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Ethernet and DVR

Posted by pcthompson (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 3, 11 at 10:56

We recently built a new home. Everyone room in the house has cat-5 and ethernet jacks. The wires for each room go into the basement to our mechanical room.

There is a live ethernet connection that goes into my study. It is connected to the modem and provides wireless for the whole house. A desktop computer is also connected to the modem. This is the computer that we use for downloading music and videos, so we need the wired connection.

Dish Network came to install the dvr, but they were unable to connect it to the Internet.

My question is how can I hook up the dvr to the Internet without having to pay for a new internet hook-up. Is this something that I can do. I have an Lg Smart Tv that picks up wireless, but this does not help me to get Dish services like Blockbuster.

My second question is that all the cat-5 wires and ethernet wires go to a single location, and they are just hanging there. Can someone recommend a panel and a website that provides some direction for installing the panel?

I would appreciate any guidance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ethernet and DVR

In answer to your first question, it appears things are not properly connected in the method that your pre-wiring was meant to provide.

The cable/DSL modem should be located in your mechanical room where all your wiring terminates to. The output of the modem would then go into a router, unless your modem also has additional wired ports. You would then patch the rooms you wish to provide wired LAN service to into the router.

However, if your modem or router is also providing the WiFi signal, you may now have a problem since the signal is in the basement. That's why closets, or other hidden areas, centrally located in the house is usually a better approach.

You may need to add another wireless router in one of the rooms and feed it from a wired wall jack.

Your other option would be a wireless bridge for the Dish box. The unit connects to your wireless network and then provides a wired connection to your Dish box. However, it may not be fast enough.

Streaming devices and services can also be finicky about the router and connection that they are using, and often don't like "switches" used in place of routers. Some routers are now even designed to prioritize streaming packets over other forms of data to improve service.

As far as your second question, if this was professionally wired, why didn't they finish the job? You'll need to install a patch panel and terminate all the wiring to it. Most use 110-type punchdown connections. Since this all requires special tools and testers to install properly, you may wish to have someone do it for you.

There are dozens of patch panels available, and without seeing the actual area it's hard to say what would work best. Google around a little and you'll see several types that are available.


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RE: Ethernet and DVR

This image may help you understand what should be going on in your home.

The wire in the upper left would represent the cable your internet provider brings into the house. From there is goes to a modem and then router. Depending on the kind of service you have those devices can be combined into one device. In any case, that device (or devices) would be in your basement mechanical room. From there, as in the illustration CAT5 cabling would take service to various rooms in your home. As Bill mentioned, you'll likely need to add some kind of wireless access point (WAP) on the upper levels of your home. That can be a WAP or an appropriately configured router (with the latter usually being cheaper).

Does this help?


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RE: Ethernet and DVR

Wow, both posts cleared up a lot for me. Now, it seems obvious that the modem would go in the mechanical room. I live in a rural area, and the electrician just ran the wires, and he was not able to provide me with much guidance. I am still trying to get my mind around what needs to be done.

Another question: How many rooms or computer/Internet-capable devices and be hard wired to the modem. Does splitting the signal weaken it.


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RE: Ethernet and DVR

While it works best to have your modem, router, and patch panel all centrally located, if it helps solve your current problem, the modem could be "virtually located" in the mechanical room.

In other words, if the modem is currently being fed it's signal in a particular room, and that room has a network jack, you could then send the internet connection down to the mechanical room and to the router.

While you are not splitting the signal, in the traditional sense, and it does not weaken, you still have some limitations.

The output from the modem goes into the router. The router then acts like a "traffic cop" directing information from the modem, to-and-from the individual ports on the router.

The modem has an IP (internet protocol) address assigned to it from your ISP (internet service provider). The router then assigns IP addresses to each device connected to it, and carefully routes data from each port's address through the main IP address and back again - all using just a single connection.

The limitation is in how much data each connected device is downloading, or uploading. I'm in a rural area with DSL that has about 1.5 Mbs download speed. To stream something like Netflix in standard definition, that connection speed is about the minimum you can get away with. Can two people watch two separate streams? No. Can four people browse the internet? Sure. We have three computers normally on-line, home security cameras, internet radio streaming and some misc equipment - and no problems.

Download and upload speeds for residential service is almost always asynchronous, meaning you can usually only upload at a fraction of your download speed. This usually works well, since that's the way we normally use the internet. However, if you have something like home security cameras that can be viewed over the internet, you going to be uploading a lot of data and possibly slowing traffic on the download side of your internet connection.

So, again the limitation is in the amount of data being received and sent. As a matter of fact, most 4 port routers usually allow a second router to daisy chain to it and create additional ports.


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RE: Ethernet and DVR

OK, thanks, this helps a lot.


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RE: Ethernet and DVR

The cat5 cables in the basement should be terminated into a patch panel. This is not terribly difficult to do but requires attention to detail, as each of the eight individual colored wires from the cat5 cable needs to be inserted into the correct location in the panel. Make sure the cables are labeled so you know which goes to which room. You should also have an ethernet switch (not a full blown router) in the basement near the patch panel. The switch should have enough ports so you have at least one per cat5 cable. You then connect the patch panel ports to the switch ports with patch cables (i.e. standard 'network cables' that have an RJ45 connector on each end). Once this is done, all of the ethernet cables will be 'networked' together. In your study, you would make a connection from your wireless router to the wall jack. In this way, the data from wireless router in your study goes down into the basement switch and from there to all the other wall jacks.


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