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This is similar to this question, but in my case I'm not looking for the easiest solution but the most professional solution.

I am torn between modular wall plates, and the type that just have a hole and let you feed the cables through.

What is the preferred method the pros use? Is there a solution I have not thought of yet?

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FYI, I once went through a whole pack of modular crimp-on phone jacks and didn't find one that worked. They -- and the wall plates -- looked good, but weren't from a manufacturer that I recognized. If you go that route, pick a well-known name brand. –  Niall C. Oct 29 '10 at 16:18
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@Niall -- there's two styles of crimp-on-connectors: for solid cable, and for stranded cable. If you get the wrong ones for the wire you're using, you'll have the problem you ran into. (I want to say clear is for solid, smoked for stranded, but it's been so long since I crimped a cable, I can't remember ... just ask at the store for the right ones) –  Joe Nov 2 '10 at 21:08
    
possible duplicate of How to run wires for a wall-mount flatscreen TV –  ChrisF Nov 29 '10 at 12:07
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In general I think the pros prefer the wall plates. It gives it a cleaner look especially when nothing is attached (no components are installed yet).

I know some audio/video-phile types actually prefer "big hole" method as it cuts down on the number of connections. Imagine 1 cable (2 connections, 1 at the cable box and 1 at the TV) compared to 2 cables (4 connections, 1 at the cable box and 1 at the wall, then on the other end of the wall and at the TV). If you do modular plates behind the TV too you are now talking about 3 cables. Of course the overall length of the run will be about the same.

I too am torn about this, I think if I am just doing it for me I would go with the big hole approach. If I was planning on reselling the house and I want the room to reallly look "finished" without my AV equipment installed I would do the wall plates.

EDIT - It looks like you already found www.monoprice.com so you have the best source for these things figured out :)

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What happens behind the wall? Is it just an opening into the cavity or is there some sort of conduit to wherever the cables come out? –  Niall C. Oct 29 '10 at 16:19
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I would definitly put a big conduit in the wall. –  auujay Oct 29 '10 at 16:28
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If the walls are opened up, then you should run the conduit. Makes it far easier to perform repairs / changes / upgrades in the future. –  James Van Huis Nov 1 '10 at 20:47
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I'm a fan of the recessed media box that monoprice sells. I installed it pre-drywall which I'm sure is easier, but it does have the ability to be installed as a retrofit (you don't say in your question which way you're doing this).

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There's two major issues with having actual connectors in the wall behind the TV: you have two additional connections per wire (there is a connector on both front and back), and you have to manage cables behind the TV. Connectors are bad because they can become loose and are bulky. Wire management is an issue of getting long enough cables that you can actually plug them in before the TV is mounted, and not having an unsightly mess behind once it is.

The media box solves both of these problems, because the wires just hang out, and you can push the extra back in after you've mounted the TV.

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In my case, I ran cables from the box back to some regular wall jacks, which then go to my receiver and other gear. I used a couple pieces of central vac conduit I had left over, which go over about 4' to the furnace room, which is a non-finished wall and directly behind where my actual receiver etc is (off to the side of the TV). This also makes it easy to add additional wires, but of course it depends on your setup if you'll be able to do this.

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+1 for specific products and pics! –  auujay Nov 1 '10 at 13:50
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