This view is of a typical wall mount TV installation. It shows a 52” TV with a power receptacle and data cable outlet, mounting bracket (rectangle in middle of TV), a media cabinet with an A/V receiver, DVD player and Cable TV box, all in front of a 16” on-center stud wall with fire blocking at 48”. There are a few things to consider before asking your electrician to install the power for your new television.

Where will the power be derived from? Is there an adjacent receptacle from which to take power? In a perfect world there would be an existing receptacle directly below the receptacle shown here in the lower left corner of the TV, and in the same stud bay. If that is not the case then the power will need to come from somewhere else and many times that will entail drywall damage, and repair which most electricians do not involve themselves with. If there is accessible attic space above then perhaps the power cable can be dropped down form above.

Are you well versed in Home Theater terminology? If not then you need to know that televisions need some sort of data cables to provide the video and audio signals. You will more than likely be feeding the TV with two HDMI signal cables- one from the cable box, and one from your DVD player. Some very late model A/V receivers are fully HDMI capable meaning only one HDMI cable is used to supply signals to the TV. Most modern A/V equipment can use an ethernet connection (internet) to update the firmware to the manufacturer's latest changes- this can usually also be done with a USB flash drive inserted into a jack located on the side of the TV. Some means to install these signal cables will need to be provided and that usually means an opening in the wall located close to the area on the TV where the cables will be terminated to. This is indicated by the rectangle with the six small holes in it in the lower left corner of the TV. Ideally, these cables would come from an access hole in the wall located behind the media cabinet and directly under the area where they will emerge to terminate to the TV. There are many options for the data/signal and power boxes. For some examples see http://www.datacommelectronics.com/Recessed-Cable-Home-Theater-Plates-HDMI-Inserts.

Many older homes have fire blocking at about 48” from the floor as seen in this illustration by the horizontal lines about midway up from the bottom. These blocks pose a problem to installing the power and data cables. Normally the wall needs to be cut at this location so the block can be drilled with a hole big enough to pull the data cable(s) to the TV. Most wall mount TV installations today will have an HDMI data cable which is about 1” wide. Some customers will decide to move the TV down enough so the data cable can emerge from the wall just below the fire block negating the need to damage the wall.

Another concern is surround sound speaker wires which usually, but not always, go up into the attic and on to the speaker locations. These wires will need to come from the audio equipment located in the media cabinet located under the TV. Once again the fire blocks will pose a problem.

Not all TV mounting brackets are the same so your electrician will need to know the make and model of the bracket you intend to use. The foot print of the bracket is seen by the rectangle in the middle of the TV and this will vary from model to model. It is best to buy the bracket before you contact an electrician. Consult with the vendor from whom you purchased your TV for a suggestion on this.

The size of the TV needs to be considered with regard to the placement of the receptacle and data cable boxes. It is best to have the TV and mounting bracket on hand so the electrician can make sure he gets things right.

Usually the TV will be centered over something like a fireplace mantle, cabinet etc. It is best for the customer to figure out ahead of time where the center of the TV will be when the installation is complete. Some people will use blue painter’s masking tape to outline the dimension of the TV at their preferred mounting location.

Electricians are very good at doing what they do- installing electrical and sometimes data/communication systems, but they fail miserably at advising customers on what will work for them as far as proper placement of their TV for optimum viewing pleasure. That sort of decision is one only the customer, or perhaps a TV salesperson could answer. When considering hiring an electrician to help with your custom wall mount TV installation please consider the things in the bullet points above before expecting anyone to respond, and be able to complete the installation.
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