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Information requird about CAT5 cable, please !

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by sidicks, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. sidicks

    sidicks
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    I'm looking at buying a new house which has been advertised as having CAT5 cable to 5 rooms.

    1) Is this speaker cable only, or can this cable be used to broadcast video as well as AUdio.
    2) Are the different qualities of CAT5 cable or is it pretty similar?
    3) How does CAT5 cable compare (quality/price wise) to specific speaker or video cable?

    Thanks

    Sidicks
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Cat5 cable is network cable, its traditionally only used to carry network/telephone stuff. Its use as a speaker cable has been talked about a lot on here but this tends to be 2,3,4+ runs of the stuff to each speaker, from an amp - if your house comes with cat5 pre-installed I expect this would be a single run from each room to a central point so that you could netwrok a PC in each room which has been cabled.

    there are companies who make gadgets that fit between an amp and a network point that allow you to send video/audio over cat5. I've never used on and have no idea of the quality I'm afraid.

    If this house has yet to be built or finished you should be able to customise the wiring a bit, if you want wiring for speakers then the builders should be able to accommodate that quite easily, they could use whatever cable you wanted (cat5, twin and earth or traditional speaker cable).

    hth
    owain
     
  3. Reiner

    Reiner
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    As owain_thomas said it's actually network (LAN) cable but it can be used for audio, maybe even video.

    There are two types of CAT5: UTP (unshielded twisted pair) and STP (shielded twisted pair). As the name implies the latter is shielded, the former is not.

    Assuming the same material and cross-section I believe the result would be the same for audio (speaker-level).
    Depending on the type of video signal there might be differences since some video cables have individual shields for each signal wire (or different cables are used like in case of e.g. YUV), so running such a signal via a CAT5 maybe not be a good idea.
     
  4. vex

    vex
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    CAT5e can be used for a variety of signal distribution types. As has been said, it is traditionally a data cable for computer networks but with a clever little bit of electronics you can get composite audio and even video signals down the cable. However with this there are a number of things to watch out for.

    One, terminology, some solutions advertise 'TV' over cat5e, this is not possible and for every different channel you want to watch at a different location you need a tuner. Some manufacturers offer a built in tuner, however we preffer to recommend a freeview box as they are cheaper and easier to replace if they go belly up.

    Two, IR (Remote Control) distribution, this is available with most CAT5e Audio and Video systems but not all are alike. If the system receives an IR instruction it should route it to the specific device you are using but some blast it out to all devices. This causes a problem in that you can not have 2 or 3 of the same source made by the same manufacturer as they will all change channel or skip a track!

    Three, some devices offer Audio and Video distribution but they were designed as a audio hub first and video second. This means that the video is an add on and in one case not even passed over the cat5e. Another solution passes the video over cat5e but not with the video, so if you want audio and video out of your telly it just is not there!

    (and breath!)

    Have a look at AV Nex www.avnex.co.uk for a solution with none of these issues.

    Hope you are still reading!

    Hope it helps.

    Chris
     
  5. sidicks

    sidicks
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    Ok, things have moved on somewhat since the original post 4 years ago....................!!

    However, I do have a cable related question that still needs to be answered:

    Currently we have Sky HD and SKy+ distributed around the house via RF cable.

    In most cases the picture is adequate, however as would be expected the quality of the signal being sent to the HD projector, Plasma TV and the LCD in the bedroom is not great.

    I am therefore wondering whether there is a cost effective solution that might use CAT5e cable internally with maybe external HD cable to the room with the Projector in?
    :smashin:
    Sidicks
     
  6. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    How many Cat5e cables do you have in each room or at each point? If its only 1 then your best bet is Smart-e (UK) If its 2 then you have more choic ebut i still use smart-e as its so flexible! YOu can have a 1:5 HD video and audio over Cat5 distribution system or a matrix system allowing for Sky, DVD, BD, PC etc all over one Cat5 to multiple locations
     

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