Cat 5 or Component cable for HD viewing - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-17-2008, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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We are starting a sportsbar and will have around 30 TVs. We would like to have HD reception for all TVs but the total cable wiring will be about 4000 to 5000 ft. Component cable is very expensive where as cat 5 is much cheaper but I understand that we need convertors for cat 5. I am looking for options and also for installers who will provide just labor as we have a good supplier for cables. We are in Illinois.
Any help will be highly appreciated.
Thanks,
Aby
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-17-2008, 10:28 PM
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You don't need to buy component cable. You can run 3 RG6 coax wires and put RCA ends and be done with it. You probably can get away with RG59 also. If you use a high quality RG59 cable like Liberty Cable then I know you will have no problems. Nice thing about RG59 is its much more flexible.
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-18-2008, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. Will we get the same HD quality with RG cable and RCA ends as with component cable? Will we also get audio in each TV? Also, the cable length to some of the TVs will be around 150 - 250 feet. Will that be an issue for RG cables?
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-18-2008, 06:43 AM
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Component cable is usually RG59 cable with RCA ends. It just that it premade at a factory. It also is just a video signal, no audio. So you will need need 2 more RG59 cables to do left and right audio. You could also go HDMI since it does do audio and video, but there are still issues with this type of cable so I personally wouldn't go that route.
RG6 quad shield cable will definitely get you a signal 500ft without a problem. Liberty Cable RG59 should also, but you may want to contact them just to make sure. You are also going to need a large matrix switch so you can select what video goes where.
If you don't need HDTV at all location, I would just run 1 RG6 quad shield cable to those TVs and modulate the signal.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-18-2008, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Scott for your prompt response. This helps a lot!
Couple of questions..
1) We did think about mixing HDTV with others but the concern is that will the difference be obvious? I realize that some channels are not telecasted HD but we don't want the audiance to have a clear distinction of which is HD and which is not
2) How expensive are the RCA ends and is there anything specific that I should be lookiing for when looking for cables and RCA ends? For ex: can I just say that I need 3 RG6 quad shield cables and RCA ends for the cables. Do I need one RCA end at each side of each cable? (one at receiver and one at TV)
3) Matrix switch - how many do we need? I heard that this is highly expensive as well. Can you suggest what and how many we would need for 30 TVs and how expensive they could be?
Thanks again for all your help!
Aby
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-18-2008, 07:53 PM
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1) I can not image a customer complaining because their TV is not showing HD. I can understand HD on larger TVs but the smaller ones not sure people are going to pay that much attention to the detail. Most sports bars I've been too your lucky to have all the TVs working properly. But over all do you have the budget for having HD signal available on all TVs. Your talking 5 cables vs 1.
2) Both ends of the cable need an RCA connection (approximatey ~$2 a piece) depends on the vender and type. Silver connectors are fine, I would pay extra to get gold. Check out www.libertycable.com I believe you might need to be a dealer though to buy.
3) If you want every tv to have whatever satellite you want to watch then you you will need several matrix switchers. Here is an example of 2:
http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=CRM88
http://www.neoprointegrator.com/imperial.php

The first one can do upto 16 component video signals in (satellites) and 16 component outs (TVs) with 14 digital audio in (satellites) and 14 digital auio outs (TVs). Not sure why audio isn't 16.
The second has 8 component inputs (satellites) and 16 component outputs (TV). You can stack units to have upto 48. You would need additional ones to do analog audio (2 RCAS) or digital audio (1 RCA).

Figure atleast $2000 per match switch so talking upto $10000 depending on how many matrix switches you need and the price of each.
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-19-2008, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Scott! Can't thank you enough! Your time and advice is highly appreciated!
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-19-2008, 11:04 AM
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From an ease of wiring standpoint, you might not want to automatically rule out Component over Cat5 or even S-Video over Cat5 for smaller sets.

While there are adapters for the conversion, they are often nothing more than a small breakout box that can be duplicated with a homebrew adapter or just RCA plugs soldered on. I've also had fewer ground loops with Cat5 compared with RG cables. Ground loops may be a real problem with RG58/6 cables, which could mean that Cat5 and adapters which include matching transformers will be the only way to avoid them. There are ground loop isolators for antenna/cable, audio, and even composite video ($30 ea) but I've never seen one for standard S-Video, Component, DVI, or HDMI cables.

I'd suggest grabbing a box of Cat5 cable, stretch it out, solder RCA ends on, and try it. (Be consistant with your color coding: ground vs conductors) There is an extra pair of wires that could be used for mono audio. On a TV in a Bar situation, is Stereo audio actually meaningfull with speakers located 2 feet apart?

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post #9 of 16 Old 04-19-2008, 11:33 AM
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No problem, glad to help. If you are looking for a installation company let me know. I talk with installers throughout the country so I may know a company in your area.
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-19-2008, 12:39 PM
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Personally, if you're going to use RG-6, I'd skip quad shield and use Belden 7915A. Works with standard RG-6 connectors and excellent (tri) shielding. It's inexpensive as a bonus.

You can get RCA compression fittings that attach directly to the cable with very simple prep.

The Cat5 approach sounds pretty good too, but more expensive (assuming use of converters at each end of the cable). However, if it's easier to install and less chance of problems, it might be worth it.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-19-2008, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Personally, if you're going to use RG-6, I'd skip quad shield and use Belden 7915A. Works with standard RG-6 connectors and excellent (tri) shielding. It's inexpensive as a bonus.

You can get RCA compression fittings that attach directly to the cable with very simple prep.

The Cat5 approach sounds pretty good too, but more expensive (assuming use of converters at each end of the cable). However, if it's easier to install and less chance of problems, it might be worth it.

At 100 bux per balun (need 2 baluns per run - video and digital audio (coaxial) only. Analog audio would require another pair), it does get rather pricey. You're looking at ~$350 per run in baluns alone. Add the cost of the CAT5e, and it goes up a little. A 50' run will cost in the neighborhood of $360 or so.

RG6, on the other hand, costs ~$75 per 1000'. That same 50' run would cost >$40 (5 runs of RG6 + connectors) The RG6 needs to be solid copper center conductor and NOT the cable that is used for CATV or antenna systems. Component is baseband, which needs a solid copper center conductor as opposed to CATV or antenna, which uses skin effect for RF propagation.

CIAO!

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post #12 of 16 Old 04-19-2008, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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No problem, glad to help. If you are looking for a installation company let me know. I talk with installers throughout the country so I may know a company in your area.
*************
Thanks Scott! I am looking for an installer. I will provide all the supplies. Please let me know if you know some one. We are in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egnlsn View Post

At 100 bux per balun (need 2 baluns per run - video and digital audio (coaxial) only. Analog audio would require another pair), it does get rather pricey. You're looking at ~$350 per run in baluns alone. Add the cost of the CAT5e, and it goes up a little. A 50' run will cost in the neighborhood of $360 or so.

RG6, on the other hand, costs ~$75 per 1000'. That same 50' run would cost >$40 (5 runs of RG6 + connectors) The RG6 needs to be solid copper center conductor and NOT the cable that is used for CATV or antenna systems. Component is baseband, which needs a solid copper center conductor as opposed to CATV or antenna, which uses skin effect for RF propagation.

7915A has solid copper core, but it still uses aluminum braid between two layers of foil.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 06:41 AM
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Well when it's all said and done, make sure you tune to the proper HD channel.

You'd be surprised how many sports bars I've been in with fancy plasma HDTV's, yet the HD set top box below them is showing the SD channel number.
If your going with Cable, remember that HD channels are on different numbers. If your going with DirecTV, you can go into the guide and select "Hide SD Duplicates". All HD channels are on the same number with DirecTV.

For example, ESPN HD is Channel 202 here. BUT countless times I'll see Channel 45 (ESPN SD) on the front of the SD Box, and a washed out picture on a nice flat screen TV. I mean, why do some of these bars pay for all of this expensive equipment, not only that but the HD Cable service, but yet they don't use it?

So educate your bartenders! Either that, or get DirecTV, and then you can even get those sports packages like NFL Sunday Ticket. DirecTV is the way to go in a Bar. They have the most HD channels, it's easier to use. Cable is more for a home setting where you would want to use Video on Demand, and bundle pricing deals with High Speed Internet and home phone service.

Here at our job, we use RG-59 liberty cable with RCA ends terminated. We have a DirecTV HD system and the picture quality is amazing.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 09:44 PM
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Personally, I probably wouldn't run anything over 100' for HD. Also, make sure that the three cables in the bunch are very close to the same length.

We exclusively use Magenta Research CAT5 conversion for all our high resolution displays. Granted we are running way over 200', up to 1500' along with the video you also can run stereo audio and full duplex serial control...yes, on one CAT5. Spendy, but good stuff, they have CAT5 matrix solutions as well...take a look.

www.magenta-research.com
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-02-2008, 11:36 AM
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If your talking ethernet over CAT5, then that is going to be good. With coax your going to need a signal booxter plus having coax stretched all over the place is going to give you one big antenna. You will have to tinker around a bit to ensure you are not picking up stray signal and getting ghosting. Digital wont have that problem.

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