Originally Posted by archbid
Thank you for responding to my post. No snark, I like that this conversation is happening. Let me try to parse what I am hearing:
Side 1 (RG6): Cable, Satellite, and most commercial video distribution in 99.9% of American households presumes RG6 near the TV. Leave it out and people will sit there with a cable box in their hands in their daughter's room going "WTF!". In addition, the vast number of homes with RG6 will drive investment in RG6 as the transport layer for new devices and distribution.
Side 2 (CAT6): RG6 is an analog relic. We should respect those engineers who figured out how to get signals in everyone's home, but we should also respect that it is 20th century tech and is going nowhere but out. There is simply too much advantage in terms of control, distribution, signal routing and integration to a layered topology like TCP/IP over any purpose-built networks (and yes, this also includes IR and serial, BTW).
So, where you stand on this one depends on where you are sitting. If you are an installer, or if you give a darn about a subsequent owner, you really should install one RG6 to the main rooms where it is likely you will have a TV. Maybe two if you have a fetish for old devices with two inputs, if you want OTA and pay, or if you want FM and pay. But do it understanding fully that for all the reasons above, most of that RG6 cable you install will only serve to weigh your house down in the event of a tornado. But sometimes courtesy has a cost.
If it is your home, take it from TmcG and I, running RG6 is a waste unless you plan to use it NOW. It is not a future tech, and building a distribution system using it is ridiculous - if you are affording thousands in equipment, you can afford baluns. I have run 1000s of feet of RG6 that has no value at all, largely because there is zero odds that I am leasing 5-7 set top boxes from comcast and paying a per-screen fee. That game is over.
My only real beef with biggAW is referring to RG6 as the most important. I understand the argument that there is a lot of coax in people's houses, but why does that matter for a homeowner? Obviously, if they are wiring, they don't have the coax legacy, so that can't be the issue. The only other effect would be the the presence of coax in American homes will drive investment decisions on the part of consumer electronics companies and force TCP/IP over RG6. That analysis is not borne out in the market:
1. Most cable is not installed in a way that will support networking - Lots of daisy chain and splitters means a lot of useless cable for networking
2. Amazon, Google and Apple are driving this, not random small companies or niche players. And not one of their devices has a coax input. Microsoft is the only one that even considers it, with TV tuner integration in MCE, but the rest ignore it. If there were not a federal mandate, the coax would disappear from Samsung and the others overnight.
3. Consumer electronics companies know that virtually no houses are wired with CAT5/6, but they are dealing with that by supporting Wifi, not Coax. No serious player is leading with coax networking.
4. The satellite vendors squeezed out all of the independent set top box players, so there is nobody left to give a s**t about coax, and I would not hold my breath waiting for Directv to lead the market. Their only move is to delay
The installed base of coax, as a result, is irrelevant to anyone who is wiring their own home, and is largely irrelevant to the major players.
I think you nailed Side 1 on the head in terms of future development, but calling it an analog relic is harsh, as current coaxial systems are loaded to the gills with QAM256 digital, and most of them only have one analog channel left- the test pattern.
I would argue that Side 2 is arguing for whole-home distribution, which, for the most part is NOT IP-based, but rather, is using HDBaseT or some other HDMI-over-CAT technology. However, I don't think the sides are at war, as anyone who does a decent pre-wire will be pre-wiring both to all locations anyways.
RG-6 is king because it's the one thing you really NEED. Most homes don't have CAT cable at all, and get along just fine. By no means am I suggesting that anyone should skip pre-wiring CAT cable, as I am a huge fan of hardwired Ethernet, but everything out there is designed to work without CAT cable in the walls, because most people don't have it.
1. DirecTV, DISH, Verizon, and Comcast are already running TCP/IP over coax through variations of MoCA (not sure about DISH, and DirecTV's DECA is MoCA frequency shifted to work with satellite). Yes, you have to clean the wiring up a bit, but cleaning up wiring and swapping a few splitters around is a whole heck of a lot easier than pulling new CAT cable all over the place. Even if you have to add some RG-6, you can connect that with existing wiring easily.
2. Amazon, Google, and Apple have nothing to do with coax, as they are not working with the MSOs. And these devices can work through MoCA if desired, with adapters. That has nothing to do with a pre-wire though, as a pre-wire will have CAT cable for Ethernet anyways.
3. TiVo, DirecTV, Comcast, DISH, Verizon, AT&T. Even if you count TiVo out, you can't really discount the rest...
4. HUH? DirecTV's DECA system is purely coax based.
NO. The installed base is absolutely relevant, as the two main players in wiring today are RG-6 and CAT-5e/6. Anyone not wiring for both in a big way has no business doing a pre-wire. The major players will be using coax for a long, long time, as that's what's out there. They will use what's available to them, as they don't really have any other choice. Do you think DirecTV is going to go into 17 million households, and start pulling miles of wire? First of all, the customers would just get rid of the service if they had to run new wire for it, and secondly, DirecTV is just going to use DECA, since it does everything they need with the wiring that they have access to. Heck, there's a reason they switched from needing two RG-6 runs for a DVR to one with SWiM, as there were places they couldn't install too, and the extra wire running was costing them a lot in installer labor. They went back to what everyone has, one RG-6.