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post #1 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all!

I am in the lucky position to have a new home built and now it comes to the question of home theater cabling.

Unfortunately, I probably won´t have the possibility of using empty cable runs so I am in need of the most advanced and pre-thought construction for the Video cabling position of beamer and lower in-wall sockets. (Audio will be done with solid speaker wires and XLR)

What d´you guys think is the most universal video solution that I could add to the HDMI cable ?

I am currently thinking about:
- Hi-end coax (capable of 3G HD-SDI for 3Gbps 1080p50)
- Cat 6a (for 10Gbps ethernet)
- 4 strand optical wire (for whatever I dunno)
- display port (or thunderbolt, have to check this one out)
or, a bit more unconventional:
- maybe use a really good HDMI cable, that later on could be repatched with another plug

Hope for ideas and suggestions!

Thanx,
W.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 07:39 AM
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Skip all of that in favor of a lot of Cat6. But also put in normal RG6 coax runs as well.

When you say "empty cable runs", I assume you mean you can't run some flex conduit for future-proofing? Why not?

Jeff

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post #3 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 08:08 AM
 
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Right now, the cost to go up to 10gig is not justifiable. It can cost up to more than expected, and only Fiber is right now the only technology that is capable of greater than 1gig, due to manufacturers have not perceived changing the technology for use in a office environment for workstations and the consumer market.

It will be pretty much longer than most people realize that anything more than 1 gig will be mainstream for wired networks, until there becomes a perception of need by consumers and companies needing anything faster to move data between workers and servers. Also, the biggest bottleneck to the outside world, is how fast the connection from the ISP to the end user is. No matter how fast the data is moving inside in the LANs, you are still only able to communicate to the outside world at the throttled speed given to you by the ISP.

As for use for video solutions such as hdmi and cameras, you will be fine with the cat-6 for a very long time.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 09:36 AM
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Quote:


- Hi-end coax (capable of 3G HD-SDI for 3Gbps 1080p50)

+1

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only Fiber is right now the only technology that is capable of greater than 1gig,

Apparently, according to Greg, 3G HD-SDI over coax is an illusion.
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys.

Quote:


When you say "empty cable runs", I assume you mean you can't run some flex conduit for future-proofing? Why not?

Exactly. Problem is the cost for putting it underneath floor construction. All cabling (electricity, ethernet, cable TV) is done on top of the concrete ceiling/floor followed by styrofoam with lanes for the cables cut. Next another layer of damping and finally floor heating in concrete on top. Empty conduits are thicker than several cables side by side and would have to be built quite carefully. In the brick wall (to reach beamer position) it´s even a greater problem as these are carrying walls. But let´s see- the technicians doublecheck this week, maybe I´ll get the conduits.

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only Fiber is right now the only technology that is capable of greater than 1gig

I don´t understand this either because from all I read about Cat 6a, a good cable is capable of 500 MHz bandwidth and 10Gbit up to 75 or 100 metres. Cat6 will in deed be used as wire for connecting media server and player AND as alternative path for video signals (via converters), not only for internet stuff.

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Skip all of that in favor of a lot of Cat6. But also put in normal RG6 coax runs as well.

Yeah, Cat6 is gonna be on both sides of the room. Then one should go up to beamer pos. And maybe one coax. Or you talking about more than one of each?

ACtually no-one favours fibre in deed?

Cheers,
W.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 10:50 AM
 
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Actually fiber is not dead. It is used for communication more than you think. Along with highspeed networking. Copper is dying is what you really should realize, when it comes to highspeed technologies like Internet, etc..

And yes, anything over 1g for ethernet, & WAN is always going to use Fiber, because of the distance issue when using Copper. Goes for the same when sending ground point to ground point video, when Satellite costs are too high for the short distances, or up to a communications link.

As for 3G HD-SDI, unless you are building a production studio in your home to send out feeds to various endpoints to allow consumers to view, you will never see it in the home/consumer market.

The only real point of using Cat-6 in a home theater setting would be for HDMI over Ethernet, and if the person wanted to, to keep things all the same, use it also for the LAN & VoIP connections. Otherwise, Cat-5e will work just fine, since again the bottleneck to the outside is always going to be the connection at the router to the ISP.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 11:02 AM
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And yes, anything over 1g for ethernet, & WAN is always going to use Fiber,

...except when it's used over copper, and it is often.

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Goes for the same when sending ground point to ground point video

Incorrect, again.

Quote:


As for 3G HD-SDI, unless you are building a production studio in your home to send out feeds to various endpoints to allow consumers to view, you will never see it in the home/consumer market.

Can you back this up or is it like the rest of your posts...completely fabricated garbage.
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 12:24 PM
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In the modern television and film facilities these days, fiber and HDSDI are about equal in high speed signal transport. Large, real time, (that is several streams of 2K or even 4K 24fps) SAN infrastructures are still almost exclusivily Fibre Channel. (note Fibre is not a spelling error in the term Fibre Channel).

In broadcast plants where signals are delivered pre-compressed or video tape based, Fibre Channel sees little use. Here gigE and HDSDI are the standards of choice.

HDSDI is used for realtime monitoring, projection and video transport, up to 3gbs as said above. I just saw a report in this months' SMPTE journal that 6gbs and 12gbs HDSDI interface is being developed using multiple 3gig channels. So HDSDI still has a strong future.

Note that in addition to Ethernet over CAT6/5 we still use a lot of AES and even analog audio. Timing signals are still analog video as well.

HDSDI is indeed very rare in a typical HT though it is used in some niche cases. I use it myself but I build interface hardware for a living so that's my excepetion. And some rare HTs with no budget constraints also use HDSDI gear. For my non-HDCP signals I run 1.5gbs HDSDI right up to the projector and convert it to HDMI right there with a 2 foot HDMI cable between the converter and projector. No cable length issues at all. (although me 50ft monoprice HDMI cable works fine too).

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post #9 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 12:38 PM
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Since this is future proof, what about CAT7 instead of CAT6
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgangesgang View Post

Yeah, Cat6 is gonna be on both sides of the room. Then one should go up to beamer pos. And maybe one coax. Or you talking about more than one of each?

Yes. Lots. If you're burying everything in concrete and brick , I would run at least 3-4 cat5e/cat6 to the projector location. And at least 2 to any other location that could use any!

Jeff

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post #11 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

Actually fiber is not dead. It is used for communication more than you think. Along with highspeed networking. Copper is dying is what you really should realize, when it comes to highspeed technologies like Internet, etc..

And yes, anything over 1g for ethernet, & WAN is always going to use Fiber, because of the distance issue when using Copper. Goes for the same when sending ground point to ground point video, when Satellite costs are too high for the short distances, or up to a communications link.

Let's not confuse the poor guy with discussions about what's being used in the communications / IT business. All the above is correct, but do not apply to residential construction or home A/V and networking needs.

Simple copper will continue forever* in its role in home networking / AV uses because it's cheap, simple, and ubiquitous...

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The only real point of using Cat-6 in a home theater setting would be for HDMI over Ethernet, and if the person wanted to, to keep things all the same, use it also for the LAN & VoIP connections. Otherwise, Cat-5e will work just fine, since again the bottleneck to the outside is always going to be the connection at the router to the ISP.

Yep, absolutely correct. Cat6 is generally overkill, but the cost delta is small, so if that makes it easier to sleep at night, use it. HDBaseT works on Cat5e. And as bitrates go, remember that Blu-ray is only pumping ~50Mbs from the disc to the decoder...

Jeff


*It may get replaced some day, but I'll be too old to care by then - you can argue with my holographic avatar when the time comes.

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post #12 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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very interesting, very interesting! Glad to have hit the right forum for this

Nevertheless, maybe I should make my case a bit more clear:

The major route in the theater/living room bridges two opposed walls, separated by hallway on one side and windows/terrace on the other, therefore unbridgebable by post installation cabling. In the 50% case there won´t be any empty conduits on this route it has to be future proof and therefore will carry 15 wires in total, each ca. 10mm in diameter, length ca. 8/9 metres:

- 6x XLR audio hi-end studio quality
- 5x speaker wire 4mm2
- 2x coax, for 3G/6G HD-SDI or whatever else signal
- 1x fibre 4fold
- 1x HDMI
- Cat 6 will be available on both walls anyway

This is the "max" configuration for a hypothetical passive/active/mixed 7.2 setup, still not 100% on which wall the amp/player/surround controller will be located- after all, I might change setup after 10 years, too.

This child-arm thickish rope will terminate on each of the opposed walls in an in-wall box, housing ca. 0.5 meters extra (hope this works with space, still doublechecking). Also terminating in this box will be the route to the other corner of each wall. In there: 3xXLR, 3xspeaker wire. So every corner is actually covered for speakers.

And- importantly, I maybe my biggest problem - the route to the beamer starts in this box. It will not be able to carry an empty conduit or many lines, otherwise expensive to hammer open this brick wall.

So- which wire should I choose to connect the beamer to the big strand in the box (via plugs or soldering)? Of course HDMI for today, but what else to make this a long lasting install?
- Cat 6, coax, fibre still in the pot!?

Quote:


Let's not confuse the poor guy with discussions about what's being used in the communications / IT business.

Oh please, give it to me Me workin´ inside media!
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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You could probably use "Octopus" cable for a lot of the drops, that have video and ethernet cabling going to it. Octopus also comes in flavors that have mutliple audio, so you do not have to pull long runs of bundled cables. Your costs go up when you start throwing words like "Professional" and "Studio" or "High End", when you start talking to companies that do this type of work.

The best way to start is by getting a set of the blue prints and overlaying sheets over it, that would allow you to make changes of how you want the drops and wiring, then when you get the result you want, hand that over to the architect, so they can draw up a professional pull sheet and spec sheet along with schematic for who will be doing the work. Worst thing to do when pulling wiring, is find out that those twenty or more runs you pulled for two days, are now either going to the wrong locations, or got cut too short for where they actually were supposed to be going.

The cable trays and conduits for the pulls help, but not something you would see in majority of the residential installations, but it is helpful. Future proofing, you build into your current want, and only place that I can think of future proofing, would be if in twenty or so years the choice in controlling devices, technology, or wanting more home automation, can really be the only things I can think of off of the top of my head.

I am lucky with my home, due to one I have a unfinished basement, and accessible attic space, along with a common area near where the coax for CATV & wiring for the Telephone Company, who I have both my high speed and tv with are both very well protected from damage and any electrical surges, and can easily be updated if the technology ever changes, which I really do not see happening in my area. With the exception of the high speed and TV, in that the provider is testing in certain areas here in the states with using mesh networking vs. running physical Copper lines to the structures.

And always, always give yourself enough space for storage of supplies needed for patch cords, etc, along with a dedicated space or spaces for the various technologies you are planning on using, vs. trying to wedge into a shoebox, because it now has become a after thought.
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-16-2012, 03:06 PM
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Realistically and in a home theatre setting I personally cannot ever see the need for a true fibre solution as a transport medium for high definition audio/video. Pull some extra CAT6 and be done with it.

10GBASE-T is a 10 Gigabit over Ethernet standard that uses unshielded copper wire (CAT6 or CAT6a) but the costs to put in the connectivity equipment to support it are difficult to justify. We are talking $7k switches and $500+ NICs.

As it stands now there are very few consumer electronic devices that even support Gigabit (1000BaseT) outside of computer networking, and until there is a demand for consumer electronics to NEED that sort of bandwidth then the cost will remain high.

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post #15 of 20 Old 04-17-2012, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there.

Well- I´ll wait for the results concerning empty conduits and then finish off the planning and post it.

Good to know that quite many favour Cat 6 and coax as universal Video and Data cabling over any fibre solution. Seems to be the way to go in both cases.

I am a bit surprised that concerning todays video-only cables nobody mentioned Display Port (or thunderbolt). OK, at the moment not really suitable for installation cabling, but any prognoses on that? Theoretically strong interfaces!

W.
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-17-2012, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgangesgang View Post

I am a bit surprised that concerning todays video-only cables nobody mentioned Display Port (or thunderbolt). OK, at the moment not really suitable for installation cabling, but any prognoses on that? Theoretically strong interfaces!

We did - we just called them "empty conduit".

HDMI will probably carry us for quite a while - DisplayPort, etc. have lots of other features not needed for A/V purposes. When we get beyond 4k displays I'd expect we'll just be running Gbit Ethernet to the projector and streaming video from the source/receiver. Or using HDBaseT, which would be the same cable type anyway...

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post #17 of 20 Old 04-17-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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jautor, a company has already come out with a Fiber-Optic HDMi cable (Rainbow Fish Fiber Optic Inc.). Catch is, that the cable runs about $250 for a 25 foot length, and you have to have a USB on the device that the Receiver for the cable plugs into, so that you can power up the TX & RX ends.
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post #18 of 20 Old 04-17-2012, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

jautor, a company has already come out with a Fiber-Optic HDMi cable (Rainbow Fish Fiber Optic Inc.). Catch is, that the cable runs about $250 for a 25 foot length, and you have to have a USB on the device that the Receiver for the cable plugs into, so that you can power up the TX & RX ends.

Right, which is why it won't catch on in the mainstream, as long as we can solve it with copper... HDBaseT is already down to ~$200 solution cost for a single link.

Jeff

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post #19 of 20 Old 04-18-2012, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I know these hybrid cables also for DVI transmission and they are a pain in the a***.

But there are nice small converters for the use with SC-plugged optical wire and this works better as also the cables are far more flexible, longer and not that expensive. I can get an optical cable, 4 wires, for like 5 Euro/m.

So actually I have no idea why optical stuff shouldn´t be a thing in the future. Apart from that, of course, HDBaseT is first. Let´s see if HDBaseT comes home so soon but it looks like it is not improbable, with Samsung, Sony and LG in the boat.

And it´s a technology that exists, with the 200$ apparatuses that just work.
One question: Why would you put several strands of Cat 6 up to the beamer position? You thinking about bundled HDBaseT transmission for 8K material?

See ya,
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post #20 of 20 Old 04-18-2012, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgangesgang View Post

So actually I have no idea why optical stuff shouldn´t be a thing in the future.

Fiber has been "the future" for 20 years... Another 20 maybe it will be! (I'm talking widespread, residential interior wiring here)

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Why would you put several strands of Cat 6 up to the beamer position?

I don't know - and that's why you should run some extra. Cat5e/6 is just plain useful for lots of stuff, and it's so cheap, having a few extra lines for "something" is a good idea.

Jeff

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