Update on the TV mount project: Last night, I pulled the pipe, brought it outside, and cut in a new access hole under the mounting bolts. Then, I painted it one last time, let it dry, and brought it back inside. In the coal cellar, I spliced a new outlet into the room circuit, and mounted that box to one of the joists. Then, I ran HDMI, data, power, and coax to the pole from the wall, and coax and data to the punchdown block in the basement to the wall.
Then, it was a simple matter of mounting pole, mounting the tv on the stand, and moving the cable box into the den. I connected the coax wire from the basement to the box, then the coax wire from the box to the TV, crossed my fingers, and turned it all on.
What I got was close to success, but not complete. The set-top box didn’t immediately receive signal from the box in the basement, just said something like “please wait while FIOS TV acquires signal”. Looking through Verizon’s less-than-helpful online tutorials, I unplugged the box for 15 seconds, performing a “reset”, then plugged it back in. I was rewarded with about 5 seconds of clear HBO reception before the box petulantly cut itself out. This morning I spent some time on the phone with FIOS support, who confirmed the problem but tried to pin it on the length of the cable run (which is bullshit; it’s only an extra 10 feet, maximum). When he connected me to repairs, I got sales, and then I was hung up on when Sales tried to connect me back to Repairs. So, first of all, fuck you, Verizon. Secondly, I’m going to shorten the cable runs this evening and test the box again; tracing problems with the cable is always the next step. Then, if there’s still no joy, I’m going to hook it up to the old TV and test reception in the old location.