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post #1 of 21 Old 08-12-2014, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Cat5 ????

Okay, I have discovered that the old telephone wiring in my house (built in 2001) is Cat5. If I make new punch down jacks for it using all pairs will I get adequate speeds? I realize that the cross talk may be a little bit of an issue but will it work okay for video files, mostly LiveTV from WMC to extenders or transcoded video on Rokus. The only place another computer will be is in the Master BR and full bit rate BR rips will need to get there successfully. This room is right above my office so it may not be much of an issue to pull a new cable up there.

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post #2 of 21 Old 08-12-2014, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone??

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post #3 of 21 Old 08-12-2014, 05:16 PM
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There's no absolute answer. CAT5 is rated for 100 Mbps (fast ethernet) at up to 100 meters long (328 feet). You may get gigabit speeds (1000 Mbps) over CAT5 but it will probably be over shorter lengths. How much shorter? No one knows and it will depend on the quality of the cable, the crosstalk, electrical interferences, etc.

It will probably be fine for a single HD video stream or two, but I don't know how many could go over the same line without starting to see degradation. I'd try it with one or two cables and see what kind of transfer speeds you can get. Alternatively, if you have to reterminate the ends anyway with RJ-45 plugs, buy a spool of CAT6 and use the CAT5 to pull the CAT6 through the walls to the same outlet. 1000 ft of CAT6 is about $150 at Home Depot (cheaper at Monoprice).
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-12-2014, 05:19 PM
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Rarely is telephone connections in a building CAT5 unless the phones are digital and require an RJ45 connection. Most telephones are four wire and use RJ11. Most CAT5 UTP is used for 100mpbs, but in most cases can be used up to 1GBPS. Are you experiencing data-loss when performing a ping? Punch-down blocks are common for CAT5 installation terminating to RJ45. Install CAT6E if you want to be sure, but use CAT6E certified jacks and terminations.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-12-2014, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjfalls View Post
Rarely is telephone connections in a building CAT5 unless the phones are digital and require an RJ45 connection. Most telephones are four wire and use RJ11. Most CAT5 UTP is used for 100mpbs, but in most cases can be used up to 1GBPS. Are you experiencing data-loss when performing a ping? Punch-down blocks are common for CAT5 installation terminating to RJ45. Install CAT6E if you want to be sure, but use CAT6E certified jacks and terminations.
My current residence had CAT5 run for the phone lines.

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post #6 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dfkimbro View Post
There's no absolute answer. CAT5 is rated for 100 Mbps (fast ethernet) at up to 100 meters long (328 feet). You may get gigabit speeds (1000 Mbps) over CAT5 but it will probably be over shorter lengths. How much shorter? No one knows and it will depend on the quality of the cable, the crosstalk, electrical interferences, etc.

It will probably be fine for a single HD video stream or two, but I don't know how many could go over the same line without starting to see degradation. I'd try it with one or two cables and see what kind of transfer speeds you can get. Alternatively, if you have to reterminate the ends anyway with RJ-45 plugs, buy a spool of CAT6 and use the CAT5 to pull the CAT6 through the walls to the same outlet. 1000 ft of CAT6 is about $150 at Home Depot (cheaper at Monoprice).
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Originally Posted by kjfalls View Post
Rarely is telephone connections in a building CAT5 unless the phones are digital and require an RJ45 connection. Most telephones are four wire and use RJ11. Most CAT5 UTP is used for 100mpbs, but in most cases can be used up to 1GBPS. Are you experiencing data-loss when performing a ping? Punch-down blocks are common for CAT5 installation terminating to RJ45. Install CAT6E if you want to be sure, but use CAT6E certified jacks and terminations.
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post
My current residence had CAT5 run for the phone lines.
Yup. It is Cat 5 with 4 twisted pairs for sure. I looked at the jacket labeling and counted the individual wires inside the cable..

I have come to the conclusion that it should work fine for my use and I will be hooking it up as soon as we're done settling in and I can get my HTPC to boot again, build my new HTPC and get everything all running. The Cat 5 currently terminates in an un-utilized telephone box on the wall outside the garage so I will disconnect those from the telephone box and pull them into the garage where I will put an 8-port Gig Switch. The only thing I may change is the "home run" cable from there to my office which should be an easy run to do by using the existing cable to pull a new Cat 6 cable but we shall see. As far as using the other Cat 5 cables to pull Cat 6 goes, I don't think that will work as it is a pretty big house and these go somehow a long way to the telephone box.

Currently we moved over my fiance's Uverse account so there's TV in all rooms using that but it won't be long until this is all hooked up so we can get everything all cool again. We'll score the $300 VISA gift card from AT&T and then bail on their outrageously expensive service.. $7 per outlet after the first one.. REALLY? The bill from them is $200/month not including internet because I already moved my 100/5 internet with me and set up my wireless router too.


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post #7 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 08:08 AM
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My house is also wired with Cat5 and I've been running GigE switches everywhere and have had zero issues reaching those speeds. Cat5 can handle Gig just fine over shorter distances but I did replace all punch-downs with Cat6 and Cat6 patch cables for everything. Just did a project of running 4 new Cat6 cables into the bedrooms to the basement was a weekend project not that big a deal just some sweat.

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post #8 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 09:28 AM
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If it is Cat5e, then GigE is pretty much guaranteed. Cat5, is maybe.

Considering that you are using it to connect extender, which only use 100 Mbps connection, you will be fine. Your connection from the HTPC to the switch should be GigE, since it will see multiple traffic (from tuner if you use Ethernet attached and to the extenders)

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobNY View Post
My house is also wired with Cat5 and I've been running GigE switches everywhere and have had zero issues reaching those speeds. Cat5 can handle Gig just fine over shorter distances but I did replace all punch-downs with Cat6 and Cat6 patch cables for everything. Just did a project of running 4 new Cat6 cables into the bedrooms to the basement was a weekend project not that big a deal just some sweat.

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I will be installing RG45 punch downs to replace the RG11 punch downs.

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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post
If it is Cat5e, then GigE is pretty much guaranteed. Cat5, is maybe.

Considering that you are using it to connect extender, which only use 100 Mbps connection, you will be fine. Your connection from the HTPC to the switch should be GigE, since it will see multiple traffic (from tuner if you use Ethernet attached and to the extenders)
Yes, there will be Roku 2XS and Echos at each TV and each of these are 10/100 only with a single run back to the switch.

I will test the Cat 5 home run to the switch at the router in my office to see how it handles it. The run will be about 50 feet but if it cannot do the job I will pull Cat 6 to replace the Cat 5.


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post #10 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 09:56 AM
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CAT-5 cabling for phone lines has been an industry standard for at least the last 15 years. The problem is it is usually daisy-chained from phone jack to phone jack instead of running back to a central location where a switch or router could reside. Theoretically, if all the jacks were terminated correctly, you could use it for a single network connection, as long as you make sure nothing is plugged into any other phone jack. Using the existing wire to pull CAT-6 is doubtful since the old cable is probably stapled in places.
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JavaJohnNV View Post
CAT-5 cabling for phone lines has been an industry standard for at least the last 15 years. The problem is it is usually daisy-chained from phone jack to phone jack instead of running back to a central location where a switch or router could reside. Theoretically, if all the jacks were terminated correctly, you could use it for a single network connection, as long as you make sure nothing is plugged into any other phone jack. Using the existing wire to pull CAT-6 is doubtful since the old cable is probably stapled in places.
Yes, I fear daisy chaining but there's as many home runs as there are jacks so I am hopeful that it isn't daisy chained. I will know soon enough when I go to hook things up.

And using the old cable to pull a new one will be most likely problematic and/or un-doable for various reasons, including stapled down runs.

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post #12 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 10:06 AM
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I'm moving to a new house and saw CAT cables (turns out they are CAT5E) on the outside at the electrical box and also in the basement. I met with the builder to figure out what was going on and it seems like there are two runs to many of the boxes and they go to either the basement (for networking) or outside (for phone).

However, before I bothered to pull plates off the walls and get testers or whatever he pointed out that nice large diameter orange corrugated pipe and said it goes from here (the basement) up to the attic. It even had a nylon pull string ready to go. That was all I needed and could care less what those other cables were about.

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post #13 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
I'm moving to a new house and saw CAT cables (turns out they are CAT5E) on the outside at the electrical box and also in the basement. I met with the builder to figure out what was going on and it seems like there are two runs to many of the boxes and they go to either the basement (for networking) or outside (for phone).

However, before I bothered to pull plates off the walls and get testers or whatever he pointed out that nice large diameter orange corrugated pipe and said it goes from here (the basement) up to the attic. It even had a nylon pull string ready to go. That was all I needed and could care less what those other cables were about.
That is awesome!
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post #14 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 10:28 AM
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That is awesome!
I'm very pleased. I'll probably try to use those existing runs at first until we get moved in and I can come up with a real plan. The basement is unfinished, but there is a "media room" upstairs that will be my initial home theater. Seems big enough for a projector.

I'll probably have to buy CAT5E instead of anything higher since I'll be so poor for the next few months

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post #15 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
I'm very pleased. I'll probably try to use those existing runs at first until we get moved in and I can come up with a real plan. The basement is unfinished, but there is a "media room" upstairs that will be my initial home theater. Seems big enough for a projector.

I'll probably have to buy CAT5E instead of anything higher since I'll be so poor for the next few months
I certainly can understand that after mustering up 20% down on this move up home..

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post #16 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
Okay, I have discovered that the old telephone wiring in my house (built in 2001) is Cat5. If I make new punch down jacks for it using all pairs will I get adequate speeds? I realize that the cross talk may be a little bit of an issue but will it work okay for video files, mostly LiveTV from WMC to extenders or transcoded video on Rokus. The only place another computer will be is in the Master BR and full bit rate BR rips will need to get there successfully. This room is right above my office so it may not be much of an issue to pull a new cable up there.
For the relatively lengths of cable that are probably involved, CAT5 will work splendidly at up to 1 GHz. I've wired and retrofitted 100s of network drops, and it has always worked for me.

Furthermore, video runs splendidly at 100 MHz and if it is internet based, it probably runs at 10 MHz. To be considered commercial grade a cable has to do what it is pseced to do for runs of like 100 meters, but there are few residences that have cable runs that are even a serious fraction of that.
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post #17 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Splendid!!

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post #18 of 21 Old 08-13-2014, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
For the relatively lengths of cable that are probably involved, CAT5 will work splendidly at up to 1 GHz. I've wired and retrofitted 100s of network drops, and it has always worked for me.

Furthermore, video runs splendidly at 100 MHz and if it is internet based, it probably runs at 10 MHz. To be considered commercial grade a cable has to do what it is pseced to do for runs of like 100 meters, but there are few residences that have cable runs that are even a serious fraction of that.
My entire home network is wired on Cat5 UTP cables... so long as the pinout on both ends of the cable is correct there should be no problem with running Gb Ethernet...
I personally never experienced any issue...
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post #19 of 21 Old 08-15-2014, 07:20 AM
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Here is a speed test using my homes Cat5 cables and this was across 3 GigE switches as well. As you can see we are close to the top of the expected speed for a gig network.
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post #20 of 21 Old 08-15-2014, 07:26 AM
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My house was wired with cat5.
I had an installer do the following:
1) Change out all phone jacks with ethernet jacks.
2) Add two patch panels to the phone closet: 1 for all the jacks, and 1 for a phone "hub" (wired in parallel).
3) Test all the jacks and label them to match the patch panel.

I have an Ethernet switch in there, so it's easy for me to change any jack in the house between phone and data by patching it into the phone "hub" or the data switch.

You can plug RJ11 phone cords into the RJ45 Ethernet jacks without problems - no adapter needed - as long as that jack is patched into the phone hub in the closet.

Most of the jacks get full gigabit performance without errors, but one runs better in 100mb mode. I'm using a smart switch in the phone closet, so it's easy to see if ports are getting errors and force them down to 100mb mode, if that works better.
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post #21 of 21 Old 08-15-2014, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
2) Add two patch panels to the phone closet: 1 for all the jacks, and 1 for a phone "hub" (wired in parallel).
Agree with rcohen.

I wired my new house myself. No phone wire, just CAT6. Each room has two media plates, on opposing walls. Each plate has one F connector (RG6U) and two RJ45. Everything is homerun to the mechanical room.

In the mechanical room, I have three 24-port patch panel strips one on top of the other. The outer two are the CAT6 runs to the rooms, the center one has all 24 ports in parallel, allowing for up to four analog phone lines (currently 2 lines are connected to the 2-line VoIP adapter).

I have a bunch of 6'' patch cords. If I connect a jack from one of the two outer patch panels to the central patch panel, the corresponding jack in a room becomes an analog phone jack. Other jacks get connected to the Ethernet switch. Simple and flexible !
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