I recently moved into a relatively new home. The home was never occupied and has a media room.

The media room has the following (see picture for locations, speaker wire is in blue, speaker wire has two carriers):

  1. Coax connector for cable
  2. Five junction boxes with speaker wire inside
  3. Outlet on the ceiling on one side of the room

I traced the speaker wire. I don't understand how I can install a surround sound system using the existing speaker wire.

What am I missing? Any ideas?

I'm open to using a TV or projector - with projector screen on either end of the room - if that will relieve me of running new speaker wire. enter image description here

  • By "two carrier" you mean a single pair, right?
    – gregmac
    May 25, 2012 at 18:16
  • 1
    Very strange looking. The placement of the speaker boxes matches a 5.1 system with the front on the right, but I see absolutely no way that this was put together by someone that knew what they were doing. Possibly someone had a stereo receiver and just had multiple speakers to make it seem like it was "surround"?
    – gregmac
    May 25, 2012 at 18:20
  • Yes...a single pair.
    – Muro
    May 25, 2012 at 18:21
  • Many builders have no clue about how to wire this stuff.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    May 27, 2012 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


It looks like the intent was to have your "media center" be placed on the far left wall. This is why you would have 4 electrical outlets and the coax connectors. This is the location you would either want to place your TV or projector screen. If you do go the projector route, placing the screen on the far left wall gives you the distance needed between the projector (placed near the outlet on the ceiling) and the actual screen.

The speaker wire does seem a bit odd. The way I would use it is to place 2 rear speakers in the top right and bottom right corner. These would be feed off of the lines that run toward the left of the room. Then your front left, center, and front right speakers can be easily run to the electronics on the left wall since they are so close.

You haven't specified, but if I designed a room in that fashion, I would have run 2 channel speaker wire (4 wires per jacket). This would then allow you to add the side speakers if you wanted to hook it up that way. Maybe the speaker wire you show has 4 wires in it to be used in this way.

  • Good answer. I kinda figured that placing the media center on the left wall was the easiest way to go. Still not sure why they ran the speaker wire for the center box on the far right wall. FYI...I updated the question to indicate the speaker wire is 2 carrier - 2 physical wires.
    – Muro
    May 25, 2012 at 15:38
  • If I use a projector and place the screen on the far left wall then I will have to run the video signal from the projector to the video playing device on the far left wall, correct? Don't people normally run these cables behind the wall/ceilings? This makes me believe it may be easier for me to go the TV route.
    – Muro
    May 25, 2012 at 15:41
  • @Muro, Only thing I can think of for the right center would be a subwoofer, but that would require 2 pairs going from bottom left to bottom right.
    – BMitch
    May 25, 2012 at 15:46
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    @Muro Likely you can use the wire to fish new wires through, but since the wire goes around the corner you will probably need to cut small holes in the walls near the corners of the room (pulling wire around two corners through holes drilled in wood studs will be near impossible). If the wire was run in conduit you MAY be able to do it, but due to the strange layout it probably wasn't (there is no reason to use conduit here anyway).
    – gregmac
    May 25, 2012 at 18:25
  • 1
    TV route will be the easiest. This is starting to be off-topic here, but Ill help you out the best I can. If you want to go the projector route, I would recommend going with HDMI over CAT5 for a single HDMI run to the projector. You can use an AV receiver to do all of the switching of your inputs. Projectors really aren't the best thing in the world. They can cost a lot if you are looking for good brightness, contrast, resolution, etc. The only reason I would ever use one over a TV is if I really wanted the big screen movie theater atmosphere.
    – Kellenjb
    May 25, 2012 at 18:30

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