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75 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 99468 20-Mar-2012 09:58 Send private message

Hi Guys.

Ive been reading alot of the forum post looking for advice on house wiring for a new house, and ive looked at numerous documents.  It seems that running cat5/6 throughout the house for network/phone etc it a no brainer.

However HDMI or tv distribution seems to be a bit more of a talking point and im trying to see what the latest on this topic is.


Our new house will have 3 tvs i want to get HDMI to. ( my sky + ps3 etc ).


There is the main lounge room.  This will have a tv, with the video games and stereo etc..


There is the family room which will have another lcd tv and i will need sky from the lounge


and finally there is the master bed room which i would also like hdmi sky ( we currently have RF in our old house but the pic quality is border line ).


As this is a new build i have the luxury of drilling and running cables where i want, but im not sure the best option, i see people say run two cat5e cables between two tv locations, and connect a balun at each end, but what happens when you introduce a 3rd tv to the set up. ( or a 4th etc )..   Do i start needing a central hub?  and can i run the HDMI via a hub/switch or do baluns mean i need a direct cable run between spots.


I'd also very much like to have IR to the same locations that i have the HDMI run to, so im assuming another cable for that.            
  
I also want to set the house up for network/phone so thats something else i need to consider at the same time.  lastly i want to run cables for speakers and subs, and my amp might not be below the TV so im wondering the best way to hook everything up nicely, and advice on which inwall cables to use for sound if i want a decent quality set up?


Finally im able to drill holes, run cables, follow orders.. but that final step of hooking everything up might be a bit more of a challenge, im wonderingif there are any forum members in chch that could help with this or offer their services.  The builder of our new house as said the sparky isnt up to this, which is fair enough and better i know now so i can plan for it..         


Interested in everyones feedback and keen to know what hardware people suggest, including in wall flush mount cabinet, cable selection, what hardware i need to do the HDMI stuff, wall plates ( the house will be using PDL 600 ).


One forum member has been kind enough to offer his help on all the networking etc with is most appreciated, im just interested in seeing what the general consensus is on HDMI distrib..


Thanks guys 

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247 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 597533 20-Mar-2012 10:20 Send private message

I have always wondered about cabling a new build with Cat5/6; each time I thought about it, I keep having an overwhelming sensation that it is putting a mildly obsolete technology into the home. Sure if you have a specific need for cabling up the house - fine. But I would question how many people who have done it are actually reaping the rewards, when there are invariably other options which require no cat5/6.
We have just gone through the build process and have no cat 5/6; instead having wireless feeding everything that needs a connection.
I have the same sensation when looking at the phone jacks around the house - only one of which is being used, for our DSL (incl Voip phone).



75 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 597538 20-Mar-2012 10:23 Send private message

E3xtc: I have always wondered about cabling a new build with Cat5/6; each time I thought about it, I keep having an overwhelming sensation that it is putting a mildly obsolete technology into the home. Sure if you have a specific need for cabling up the house - fine. But I would question how many people who have done it are actually reaping the rewards, when there are invariably other options which require no cat5/6.
We have just gone through the build process and have no cat 5/6; instead having wireless feeding everything that needs a connection.
I have the same sensation when looking at the phone jacks around the house - only one of which is being used, for our DSL (incl Voip phone).


While i tend to agree that wireless is good and seems to make network redundant, i guess you need wireless access points to get good overall coverage.  Plus the big deal for me is TV and getting that around the house properly..  At this point if i dont get a solution, the builder and default sparky will run a couple of rg6 for sky into the lounge, and and might loop it back via RF to the rest of the house, which for larger lcd/plasma would be horrid :)
 

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  Reply # 597541 20-Mar-2012 10:28 Send private message

E3xtc: I have the same sensation when looking at the phone jacks around the house - only one of which is being used, for our DSL (incl Voip phone).


The idea is to have all jacks as multi use outlets, so not dedicated to phone at all.  Those unused phone jacks can be repurposed to something else at a later date if required.

Wireless is not reliable enough as it currently stands for HD streaming etc.  That said, I agree that it will only get better.

Re Sky, it means all TV's have to view the same channel.  As an alternative, I'd consider a way to display iSKY on the other TV's, so you can watch a different channel on them.  It gets messy/more involved when you want to send IR control signals to the Sky box from the different locations too. 

Given most new TV's, even small ones, have freeview receivers in them, I'd personally be farming an RG6 aerial lead to each one, and it depends on how much Sky you actually watch on each one. If you are in a freeview satellite only area, then perhaps freeview decoders that can take a sky card in each room might be more flexible etc?

Farming HDMI has become the big tricky point in all of this, as well as when you connect via hdmi a lot of additional info is discussed.  ie handshaking of hdcp compliance and also determining what display resolutions that one TV is capable of accepting.  This can get messy if you have different capability TV's etc.  HDMI splitters are available, and maybe baluns are the way to go if you have to go a long way with the signals etc. 



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 597544 20-Mar-2012 10:32 Send private message

Jaxson:

Re Sky, it means all TV's have to view the same channel.  As an alternative, I'd consider a way to display iSKY on the other TV's, so you can watch a different channel on them.  It gets messy/more involved when you want to send IR control signals to the Sky box from the different locations too. 

Given most new TV's, even small ones, have freeview receivers in them, I'd personally be farming an RG6 aerial lead to each one, and it depends on how much Sky you actually watch on each one. If you are in a freeview satellite only area, then perhaps freeview decoders that can take a sky card in each room might be more flexible etc?

Farming HDMI has become the big tricky point in all of this, as well as when you connect via hdmi a lot of additional info is discussed.  ie handshaking of hdcp compliance and also determining what display resolutions that one TV is capable of accepting.  This can get messy if you have different capability TV's etc.  HDMI splitters are available, and maybe baluns are the way to go if you have to go a long way with the signals etc. 



Happy to watch the same channel on sky for now, i assume we can get something from sky to do multi room if we wanted, and given that, i assume we just have to split the 2 feeds from the dish and have them go to both the lounge and the family room?  or does it need to loop around?


HDMI seems a pain, almost feel like i just just two 30M HDMI cables from the lounge ( where sky will intially be ) split the output and run to bedroom and family room, but that seems like a very simplistic solution, and maybe its the best, but thats what im trying to figure out :)
   

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  Reply # 597558 20-Mar-2012 11:05 Send private message

30m is quite a way for HDMI. Be prepared to invest in very good quality cables to achieve that if you chose to apply this route. Rapallo AV are great to talk to in this regard.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 597695 20-Mar-2012 14:14 Send private message

So will 30M give me issues? is 20 any different? i will need to measure lengths, but i assume over 30 m and i start getting restricted to cat5/6 and baluns?

Also for inwall conduit ( for future proofing ). How do people handle the Dwangs? ( cross beams ) i can drill the top plate and each dwang, with say 25MM auger, but if i put conduit in, i assume that doesnt go through the holes in the dwangs and just attaches to them somehow? anyone got exmple of what conduit to use and how to attach it to the dwangs..

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  Reply # 597703 20-Mar-2012 14:22 Send private message

Why not put it through the dwangs?

Drill your hole and insert the conduit, job done.

Hdmi cables are a pain, the whole system is ugly in that the cables don't lock in and you can't self terminate the connectors.  ~ Meaning you're stuck having to deal with big holes to push the whole connector through.  Watch the maximum holes diameter you can notch out etc in the dwangs.

If you're really keen on future proofing then leave some cable in the conduit as a draw wire etc.      



75 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 597708 20-Mar-2012 14:24 Send private message

Jaxson: Why not put it through the dwangs?

Drill your hole and insert the conduit, job done.

Hdmi cables are a pain, the whole system is ugly in that the cables don't lock in and you can't self terminate the connectors.  ~ Meaning you're stuck having to deal with big holes to push the whole connector through.  Watch the maximum holes diameter you can notch out etc in the dwangs.

If you're really keen on future proofing then leave some cable in the conduit as a draw wire etc.      


My concern with running conduit in the wall and through the dwang was the size of the holes needed to support a decent size conduit :)..

and i just checked, conduit costs a fortune.. cheaper to run cables and not connect maybe..
   



75 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 597747 20-Mar-2012 15:17 Send private message

Also when using conduit are people using flexible or rigid, and 25 or 32 mm?

484 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 597785 20-Mar-2012 16:33 Send private message

I don't tend to use conduit unless necessary (heavy insulation etc), just drill the holes straight and run a draw wire.

2120 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 597789 20-Mar-2012 16:51 Send private message

I think you'll find that HDBaseT, or something similar, will become the standard for distributing anything around the house.
Using a single CAT5e/CAT6 cable you can send/receive 10/100 TCP/IP, iR, RS232, HDMI & Power (up to 100W I think).

At the moment you have to buy a matrix switch to convert the inputs to CAT5e/CAT6, which aren't cheap at about $12,000 for an 8x8, and receivers at the other end to convert back to HDMI, data etc.
Hopefully in the near future the prices will come down on the matrix switches and you'll buy products, like TVs, that will have the HDBaseT spec built in. That would mean that you could connect a small LED TV to just one CAT5e/CAT6 cable and that will give it power, HDMI signal, internet etc.




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 597802 20-Mar-2012 17:18 Send private message

Use multiple lengths of conduit, rather than one big one.
And use something cheap....

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 597886 20-Mar-2012 20:05 Send private message

dont use flexy unless you put a draw wire in it. It would be much much cheaper to just drill holes and put draw wires in. Conduit isn't necessary. Just drill through the dwangs and top plate chuck a piece of cat5 (or whatever) in and tie a knot above the top plate. Job done. Even if there is insulation in the wall you will pull down new cable with no worries. And as for being worried about drilling big holes in dwangs, dont be. You aren't going to be drilling out every single dwang in the frame. For pre-wires I don't use a bit any smaller than 25mm - even for one cable. You can comfortably get 4 cat 6 in a 25mm. Maybe use 32mm where the av gear is so you can pull down a hdmi cable.

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  Reply # 598130 21-Mar-2012 11:31 Send private message

mrhaboobi: Also for inwall conduit ( for future proofing ). How do people handle the Dwangs? ( cross beams ) i can drill the top plate and each dwang, with say 25MM auger, but if i put conduit in, i assume that doesnt go through the holes in the dwangs and just attaches to them somehow? anyone got exmple of what conduit to use and how to attach it to the dwangs..


I seem to recall irrigation pipe is only $2/m for 32mm or 40mm. Call RD1 and ask. Obviously it doesn't need to meet any electrical standards for this purpose.

As for drilling the top plate and dwangs, the maximum hole size for 90x45mm top plate is 25mm (without extra strengthening), see NZ 3604 Clause 8.7.5.
I can't find any reference to holes in dwangs,

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  Reply # 598166 21-Mar-2012 12:39 Send private message

Skolink:
mrhaboobi: Also for inwall conduit ( for future proofing ). How do people handle the Dwangs? ( cross beams ) i can drill the top plate and each dwang, with say 25MM auger, but if i put conduit in, i assume that doesnt go through the holes in the dwangs and just attaches to them somehow? anyone got exmple of what conduit to use and how to attach it to the dwangs..


I seem to recall irrigation pipe is only $2/m for 32mm or 40mm. Call RD1 and ask. Obviously it doesn't need to meet any electrical standards for this purpose.

As for drilling the top plate and dwangs, the maximum hole size for 90x45mm top plate is 25mm (without extra strengthening), see NZ 3604 Clause 8.7.5.
I can't find any reference to holes in dwangs,


Thats quite interesting. But the fact is building inspectors aren't going to give a toss what size hole you drill. In a patch panel situation we quit often drill of series of 50mm+ holes through the top plate and normally atleast one dwang. Never been an issue and never will. You aren't drilling holes every 100mm so it isnt going to weaken a bit of 4x2 much at all.

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