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Thread: Wiring a house

  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    This may be slightly off topic but I figure the readers here would know. My wife and I are building a house and I would like to know of recommendations about wiring both for computers and other forms of communications (including TV). We currently use Verizon FIOS for internet, TV and phone.
    Will Wifi take care of all my needs and I only need to Pre-wire cable to all the rooms for TV?
    Will there be need for speed which is greater than what WiFi can handle?
    Should optical cable be pre-wired through the house or CAT-5?

    I don't have an internet business or server at home. Just trying to do things when it is easier and less expensive BEFORE the sheet rock goes up..
    Thanks in advance.
    CAFUTTER

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    All I can tell you is that you should make an attempt to anticipate your future needs.
    ...Like streaming audio or video from one room to another etc.
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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Wi-Fi is hot now, but who knows what the future brings. I would hard wire both TV and ethernet as long as the walls are open now. As you said less expensive and easier before the rock.
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    I have pre-wired a house with CAT5 and all I ended up using it for was a garage door remote and the phone - even they are wireless now. Broadband is mostly via the phone line these days and if it's cable or optical fibre, then the installers can be persuaded to put it somewhere convenient for you to connect the wireless router.

    At most I would run one CAT5 point to each room to allow you a single hard wired connection to the router for the main computer / troubleshooting.
    Cabling for TV only works if you can guarantee the connection cable your provider is going to use, but may be worth doing if you are a TV in every room fan.
    Don't forget to put a cupboard in for the cabling patch point and a power point in the cupboard in case you want a splitter / switch.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Research is learning that all these high frequency wireless signals may actually be making us sick, in a variety of ways. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it can't hurt you. But, I doubt wireless will go away anytime soon. At least, not until there is a Surgeon General's recommendation to stop using it. The point is, I would not do everything wireless just because you can. Wire every room with CAT-5 and co-ax. Only use wireless when the benefit outweighs the risk or when not being wireless is a significant inconvenience. Just my 2 cents worth, which, at the rate of inflation, may not be worth that much.


    Dan

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Hi,

    I have dealt with this issue few times in the past and my observation are: Use the fastest technology you can afford (things are moving rapidly in this field).
    Stay away from WiFi due to its reliability and tendencies to fail at any time without warning. Install all the wires inside the frames Cat 6 or Fiber at the framing
    and leave them for later time when needed. This way you will save yourself plenty of time, labor and ripping open walls later on. Do your research and determine
    your needs or your anticipating one it will pay back. Consider installing Audio wires and use Cat 5 for the phone. There's an excellent site (bit old) for such
    a project here: How To. The author Bob Catanzarite walk you through the process of wiring your house from the planing to the
    actual wiring, tools, testing and much more. Please be aware that it's a big job to do - if you are attempting to do-it-by-yourself be advise to give yourself plenty of time and budget to match. I think it's worthy cause, and can save you some money. However, If you decided to hire a contractor you need to watch them and specify your needs very clearly, and specify the materials to be used.

    Good Luck

    Venice_boy

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    I too would tell you to install coax and CAT 6 everywhere you think you might need it while the walls are open.
    However you really do have to plan it out and decide ahead of time where to put your ethernet switch(s) and research your coax. The more times you split the initial coax signal coming into your house, the weaker the signal gets and the more noise you can get. There are ways to deal with all of this but you need to plan plan plan

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    I agree with wiring every room with Cat 6. You might also want to think about HDMI where applicable.
    I have decided to run conduits in my next home - just in case. In my present home I ran Coax ("just in case") but when it came time to connect my computer to the TV, they had already changed the standards for Coax and the cable I had, was no longer acceptable for component video. While I was trying to figure out what to do about it, HDMI was introduced and I am willing to bet that, as soon as I install HDMI, someone will come up with something else that will require me to rip up the walls again.

  9. #9
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    The suggestions to wire your house for both cable and internet are very good. If you don't use them, they still enhance the value of your house when you sell. I just bought a 2 year old house and it is wired for both. It has two cable jacks and two ethernet plugs included with the phone jacks. I thought what is this for? Well, in the office, i have two computers on the internet and a KVM switch. In the living room, the satellite box is plugged into one of the ethernet slots. My wife has two computers and her laptop plugged into the ethernet. Many of the rooms in the house have been excessively cabled and I love it. So, its not a bad idea to investigate your options and it may pay off when you go to sell your house...

  10. #10
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    Yes, wire the whole house with Cat6 is recommended. Maybe 2 pairs are even better. Cat cable is cheap.
    Make sure route at least 1 or 2 Cat6 to the attic, and at least one 75-Ohm TV cable to attic (for attic TV antenna or satellite).
    The 4 twisted pairs inside a Cat6 cable help a lot when you need it (for DC power, sensor, audio, USB signal, video, etc.)
    Also, route some strings or fish wires from the attic to the internal panel box. You can use it to pull cable in the future.

  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    I put two coax, one cat5 and one phone line in every room. That was 4 years ago - I would use cat6 today.

    This is pretty much bog-standard for new houses today, and you may be penalized at resale time if you don't do the prewire.

  12. #12
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    My 2 cents worth..
    wire the whole house with Cat5e or cat6. Simultaneously, run another cable run for telephone. Also I'd definetely put in Coax as well. Digital grade coax using digital grade couplers and jacks.
    I don't see a need for fiber.
    in your entertainment/TV room, wire up for surround sound, whether or not you're going to have surround sound, never hurt to have it. OR what I did for a friend who wasn't ready yet...
    I installed conduit in the walls where rear speaker could be. up in the attic crawlspace, there were 4 conduits, depending on where the speakers would be mounted, near ceiling or ground level. We took a picture of the wall before the sheetrock went up, and measured precisely where the holes would be. So when he wants to wire it, the conduit is in the attic, and is easy to run and install, and a very small hole can be poked through and the wires can easily be pulled out.
    Also we have conduit for various locations throughout the room for HDMI cable, coax and cat-5/6. Just depends on what medium he wants to go with, shove the cable thru and done!

    I have AT&T U-Verse, it runs from a telephone jack, to their U-verse Router, from there the u-verse dvr box can receive a signal from either network cat5 wire OR coax. Cat5 cabling provides the best possible picture for HD channels. Coax looks good, but you can tell the difference when you compare.
    Reason for still running coax.. just because it'll never go away. You may someday want to get rid of verizon and go with AT&T if it's offered in your area. you'll do better off of the cat5 vs. the coax.
    For streaming video, I'm not a fan of wireless in this case, I'd rather have a cable that won't hiccup on me. I have an Asus O!Player, i stream video from other devices, and the cat-5 provides the best medium for me to do this. unfortunately it had no coax connector at all on it, it's HDMI or composite cable only.

  13. #13
    4 Star Lounger
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    Absolutely no doubt in my mind that you should run a CAT6 network around the house. As other says above, wireless may be doing it now, but broadband faster than current wireless can handle is not a remote possibility.

    So you should consider at least a CAT6 outlet, terrestrial TV outlet and Satellite TV outlet in each main room. In your main viewing lounge, you need AT LEAST three satellite outlets (one for the TV and two for the PVR receivers) plus a terrestrial TV outlet and two or three CAT 6 outlets (one for the TV, one for the PVR and a spare Media player or similar device).

    Even then, I bet in 5 years you had put in more.

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    Another vote for wiring CAT6.

    WiFi is OK, but as soon as you start trying to move large files around or doing video, you'll want wired. Your TV service may, someday, use (or make use of) Ethernet as well. Like a poster above, I have U-Verse and having Ethernet at my various TV spots made installation a breeze.

    In fact, if I were doing it all over again, I'd pull way more wire because pulling the wire is the biggest PITA. When I re-wire I'm going to pull no less than four CAT6 runs to each place I intend to put a jack. I'll leave the unused runs in the wall for now, but this will make it far more likely that I don't run short later. (When I pulled a single Ethernet to my TV I figured that'd be enough, but now I have a U-Verse DVR, an HTPC, and sometimes an X-Box 360...and I will add a Blu-Ray player soon. Ports go fast.)

    But I'm a networking geek, so maybe you shouldn't go by me.

    --chris

  15. #15
    4 Star Lounger
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    Well I already have a problem in the lounge. The TV, the Blu-Ray player, the PVR and the MKV Media player all have Ethernet ports, not just for firmware updates (which the Blu-Ray player seems to need every couple of weeks), but for on line services. So I've had to use a 5-port switch which really adds to the mess of cabling!

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