Some miscellaneous distributed A/V Questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-17-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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A few (random) distributed A/V questions:

1) Is it necessary to run RS232 control wires with Cat 6 STP (shielded)? I'm pretty sure all DB9 cables are shielded so I'm assuming this is a yes. (No - UTP is Fine)
2) Is it necessary to run IR lines through Cat 6 with Cat 6 STP (shielded)? I'm pretty sure it's not a requirement. (No - UTP is Fine)
3) I plan on later purchasing an IP camera system and want to incorporate this into my wiring plans. It seems like most IP camera systems can run power over Ethernet so that just a single Cat6 (unshielded?) can be run to each camera and then the camera controller outputs to BNC or Coax. So, I should just run a single RG6 to each TV that I want to see the cameras (in addition to the multitude of other A/V wires), right?
4) For TVs that only have one Coax input, are there any (nice) Coax/RG6 switches that can be mounted to the rear of the TV so that you can switch between the HDTV Coax and the Camera Coax when desired?
5) To future protect for HDBaseT, I'm planning on home running two shielded Cat6 cables from each TV to the basement as there doesn't appear to be another way. Right now, the HDBaseT matrix switches (and the receiver side at each TV) are still very cost prohibitive.) This isn't really a question - just looking for any other insight. (I've read through most HDBaseT threads on here.)
6) I'll be using a Niles TVA50 (25x2w amplifier that senses when the TV is on so that you can share a set of speakers for TV viewing and the distributed home audio. In this smaller bedroom, should I perhaps mount two in wall speakers, instead of two in ceiling, to help with the stereo separation? In Ceiling speakers wouldn't be equidistant to where the guests would be watching TV (bed) but it may not make an enormous difference. Looking for what others have done that worked out well.
7) Do most newer LCD TVs still have RCA monitor audio outputs? On TVs where I may wish to hookup a video camera to replay video, should I just run two RG6 cables with RCA ends to the keystone plate behind those TVs? That'd probably be less expensive than an RCA audio balun.
8) I can't find a wallplate to hook up a set of nice headphones. I believe it will be a phono plug, but I can't find a keystone jack that will fit the
bill. Any suggestions?
9) In my library, I plan on installing the A/V wiring into the floor near the computer desk and was curious if anyone has a good source for an in-ground keystone plate. Also, an in ground AC plate.
10) Linking back to question #3, what type of RF splitter would I need to split the camera Coax feed to 3-4 different TVs?

Thanks in advance - if you need any more insight, please just ask!

Cheers,

- Rob
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-19-2012, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patterr View Post

3) I plan on later purchasing an IP camera system and want to incorporate this into my wiring plans. It seems like most IP camera systems can run power over Ethernet so that just a single Cat6 (unshielded?) can be run to each camera and then the camera controller outputs to BNC or Coax. So, I should just run a single RG6 to each TV that I want to see the cameras (in addition to the multitude of other A/V wires), right?

Well, you should run at least one coax to all display locations regardless, as you'll need it for cable/sat TV. Even if you plan to do distributed video, you'll want the "normal" wiring in place. Running a second coax is a good idea.

If you aren't buying a IP camera / DVR setup right away, chances are you'll be able to buy one with HDMI out for a reasonable price anyway. The days of RF-based SD distribution are over... (at least, at anything above the bargain basement)
Quote:
4) For TVs that only have one Coax input, are there any (nice) Coax/RG6 switches that can be mounted to the rear of the TV so that you can switch between the HDTV Coax and the Camera Coax when desired?

Not that I can think of, and it would be cumbersome anyway - if the TV doesn't have dual antenna inputs (becoming rare), assume HDMI will be your go forward path...
Quote:
5) To future protect for HDBaseT, I'm planning on home running two shielded Cat6 cables from each TV to the basement as there doesn't appear to be another way. Right now, the HDBaseT matrix switches (and the receiver side at each TV) are still very cost prohibitive.) This isn't really a question - just looking for any other insight. (I've read through most HDBaseT threads on here.)

HDBaseT will run over cat5e UTP. Cat6 is probably the better choice these days as the cost delta is very small. No need to go to shielded - stick with UTP.
Quote:
6) I'll be using a Niles TVA50 (25x2w amplifier that senses when the TV is on so that you can share a set of speakers for TV viewing and the distributed home audio. In this smaller bedroom, should I perhaps mount two in wall speakers, instead of two in ceiling, to help with the stereo separation? In Ceiling speakers wouldn't be equidistant to where the guests would be watching TV (bed) but it may not make an enormous difference. Looking for what others have done that worked out well.

Definitely do the wiring in the house to allow centralized audio/video distribution. You can wire the room to allow for the TVA50 usage, but home run those speaker wires. You may be more likely to feed the TV audio from a centralized set-top box into a whole-house-audio system, instead of taking from the TV.

As for speaker locations in bedrooms - what I've done in my house was position the speakers above the headboard on the opposite wall from the TV mount location. Still works for audio sources, and with a local source interrupt, they can be used for surround speakers in a 5.1 setup. I don't use the in-ceiling speakers for TV audio (sound is coming too far away from the image, and its distracting).
Quote:
7) Do most newer LCD TVs still have RCA monitor audio outputs? On TVs where I may wish to hookup a video camera to replay video, should I just run two RG6 cables with RCA ends to the keystone plate behind those TVs? That'd probably be less expensive than an RCA audio balun.

Audio input or output? The analog output has been dropped by many TV makers (likely due to space constraints - Samsung has it but went to a 3.5mm jack to save space) - if you're hooking up a camera, there are analog inputs.
Quote:
8) I can't find a wallplate to hook up a set of nice headphones. I believe it will be a phono plug, but I can't find a keystone jack that will fit the
bill. Any suggestions?

Hook up to what? Two options - wireless headphones and RCA jacks, or a 3.5mm keystone plug and a phone plug adapter if needed.
Quote:
9) In my library, I plan on installing the A/V wiring into the floor near the computer desk and was curious if anyone has a good source for an in-ground keystone plate. Also, an in ground AC plate.

Carlon has split floor outlets for AC / low-volt. There are keystone frames that fit in these... I used the Two Door Dual Service model in my study:

http://www.carlonsales.com/Floor%20Boxes_2B38.pdf
Quote:
10) Linking back to question #3, what type of RF splitter would I need to split the camera Coax feed to 3-4 different TVs?

Any splitter will do fine for camera feeds, assuming they're still producing SD / RF output models by the time you buy one!
Quote:
Who invented Soft Soap and why?

Boy, you ask a lot of questions!!! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif


Jeff

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-14-2012, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Jeff -

Thanks for your detailed responses! I'm drafting the posting for my whole A/V system design here shortly but will first comment on your replies:

Cheers,

- Rob
P.S. I have been pouring through your retrospective build journal - outstanding end product and kudos to you for taking the time to share your lessons learned with the community. It's inspiring, and I plan on trying to do the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Well, you should run at least one coax to all display locations regardless, as you'll need it for cable/sat TV. Even if you plan to do distributed video, you'll want the "normal" wiring in place. Running a second coax is a good idea.

Yeah, each TV will have two quad shield RG6 and a multitude of Cat6 depending on the application in the rooms. In just about all rooms, the A/V gear will be remotely located so the Cat6 requirements for the TV are mainly:
Internet for TV (Cat6)
RS232 or IR Control (Cat6)
HDMI over two Cat6 (Receiver output to TV)
HDBaseT (Cat 5 STP - I already have it) - Both just futureproofing
HDBaseT (Cat5 STP) - I already have it) Both just futureproofing
Spare (Cat6)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

If you aren't buying a IP camera / DVR setup right away, chances are you'll be able to buy one with HDMI out for a reasonable price anyway. The days of RF-based SD distribution are over... (at least, at anything above the bargain basement)
Understood - will probably end up picking up more HDMI Baluns then to distribute the Camera DVR output to key TV locations. Also need Cat6 for IR control. Wish HDBaseT baluns weren't so costly...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Not that I can think of, and it would be cumbersome anyway - if the TV doesn't have dual antenna inputs (becoming rare), assume HDMI will be your go forward path...HDBaseT will run over cat5e UTP. Cat6 is probably the better choice these days as the cost delta is very small. No need to go to shielded - stick with UTP.
True, good point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Definitely do the wiring in the house to allow centralized audio/video distribution. You can wire the room to allow for the TVA50 usage, but home run those speaker wires. You may be more likely to feed the TV audio from a centralized set-top box into a whole-house-audio system, instead of taking from the TV.
As for speaker locations in bedrooms - what I've done in my house was position the speakers above the headboard on the opposite wall from the TV mount location. Still works for audio sources, and with a local source interrupt, they can be used for surround speakers in a 5.1 setup. I don't use the in-ceiling speakers for TV audio (sound is coming too far away from the image, and its distracting).
Clever - I like it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Hook up to what? Two options - wireless headphones and RCA jacks, or a 3.5mm keystone plug and a phone plug adapter if needed.
Sorry, should have been more specific - hook up the analog phono output from the receiver in the basement to a wall plate for a headphone. The thing that worries me the most is the strain relief, or lack thereof. Perhaps the wireless approach is the best way of going though I'd still have to put a wallplate with RCAs and power to control the headphone base. At least it would be stationary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Carlon has split floor outlets for AC / low-volt. There are keystone frames that fit in these... I used the Two Door Dual Service model in my study:
http://www.carlonsales.com/Floor%20Boxes_2B38.pdf
Nice - thanks for the link. I'm thinking that based on the high number of keystone jacks that I would need that I should either just have a "bulk cable wallplate" with a large opening. At the desk in the library, I need:
4 - Cat6 UTP (Internet for Desktop, Laptop, Audio Control, Spare)
2 - RG6 (HDTV + SDARS)
2 - HDMI (Laptop Out to TV, Desktop Out to TV)
2 - AC (This one will need a real floorplate)

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-14-2012, 07:00 PM
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I am planning a similar arrangement in my study of the new home that is being built. I really like the floor boxes made by Legrand. Their evolution series are very nice and it is what I am planning to use.

http://www.legrand.us/wiremold/floor-boxes/concrete-floor-boxes/efb6s-evolution-six-gang-floor-boxes/efb6s-evolution-six-gang-floor-box.aspx

Good luck,
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-14-2012, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulKohler View Post

I am planning a similar arrangement in my study of the new home that is being built. I really like the floor boxes made by Legrand. Their evolution series are very nice and it is what I am planning to use.
http://www.legrand.us/wiremold/floor-boxes/concrete-floor-boxes/efb6s-evolution-six-gang-floor-boxes/efb6s-evolution-six-gang-floor-box.aspx
Good luck,

Yes, those are nice - just be aware that these, like most "commercial" grade in-floor outlets, are *not* completely flush with the floor when not in use. So make sure you're absolutely going to have furniture that will cover it.

The one place I didn't put a floor outlet, and wish I had, was in the middle of the dining room. Under the dining room table, of course. Would have been handy for parties for food warmers, etc...


Jeff

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