Speaker Cables

18 Comments on Top 10 Mistakes When Hooking Up a Home Theater System

  1. Phil

    Good afternoon Clint,
    I hope you are able to help me!
    I have just installed a BT TV, youview box and utilise the sound via my fairly old Sharp ht-cn400dv home cinema system, all seemed ok, however, now my youview remote control is adjusting the volume on the Sharp system every time I change channels ! I can’t seem to find any help in changing the code of the BT remote if that’s what’s required.
    Do you have any ideas?
    Many thanks

      • Phil

        Ok will do!
        Is it possible that the youview remote has the same code as Sharp system? Although the sharp remote does not affect the youview system!

      • Don

        Hi Clint you sound like the guy that can help me. First off if I use too big of speaker cable, is that bad?

        I was switching rca’s from one receiver to the next and I did not turn the receiver of or stop the music from playing. I now only have sound from the right side, could I have damaged something?

        Thank You

  2. "Hiway"

    I am currently remodeling my basement/man cave and will be installing 3 TV’s and 3 sets of surround sounds. Since for some reason my upstairs TVs are not in sinc with each other, I was planning on using only 1 receiver for my basement, switchable to use all sound system speakers or only 1, depending on if its a Superbowl party or just a 1 TV family movie night. My question is wiring it all up. I was going to use solid 12 gauge household electrical wire for the speakers, coaxial cable from DirectTV satellite to the receiver, then HDMI to all the TVs. My biggest question is, I will center my 1 receiver in the center of the basement, but by the time I go up the wall across the ceiling and down the wall to the TVs, I’m looking at approx 50 feet of HDMI to EACH TV!!! Can you help out, any advice is appreciated!!

  3. Ian

    I don’t have an amp. My dad gave me large speakers that I thought I could hook up to my tv rca audio out with a modified speaker wire to RCA. But do I need an amp in between? I admit to being a complete noob.

  4. Liz

    Hi, I love all this info! Thanks. We ” the people” need it. How would you identify which speaker wire goes to what speaker? If you lost a wire Label? Thanks

    • Jon Smythe

      Use a 9vdc battery. I expect it isn’t critical, but I try to observe polarity during the test. Procedure: 1) Place labels (I use scotch tape and a felt-tipped marker) handy. 2) Noting polarity, disconnect a speaker wire pair from the AV unit. Hold the negative leg of the speaker wire (typically removed from the black terminal) against the negative pole of the battery and brush the positive leg (typically removed from the red or white terminal) across the positive pole of the battery and listen for the location of the resulting sound. Single line speakers are easy, center speakers can be trickier when they use two pairs of speaker wires. In this case the noise will be tinny for the high-freq speaker(s) (tweeter) and have more timbre for the low-freq speaker(s). Hope this helps.

  5. Pati Parisi

    How do I hook up old Bose Accoustimas speakers to a new smart tv. The cable on the surrond speakers has 9 pins. Also, there is the big sound box, and how is that connected. Basically, I want to use the speakers and not the receiver/dvd/cd player as the cd tray will not open. The sound on the new Visio is awful and thought I could get better sound this way till replace tv in a few years.

  6. Rosa

    I just moved to this home and unfortunately I don’t have more info about the home theater system, the only thing the previous owner left behind were the sounds speakers but the most important, the module it’s not here and he doesn’t know. I need some guidance to buy the right module (maybe an universal one ?) to put this thing to work. I appreciate it.

  7. vijay

    Hi Clint,
    I am working on cable management and can I run an Ethernet cable along with surround speaker cables in a single wiremold raceway ? And would it cause any electrical interference ? And do i need to seperate analog cables from electrical cables ? Need help on this.

    • You can absolutely run low voltage together, but I’d avoid running any high voltage (electrical wires) alongside low voltage as that violates just about every residential code I’m aware of.

  8. Wraiththe

    I am redoing an older system… but… Can you help me find a direct article about the following?
    Hooking up cable box, blu-ray, HD TV (only 1080) and maybe a roku.
    I hear fiber optic is not as good as HDMI anymore… so I have two HDMI In on my Yamaha Rec. rx V663

    WIll go HDMI from blu-ray to Rec. Which is the better way to set the sound… Bitstream, PCM, or other…?

    will go HDMI from cable box to rec… however I believe the box can only go Dobly 6.2 and dolby plus…
    Since a Tosslink cable should be able to do this… maybe it would be just as well to go directly to the TV? and out to the reviever via the TOSSlink?

    Then I can plug the RokuStick into the receiver and benefit from better options in sound? (vs using tosslink back to receiver from TV.

    to restate, I have a TV, Bluray, and Roku stick and a Receiver, but only with two HDMI in and one out.

    I am curious as to the best audio out settings to use and send to the receiver.

    The Google TV’s ability to run Netflix OK video wise, but only fair audio. It only has KitKat 4.2.2 and I checked the sound out is not nearly as good as my bluray or roku-stick can pass through.

  9. Dave

    Hi Clint I have just replaced my home system with the Deli Oberon 5 speakers what make of cable would be good to give me a good quality sound

  10. Mickey English

    I have a new stereo system that’s strictly used for: 1 pair of Sonance Mariner 86’s (A – input) out back at the Tiki Bar and 1 pair of Sonance Mariner 56’s (B – input) in my garage. I have a Onkyo TX-8270 Reciever, a Sony DVP-NC800H CD/DVD player. What cable should I use to get the best sound?? The CD player has a HDMI OUT, DIGITAL OUT OPTICAL, LINE OUT R-AUDIO-L (RCA), DIGITAL OUT COAXIAL. The Reciever has a HDMI IN, COAXIAL OPTICAL DIGITAL IN, (CD) AUDIO IN RED&WHITE (RCA), COAXIAL (CD) DIGITAL IN…. Which should I use for the best sound???

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