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What cables to run...

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by U187146, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. U187146

    U187146
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    Just had work done to house and getting electrician to lay Cat5 cables around the house, with the intention of connecting up Window Media Centre PC and having extenders in a number of rooms for music and possibly DVD / TV.

    The basic layout will initially be a WMC in a kitchen directly hooked up to an LCD, with a further LCD TV and Amp in the living room and study, with a requirement for digitally stored music / video and live TV and DVD, all being driven from the WMC machine located in the kitchen. Ultimately I will probably add a server with large amounts of disk space, though this will not be necessary for some time.

    Besides Cat5 ethernet cables and standard Coax cable for regular TV, what other cables would you say that I should include whilst he is doing all this. Thinking ahead, I think the soon to be introduced Windows Extenders will have ethernet input and either DVI or VGA to the TV, though I'm not sure (does anyone know how they work ??).

    Any ideas or suggestions appreciated. I am no expert, though I seem to know more about this stuff than my electrician (which is a little worrying in itself...).

    Many thanks.
     
  2. rdhir

    rdhir
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    some people believe that lots of Cat 5 is the answer. There are lots of devices that allow you to send audio, video, infra red, svideo and component over 1 or more Cat 5. See Keene electronics or google the term cat5 blaster, or try audio authority for some places to start.

    Dunno about DVI or HDMI though, everything I've read suggests their range is limited. I would have thought that someone will come out with boxes to run over Cat5 if possible as its the defacto standard, and cheap as chips. But make sure you put in Cat 5e tested to 350MHz as not all Cat 5e is created equal apparently.Still if its in its in no point in worrying about it, you'll be able to use it for something.

    Cheers

    Raijv
     
  3. Spy

    Spy
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    I am not an expert but I have been looking into this for a while.

    The recommendations I have seen were:
    1) Run 4 cat 5 cables to each point. Even if you don't use them now,as technology develops and new devices become available you may need them. Best to futureproof now. As Rajiv said, you want to use more dedicated systems later where you can control the HTPC, Sky etc remotely. These would need a separate Cat 5 for the Infrared etc.

    2) Run HDMI cables at the same time. As HDTV becomes more prevalent, you will want to hook up an HDTV Sky Box and also upgrade your PC to HDMI. Even if you don't have them now, inn 5 years you might. Running cable later will be a pain.
     
  4. The Dude

    The Dude
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    slightly off topic.. but If you're gonna use cat5 for speaker cable ;), it's probably worth paying a few quid extra and going for the STP/FTP variant..

    The electrical performance of the conductors isn't any better, but the cable has a foil/plastic shield around the conductors...

    If using cat5, make sure to take advantage of the cable's design... use all the white wires bundled together, and all the colured wires bundled together, as the + and - conductors...

    A single run of cat5 effectively gives you 2 x 2.0mm conductors...
     
  5. rdhir

    rdhir
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    but the formula I saw for Cat 5 suggested braiding them so you'd strip off the foil screen!:D

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  6. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Yeah, but only for the last few inches... :rolleyes:
    I just braided the main cables together as in the TNT method.. If the back of your rig looks anything like mine... you'd want screening too..! :D
     
  7. rdhir

    rdhir
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    ahh no I only have 47 cables on the back of my rig and its much tidier than before. All much tidier now with my Mark Gran cables. The only pity is that There aren't short replacements for my PS2 and GC cables. I nearly got TCI to make some custom PS2 Component cables, but I never followed up, and there is nothing to be done about the GC. Although I suppose I could cut off and redress the ends myself if I wanted.

    Got to say the MG component is a monster, I've got hosepipe that's thinner. and then I bundled it with my 5 core RGB/Sync/Signal Scart and the SVHS cable and its HUGE:D

    Here's a photo. http://www.dhirs.net/images/cables_after.jpg

    Next project is the mains cable. Decided against braiding. Hard work for delicate hands. Going to use some tranparent coated CY Cable - 3x2.5 and MK Toughplugs. My only problem is do I really want to spend £8-£12 each on decent IEC.

    apologies for the hijack

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     

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