I am in the in the planning phase of mounting my 50" plasma in my living room. The wall the TV is going on is an exterior wall (it should have insulation) and the interior side is already finished so I don't have full access for running new electrical. I am thinking of running the wires behind the wall from the tv down to the bottom of the wall and having them come out at the bottom and running them outside the wall along the baseboard to the reciever/cable box/etc. This way I don't need to punch holes in the drywall and run the wires through the studs.

For running the low voltage wires I will get two face plates that allow me to run the HDMI cables through the wall. But running the electrical to behind the TV is trickier. I found a kit (Recessed Pro Power Kit w/Straight Blade Inlet White) that seems to be designed for this situation. Is there a way to get this myself without buying the whole kit? I don't need the low voltage lines to run next to the electrical, and I would like to actually have a normal outlet behind the TV (so I can plug 2 devices into it) instead of just one like in the kit.

For the outlet behind the TV I can just use a normal outlet but I don't know how or what to use for the other "outlet" the gets the power initially. I don't want to buy the $50 kit above just for that piece.

EDIT: While there are other eletrical outlets on this wall, none are below were I want to mount the TV so I can't reach them without going through studs. However this is an exterior wall on the first floor, I can get to the bottom of the wall from my unfinished basement. Initially I liked the product I linked from Monoprice because it would still allow me to run my TV through me APC surge protector. However I have found some in wall surge protectors (like this) so if I run power from the basement I could install one of those.


If you're just using a regular outlet as you suggest behind the TV, then my suggestion would be to supply it like a regular outlet.

If there is another outlet nearby (directly below would be ideal), fish a wire to it, and attach it to that circuit.

If there is unfinished space below, you can get a wire down there (use a long "installer's drill bit") and then it should be relatively easy to find a circuit to attach it to (or just run it back to the panel).

I'd be nervous about any contraptions that attempt to get power to this circuit otherwise. You absolutely need to have a male end in the wall, as a male-to-male extension cable is dangerous to have.

The best thing I can think up totally as a DIY without requiring real hard-wiring would be to get a blank faceplate, and put a square hole in it, and then mount an IEC 320-C14 connector in it (eg. from digikey).

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Then you can just use a standard C13 cord (like the kind used to connect most computers, TVs, etc) and plug it into a surge protector or UPS or whatever.

  • I do have access to the underside of this wall as my basement is unfinished. Is there anything wrong with drilling through the sill plate and running a wire up from the basement? – auujay Nov 29 '10 at 20:11
  • No, but using an installer bit to drill down is much easier (I have a post on my blog about doing this: gregmaclellan.com/blog/running-network-cables). With careful measuring you can drill up from the basement. You only need a 1/2 or 3/4" hole (Romex 14-2 fits fine in 1/2") so it doesn't affect the structural integrity in any measurable way (all your existing wiring will be run this way anyways). – gregmac Nov 29 '10 at 20:35
  • Great good to know. My concern was more related to fire and if that sill plate was supposed to act as a firestop. However you are right, all the wires going upstairs must be doing that :) – auujay Nov 29 '10 at 21:26
  • It does technically provide a route for fire. If you are concerned, there are companies that make expanding foam that is designed as a fire block (like this: homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xg1/R-202023037/h_d2/…). – gregmac Nov 29 '10 at 22:45
  • I'm pretty sure cutting holes in a faceplate violates its Listing. Wiremold is a better route if you don't want the hassle of fishing cable through a finished wall. – Jeremy W. Sherman Jul 14 '12 at 6:08

See my previous answer to a similar question. (It's kind of funny. I even mention that that same kit you found seems a bit pricey.)

I used a single, recessed, dual-voltage wall plate that lets you do your media and power cables all in one plate. You just buy an "old work" electrical box, wire it up, and attach it to this plate instead of to the drywall.

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I used 6-port keystone plates for the media ports, so I could put just the ports that I wanted back there, and even customize it easily later, if needed.

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    But how do I get power to this outlet without wiring it into another in wall eletrical outlet. I relly just want to "feeder" part of the linked kit, the power cable and the "male" eletrical outlet. Once I get that I know what to do behind the TV. – auujay Nov 29 '10 at 16:00
  • I'm not sure where you would get power from, if not from another outlet, switch, or junction box. I believe most municipalities would have codes against running extension cords through the walls, if that's what you're thinking about. I'm guessing that they're not rated for use under enclosed, insulated conditions. To do this right, I would definitely tie into an existing outlet. I recommend this recessed box because I think it ends up looking cleaner and more professional than having 3 separate plates behind the TV. – Chris Jaynes Nov 29 '10 at 20:26

At the home stores in the electrical aisles you can get some surface mount cable hiding channels of various sizes. It looks kind of like molding, but opens to mount cables in it. While it's not as nice as running things in the wall, my wife was happy with the lack of cable visual clutter and I was very happy with how easy it was to run and make changes for new wiring. I have one running up to drive a projector, and another running down from a wall-mounted flat-panel to the baseboard, over to the UPS.

It's cheap, easy to install, and easy to change out cables for things like when you replace the TV with one that needs Ethernet, you decide to run more HDMI cables directly to the TV instead of through a receiver, or we switch from HDMI to Display Port or whatever the next thing is (or from HDMI 1.3 to 1.4 or beyond).

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