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post #31 of 106 Old 08-13-2011, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

HDMI over Twisted Pair - go with CAT6 rather than CAT5.

Where possible avoid Faceplates - you want RJ45 from the Matrix direct to RJ45 at the In-room Receiver.

Some Matrix will provide you with an IR Return path to allow control of the Matrix plus connected Sources from each Zone.

With a Matrix (or Distribution Amp) in the signal path you have to settle on your Sources Outputting Video + 2.0, Video + 5.1 or Video + 7.1 - you can't do different audio to different Zones simultaneously - where you plan to have AVR's in some rooms ensure the TV's you Spec for other rooms support 5.1 or 7.1 over HDMI and make things a lot simpler (look fir SRS HD support in the TV Spec).

I've only skimmed the thread - do you have any plans to support 3D?

Joe

I was doing the RG6/CAT5E bundle with two additional runs of CAT6, that may get bumped to 5 runs of CAT6 based on Canucks info though.

Simultaneous video wasn't something I was considering doing a lot of. The only scenario would be a sporting event. Family room and patio would both be up, but they would have unique sources so there wouldn't be an audio problem right?

I don't have any 3D gear at the moment, waiting to see if it really takes off. If I do go that way eventually it would be a media room thing only.
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post #32 of 106 Old 08-13-2011, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by canuck_fr View Post

This is the basis of the 7 cables:
2 for HDMI to the TV
2 for HDMI from a local source back to the HDMI switch
1 for Ethernet to the TV
1 for IR control
1 for audio to / from the TV (will be useful especially with the "downgrading" of the HDMI audio signal when having multiple displays connected).

That's all wrong. HDBaseT does Ethernet, IR, and HDMI over ONE CAT cable. Four isn't a bad idea to super future-proof, but in reality, the only thing that uses CAT cable is ethernet. Whole home video is ultimately better done with MCE, DirecTV whole-home DVR, ATSC modulators, or some combination thereof. Two RG-6's and two CAT-6's should be an ABSOLUTE minimum per location.

Subs can be either way, I think most mid to high-end ones are powered, the one we have on a $300 Onkyo system is not powered, so it can go either way.

That's a tricky house since so much is open, you have to be careful to get a CAT/RG outlet on any wall where electronics might be located...
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post #33 of 106 Old 08-13-2011, 07:00 AM
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Keep in mind HDBaseT 'can' do HDMI, 10/100, RS232, IR ( send or receive), PoE etc but not all devices support all of the features!

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post #34 of 106 Old 08-14-2011, 10:09 AM
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My experience with DHMI extenders has shown me that the type that use 2 Cat 5 cables work much better than the ones that use one Cat 6 cable. Cat 6 cable has longer runs for 2 of the inner wires causing some disturbance in the quality of signals over the wire, buyers beware....
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post #35 of 106 Old 08-14-2011, 04:34 PM
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Until the arrival of the HDBaseT chip set single wire solutions were a bit of a lottery - no matter if you were using CAT5 or CAT6.

HDBaseT is a different proposition and will , with the kit I've used, run over CAT5, CAT6 and even CAT7 and is very reliable.

HDBaseT will often work were even the most reliable dual cable solutions have failed!

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post #36 of 106 Old 08-14-2011, 09:46 PM
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Yep, HDBaseT could very much change the game in HDMI distribution. I'm hoping we'll see integrated matrix switches at CEDIA using it, and really want to see the prices come down, since it opens up A/V distribution to a lot of folks (because of the integrated single-cat5 solution).

But you should wire the house for flexibility. While I agree with canuck that 7 catX wires would be extremely flexible, that may be excessive for a whole house. I think 3 catX per display location is a good minimum, 4 is better. 4-6 for primary location(s) to allow return video capability.

And of course, flex conduit is the only truly future-proof (well, at least, best we can do) solution...

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post #37 of 106 Old 08-15-2011, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Yep, HDBaseT could very much change the game in HDMI distribution. I'm hoping we'll see integrated matrix switches at CEDIA using it, and really want to see the prices come down, since it opens up A/V distribution to a lot of folks (because of the integrated single-cat5 solution).

But you should wire the house for flexibility. While I agree with canuck that 7 catX wires would be extremely flexible, that may be excessive for a whole house. I think 3 catX per display location is a good minimum, 4 is better. 4-6 for primary location(s) to allow return video capability.

And of course, flex conduit is the only truly future-proof (well, at least, best we can do) solution...

Jeff

Im trying to think of any scenarios where I would want to push an HDMI source back to the matrix to be used elsewhere in the house and cant come up with any. So I guess putting in 6 would strictly be a case of future proofing the house. Cost wise its a relative pittance, its two more 1k foot rolls of CAT6. I think this bumps me into a double conduit run and double gang boxes everywhere though, it would be a tight squeeze otherwise. The RG6 and CAT5E bundle in one conduit, 4 CAT6 run in the other.

Switching gears, I asked this in my OP but never saw an answer. It may have not been clear what I was asking so I made a visual aid.



Is it legal to run the cables through a wall mount height box into a floor level box? I was thinking this would offer more flexibility, you can just go into the attic and pull the cable slack to the wall height boxes if needed. Also, is going to the inside of the studs the best practice or do you suggest putting the boxes on the outside of the studs so the AC and LV are in different cavities?
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post #38 of 106 Old 08-15-2011, 08:37 AM
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This question is not easy to answer as building code is different from state to state. However, where I live (Quebec, Canada), this would be ok. Yes you can put AC & Low voltage in the same "cavity". I have never heard of any code banning you from doing that.
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post #39 of 106 Old 08-15-2011, 11:25 AM
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I suggest you speak with a pro, if a pro will be involved eventually. He can look over your plan and spot any pitfalls that may cause trouble for him specifically.

IP Cameras are still pretty pricey. You may want to cable for both CCTV and IP cameras, switching to IP in 5-10 years.

One rack may not cut it, for distributed AV, cameras, media room - depends on what you envision for the future. Are you the type to use UPSs, 'power conditioners', and dedicated Class A/B amps?

I may have missed it, but is an alarm spec'd? I know you mentioned cameras. What about automated lighting? UPB is one of the more affordable platforms for lighting (need a neutral in every light switch box, item for the electrician to address).

What about in-wall trouchscreens/tablets? Category cable to possible locations.

Flood sensors (wired with 22/4) are often a part of the alarm system (broken water heater, overflowing laundry room sink, broken washing machine/dishwasher, broken under-sink water filter).

Since nobody else has linked it yet, here is the cocoontech.com Wiring Your New Home 101 Wiki link. Cocoontech forums are a good resource for enclosures, racks, and other unusual stuff. I have a feeling that you could share some tips with the community there, with the experience you describe.

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post #40 of 106 Old 08-15-2011, 11:29 AM
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Install conduit empty; it's for future cable pulls. The pre-wire cables should be installed outside of the conduit.

You're probably aware that you shouldn't staple category cables, but they need to be secured somehow, 'cause of the spray foam.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #41 of 106 Old 08-15-2011, 11:40 AM
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Alarm keypads are usually wired with 22/4 and/or ethernet cable. Some people install small speakers at/near the alarm KPs (18/2).

Carbon monoxide detectors, LV smokes, thermostats, WAPs, phone, doorbell (need to detect a button push), front door intercom/video/access control, irrigation system, exterior (and interior) motion detectors, landscape/security exterior lighting (and control), temperature sensors, humidity sensors (for bathroom fan, on timer is easiest but humidity sensor is optimal), roof antenna(s), satellite dish, and whole-house surge protector at service entrance are other items to consider.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #42 of 106 Old 08-15-2011, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
I suggest you speak with a pro, if a pro will be involved eventually. He can look over your plan and spot any pitfalls that may cause trouble for him specifically.

IP Cameras are still pretty pricey. You may want to cable for both CCTV and IP cameras, switching to IP in 5-10 years.

One rack may not cut it, for distributed AV, cameras, media room - depends on what you envision for the future. Are you the type to use UPSs, 'power conditioners', and dedicated Class A/B amps?

I may have missed it, but is an alarm spec'd? I know you mentioned cameras. What about automated lighting? UPB is one of the more affordable platforms for lighting (need a neutral in every light switch box, item for the electrician to address).

What about in-wall trouchscreens/tablets? Category cable to possible locations.

Flood sensors (wired with 22/4) are often a part of the alarm system (broken water heater, overflowing laundry room sink, broken washing machine/dishwasher, broken under-sink water filter).

Since nobody else has linked it yet, here is the cocoontech.com Wiring Your New Home 101 Wiki link. Cocoontech forums are a good resource for enclosures, racks, and other unusual stuff. I have a feeling that you could share some tips with the community there, with the experience you describe.
Im going with a 6 foot rack, and its mainly for AV and network to some degree. I will have room in the rack closet for some additional wall mounted boxes for things like phone, alarm, etc. I dont have any plans for class A/B amps, a 1U UPS is a possibility though.

Yes, an alarm will be installed by a vendor I used in my previous home free of charge. I was planning on doing Insteon in the future if lighting control is needed, I told my builder in our first meeting about the requirement for a neutral at every switch box.

Im running a cat drop to every speaker volume slider, was planning on using a remote for the two rooms with 5:1 audio.

Good call on the flood sensors, Ill hit up the alarm vendor about what they have as options there.

I found that linked from a thread somewhere in here, thanks for the link again though.
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post #43 of 106 Old 08-15-2011, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
Install conduit empty; it's for future cable pulls. The pre-wire cables should be installed outside of the conduit.

You're probably aware that you shouldn't staple category cables, but they need to be secured somehow, 'cause of the spray foam.
I hate the idea of sealing those cables in the wall forever for no reason, especially with the idea I threw up there about pulling the cables up to wall height boxes if/when that becomes a need. If I seal them in the wall I have to double the runs to those walls to service the floor and wall boxes, no thanks. I think I found an out on the open gang boxes anyway, anyone use this product?



http://www.backboxx.com/product2.html

Was thinking I could go beyond the standard 3/4" conduit to regular LV gang boxes and essentially install what I want, up to 2" and still be able to seal up for the spray foam using this. A double run of 2" conduit should allow me to run all my RG6 and CAT cable and still have an open conduit for future expansion. Thoughts?
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post #44 of 106 Old 08-15-2011, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

Keep in mind HDBaseT 'can' do HDMI, 10/100, RS232, IR ( send or receive), PoE etc but not all devices support all of the features!

Joe

1. There are adapters for the two ends that combine the HDMI, 100mbps, and IR together.

2. This whole HDBaseT thing is obsolete before it got it's feet off the ground. There's the whole home DVR systems from DirecTV, Microsoft and others, and, for box-less TV setups, ATSC modulators becoming available, which goes to a 1-wire coax system. From a looks perspective, however, using the small DirecTV receivers that can feed off of the DVRs is a great option, as they can hide out behind the TV's.
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post #45 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 04:45 AM
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I just saw that Backboxx product for the first time yesterday, in the Home Theater subforum in hehateme's build thread.

It looks like a great concept. Is it installed before or after the spray foam? Website says it's great for blown insulation - not sure about sprayfoam. You may need to cut/sculpt the hardened foam to install them.

Conduit allows for easy retrofit of cables, for when you will need a new cable in the future. Not much advantage during prewire. Adds a significant cost. Adding a cable to a conduit that already has cable can be a bear.

I suggest you only use conduit at the video locations where you will be using an HDMI cable that needs replacing. I can't think of any other locations where you would need to replace a cable.

There are tricks to securing LV cables in locations that will get spray foam insulation, conduit isn't necessary.

Maybe for those locations where you feel the need to provide upper and lower boxes you could install a short length of conduit between the upper and lower locations.

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post #46 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

I just saw that Backboxx product for the first time yesterday, in the Home Theater subforum in hehateme's build thread.

It looks like a great concept. Is it installed before or after the spray foam? Website says it's great for blown insulation - not sure about sprayfoam. You may need to cut/sculpt the hardened foam to install them.

Conduit allows for easy retrofit of cables, for when you will need a new cable in the future. Not much advantage during prewire. Adds a significant cost. Adding a cable to a conduit that already has cable can be a bear.

I suggest you only use conduit at the video locations where you will be using an HDMI cable that needs replacing. I can't think of any other locations where you would need to replace a cable.

There are tricks to securing LV cables in locations that will get spray foam insulation, conduit isn't necessary.

Maybe for those locations where you feel the need to provide upper and lower boxes you could install a short length of conduit between the upper and lower locations.

It goes in before the spray foam, they suggest covering the front with something before they foam to ensure you dont get any overspray into the cavity. I was seriously scratching my head on how you can install these LV gang boxes and in wall speakers with spray foam. Im adding them to the shopping list, Ill report back on how well they worked.

The conduit I found isnt that pricey, $50-65 for a 100 feet depending on the size. Thats only 15% roughly of my cabling costs.

For securing cables, I was going to pop a staple into the stud behind the cables, and then run a zip tie through the staple and around the cables.
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post #47 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 10:08 AM
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Relevant thread at cocoontech, 'Prewire with Spray Foam Insulation'.

http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/ind...howtopic=17083

Several Texans comment, including a builder (Ranger Digital).

Edit- cocoontech member Lou Apo is in Austin, and used spray foam. Did his homework.

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post #48 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Relevant thread at cocoontech, 'Prewire with Spray Foam Insulation'.

http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/ind...howtopic=17083

Several Texans comment, including a builder (Ranger Digital).

Edit- cocoontech member Lou Apo is in Austin, and used spray foam. Did his homework.

Thanks, interesting idea on using duck tape. I still havent seen anyone discuss how they use LV gang boxes in a spray foam wall other than "scooping it out" after the fact. Im hoping the backboxx stuff will save me some trouble there.

Is conduit rigid enough to not move around much while the foam expands if it is secured to the top plate and gang box?
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post #49 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by canuck_fr View Post

1 for audio to / from the TV (will be useful especially with the "downgrading" of the HDMI audio signal when having multiple displays connected).

Can you explain a bit more about this piece of your suggested cable complement? I understand that you're saying that with a mix of display capabilities in a distribution system, the audio sent to all displays will probably end up being a least common denominator stereo signal. What would you use the extra UTP cable for to remedy this?

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post #50 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 12:37 PM
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No, flex conduit would move. It is affixed to the studs with conduit/pipe clamps/straps, available in metal/steel or PVC, but you could prob use perforated strapping as an alternative (like used for HVAC ducts).



One hole conduit clamp



Two hole conduit clamp



Perforated strap



Local electric supply houses/distributors are good sources of conduit and fittings, cheap - no shipping, and easy returns of unused. Also, helpful for tips/pointers.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #51 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 12:46 PM
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I've read of some people using rigid conduit - the gray conduit - NMT - for LV. I've also read of some people using white schedule 40 PVC. Cheaper than the flexible.

Someone said the gray is easy to bed, with heat. Make sure your bends are gentle sweeps.

Blue flex conduit is rated for line voltage (110V), the orange for low voltage. Many people use the blue for LV, e.g. home theaters. Your inspector may cringe if he sees a lot of blue flex conduit, as it can be used for line voltage.

I don't know when your inspections will occur, before LV or after, but might be worthwhile to discuss the use of conduit with the AHJ. My AHJ was very helpful when I retrofitted orange LV conduit in my home.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #52 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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With me using a double run of conduit to the boxes I was figuring on doing a zip tie around them both through a staple on the stud if they needed to be secured. I will be using LV conduit (orange) and gang boxes to reduce any chance of something getting flagged during inspection. Thats why I was stressing about finding a solution for using LV gang boxes with spray foam, I didnt want to have to use blue boxes and run into a problem late in the game. Thanks again for all the info, I feel like Im getting a pretty solid base to work from as we move the plans along. This may all be for naught if the builder's AV guy will do this at a decent price, but its helpful to have a backup plan if he does come at me with something outrageous.
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post #53 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 01:40 PM
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Depending on the conduit diameters, 2 conduits side by side may be too close to drywall - will get nailed/screwed with the drywall, or hanging a picture in 5 years.

If you have to run your own conduit, talk to the spray foam guys first. They probably know of a best way.

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post #54 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 02:07 PM
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IMO, this project has the potential to become a never-ending can of worms. If you don't want to hire a contractor to design, install, setup and service the system(s), then I would suggest, at a minimum, paying for a system design from a contractor on a consultant basis. It may cost a few hundred dollars for their design, but it would be a wise investment down the road. If you're talking about HDMI switching/ matrices and at the same time trying to figure out what type of mudring/ low-voltage box to use in the same breath, you're begging for problems.
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post #55 of 106 Old 08-16-2011, 02:43 PM
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What are you looking at in terms of control? URC? RTI? And how do you plan to control the wii if its in a rack (Wii doesn't have IR)
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post #56 of 106 Old 08-17-2011, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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What are you looking at in terms of control? URC? RTI? And how do you plan to control the wii if its in a rack (Wii doesn't have IR)

URCs. The Wii is in the rack in the media room, where the majority of gaming will take place. The only place it would possibly be distributed to is the family room which is 13 feet away. Same for the Xbox that is rack mounted. There is direct access to the rack within the media room so there isnt any other control needed for the wii other than changing out discs.
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post #57 of 106 Old 08-17-2011, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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IMO, this project has the potential to become a never-ending can of worms. If you don't want to hire a contractor to design, install, setup and service the system(s), then I would suggest, at a minimum, paying for a system design from a contractor on a consultant basis. It may cost a few hundred dollars for their design, but it would be a wise investment down the road. If you're talking about HDMI switching/ matrices and at the same time trying to figure out what type of mudring/ low-voltage box to use in the same breath, you're begging for problems.

Well thats why Im here. Im trying to install a simple system in terms of functionality. We may be satisfied with using individual receivers for the different zones and be done with it, Im just trying to be proactive and wire things up to future proof the house as much as possible with what is the general standard. Im not trying to install the matrix now. Im not trying to install a unified whole home audio system now. Im not even saying I wont go through a contractor, that will depend largely on his price. I do like having as much information as possible about what Im asking for so I dont get smoke blown up my butt about pricing though.
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post #58 of 106 Old 08-17-2011, 10:34 AM
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Hey Justmike, that is the correct usage for that wire.
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post #59 of 106 Old 08-17-2011, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck_fr View Post

Hey Justmike, that is the correct usage for that wire.

Hi,

Thanks, but what I was getting at is: what exactly would you do with it? Run a separate multichannel digital audio signal over it somehow? How?

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post #60 of 106 Old 08-17-2011, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike View Post

Thanks, but what I was getting at is: what exactly would you do with it? Run a separate multichannel digital audio signal over it somehow? How?

Yep. Lots of anything-over-cat5 baluns available - see MuxLab's website. Pull a separate 5.1 digital audio stream from the source, or through the matrix if it supports it, for example...

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