House wire Cat6a + speakers + main server - help plz

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by russg123, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. russg123

    russg123
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    Hi,

    I'm helping a friend set up a network in his new house he's in the process of re-wiring. I've said he definitely needs to install some network cables whilst he has the chance. So any advice from you guys would be great.

    To start with i've been advised to go for Cat6a as it will be great for high quality video if my friend ever wants to connect it up to his tv's. So i think a star network all going back to a central point where we can connect a switch. Can anyone recommend a cheap but reliable one that has 8 ports and would be fairly high speed?

    Then i'm think a wireless router on the ground floor and one on the top floor.

    A server that can be connected to the switch and my friend can store all his music and movies on.

    And also some ethernet speakers that can play music from the server and each speaker can be selected depending on which room you are in from your phone / ipad.

    Any advice on these would be greatly appreciated. I'm a controls engineer so have technical knowledge, but could definitely do we some good advice on this.

    Many thanks

    Russ
     
  2. Member 581642

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    Hi

    They dont need Cat6a, Cat6 is fine for domestic install.

    Yes a star network with each Cat6 cable going back to a central point, a Gigabit Network switch would be around £23 for a 8 port version

    Network Switches

    For wireless use a couple of Mesh type wireless setup so you dont lose signal as you move around the house from one access point to another

    Ubiquiti UniFi UAP 300 Mbps AP Hotspot

    The best solution for multizone audio is Sonos

    Media server's can be used to store and rip CD/DVDS and BluRays making them available to devices connected to the same network

    Media Servers

    Seb
     
  3. russg123

    russg123
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    Thank you so much for all the information.

    So would cat6a cable not be useful in the future maybe with video quality and transfer speeds always improving? For a little extra would it not be worth putting in while we have the chance?

    Thanks for all the links. I looked at the Sonos speakers. They sound good, but maybe a little pricey for putting one in every room. Do you know any a little cheaper that will be good quality?

    Thanks

    Russ
     
  4. Member 581642

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    Russ

    You could go Cat6a but then may as well go Cat7 etc etc.

    CAt6a is about increasing the distance that 10GBASE can run over from 50m to 100m, doubt you are going to have anything running over 50M and also certainly not anything running at 10 x Gigabit.

    My advice is Sonos as easy to use and a polished and well supported product. There are cheaper options but just not as good. You can always build up Sonos bit by bit, and you have just saved some money on Cat6A cable:)
     
  5. russg123

    russg123
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    OK, thanks for the advice. I see what you mean about cat6a.

    I'll look into Sonas more and see what my friend thinks.

    Thanks again :)
     
  6. Member 581642

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  7. shortyav

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    It is thought that future HDMi distribution will move outside of cat6 capability. Cat6a is being cited as the cable to be used, however it needs to be correctly connected to accommodate this. As Seb says use a good copper cat6, if your really worried use a run of cat6a to each screen for future termination if required.
     
  8. Berkshirebugsy

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    I actually went through the process of installing data wiring in our house (along with alarm and speaker cabling) after we were flooded in 2007. As the plaster was off the walls and the ceilings were down it seemed like a logical thing to do.

    I ended up with a patch panel in the loft so that is where all my data cabling terminates. In the cabinet I have a 12 port 1gig network switch and a NAS drive (there are others in different locations in the house for backup of the backups). We also have a spare freesat box in the loft which feeds AV over Cat5e (but not using IP)

    For the room data sockets I installed at least one quad socket in each room - 2 in some. I chose sockets where the cable outlets were facing down. I don't post here that often so hope the link below is allowed

    Cat5e CCS 4000 Series - Vertical Outlets

    The big advantage of this socket design is that you can have them behind furniture and the cables drop down rather than stick out.

    Wiring these sockets was one of the most boring jobs I have ever done but it is worth it in the end :)
     
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  9. Chester

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    We contract out all of our professional cabling to an expert who pretty much does nothing but. He's been looking at CAT6a installation and says that for most buildings, it's nigh on impossible to install to specification. It's about radii and termination. His comment is that without going into the cost stratosphere, you can't get patch panels which meet the specifications, and building modifications requried to accommodate the cabling are prohibitive.

    My advice for anyone doing 10GbE over long runs is go fibre. Seb is right: CAT6 for domestic install meets any requirements we have for today, and since a lot of devices are going to IP for connection rather than propriety protocols, I can't see a single issue with this. The cabling industry will however flood us with marketing rubbish how you should invest in the CAT6a/7 today; although such investment may make sense in businesses where long term deployment and high-bandwidth applications are used, not necessarily IP.

    Just one gotcha on small unmanaged switches: careful of environments where lots of simultaneous high bandwidth and/or low latency is required, they just don't have the back-plane to support it, and you can't tell if you've got any problems on your network switching wise. I use HP ProCurve 1810s in budget sensitive installs. They even support layer-2 VLANs for installations that need to separate sensitive traffic without needing dedicated hardware.
     
  10. shortyav

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    What your saying is true for a data network, however the next generation of Valens Chipset HD distribution is dependant upon a higher bandwidth cabling. Cat6a is suggested to be the cable of choice. For some reason fibre does not get an uptake, even though Valens have historically produced products for both. Personally I think we will see a CI adoption of cat6a in some circles along with more prevalence of compression over h26* etc. be interesting to see how they will deal with the issues. Streaming services will need to utilise compression as they will need to utilise often cheap cabling.
     
  11. Trollslayer

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    It is important to make sure the connector modules match the cable type - Cat6 has a different wire diameter to Cat6a for example.
     
  12. Chester

    Chester
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    shortyav: Don't you think that's bizarre? Why should a different chipset change what cable standard to go for, within an application which is the same which is HD distribution? This massively ramps up the costs of doing such distribution.

    In any case, and has been a topic of conversation on the podcast, things are moving away from these types of CI deployments to IP based solutions that don't require complex/custom/expensive cabling. Let me throw this into the mix: if this is what Valens want for HD distribution now, how are they going to tackle 4K UHD? I'd suggest they'd have nowhere to go.

    To further substantiate how crazy I think this is, HD distribution can be successfully deployed over common-law-garden CAT5e. I've done it. If I was the installer, I'd want a damn good explanation why I need to push for extra money for a CAT6a infrastructure to pass on to my customer. Not to mention the extra technical issues installing the stuff brings as discussed previously; I'd forgotten about the extra diameter Trollslayer, which means that bigger installations need bigger/more cable trays and/or conduits and physically restrict radii.

    Wow, this can get complicated for someone outside of this domain. I think my head would be fried if I was.
     
  13. shortyav

    shortyav
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    The current chipsets are designed to work on cat5/6 with different ultimate distances. The newer 4k onwards chipsets are the bandwidth issue. Sure 1-2 runs of cat6a to each display may be a little problematic, however certainly not prohibitive in a new build/ full renovation which make up many of the jobs CI are involved with. Fibre hasn't taken off how I'd thought and I'm not sure why, maybe the cost of the extenders or the perceived difficulty and investment required. IP deployment of HD is really becoming more popular and for digital signage and certain residential is certainly the viable choice. It s is felt that there will be a place for using HDbase technology as it has some benefits when used in systems reliant on realtime audio video deployment. Saying that it could all be academic as some people think direct to device streaming will be the way forwards. That does seem a long way off and certainly not in the near future.
    In fairness cat6a only needs proper termination each end for HD distribution and the bend radii don't exceed what I aim for with pre-wires anyway.
     
  14. shortyav

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    Indeed Trollslayer cat6a must be terminated with shielded cat6a plugs to have any chance of performing as desired.
     
  15. Swans1912

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    Seb - would something like that play well with Plex as a server?
     
  16. Member 581642

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    It has an option to be setup as a Plex media Server as well
     
  17. Swans1912

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    Probably should have asked what I really mean... would it do a good job as a plex server?
     
  18. Member 581642

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    Yes very good job.
     
  19. Rossmartin

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    To add to this I got ruggedised cat6a leads built to order. I know a Cabling company!!

    I ran two of these to where my equipment is. As these were already terminated I just added gigabit switches. As and when I need to I will replace the switches with ones that have gigabit connections and a couple of 10gb connections. This way I have a 10gb backbone! As 10gb becomes the norm and the switches get cheaper I will move to 10gb.

    These cables were a lot easier to run than fibre....I have done both!!!
     
  20. Michael

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    The only thing I'd add is make sure you double run!

    It might sound like a waste of 50 quid now, but when a cable craps out 3 years down the line...
     
  21. Member 581642

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    Triple or quadruple run as who know what you will need in the future
     
  22. kerbys

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    Ive just done my whole house using This You could go for something like this which is 4 Cat6 in one cable.

    The cable i used was 2 coax (aerial/sat) 2x Cat6 and 1xCat5. I ran one to every room and terminated them into a cabinet. They were bit of a pain to run as quite thick cables however i would rather run one cable combined then 5 individual!
    I then terminated 4 points in a room depending what i needed (most i did the 3 network and 1 coax).

    With the home servers i have to say aclass they need bit of an update. The AMD 350 is a slow chip. Would be absolutely fine for media storage, it will however not do plex transcoding well! It will direct play which is fine in the most part but down the line when you start adding rokus' or ios/android devices you will have problems. (Sorry don't mean to cause offence!)

    So in conclusion, whatever your friend thinks he needs add extra... cover all your bases!
     
  23. Member 581642

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    No offence taken, we are in the process of updating our media servers so a nice reminder to me to get round to doing it!!
     
  24. kerbys

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    Cool cool! Out of interest what specs are you going for?
     
  25. Member 581642

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    Just debating that as we speak
     
  26. Member 581642

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    Possibly i7, though probably overkill.
    We will probably go for just one Rackmount server type with different storage sizes
     
  27. Member 581642

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    i3, i5 and i7 options
    With 2TB upwards options
     
  28. Member 581642

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    All updated now, thanks "kerbys" for the kick up the bum

    Media Servers
     
  29. kerbys

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    Np! much better! :p

    Might want to give people options for ram upgrades! Os as well!
     
  30. Member 581642

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    Your wish is my command!!
     

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