Rewire - what would you add?

SandsofEss

Novice Member
Good afternoon AVforumers,

The wife and I are rewiring our new house (well we're not, a qualified sparky is).

As this is such an excruciatingly expensive and messy procedure, we want to make sure we've thought of every possible job to get done at the same time, to future proof our home. At the moment our AV needs are fairly simple, but who knows what we'll want and need in the future.

We've done a fair bit of research, but I thought I'd punt our queries out on here to see if there's anything we're missing.

As part of the job, we're asking our electrician to:

  • Split the twin satellite cable where it enters the house, to run as double cables to faceplates in a bedroom and the lounge
  • Do the same for the standard TV aerial cable
  • Run a telephone and ethernet socket from the master socket location in the kitchen to the place we'll install the router in the lounge
  • Add a 3 gang modular faceplate with conduits running from the router location in the lounge up to the bedroom above. At the moment this will contain two ethernet cables (one to the bedroom, one to the loft above it), a telephone line, and then spare capacity for any future cables e.g. HDMI.

My questions are these:

Is there any further work you'd recommend having done, or will the conduits with modular faceplates cover our likely needs? Off the top of my head the only cables I can think we may want to add one day are HDMI, USB etc. Anything big I'm missing?

Provided I buy the appropriate screened faceplates and splitters, and use top quality cable, should I be ok splitting the twin satellite cables and the standard aerial cable where it enters the house? I've read in some places that faceplates aren't recommended as they're effectively a break in the cable, increasing loss, and we'd be better off having the wires emerge from the wall and run directly to the TV/box; is this true?

When I think of TV inputs, I'm thinking of the satellite cables for our freesat box, and a standard TV aerial cable for YouView if we sign up. But should I also consider FM/DAB/SCART etc?

And do you have any recommendations as to cable types? I'm told we should have cat6 cables installed for the ethernet and double-screened copper/copper foil cables for the satellite. Would you agree, and do you have any other recommendations?

Finally, if anybody has particularly strong opinions on wired vs wireless thermostats, chuck them my way.

Thanks for reading, we'd be glad to hear any recommendations.

Cheers,

Steve
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Maybe run some CAT5/6 ethernet cable from where your router is to where you commonly access the internet - for example to where you would want to stream to TVs.

WiFi is okay but wired is better.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

SandsofEss

Novice Member
Thanks Nigel,

I agree about wifi. We're having ethernet cables wired in (with faceplates) to run from the wall adjacent to the router up to the main bedroom and the loft. This feels more clean than running the wires through without faceplates, and I'm presuming the loss issues will be minimal.

Steve, when you say speaker cables, what specifically do you mean. Do you mean within the room, so we can set up surround sound at some point, or something else? Is there only one type of speaker cable or are there multiple? If so, what type would you recommend?

As for a PJ (projector?) - in what context do people use these? I've not had any exposure to a projector since watching grainy family slides two decades ago, so I may need some educating!

Cheers,
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
I might not have understood what you want to do by splitting the two satellite cables. So ignore if I have got it wrong :)
Split the twin satellite cable where it enters the house, to run as double cables to faceplates in a bedroom and the lounge
So just to be clear, you cannot use a splitter and run two Sky boxes in the lounge and bedroom at the same time.
You need an LNB with outputs to go to lounge and bedroom independently. (i.e. 4 outputs and cables). If you don't do this and try to use two receivers simultaneously, they will conflict if using different channels. You see, each LNB output can be told to go Hi or Lo band or H or V polarization from the receiver.
 

SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
Dear oh dear oh dear sandsofess you don't know what you are missing try checking some of these out Members' Home Cinema Gallery | AVForums
There is nothing like watching a bluray in full HD on a 120" screen with full surround sound crashing around you in your own home with a glass on Sauvignon in hand.
Yes I mean speaker cable for surround sound but there are probably better qualified people than me to make suggestions on quality I just went for middle of the road.
 

SandsofEss

Novice Member
Cliff, thank you; this is exactly why I wanted to ask here :)

That's good to know, thank you. So from what you say we have two options.

One is to upgrade our dish (or presumably just the LNB part of it?) and the cables running from it into the house so we have 4 outputs. It's at head height so this should be fairly easy.

Option two is to keep the layout as I originally described, but accept that we can only use Sky/Freesat at one outlet or the other; not both. Is that correct, or will it not work that way?

Steve, I've a feeling you're about to get me into a lot of trouble with the wife. I know it wouldn't take much for me to become one of those 'surround sound guys'. Realistically we'll have to stick to our 19" TV for the time being (don't faint). But once the pain of the rewire is gone, I'd like to look at a better system. We were presuming we'd just get a bigger TV for the lounge and move the small one up to the bedroom, but it sounds as though we should look into a projector and surround sound as a future possibility! I'm guessing that the speaker cables would just need to run from the TV/master speaker to three or four other points of the room? But where does the HDMI cable run from and to for a projector?

Cheers,
 

DarenD

Well-known Member
Faceplates might look nice BUT remember its still another connection and another wire before it hits its destination. Im not saying you will have problems but the less connections in a run the better.

I took my cables to brush plates, still looks as good IMO but its down to personal taste I guess.

Rather then running things to the lounge can you not run them to a cupboard hidden away in the house. During a re-wire is the ideal time to do stuff you never thought possible.

I have 7 TVs fed from a powered splitter in the loft that takes UHF, FM and DAB signals to every room. A cupboard in the hallway powers a switch that runs Ethernet to the same.
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
That is indeed correct. You can buy an LNB with 4 outputs pretty cheaply and it will fit on your existing dish. Easy job if you can reach it.
Just run four coax cables from the LNB, two to the lounge and two to the bedroom.
 

its_all_Greek

Distinguished Member
Sockets - work out at this stage where you want any electrical equipment and try to leave at least 1 socket free, maybe 2 or more for heavy usage areas like where TV's etc are going. Kitchen's are the same.

Lighting - decide now if you want anything other than center lights switched from the wall i.e. mood lighting.

Cat 5/6 cabling not only computers data can be run in these HDMI signals etc can also be passed through them so run extra cables in now even to places like kitchens etc, (it won't be long before kettles have a processor in them ;))

You may as well ask how long is a piece of string and when your done and all decorated the wife will buy something for a part of the room that doesn't have a spare socket....
 

SandsofEss

Novice Member
Daren, I hadn't actually thought of brush plates. I was proud of myself for my modular faceplates solution but that might be an even better option. The aesthetics don't bother me too much as almost all of the points in question will be hidden by TVs etc.

... which leads on to your next point. I hadn't thought of one centralised location to tuck away all of the boxes etc, mostly because I didn't anticipate needing outputs in more than three of the rooms in the house, but it's something I should explore further. Just so I understand, your powered splitter takes the feed from your outside aerial, splits it into 7 outputs, and then shares those outputs around the house? And the one for your ethernet presumably contains your router and the master socket, and then runs outputs all around the house from there too?

If so, for the TV one, what do you have at the outputs. Are they TVs with freeview integrated? I guess we'd still need freeview boxes/YouView etc at each output, given the need for them to be remote controlled. It's a shame there's no way to tuck all that stuff away in the cupboard too!

Also, pardon my ignorance, but what is the difference between UHF, FM and DAB? What are the circumstances under which you need all of them?

Cliff - thank you for that. We'll do some more research into fitting one ourselves.

It's-all-Greek - thank you. We've been very generous with our socket placements (and based them on a plan of where all our stuff will go). I hadn't realised cat6 cables would carry HDMI signals too. Would you recommend running more than one cat6 (whether ethernet or otherwise) to certain high-use areas (such as loft with TV and computer), or can we use a single cat6 cable for multiple appliances?

Thanks,
 

SteveCritten

Distinguished Member

Mr_Wistles

Distinguished Member
 

jenam93

Well-known Member
Are your sat dish and TV aerial anywhere near each other?

If they are you could run all cables to a 'loftbox' which combine the satellite and terrestrial signals together, then you send the output to your rooms around the house and have wall plates to separate the signals out again so you can hook up accordingly.

This saves on the amount of cabling required plus you can easily add DAB/FM aerials later on and just run the feed to the loftbox and it will then use the existing cabling to supply the signal.

If you add Cat 5/6, make sure you do at least 2 cables to each room, just in case 1 stops working!
 

nacmacfeegle

Well-known Member
----
If you add Cat 5/6, make sure you do at least 2 cables to each room, just in case 1 stops working!
Personally, I'd do 3 back to a central point (node 0). One for data, 2 for HDMI distibution. I use an old Svideo system to push sky around my house (don't need multi room, just a repeat of a single sky box) , it uses 1 cat cable, but I ran 3 in to have one as spare, or if I ever upgrade to HDMI all round plus ethernet.
But OP has not said what he wants / envisages in the future.
What I did was make a list of each room, then tried to work out what I needed in each one, now and into the future, then cable appropriately. You also need to work out the most cost effective way of achieving things EG is it cheaper to buy a Bluray player for each TV, or is it cheaper to have a single player into a distibution system. Are you likely to want HTPC / music / video , in each room, etc, etc....
You can run just about anything entertainment-wise over ethernet, the cables plug into things called baluns, I have component, audio, HDMI and SVId in various setups around my house.
Don't forget though, you still have to control your devices, so don't overlook IR or WiFi control of the entertainment source.
There is no right answer here, just the one that best suits your current set up, budget, and future needs.
 

Monty Nine

Well-known Member
Don't get a wireless thermostat. Mine looses connection to the boiler a few times a year and needs to be reset. If this happens when I go away in the winter there will be no frost protection.
 

DarenD

Well-known Member
Don't forget CCTV. Cinema room switches over to the camera soon as it spots a skip rat within 20 paces of my front door. Just need to wire the doorbell up to the mains now and I can zap those cold callers from the comfort of the snug.
 

SandsofEss

Novice Member
Thanks All,

I've done a lot of thinking about our needs now and in the next eight years or so, based on all your comments above. Anything beyond that is relatively pointless as we're planning to make some bigger changes to the property in time (redoing the loft conversion, at which point I can add my patch panel :)).

So for the time being, I'm thinking of running the following (bearing in mind my router has four 1Gig ethernet outputs):

2 x cat6 cable from router to main TV point in lounge
1 x cat6 cable from router to secondary TV point in master bedroom
1 x cat6 cable to main computer point in loft

Each of these wires will be run in conduits with plenty of spare capacity, and I'm also planning to run empty conduits with blank faceplates to the other rooms, so they can be hooked up at some point if required. I'm presuming that feeding additional wires (ethernet, HDMI, fibre) through a conduit is relatively painless (if you pull up your floorboards)?

Does this sound sensible to you? I know some of you have recommended multiple ethernet cables per room, but is there any point if my router only has four outputs and I'm wiring via conduits?

Thanks, again, for all your advice so far.

Steve
 

ldoodle

Distinguished Member
One important thing to consider is what you'll actually use. At the end of the day, anything 'interrupting' bare walls is fugly as hell, so don't go overkill.

I've got less sockets in my whole house than some people have in one room! Not once have I wished for more.
 

nacmacfeegle

Well-known Member
"my router only has four outputs"
Shouldn't limit you, You can, and should put a switch on your network with as many ports as you like, within reason. I only use one network port on my router, its connected to a Gbit switch which then connects all my other devices (and other switches) together.
 

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