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Old 8th April 2009, 10:15 PM   #1
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Default Wiring access for an entertainment center

Hi,

I'm looking for some advice.

I had an entertainment center built and installed into a "media niche", basically a space 60" wide and 28" deep.

The shelving in the upper portion is designed such that there's only about 1" of clearance on either side of the electronics. This cannot be changed without major work. The lower portion contains amplifiers.

I left room in the rear for wiring and ventillation air flow, about a 4" plenum. Thermostatically controlled fans have been installed to provide airflow when the gear gets hot, a DIY effort. It actually works well, with decent flow on demand without too much noise.

The TV is an older HDTV CRT model which weighs more than I do. The AV processor pretty much has every jack filled, making it difficult to reach behind the unit. Wiring access is a total chore, however. Any configuration changes are a royal pain.

Behind the media niche wall is a hallway. I'm thinking of cutting an access portal behind the entertainment center so I can do things like access jacks without moving equipment.

However, I have no clue as to how to proceed. I'd like to address the following:
- Access should have a cabinet door/frame that can be easily opened/closed, and looks attractive
- I could cover the "door" with framed artwork, for WAF considerations
- The wall where I propose to do this work is likely to be a load bearing wall; there's 2-3 joists behind the media center
- I'd like to minimize sound leakage through this door from the family room into the rest of the house
- I'd like to have clean routing for the cables, separating power, speaker level, and signals
- I'm undecided if I should have 18" wide doors between joists, plan on removing the joists, or something else
- There are 3 different power circuits run to this general area

Your suggestions appreciated.
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