TL;DR - how do you hide TV equipment in a closet and still control it?
My father recently bought a new LED TV and I've convinced him we should wall mount it. I want to go with a super clean install and hide all cables. It is in the basement with a suspended ceiling so we should easily be able to move a wall outlet directly behind the TV along with routing some coax cable. There is a closet near the TV that I would like to house the actual AV equipment. Currently he only has a BluRay player and a HTPC, with the possibly of adding a DVR soon.
My question, Should I route an HDMI cable from the tv to the closet for every device, or just 1 HDMI cord and then get an HDMI switch? Also, what will be the best way to control the devices? He is currently using a Harmony remote for everything. I've seen a couple options and wondering what will work best. They have IR extenders which you mount under the TV and then it's wired in the closet in front of the devices and blasts an IR signal to the devices. If I go this route does every device need their own IR blaster or will 1 do it all? I've also seen something that is wireless and you have to put a special battery in your remote that then sends a signal to the equipment.
Does anyone have any experience with this or is there anything else I should plan for?
My surround sound receiver has HDMI switching built in. That would make routing easier, and give you surround sound to boot. I have the Onkyo TX - NR609 but I wouldn't recommend it because it keeps overheating and the HDMI drops out.
For the remotes, here's an out of the box solution: replace the closet door with a windowed version that blocks opaque light but passes IR.
opaque visible light but passes IR.
IE won't let me edit... :-(
@Robotguy: Thanks all good ideas. Unfortunately he doesn't have a sound receiver. Right now he has nothing but I think the plan is to mount a sound bar under the TV.
As for the closet door, the way the room is set up the closet is not located at a natural place you would point the remote. It's off to one side and the equipment would actually be around the corner in the closet. Wouldn't be in the path of any remote signal - plus it's a dumb accordion door.
There used to be IR repeaters, where you would place a receiver in a natural place to point remotes at and the IR transmitter in the cupboard. Its been a while since i looked but i imagin these are still bring made
@CouchPotatoTalk: You can bounce IR signals off of certain surfaces. I used to have a projector that was in a coffee table, with the PVR/BluRay, and the IR signals would have 99.99% success at bouncing off the Projector screen. Painted walls work as well.
I have this one. Works pretty well.
I recommend you hdmi wireless transmitter from hdgenius