring up the digital home can become a complicated business and I've just scratched the surface of what you could do but it helps if you write down what you want to do in detail and then work out which of the several ways you are going to do it. Have a look at this impressive install to see what can be achieved with a little thought (and not that much cable or kit in the living room and bedroom). It might not be what you want but it'll give you some ideas.


As a person with an interest in a building firm I get asked a similar question by clients quite often.

I'd endorse everything the previous poster has said. It really depends on the house and how into AV you are.

But minimum 2 CAT 5's into every living room from wherever your Router will live and 7.1 speaker cabling to suit main AV room and speaker cabling for any other room using traditional AV set-up.

Beyond that consider putting in proper trunking to future proof the installation so you can easily pull cable later on. If this is too expensive then drop spare CAT 5, phono and coax lines in and leave them unterminated in boxes behind blanking panels.

The warning about length of HDMI is also worth paying attention to. Personally I'd keep HDMI runs short for local connection only.

If you plan a lot of AV and PC type kit you might also think about a single surge protected power circuit in the house perhaps with UPS and smoothing.


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