Help with house / node zero plans

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Fester, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Fester

    Fester
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    Hi all
    I've spent quite a lot of time reading the forums and while I should have probably posted first, i've already started work on things in our house and wanted to check I'm not getting anything seriously wrong....

    So we've moved into a new (to us) house, and have been doing quite a lot of work to it, including running 4 x cat5 and a shotgun cable from the basement to:
    1. the kitchen (main TV / living area) - Panasonic Plasma on wall and sonos soundbar wired in underneath.
    2. sitting room (infrequent TV)
    3. study (initially for internet only)
    4. Master bedroom (TV)
    5. Loft (long term for TV and in the more immediate term perhaps a wireless access point)

    kitchen and sitting room are ground floor, study is mezzanine first floor, master bed is first floor, and loft is above master bed on the 2nd floor. It's a pretty standard south london terraced house.

    when we moved in there was already sky run from the roof, down the back of the house and into the kitchen from the back to a sky box. We replaced the floor in the kitchen and extended the sky cable into the basement (at the front of the house). I plan to either use this cable, or the shotgun cable into the roof, to feed sky signal into the basement, where i will have a central cabinet of sorts containing the following:
    • tsky internet box
    • bt master socket
    • sonos wireless connector
    • honeywell evohome connector (if they ever release it!)
    • patch panel (wow will i need some help with this)
    • switch (see above)
    • netgear readyNAS
    then a HDbaseT type distributor that can be controlled from any of the rooms where the tvs are, being fed by the following:
    • Sky HD box
    • apple tv
    • ps3
    • potentially a freeview box, or another sky box (basically tbc)

    I've got a few questions which i would appreciate your thoughts / ridicule on (I've read just enough to know i don't know very much):
    1. I am wondering if/how i can run digital reception to each tv, so that we can use the freeview built into each TV. Do i need a splitter of some kind to run freeview signal from the aerial (on the roof) into the basement to be split and sent to 4 rooms? If so, what sort? Any and all help much appreciated!
    2. what HDbaseT distributor should i be using? we only need it in 3 rooms (kitchen, sitting and master bed, although the top floor would work too!)
    3. how do i run the wires out of the wall neatly, what panels / covers do you use to not make the protruding spare cables look too unsightly (wifely concern)
    4. I have a logitech ultimate remote and was planning on getting a touch or similar logitech remote for the sitting room and bedroom. will this work with the HDbaseT matrix?
    5. Can i run HDbaseT over cat5? (probably should be question 1)
    6. does anyone have any recommendations for simple wireless access points?
    7. Is there any value to using the PoE-type system if i have 4 cat5 cables to each room and multiple power points at each wire exit point?
    8. How likely are BT to know where the master socket is meant to be? it's currently located next to a chimney stack that's been removed from the middle of the house, which isn't a logical point, and i'm planning on running it back to the cabinet in the basement.
    9. any recommendations on cabinets or storage for all of this kit in the basement? I have literally no idea what's required here, but essentially have a blank canvas down here (it's a small basement though!).
    What have i missed, what am I being stupid about? I really would appreciate any thoughts that you might have, about any of the points i've made, or anything else that it looks like i've not thought of...

    Thank you, a touch prematurely perhaps, for your help!
     
  2. x1nick

    x1nick
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    1. Personally I distribute the aerial signal into a distribution amp then down to each individual TV. Think it's a Triax branded product. Not too sure on the best type here to be honest.

    2. The HDanywhere 4x4 HDBT matrix usually comes recommended, while personally I use their basic 4x4 matrix and use a bunch of Cablesson extenders. Seems to work pretty well. 4x4 HDMI over HDBaseT Matrix - HDanywhere Multiroom+ also would carry ethernet to the TV points

    3. B&Q/Screwfix do decorative trunking, is running cables in the wall not an option?

    4. I would assume so, each remote would need to be programmed slightly differently to only change their source and not another rooms source. Just a case of a different IR code.

    5. Cat5e yes, Cat5 I wouldn't be too sure, can you even buy plain cat5 anymore?

    6. I am a big fan of Ubiquity UniFi, have used both the basic and Pro versions and been happy with both!

    7. The matrix I have suggested comes with PoE for the HDMI output modules, but your only other option which I can see is to use a basic matrix with extenders like I have done, which would probably cost you more and result in cable hell!

    9. Is rackmount an option? I picked up a 42U off eBay for £150 delivered, but you could probably get away with something half the size.
    Guess you can do what ever you want here.

    Main question though is do you have a budget?

    Also with the HDBaseT I believe its recommended not to terminate those in a patch panel but to do the link direct without any breaks in the cable.
     
  3. Fester

    Fester
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    hi Nick

    Thank you for the answers and questions!

    Budget - it's slightly how much do i need to spend. When i planned, i thought a matrix (perhaps wrong terminology) would cost c£2k, and i know that cabling / termination / wall sockets will probably run me another few hundred pounds, so call it a budget of £2-3k, although if you tell me i can do it for £500 then i'd rather do that!

    on 1 - thank you, i will do a bit more reading, but what i don't understand is whether i need to boost the signal in the loft to run to the basement or whether i can just run to the basement (c20m) and then split / amplify it to 4 locations.
    Thank you on 2, that seems the right option, and i'll look up cablesson extenders.
    3. i don't think i was clear. The wires are all run (mostly run) and chased into the wall, exiting in plastic recessed boxes. What i'm wondering is how best to get the cables out of the wall without them looking horrible! I guess i can run some cables (for internet) into plug sockets, and then have a brush panel of sorts, but wonder if you have any recommendations...
    5. Cat5e is the ticket, and what i've got!
    6. i will look up ubiquity unifi, thank you for this.
    9. rackmount definitely an option and will look into this!

    Thank you, just the sort of help i was hoping for. If anyone else has any words of wisdom, please let me know.
     
  4. Member 581642

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    Hi

    I will try and answer them in the same order.

    1. An Aerial distribution amplifier will boost the signal from the basement fine ,we use Antiference ones, cable from roof aerial to basement and then outputs to each TV location
    2. HdBaseT 4x4 matrix gives you all you need, including POC (power Over Cable) and IR pass back.
    I will of course recommend our own HDMI Over HDBaseT (Single Cat5/6 Cable) Matrix Systems This allows four sources to four rooms
    3. For the HDMI HDBaseT Cat5e runs as previously mentioned these are best not run to a wall out let but straight into the HDBaseT receiver direct from the back of the matrix. So have teh cables behind the TV and coming out of a brush plate. If you have another spare Cat5e cable behind the TV then this can be used for Smart TV functions
    4. Our, and others, transmit any IR signal from the TV location back to the sources so yes. Harmony is a good choice but keep the original remotes especially SKy's as that is particularly well designed for its functions and familiar for less techy users.
    5. Cat6 would have been better as supports longer distances but Cat5e should be fine.
    6. We use Netgear but only out of habit, much of a muchness these day.
    7. Ours is POC (Power over Cable) , same meaning as POE, and although no specific need to have it you get it anyway, and one less power adapter behind the TV
    8. Not sure I understand the question ?
    9. We use Excel Rackmount Cabinets, stems from my old networking days, you need one that is large enough for all your equipment and well ventilated

    Other points

    You will need a Gigabit switch for your networking/Internet access we use Netgear 8, 16 or 24 port.
    The patchpanel should be used for cables that are for networking/telephone points and not for the matrix


    Budget

    HdBaset Matrix with 4 POC receivers for £1299+VAT
    16 Port Gigabit Switch £99+VAT
    Excel Communications cabinet from £325+VAT
    You may also need a couple of shelves as well £49+Vat each
    Also consider fans and power units (a list of possible accessories)
    Excel 24 port Patch Panel £42+VAT

    So just about £2000+VAT

    5% discount for AVForum members (use code AVF5)

    If you need any more advise just give me shout

    Seb
     
  5. Member 581642

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    Sorry missed a bit

    For home automation heating/lighting/Power we recommend one of two options

    1. LightWaveRF, low cost requires no new or specialised wiring
    2. Loxone, higher cost and requires more planning but more comprehensive

    Both allow a mixture of control and monitoring options, including remote and local SmartPhone Apps
     
  6. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    BT - likely yes any 'local' engineer will know where your Master socket was originally installed.

    In-zone wall plates - stick them behind the TV and use a 'brush' plate to bring the cable out of the wall, spare cables can stay in the wall until you need them.

    HDBaseT/lite - will run over CAT5, though 6 is preferable.

    Control - if you stick with programable IR remotes in each Zone and use a Matrix with Routed IR you have a relatively low cost multi-source, multi-zone control system.

    You may struggle to get 5.1 to your PLAYBAR with your current plan.

    Joe
     
  7. Fester

    Fester
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    Hi Joe
    Thanks for your response - why do you say i might struggle with 5.1 to the playbar?
    Thanks

    Alex
     
  8. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    If you plug your Source devices into an HDMI Matrix in Node0 you need to set each Source to a Video + Audio signal (via HDMI) which all end points support - this becomes tricky if you have one or two end points which support anything up to and including DD/DTS 5.1 (or the newer 7.1 HD formats) plus a couple of endpoints which only support 2.0 audio!

    Things can become even more complex where your Soundbar (in this case the PLAYBAR) lacks HDMI Inputs and relies instead on the TV to pass it audio via an Optical cable - as even where your TV accepts 5.1 via HDMI it may decode and downconvert to 2.0 for output via Optical.

    Joe
     
  9. Fester

    Fester
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    i did not know that! Thank you Joe
     
  10. Member 581642

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    I would avoid Sonos Playbar (unless you already have it) for the main TV, get a AVR in the Node and run speakers back to there, and connect from the sources via Optical or Coax. Then you can have 7.1 in the main room and stereo in the others
     
  11. Fester

    Fester
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    Sorry to labour this, but what are my options if I've got a playbar?
    True cinema sound less important than a neat installation (wife..!)
     
  12. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Assuming you already have the PLAYBAR try sending it 2.0 (via Optical) from an existing Source and try the various listening modes SONOS provide and then you decide if it meets expectations or not.

    Sometimes we (anoraks) get a bit lost in the technicalities – not providing a 5.1 Input to the PLAYBAR will be an issue for some but not for others.

    Joe

    PS It is always fun when a bunch of Install Techs get together and end up relating stories of how badly setup some folks systems are – I am not alone in coming across clients witch some very high quality surround sound kit who have been blissfully listening in stereo for many years!
     
  13. Member 581642

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    What model of TV do you have ?

    If you aren't bothered about having 5.1 then you don't actually have a problem just set all sources to stereo
     
  14. Fester

    Fester
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    Excellent! I can only imagine what messes you must come across.
    I take it 2.0 precludes the sonos subwoofer being part of the package in a room?
     
  15. Fester

    Fester
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    Sorry, panasonic vt 65 55" tv
     
  16. Member 581642

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    As a soundbar doesn't really give you a full cinema effect then you may be ok with stereo and one of the settings
     
  17. Member 581642

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  18. Member 581642

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    The spec on the TV does actually state that the optical outputs PCM / Dolby Digital / DTS.

    So you can if necessary set audio from the sources to Dolby Digital when you are only listening in the main room but bear in mind you have to change it back to stereo when other zones want to listen to the same source
     

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