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I'm planning to hang my TV on the wall. To avoid having cables hanging fro the TV to the sockets and other apparatus I was thinking of adding a socket just behind the TV and have all wires go behind the wall.

Job should be pretty straightforward for power connections but I don't know what to do for HDMI&co.

I would like the arrangement to be flexible, so if tomorrow I need to pass a SCART cable or another HDMI I don't need to make other holes in the wall.

Is there any product suited for this task? What's the best solution?

  • Also check building regs. I've forgotten about the UK regs, but in Utah, we're not allowed to run flexible/stranded cable behind walls. (is SCART still used in the UK?) – PeteCon Oct 5 '16 at 14:51
  • @PeteCon There are other cables (power line) behind the drywall so I suppose it's fine. Some devices still have the SCART port, although is not used much. – algiogia Oct 5 '16 at 15:22
  • Solid power lines (solid cable in general) is allowed - but stranded isn't. At least, it wasn't when I was in England working on electricity. – PeteCon Oct 6 '16 at 19:44
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There are wall plates that are designed for your situation.

Power

For power, you can add the socket as you described.

recessed power receptacle

Low voltage

For HDMI/signal/etc low voltage stuff, there are a number of options. Running conduit is the best for future flexibility.

I personally like just having a cable sticking out of the wall, rather than putting connectors behind the TV and requiring a bunch of short patch cables. There's "flexible opening wall plates" that have rubber grommets in them that work very well for this purpose. These work very well with a low-voltage junction box (which basically is a junction box with no back)

wall plate gromets low voltage box

You can terminate the cables near your equipment the same way, or install actual wall plates, depending on your needs. I prefer wall plates with jacks (built-in or keystone) for that situation, because it's neater and allows you to easily disconnect stuff while cleaning/moving/whatever without a bunch of cables hanging out of the wall.

HDMI wall plate

Combined

There are also a number of products that combine both power and low-voltage that work really well behind a TV.

combined power/low voltage recessed power with low-voltage hole

  • That's what I was looking for! I was thinking to make the rubber plate myself, didn't think it was already available. Do you know how it's called? – algiogia Oct 4 '16 at 16:04
  • @algiogia Try "flexible opening wall plates" – gregmac Oct 4 '16 at 16:17
  • I would emphasize the Running conduit is the best for future flexibility part, @algiogia. If it's at all possible, you'll want to do that. It will be a bit more work now, but much, much less work in the future. – FreeMan Oct 5 '16 at 15:27
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    @FreeMan I'll definitely use conduits, also to keep the data cables well away from the power cables – algiogia Oct 6 '16 at 8:00
2

My standard practice is to use a low-voltage "box":

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... and a blank cover plate:

enter image description here

... to which I add a desktop grommet:

enter image description here

It's a bit fiddly, but hot glue works well to secure the grommet to the plate from behind and now you have a robust, high-capacity, good looking conduit for about any cable. There's a good chance someone makes something like this ready to go, but I haven't come across it.

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If you want to be flexible, I'd use a cable tray, either placed in front of the wall or flush-mounted. Either way, make sure the lid remains accessible after installation, so you can remove it and insert new cables. Install sockets into the lid, or make notches and feed the cable itself through.

In addition to the other answers, you can get all kinds of sockets including HDMI in a standardized format, these were designed for pro audio applications. Pro audio shops, electronics shops etc. carry them.

Example:
Neutrik HDMI
(this is a feedthrough connector, with HDMI sockets on both sides)

(Edit: removed recommendation to cut and solder an HDMI cable, as that's unlikely to work correctly)

  • How is this solution "flexible"? – algiogia Oct 4 '16 at 14:56
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    Cutting and re-splicing an HDMI cable is not likely to work. You might get lucky, but there are high-speed signals with geometrically-defined noise rejection in there (coax, twisted pairs, etc.), so the splice will probably destroy the ability to use real HD on that cable. The old analog SD standards didn't care so much, but modern HD digital stuff does. – AaronD Oct 4 '16 at 19:05
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I've recently done something very similar. I was initially going to use a proper face plate, but like you, I didn't want to limit myself to what I needed now this minute.

I opted for a "Brushed Faceplate". They come in standard UK sizes, meaning they'll fit onto any normal backbox. out similar to this.

I actually used the LAP kit from Screwfix and I've been quite happy with it.

Just put one where the cables enter and one where they leave and hey presto - a neat solution that's a doddle to modify if required. Plus, you can get a LOT more cables through a single gang socket vs having a faceplate. Even moreso if they're different types.

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If you have access to the other side of the drywall (ie, it's not drywall on both sides), you could easily add a junction box that has a pipe running down to a second one by the floor (or into the basement). My surround sound cables run down a PVC pipe into the basement and then up smaller pipes to boxes in each corner of the room. Of course, you would NOT want your power cables running in the same box/pipe as AV cables.

  • That's the idea. But how do I let the cables out of the junction box? I don't want to leave it open. – algiogia Oct 4 '16 at 15:36
  • @algiogia For me, I took a blank box cover and drilled a 1-1/8 to 1-1/2" diameter hole in it for the bigger outbound bundle and a 5/8" diameter hole for each speaker. The boxes are behind your TV or stereo cabinet so it doesn't have to look super professional. – topshot Oct 4 '16 at 15:49

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