Cat 7 and fiber - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-14-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Did some looking online and it seems Cat 7 is finally gaining some market traction based on the info and products I was able to find compared to the last time I looked. Has anyone done any home installs of this or is it still too early to consider adopting? How does it impact your recommendations for what to pull where?

Also has fiber for residential use kind of died off. A few years ago it seems there was a lot of talk about fiber, especially for dealing with HDMI issues. But I havent read much discussion about it at all recently.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-14-2012, 01:54 PM
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We pull fiber (Crestron DM compatible) to our TV locations whenever we can (customer's budget has to match). We don't use it on a day-to-day basis, but its a solid upgrade path and a guaranteed 'FIX' to HDMI problems if other solutions aren't working out.

The Cat5 solutions out there are usually solid and price-effective but have limitations in overall distance and can be susceptible to outside interference/noise.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-14-2012, 07:37 PM
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Lightning surges don't propagate over fiber, sometimes a big bonus. Of course, everything is still plugged into AC, so there is that to consider.

I'd love to have fiber in my house as a future upgrade path, but it isn't necessary.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-16-2012, 09:38 AM
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The only future proof wire is an empty conduit.

Residential products will continue to be based on the commonly-available wiring already installed and/or used. Which means Cat5e/cat6 and RG6. This is pure market force - if you design a product that requires fiber runs in the home, who's going to buy it? Other guy designs one that uses Cat5e - he's going to drink your milkshake.

The only reason to pre-wire fiber is if you know you're (likely) going to use it for Crestron. And then, it should be part of a true Crestron pre-wire plan, not just "future proofing"...

Also, from a pure bandwidth perspective, we can run gigabit easily on Cat5e, 10Gb or higher on Cat6. At the distances we use in homes, and the likely applications, that's going to hold us for quite a long time. Gigabit is still 100x faster than most folks' broadband links, and I have trouble thinking of what applications we would be looking at in the future that would drive that (other than the normal speed progressions). I mean, if we stream BD-quality we're still only in the 35-50Mbit range. Even if we just add a zero for "super duper HD", still doesn't *require* more than Cat5e...

Fiber outside the building is a completely different matter as Neurorad points out. At my first job I had fiber network links installed in a factory environment. Very expensive proposition (20+ years ago). When I presented the proposal to the CFO, he asked why we need that - I said it would keep the factory isolated in case of an "accident". He asked "you mean like when [my boss'] computer caught fire and zapped the whole network?". "Yes" I replied. "Ok, do that..."

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-16-2012, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Chicken and egg I suppose, but content producers have little incentive to produce items that would require more bandwidth, when the vast majority don't have the bandwidth to access it. I suspect if there was better high bandwidth infrastructure nationwide, we might have more high def programming available. I suspect it will be a long time before there is a successor to 1080p that gets any real traction. Here in Des Moines we dont have FIOS and I dont see it coming down the pike anytime soon. Rural areas of the state are lucky if they have cell coverage, let alone broadband.

I imagine on the computer content side bandwidth plays a limiting factor as well. I am sure there is some visionary out there just waiting to create the first 3d live action holographic social networking video game. Maybe farmville:2200
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-21-2012, 10:26 AM
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RG-6 and CAT-6 x2 is the best bang for the buck. In many cases up to 2Gbps ought to handle most residential solutions in the medium term (link aggregated if really necessary). However, I recommend running HDMI if you have the length. This probably doesn't work as well for structud wiring because of run length, but HDMI can be really handy and get good quality at decent length. I agree conduit would be the best if that's possible.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-04-2012, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yegg View Post

Did some looking online and it seems Cat 7 is finally gaining some market traction based on the info and products I was able to find compared to the last time I looked. Has anyone done any home installs of this or is it still too early to consider adopting? How does it impact your recommendations for what to pull where?

Also has fiber for residential use kind of died off. A few years ago it seems there was a lot of talk about fiber, especially for dealing with HDMI issues. But I havent read much discussion about it at all recently.

I don't think Cat 7 will ever really take off in the US where unshielded is the norm. Too hard to terminate and everything needs to have a ground. With 6A and fiber options available, I wouldn't even bother looking into it further.

What are you trying to accomplish anyway?

Carl

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