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Is this enough A/V wires?

Posted by pbx2 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 16, 12 at 10:05

Is this enough wiring for my needs?

House configuration
1) Being build
2) 3000 SF 1.5 story (front part) - back part is ranch.
3) Drop areas: 3 bedrooms + 1 loft + 1 office + 1 kitchen + 1 family room
4) 1 Coax & 1 Cat6e each drop
5) Speaker wiring to for 5.1 in family room

Current Usage:
1) Cable TV
2) Tivo box with Premier 4XL tuners
3) Multiple wireless/mobile net capable devices (tabs, fones, laptops)
4) Pioneer A/V amp to control #1+2

Planned additional usage/needs:
1) NAS server - accessible via ethernet (in house) & wireless (remote)
2) Tivo Mini - viewing content & live TV using main Tivo & 1 of its tuner in secondary rooms
3) Desktop PC
4) Streaming music to wireless speakers on terrace


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is this enough A/V wires?

Bump it up to 2 RG6s (no, it doesn't need to be RG6 quad) and 2 CAT5e or CAT6 cables to each drop - maybe an extra network cable to media-centric locations since it can also be used for A/V connections.

The choice is CAT5e or CAT6 for home use - and technically it's hard to justify even using CAT6 except for the fact that it's cheap enough now.

CAT6a is for data centers and please, once and for all, there is no such thing as CAT6e. This is a made up term used by some cable manufacturers' marketing departments who like to take a little "poetic license."


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RE: Is this enough A/V wires?

Put in smurf tube (light weight plastic flex conduit).


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RE: Is this enough A/V wires?

Posted by yosemitebill (My Page) on Fri, Nov 16, 12 at 20:43

Bump it up to 2 RG6s (no, it doesn't need to be RG6 quad) and 2 CAT5e or CAT6 cables to each drop - maybe an extra network cable to media-centric locations since it can also be used for A/V connections.
thanks for chiming in yosemitebill!

Can you explain the need for the additional Coax & CAT6?

@brickeyee - yes smurf tube is in the plan!


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RE: Is this enough A/V wires?

I always ask if people intend, either now or in the near future, to have a tv in the bedrooms. I completed a job recently where each bedroom had a 5.1 speaker setup in addition to having speaker wiring to the main amp/receiver (so all the rooms can get the same music from the central amp/receiver.)

Also, unless the tv(s) are all fully internet capable (full browser) running VGA cables from the TV to the location of your desktop/laptop is nice. Again, the last job I did, we also ran VGA cables from the central location to each bedroom w/extenders and CAT6 cable. One of the more "over the top" jobs, but, there ended up with video and audio everywhere.


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RE: Is this enough A/V wires?

"Can you explain the need for the additional Coax & CAT6? "

Sure - if you already feel you may need one of each then you are simply providing a backup for future needs.

Let's say you have a television with internet access built-in - you then have used one RG6 and one Ethernet connection. Now, you want to add a Blu-Ray player to the television, which also requires an Ethernet connection for BD-Live, the ever so often required connection for firmware updates, or streaming media - now you need another network connection.

Let's say you want to distribute an HDMI signal from another location - you can do passive over two network cables using baluns or active over one network cable using a mod/demod solution. Either way, you've lost at least one network cable.

Want to add line level audio distribution over CAT5e to each room - you need one of your CAT5e cables.

Want to add your surveillance cameras? You can use CAT5e with baluns or RG6 with a local power supply.

Want to add a terrestrial antenna feed, as well as cable/satellite? You'll need a second RG59/6 feed.

The cables have become very inexpensive, the labor is really the same, so just run it to excess.

I certainly agree with brickeyee's suggestion of smurf tube and it makes things much easier for additional cable drops.

I'm not sure about tjdabomb running VGA cables - it is basically very antiquated for signal distribution and does not carry any audio or display protocol information - maybe what he meant to say way HDMI?


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RE: Is this enough A/V wires?

Yosemite -

No, I was referring to VGA, just as written. Not knowing the PC's involved, having VGA cables allows for connectivity with almost certainty of compatibility.

If the OP knows all the present and future hardware that needs to be addressed vis a vis cabling, then, that cabling should be run. I only gave an example of a past install driven by the requirements of the customer, I wasn't making a statement as to which video/audio carrying was best in reality.

OP: basically, we are all saying, now that you have walls open, wire as many locations as possible with the greatest amount of connections per. Cable is cheap, the labor for pulling said cable is inexpensive in new builds (compared to wire install in finished locations). Remember also, electrical installation location and quantity is also important, e.g. wiring a wall with a duplex located 16" AFF is useless for a TV install that is 4' AFF - who wants cords running up the wall, right?? This happens, make sure the plans are good and your contractor knows exactly where the boxes should be placed. Lastly, I only spec for four-plexes, never duplexes, for each location. If possible, I always spec dedicated circuits for any Audio/Visual system. Good luck!!


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RE: Is this enough A/V wires?

Another thing to watch: make sure the wiring person is pulling everything to a home run. No splitters. Sometimes they like to split that RG6, which is totally wrong. You should be able to see both ends of all your cables.

I agree with the sentiment of overdoing it. Cable is cheap.


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