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Centralised AV - advice please?

Discussion in 'Custom Installations & Installers' started by Paddle, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Paddle

    Paddle Member

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    I've bought a new house and I'm about to start refurbishing it. Electrics seem okay but it needs central heating installed and complete re-decoration.

    I'm not trying to build a home cinema, but I'd like to be smart about how I wire the AV. In my current house I had the foresight to install Cat5, which proved to be a great idea. I have lots of computer and AV equipment scattered around the house. Living room, kids room, office etc.

    This time around I'm thinking about centralising the AV. e.g. I have devices running XBMC which I'd prefer to house under the stairs then under the telly. I'm also thinking that if I centralise it and put HDMI sockets around the house, then I'll be able to send video to wherever I want it.

    I don't know much about the limitations about sending HDMI, USB and infra-red repeaters over distance. Can someone give me some advice please?
  2. vex

    vex Active Member

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    Hi Paddle,

    Using specific cables such as USB and HDMI is going to cause you problems. Both of these types are designed to be short interconnects of up to 7m or so.

    Whilst pushing them further might work it is dramatically increasing the risk of failure and to me as an installer that is not an acceptable risk especially when buried in walls and floors.

    I would install our usual configuration of 3 CAT6 cables and 2 coaxes, maybe more if you are to try USB over CAT as well. All pulled back to the central cupboard location. This will allow you to run HDMI over Cat6 Baluns and network points to the points behind your screens.

    USB is actually even harder, I have been testing out a couple of them to solve a clients problem and transmitting USB2 is very difficult and expensive.

    By comparison, IR is relatively easy and will pass over CAT5/6 and coax without any issues at all. In fact, most HDMI over Cat modules include some form of IR pass through as well.

    Hope that helps.

    V.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2011
  3. billytkid

    billytkid Member

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    Hiya,

    I just replied in another post with something similar:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/cust...ing-house-great-opportunity-future-proof.html

    I have got USB working in my front room, from the TV over a 10M run to my cellar where all my AV is - I used 1 x active USB and 1 x Passive (had to test both ways to get it working - ie active closer to tv or source - cant remember which it was). This is fine for the PS3 USB peripherals

    cheers

    will
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  4. Paddle

    Paddle Member

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    Thank you. I think sticking dual CAT6 at points where I expect AV is a good plan, plus some speaker cables. Generally it seems that there's a lot of mature wireless tech: Sonos for Audio, WiFi for broadband, DECT for phones.

    Hopefully the CAT6 will future proof me for anything that needs wires.

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