Re-wiring house with CAT5? Is it worth it?

sayhello

Standard Member
Hello,

I'm new to this site and VERY new to anything regarding AV systems etc.

I've just purchased my first property and have been chatting to some guys on the Cliosport.net forums about re-wiring with CAT5 cabling. Some guys on there (who are in the situation as me) are having CAT5 network connections and wiring fitted in their lounges, running to bedrooms 1 and 2. They say this will allow for high-speed internet connections, for Sky HD in the bedrooms and to play their PS3's and 360's upstairs, while having all of their AV equipment in a central location downstatirs.

Is this correct and is this worth having fitted before I plaster / re-decorate etc?

Thanks alot in advance for any help you guys can give me. As you can tell I'm very green to all of this.

regards,
Matt
 

stevelup

Distinguished Member
Yep - it's entirely possible.

You need to install plenty of ports though as HDMI extenders need two - so I'd suggest at least four ports to each bedroom.

Make sure you use decent kit (Excel is very good), and be careful to terminate it all properly.

Steve
 

davee

Active Member
I definately would, especially if it isnt going to cause you any extra disruption,
online gaming can suck a wireless connection dry causing all manner of domestic aggravation.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello sayhello

'Homerun' four CAT5e or better still CAT6 cables from your central cupboard/AV Rack to each room where you want video and audio.

If possible avoid patch panels and terminated wall plates as these can cause problems when your using Twisted pair cables (CAT5e/6) as a video/audio network.

Brush style Faceplates that allow you to simply pull or push terminated cables through a hole in the centre of the plate are the best option - simply dangle unused cables within the wall void behind the plate until you need to fish them through to use them.

Joe
 

davee

Active Member
Hello sayhello

If possible avoid patch panels and terminated wall plates as these can cause problems when your using Twisted pair cables (CAT5e/6) as a video/audio network

Joe
Sorry Joe, cant agree with you there, once a cable is terminated at a plate or patch panel and tested thats normally it. Not much to go wrong after that. If you have wires dangling they get in the way and if they get damaged than youre stuck. Also if your patch lead to your computer is tripped or yanked away then it will come away from the connection rather than damage the cable or worse pull your laptop onto the floor. I know I've done it :mad:
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
OK - I'll be more specific.

Any of the CAT5/6 cables you intend to use for AV (especially HDMI) are less likely to cause problems if you can avoid any form of Faceplate, Patchbay etc

HDMI over CAT5/6 works best as a point to point connection and any intermediary breaks in the cable can cause problems.

Joe
 

stevelup

Distinguished Member
I think this problem is amplified by people assuming that it's easy to correctly install Cat 5.

Well I can tell you that it isn't!

If you get electricians in using rubbish cable, faceplates and patch panels bought as cheaply as possible from an electrical wholesaler, then failing to keep the twists in the right place and not dressing any of it properly - you'll end up in trouble.

If you use high quality kit and do an absolutely proper job of it, it is perfectly possible to run HDMI over structured cabling. The problem is that it's actually quite hard to achieve this so I can see entirely where Joe is coming from. Stick a plug directly onto each end of the cable and there is far less to go wrong.

However, this is partly defeating the point of installing Cat5 in the first place. Your average house isn't so big that you couldn't just draw through some decent quality HDMI cables and completely forget about using Cat5.

I don't really see the point in half doing it unless your cable runs are prohibitively long.

Steve
 

aa421

Standard Member
I'm in a similar position, except that I am planning a brand new house. I am going to run Cat 6 to most rooms to provide a high speed data network but I am going to run HDMI cables for the Sky HD pictures. From what I have read here, HDMI over Cat5 just seems more grief (and expense) than it is worth.

Depending on what your walls are made of, why not look at running the cables in 25mm conduit?. If you ever need to upgrade them, then you should be able to do it by taking up the floorboards and not chasing all the walls again.

If you intend to send a Sky signal round the house then think about how you are going to control the Sky box remotely. It might be worth running a coax cable to each room so that you can attach a Magic Eye / TV Link back to the Sky box to carry the remote control signal.
 

Ian932

Novice Member
I'm in the process of building and started with 4xCat5e + 2xCT100 to each tv position and 2xCat5e dotted around for voice/data, but now I've added 2xCat6 to the tv points to hopefully future future proof:D and then HDMI cables to any that are less than 15m

Not sure I get the 'use good Cat5e' comment if it comes from my wholesaler with a BS number on it surely it is to a minimum standard approved for a Cat5e data rate? Ok some brands may exceed that but if its anything like T+E its more the quality of the sheathing that is better on the good gear not the copper/tin. My hard hat is firmly on ready for the incoming barrage of network bods to tell me otherwise :rolleyes: coat at the ready to





 

stevelup

Distinguished Member
Hi

It's the faceplates and patch panels I was mainly referring to - some of them are terrible quality.

But remember - you're not using the cable for what it's meant for. Cat 5e is qualified for 1Gbps over a fully error corrected link. HDMI is 1.5oddGbps and has no error correction. It pays to use decent stuff and it's only marginally more expensive.

Steve
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello all

HDMI vs. CAT5/6 - Pro's and Cons of both solutions and as stevelup says terminating CAT5/6 correctly for use as an AV conduit should not be taken lightly; bad termination can make or break the system.

Lots of HDMI over CAT5/6 cable Balun simply don't like any form of Faceplate or Patchbay termination between the Tx and Rx Balun.

25mm conduit is pretty tight once you install an HDMI cable plus a few others bits and bobs.

HDMI over CAT5/6 Balun that support IR 'passback' will become the norm in the near future.

Where possible use CAT5e or better still CAT6 for HDMI - 1080p60 is already pretty popular and more and more HDMI equipped source gear will start to offer conversion to 'Deep Colour' etc in the next year or so putting even more strain on the twisted pair cables.

Sign up for Jeff Boccaccio's insight into using CAT5/6 Balun and cables if you want more background info - Subscription Form

Joe
 
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