Wiring new home - skip RG6 altogether and just do Cat-6 everywhere? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-05-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all, so I'm building a new home, and have been reading lots of threads, including these two great ones:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1423870/new-home-construction-every-room-gets-a-single-cat5e-drop-with-a-switch-or-multiple-wall-panels
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1273786/20-tips-from-a-first-time-whole-house-wiring-veteran

The rooms I have are:
  • great room
  • home theater
  • master bedroom
  • 2x kids bedrooms
  • office
  • laundry / sewing
  • central wiring closet - media server (Plex/XBMC), file server

I was originally thinking something like 1x RG6, 2x Cat-6 for most rooms, and then 1x RG6, 4x Cat6 for rooms like the office, theater, etc. I have a networking background, and the whole house is going to have a heavy computer infrastructure (file servers/etc). If I added phones to some rooms, I would just plug those into a Cat6 jack as well (overkill, but easiest just to wire everything the same).

The more I read, the more I'm wondering whether I should ditch the RG6 almost everywhere, and use the money for more Cat-6. Drop in RG6 at the main wiring closet, and maybe great room / office, but otherwise do 3x Cat6 to most rooms, and 5-6x Cat-6 for the office/theater. Then use baluns for HDMI over Cat6. I'm also going to run empty conduit in the important areas (office, theater, great room).

So my questions are really:
  1. Is this approach a good idea?
  2. Where should I keep RG6 "just in case"?
  3. Any other opinions, like use Cat-6A instead for futureproofing?

Thanks
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-05-2012, 12:13 PM
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No, not a good idea. Cable TV will and continue to be coax-based. Basic setups for a set-top box attached to a TV in the same room should always be supported.

Deleting coax won't save you much, and "fixing" it later would be a big expense, and could cause you grief when you try to sell the house - "what do you mean they don't have cableTV in the rooms?"

Furthermore, we don't know what the future will bring - it's best to not be weird in this regard - make sure you have the same wiring (at a minimum) that everyone else has, as that's what the manufacturers will target their products to work with...

Put at least one RG6 (two is better, but becoming much less important as the Sat guys work well with a single run now) to every likely display location (bedrooms, family room, etc.). In non-traditional locations that *you* may put a display, lots of cat5e/cat6 would be fine without coax. I would just make sure there's a coax in every room a "normal" person would expect to put a TV. (meaning, none of us here are normal. biggrin.gif)

Jeff

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Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #3 of 4 Old 12-06-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Deleting coax won't save you much, and "fixing" it later would be a big expense, and could cause you grief when you try to sell the house - "what do you mean they don't have cableTV in the rooms?" Furthermore, we don't know what the future will bring - it's best to not be weird in this regard - make sure you have the same wiring (at a minimum) that everyone else has, as that's what the manufacturers will target their products to work with

Yeah, good points.

Follow-up: Does 48 Cat-6 ports seem reasonable for a 3200 sq ft house? I've tried decreasing the Cat-6 to save money, but they add up fast at 4 per drop.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-06-2012, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nizl View Post

Follow-up: Does 48 Cat-6 ports seem reasonable for a 3200 sq ft house? I've tried decreasing the Cat-6 to save money, but they add up fast at 4 per drop.

I'm not the right person to ask... biggrin.gif I have probably twice that many category runs...

I think your approach is correct - two cat6 in drops for most rooms, 3-4 for key locations. Now, with HDBaseT and more IP-based A/V distribution coming (and coming down in price), you'll probably be very covered with two cat6 per drops, and possibly even one.

Assuming the builder is charging you per wire, not per drop, you might talk to him about the 3-4 wires per drop areas. The cost to run >1 wire to the same location is very small. If you've got a lot of those, it's worth a discussion about the installation price not being 3-4x,

My method was to approach the builder's low-volt contractor with a list of runs, cable types, etc. that were over-and-above the basic install package in the contract. I supplied the wire for those runs, and asked for a price for the labor as a whole - not on a per run basis. I think that's reasonable for a larger number of runs.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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