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Help and Advice required.What to do?

A15NDV

Novice Member
So i have been a long time reader on this forum but never really posted before.... until now.

To set the scene a month ago we walked back into our house one night to find water pouring through the ceilings and and walls.Great!! This was caused by our water tank bursting (1st Floor) and mains pressure being fed into the house for up to 26 Hrs!!!

We are currently going through the insurance about repairing the damage etc. We do know that walls and ceilings have to be taken down and rebuilt also nearly all the floors will be lifted and replaced.

Now to where you all come in..

We are wanting to "future proof" our house as such so while we have all this going on what sort of stuff should be looking at fitting etc?
We currently only have songs in the house and love it. So in certain rooms we are looking for fit speakers in the ceilings.
Any advice on this is greatly appreciated as it would help to lift me from a crappy situation.

Looking forward to your reply's and once work starts i will be able to update with pictures.

Cheers
Andy
 

Plasma Dan

Well-known Member
We do know that walls and ceilings have to be taken down and rebuilt also nearly all the floors will be lifted and replaced.

Since you will have access pretty-much everywhere, I'd suggest installing lots of CAT6 (or even CAT6a) cables around the house. You can use them for pretty-much anything these days, including display cables & audio cables using baluns.

Networking your home like this is the first step in my opinion to a future-proof installation. Anywhere where you think you might need one connection; install two, and anywhere you need two; install 3 (at-least).

I have a bunch of music players around my house also; powered by a raspberry pi in each room. These are networked into the main LAN using CAT6 (overkill, since r-pis are only 10/100 ethernet); allowing for the music players to be synced. :smashin:

I have POE CCTV cameras front & back, again CAT6. :smashin:

I have a media server for streaming movies / music around the house which uses 4x CAT6. :smashin:

I'm using another CAT6 for a USB 2.0 feed to the media server (in the attic); using USB to RJ45 baluns. :smashin:

You can see where I'm going with this... :thumbsup:

Other considerations depend on your budget really. I have an HDMI infrastructure installed so I can screen-cast from any device in my living-room to any screen in the house. :smashin: You could achieve this over CAT6 too, but the baluns work-out more expensive than just installing long HDMI cables to every room. :censored:

If you're a TV watcher, then install shotgun coax to each room to allow for satellite / cable / freeview etc. I installed a new dish on the house a couple of years ago with an octal (8-way) LNB, these feed twin satellite into all the living areas, and while most of them are un-used, they're there in-case I want them. :smashin:

As for your music players, I can recommend going down the raspberry pi route. Just flash Volumio onto an SD card, and you've got yourself a music player. :smashin: All you need is an amp to run your speakers.
 
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A15NDV

Novice Member
Dan- Thanks for you post there, We have the chance where we can have a central Hub to house everything. I assume this will be possibly just don't know what is required?

I like the idea of the twin satellite into each room so this is something that will be noted down.

Also I better add I know nothing about this so all help and advice is much appreciated.
 

Plasma Dan

Well-known Member
We have the chance where we can have a central Hub to house everything. I assume this will be possibly just don't know what is required?

I would advise doing this if you can afford the space. It really depends on your budget, but usually in this situation you would install a rack-cabinet an appropriate size for your purpose. All of the CAT6 cables can be centralised in there, and fed into a rackmount switch. From there you can connect any baluns, or alter anything as you need from one place. You can also install some other hardware in the rack-cabinet to keep everything together (such as the modem / router, file-server / NAS drive etc).

Go on ebay and find a 305m box of solid copper CAT6 cable (or CAT6a if you desire :censored:), by the time you've done a few feeds into each room you'll probably use the lot. :thumbsup: The reason you want solid copper is down to signal quality. This won't matter for networked devices, but can make a difference if you want to use one or more of the cables for something like HDMI at a later date.

Satellite is not usually centralised as such, since each cable needs to go back to the dish, so you could just run the cables where they're needed (or where you think they're likely to be needed in the future).

Dan.
 
If the raspberry Pi idea is too daunting then look at Sonos for the audio zones. If you use the Sonos Connect:Amps you can add your choice of ceiling speaker (we use the Kef CI50r). Very intutive and stable app on the Sonos that can be quite important.

I would be careful running long HDMI cables as the recommendation is a maximum of 8M and also HDMI doesnt carry Infrared whereas as a Cat6 over HDMI HDBAseT can.

You could have any satellite boxes centrally located and then also distributed over the Cat6 via a HDBaseT matrix. However I would still run at least one coax (WF100) to each potential TV position for freeview access.
 

Plasma Dan

Well-known Member
If the raspberry Pi idea is too daunting then look at Sonos for the audio zones. If you use the Sonos Connect:Amps you can add your choice of ceiling speaker (we use the Kef CI50r). Very intutive and stable app on the Sonos that can be quite important.

Well if you want to spend lots of money... sure. :p

I would recommend sticking to media players (my opinion), it may be more fiddly to set-up but saves you money. :censored: Plus you don't have to stick to any apps, since it can be controlled in many different ways (using the web-interface / AirPlay / UPNP / DLNA / and even works with Spotify). :smashin:

Provided you use semi-decent speakers and a decent amp, the sound quality will be just as good as the Sonus setup. :censored:

I would be careful running long HDMI cables as the recommendation is a maximum of 8M

Maximum HDMI cable length really depends on the application. For 4K content over HDMI; longer cables will not work, and going down the CAT6 route is a solution for this (with some limits). However, 1080P content should have no problem downwards of 20m, depending on the quality of the cable. Scan Computers sell good quality 20m HDMI 1.4 cables (here) that are ideal for this purpose, and far cheaper than buying HDMI - CAT6 baluns. I used these cables myself for my installation and they work well with most devices. :smashin:

IMAG2091_zpszvxfghxz.jpg~original


Some devices obviously don't output the same signal power through HDMI, and this can cause "sparklies" to appear on the screen. :eek: You can fix this by installing an HDMI repeater (here) to boost the signal before sending it down the 20m cable. Bare in-mind that 20m is a long cable, most of the HDMI feeds will probably not need to be this length. I have two of these leading from the ground floor into the attic, and around the attic room (with cable to spare).

HDMI doesnt carry Infrared whereas as a Cat6 over HDMI HDBAseT can.

True. I dealt with this by installing an extra CAT6 anyway (since it's so cheap), and in the event that I ever want to use IR over HDMI / CAT6 (which I don't), I can install any CAT5/CAT6 IR extender kit to make it work. :smashin:

You could have any satellite boxes centrally located and then also distributed over the Cat6 via a HDBaseT matrix.

With the low-cost of things like satellite receivers / media players / streamers these days, I don't think it's even worth centralising them. By doing so you may create a situation where it costs more in cable & baluns to send the video around the house than it would to just buy a couple extra boxes. :facepalm:

Dan.
 
I used these cables myself for my installation and they work well with most devices.

Its the "most devices" that's the issue, what may work today may not work in the future with other equipment.
HDMI cable should only ever be labelled as standard or High Speed,never a number, there is no cable over 8M that has been certified as High Speed HDMI so best to stick within the 8M
 
Agree about streamers/media players as this is network traffic and a waste having these centrally located.

However having multiple Satellite boxes especially ones with PVRs (sky for example) centrally located means that any recorded content can be watched in any room.
 

Plasma Dan

Well-known Member
Its the "most devices" that's the issue, what may work today may not work in the future with other equipment.
HDMI cable should only ever be labelled as standard or High Speed,never a number, there is no cable over 8M that has been certified as High Speed HDMI so best to stick within the 8M

Anything that is too "high speed" to work over an HDMI cable, is going to struggle over CAT6 too, since the balun itself becomes a bottle-neck. The "speed" / frequency is a problem no-mater how you do it, the signal power is the main cause of issues with long HDMI cables (due to voltage drop), a simple fix with a repeater. :smashin:

I run 1080p 3D video over my infrastructure and it works fine. :censored:

having multiple Satellite boxes especially ones with PVRs (sky for example) centrally located means that any recorded content can be watched in any room.

True. See I don't have that issue since everything is recorded centrally and streamed back to the media players. I can see how someone with a Sky installation might benefit from this, but then everyone in the house will be watching the same thing. :laugh: ...and that's when Sky take another £11.25/m off you for multiroom. :rotfl:


...Long story short; do what you think is best for your purpose. :rotfl:
 
The "high Speed" requirement for HDMI cable is a specific term for HDMI cables and what they will support, a HDBaseT HDMI over Cat6 extender certainly doesn't suffer from any bottleneck and can transmit up to 100M.

However I agree sometimes long HDMI cables can work but just not a solution we would ever recommend with or without a HDMi repeater
 

A15NDV

Novice Member
Gents thanks a lot for your input so far, I'm sure i will be picking your brains for the next 6 months least so i can get this right ;)
 

A15NDV

Novice Member
So we are now at the stage where work is going to be starting very soon. so i have picked where the central unit will be and a where cables should go to.

So just to clarify what i should be doing at this point. Running Cat 6 cable to all required points in the house. also from the central unit should i run the main aerial cable then from the run that to all required points?

At the points where cat/coax is there anything else should run to there from the CU?

The Coax that comes from my sky dish should run straight to the points i require and not back to the CU?

any other pointers? links to good Cat6 and Coax cables?

All info is much appreciated.
 
Hi again

So just to clarify what i should be doing at this point. Running Cat 6 cable to all required points in the house. also from the central unit should i run the main aerial cable then from the run that to all required points?

Yes as that will then give you Terrestial TV in each room, you will need an aerial Distribution amp as well centrally to split the signal.

At the points where cat/coax is there anything else should run to there from the CU?

What are you doing regarding audio, you mentioned ceiling speakers are the cables for these just run to the room in question or are they to be run back centrally. Each has its advantage but that really depends what your intentions are with regard to multi-room audio.

Are you intending locating your sky box(s) centrally and then distributing to each room over cat6 or coax ??

Link to cat6/Coax
Networking and Aerial Distribution

Drop me a line if you need any specific help
 

A15NDV

Novice Member
Hi again



Yes as that will then give you Terrestial TV in each room, you will need an aerial Distribution amp as well centrally to split the signal.



What are you doing regarding audio, you mentioned ceiling speakers are the cables for these just run to the room in question or are they to be run back centrally. Each has its advantage but that really depends what your intentions are with regard to multi-room audio.

Are you intending locating your sky box(s) centrally and then distributing to each room over cat6 or coax ??

Link to cat6/Coax
Networking and Aerial Distribution

Drop me a line if you need any specific help

Thanks for the quick reply Seb.

I would like to run these back to the CU as some rooms will have speakers others will use Sonos speakers.

If it will be possible i would like them at the CU as there is only two (main bedroom, Lounge).

Do you think my main phoneline point should also be moved to the central unit? or can spurs be added from whats already there?
 
Audio

In that case run speaker wires back to CU then use Sonos Connect:Amps for each room

Video

So you have 2 Skyboxes, then best to locate centrally then you can potentially have any TV in the house access either box. The distribution then can be done 1 of 3 ways

In order of preference
1. HDMI Over Cat6 Matrix and receivers
2. HD Modulator over coax
2. SD RF out over coax

Phone line and broadband may as well run into CU as well but not that important
 

Seven

Standard Member
So i have been a long time reader on this forum but never really posted before.... until now.

To set the scene a month ago we walked back into our house one night to find water pouring through the ceilings and and walls.Great!! This was caused by our water tank bursting (1st Floor) and mains pressure being fed into the house for up to 26 Hrs!!!

We are currently going through the insurance about repairing the damage etc. We do know that walls and ceilings have to be taken down and rebuilt also nearly all the floors will be lifted and replaced.


Cheers
Andy
Sorry to hear of your misfortune, however exciting times ahead with the renovation.

Judging by the questions you are asking, i think i can most certainly benefit from your thread :D, Will be keeping a close eye on it :p
 

A15NDV

Novice Member
Update and question.

So the insurance has paid out our cash settlement, planning permission/building warrant has been approved. Work starts next week :):)

I am looking for some help/info (no shock there) where the cat cable/coax and sockets are all run in the house i am need to find the best and tidiest looking way to have the faceplates where these are all terminated. Can i have one large one of a few smaller ones. what does everyone else have? where is best to buy? Pictures?
 
Plenty of types and styles of wall plates for cat6 & coax termination.

However if any CAt6 are being used to distribute HDMI then these are best not terminated into a wall plate, they should be run direct from source location to the receiver. For this we recommend Brush plates (literally wall plates with brushes that the cable comes through)
 

Plasma Dan

Well-known Member
I am looking for some help/info (no shock there) where the cat cable/coax and sockets are all run in the house i am need to find the best and tidiest looking way to have the faceplates where these are all terminated. Can i have one large one of a few smaller ones. what does everyone else have? where is best to buy? Pictures?

I use MK euro modular plates throughout my house. They match all of my MK switches & sockets. :smashin:

IMAG2093_zpsottzsf7u.jpg~original


IMAG2048_zpswzbrijbk.jpg~original


2016-01-01%2013.32.04_zpsikwbslmf.jpg~original


2016-03-14%2016.45.38_zpspoku1ukf.jpg~original


Plates are available in various sizes from Fastlec. Most of the modules are from Euronetwork. :smashin:

The coax & speaker connection modules I used are made using modular blanks and f-couplers / speaker binding posts off eBay. :smashin:

Regarding HDMI: I personally hate the look of brush plates, so I avoided using them. I have 4x 20m HDMI cables connected to plates at each end and they work fine (with repeaters), but as Aclass stated above, really this would be better (more reliable) connected directly to the equipment.

I think installing high-speed HDMI cables directly is worthwhile. It's far cheaper to distribute HDMI directly, if you can manage to do it. I paid £20 each for my 20m HDMI cables, compare that to the cost of an HDBaseT extender. :censored:

Obviously you should run additional CAT6 just to be sure, as you are playing a risky game at that length. :censored: ...but if it works without any problems then you've saved money. ;)

Dan.
 

jamie125

Novice Member
I have a bunch of music players around my house also; powered by a raspberry pi in each room. These are networked into the main LAN using CAT6 (overkill, since r-pis are only 10/100 ethernet); allowing for the music players to be synced. :smashin:

Interested to hear a bit more about your raspberry Pi setup Dan, looking to do something similar, does it work well?
 

Plasma Dan

Well-known Member
Interested to hear a bit more about your raspberry Pi setup Dan, looking to do something similar, does it work well?

I use Volumio. :smashin:

• Raspberry Pi model B+ with Volumio
• Class 10 micro-SD memory card from Kingston (any class 10, 2GB+ is plenty space)
• Standard Micro-USB phone charger for power
• Lepai Tripath LP-2020A Class-T Amplifier (ebay)
• Pair of budget ceiling speakers (ebay)
• Good OFC speaker cable (2.5mm sq +) cheap on ebay
• OPTIONAL: HiFiBerry DAC+ for improved audio quality (recommended, makes a noticeable difference)

I can confirm that Volumio works perfectly with several apps. I recommend BubbleUPNP or AllStream for Android (I can't speak for Apple users, I'm sure there's similar alternatives).
AllStream allows you to stream media to multiple players, great for separate players around the home. Some people have said they have issues with syncing the players together, but I have tested with multiple devices, they're perfectly in-sync for me.

Volumio can play music directly off USB, but if you plan on having multiple players, using a NAS drive or local file server is the best way to go. I use this anyway for my home network infrastructure, so this was ideal for me.

My entire music collection is available on every player around the home (~2TB worth of MP3, plus a small collection of FLAC).

Depending on your choice of speakers, and how much you are willing to spend on the amplifier(s), this set-up is easily as-good if not better than any out-of-the-box solutions such as those from Sonos, and given the price difference; it's a no-brainer.

Here's a (not very good) video of when I was installing my bathroom music player. :smashin:



Dan.
 

jamie125

Novice Member
Thanks for the info Dan! I was also looking into using Volumio, out of interest how many Pi's are you running? All from one location or in each room? Was looking into using The IQaudIO Pi-DigiAMP+ any experience with this?
 

Wil S

Active Member
I do the same as Dan but substitute a Chromecast Audio for the RPi running Volumio. They are wireless not wired so if your wireless network is poor it may be less ideal, but I currently have 5 zones which play perfectly in sync when required. It's usually the 3 downstairs zones playing together though.
I use LocalCast on Android as I didn't get on so well with the free versions of Bubble or Anycast. May look at Bubble again if I get bored of the album cover inaccuracies in LocalCast.

Mind you, my whole setup looks like a massive bodge compared to the level of detail Dan has gone to!
 

Plasma Dan

Well-known Member
out of interest how many Pi's are you running? All from one location or in each room?

I have RPi music players in the bathroom, kitchen, and my downstairs shower room. :) They're all stashed in various roof spaces etc, linked into the living room rack via the CAT6.

I also have other RPis with kodi for video streaming. They're currently under each TV, but once I finally get my HDMI matrix I can just keep one in the rack-cabinet and distribute the video to every TV. :smashin:

Was looking into using The IQaudIO Pi-DigiAMP+ any experience with this?

Not used it myself, but it looks like a good solution. :smashin: It has all the basic things to look for:
  • 24-bit
  • hardware volume control
  • compatible with Volumio / RuneAudio
  • compatible with new RPi 3
The only thing is the price. I used a HiFiBerry DAC+, they're less than £30 and work with Volumio. You just need a cheap amp then. :smashin: This was better for me also because I have a 3-way audio splitter cable coming from the kitchen RPi. That's so I can switch between two different amps for the kitchen / downstairs shower speakers (or use both together), and I also added a headphone jack on the kitchen data plate. :smashin:

Having the amp separate from the RPi also allows the amp / speakers to be connected to other devices. I have a desktop PC stashed in the kitchen ceiling so I can have a screen in the kitchen, this PC is also linked to the kitchen amp / speakers via an input splitter. Input splitters work similarly to an output splitter but with a voltage divider across each input; to prevent one device from destroying another. I also added an additional audio input so you could link a stereo or something to the kitchen speakers via the kitchen data plate. :smashin:

I also added an auto HDMI switch (modded from a standard HDMI switch with a basic logic circuit to detect the 5V signal of an HDMI input) before the PC monitor, so if I connect a device to the HDMI on the data plate in the kitchen it will switch to that automatically. This is great for when I do any PC / games console repairs. :smashin:

I made a little demo video while I was finishing off the wiring...



Dan.
 

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