Cables for TV

jdezMay 7, 2014

Hi, we are building a house and doing a lot of the work ourselves to save money. We have already had an electrician do all the rough-in wiring and we realized that we didn't include any cables for TVs. So, we are going to pull the wire ourselves. We are planning to run cable to five different rooms. We will only have TV in 3 rooms but we didn't want to have any bedrooms without TV hookups. So, we were thinking about running (2) RG6 and (1) CAT 6 to a TV location in all five rooms but where do we run them to? We want to bring them all back to one central location in the attic so that when Directv comes to install the dish, they just have to run cable to this central location from the outside. But, we don't know what we need to buy to hook all these wires in to because it will be a lot of wires. I hope this question can be understood by somebody out there. I'm sorry I don't know the terminology to use to explain it better. Does anyone have a solution or am I even in the right forum? Thanks in advance.

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What you are looking for is a residential structured wire panel for your coax and your Cat6.

You can spend a little or a lot of money, so look around first.

Here is a link that might be useful: Structured cable dist box

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 11:59AM
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Thanks Jake. That's what I need to know. Appreciate it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 12:41PM
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What are you using the CAT6 cable for? Hardwired phone? Computer network?

In my house, each room has a four wire bundle (two RG6, two CAT5e). In my office (and my wife's office), I use one CAT5e for phone and the other for hardwired network. In my basement, I have a 66 punchdown block for the phone and just a Netgear 8-port switch for the network. For the RG6 cable, just a 3-way splitter. Most of the wires are unused (and ziptied into bundles in the basement) and many of the rooms have a blank cover since I've never needed them (yet).

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Jreagan - The CAT6 was a suggestion made by our LAN technician at work. I don't know why but I'll ask him. Your set up sounds really good, though.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:49PM
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These days a good wireless-N connection is probably as good as a 100Mb network connection. Unless you are going to run gigabit networks, the hardwire doesn't really help me much. You are going to be as fast as your ISP connection.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 11:17PM
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IMO, the big deal about Cat6 is the connectors. They have to be installed by someone who has the correct equipment. Otherwise you won't get the full speed capable in the cable. If you're going to be putting on connectors yourself, save some money and use Cat5e.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 12:43AM
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Weedmeister - Ok, I will.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:00AM
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You should be terminating the Cat 6 (or cat 5) to a patch panel at the one end and a keystone jack at the other. You shouldn't be installing male ends on either end.

In both cases, be sure to follow the wiring guide and use the same standard on both ends (I use the "B" standard).

It will be much easier if you use a punchdown tool.

Also, pay attention to things like the minimum bending radius, not cinching cables too tightly and not untwisting the cable at the end where you are making the connection. On Cat x cabling, it's not just about the connection... it's how the wire is twisted and such too that allows it to carry a fast signal.

Be sure that your cable is all copper, not copper coated Aluminum (CCA).

The jack in the room will be a keystone RJ45 that will fit into a keystone faceplate. You can snap in a coax connector also to the same faceplate.

Use pre-made patch cords to make the connection from the jack to the device or from the patch panel to the switch.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:19AM
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"You shouldn't be installing male ends on either end"

Jake can you elaborate on that a bit? I presently use a network switch in a closet that is connected to my router in the office with a patch cord, and all the devices like IP cameras, Netflix and some network DVRs are all connected to the switch with patch cords, some of them up to 200 feet long.

Is this okay or is there a better way to do it? I don't have any connection speed issues that I know of.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:42AM
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He's suggesting a patch panel that has a builtin punchdown block. You'd then use short patch pre-made patch cables between that patch panel and your network switch. I was going to do that, but my cheapness got the best of me. A bought a good Trendnet tool from NewEgg and put on connectors myself.

Here is a link that might be useful: cat5e panel punchdown

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 2:02PM
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My point was more to address the issue that weedmeister raised:

When you are pre-wiring - the correct way to do it is to install a patch panel on one end and a Keystone jack on the other. You aren't field installing any Male connectors. It's the male ends on CAT6 that can be troublesome.

You then use pre-made patch cords to make the connections from the equipment to the keystone jack or patch panel to the switch.

What you have done is common and will work just fine. It's not how you want to pre-wire a house though.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 2:07PM
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We are rewiring our house now, and I'm running a pair of Cat6 cables (active and spare) from the basement to each bedroom. I'm not running any RG6.

In the rooms we want TV, I'll mount the satellite boxes in the basement and use a HDMI over Cat6 extender (see the link below). These have integrated IR repeaters for the remotes.

Since more and more TV stuff is moving to networked devices, I see little reason to run RG6 these days.

Here is a link that might be useful: HDMI Over Cat 6

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:15PM
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