Is physical hardwiring(CAT5e/COAX/etc) outdated? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm helping a friend do his low voltage/networking in his home which is pretty sizable(14k). My house is significantly smaller(2k) and I run wireless rather than hardwires. I looked over the proposals he got(120cat5e/35coax) and thought that this was a bit much. Is there even a need to run physical wires these days when you can just wireless stream everything?
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post #2 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 10:26 AM
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Only if you want it to work . . .

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post #3 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 10:45 AM
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wired is the only way to go if you are pushing high bitrate video, like streaming 1080p movies, Yes its possible on wireless but you are more likely to encounter stuttering and things, Were wired will always just work correctly,
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post #4 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 11:05 AM
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+3. Gigabit wired network is mandatory for HD video and audio streaming. Might cost more up front, but the time and aggravation saved is priceless.
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post #5 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

+3. Gigabit wired network is mandatory for HD video and audio streaming. Might cost more up front, but the time and aggravation saved is priceless.

+4 I concur.

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post #6 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys; I thought I was being stupid!
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post #7 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Only if you want it to work . . .

That's classic!
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post #8 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 11:58 AM
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Another one for wired Ethernet. I'm selling my home which I wired with Cat5 when it was being built in 1998. I don't expect the home I buy to have wiring installed.

I'm not looking forward to retrofitting the wiring
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post #9 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

+3. Gigabit wired network is mandatory for HD video and audio streaming. Might cost more up front, but the time and aggravation saved is priceless.

++1100

I even use a Gigabit gamer router as well , the switches are Gigabit as well , never had a problem 2 PC's , 2 Home Theaters , 2 D*TV boxes ,HTPC in main room , clean streaming from all sources , in fact multiple streaming feeds at the same time , no problemo @ all
Wired is what Real networking is about !
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post #10 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 12:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Only if you want it to work . . .

HAHAHAHA! Agree 100%. There is no substitute for a hard wired connection imho..
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post #11 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 12:35 PM
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Has anyone gone to Cat 6 yet?

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post #12 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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All the vendors recommended doing CAT5e. I asked about CAT6 but they said the added bulk of the wire/components would drastically increase costs. They said for media loads, CAT6 isn't really necessary.

I'd love to hear the input from you guys.
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post #13 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edd1e22 View Post

All the vendors recommended doing CAT5e. I asked about CAT6 but they said the added bulk of the wire/components would drastically increase costs. They said for media loads, CAT6 isn't really necessary.

I'd love to hear the input from you guys.

I use Cat5e for my whole house, and stream HD Movies without any issues .

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post #14 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edd1e22 View Post

All the vendors recommended doing CAT5e. I asked about CAT6 but they said the added bulk of the wire/components would drastically increase costs. They said for media loads, CAT6 isn't really necessary.

I'd love to hear the input from you guys.

If you're building in structured wiring and paying the small fortune needed to wire up a house that big, you definitely don't want to do it twice. CAT 5e is probably fine for today, for most needs (but not all), but will it suffice in 3 years? You really don't want to have to rip and replace all that wiring, you will have lost all the money you saved going with CAT 5e in the first place, and then some, not to mention in the immense hassle.
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post #15 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 05:28 PM
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Yes, a new install should be Cat6 since the cost difference is not that great between the two for a full install. Although Cat5e will certainly suffice. The gigabit spec was designed for Cat5e. I went gigabit in 2001. And my Cat5e still works great. And it's still very expensive for me to jump to anything faster because of the equipment, although prices are coming down. But in general copper has been going up while fiber has come down alot. At work, for just the wiring part, it's actually cheaper for a fiber install over a copper install.

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post #16 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 05:35 PM
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When I built my house in 2006 nearly every room had 2xCat6 drops. Mind you, the house was only about 1750 square feet, but that was still 16 runs of Cat6.

A 1000' spool of wire was only about $175 at the time IIRC.

If a person has a 12,000 square foot house, they can afford the extra couple hundred bucks to go with Cat6.
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post #17 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David James View Post

Another one for wired Ethernet. I'm selling my home which I wired with Cat5 when it was being built in 1998. I don't expect the home I buy to have wiring installed.

I'm not looking forward to retrofitting the wiring

Our new home that we purchased 3 years ago was already pre-wired with Cat5.
A lot of newer home are coming pre-wired already, especially if there is an alarm system already built in.
It's funny, pre-wiring was not even on my radar when we were looking for a house.
Thank goodness it was already or I don't know what I would do now without it.
I've got 2 DirecTV boxes, Xbox, 2 Blu-ray players, desktop PC and 3 WDTV players all connected via Cat5
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post #18 of 88 Old 04-09-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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The only stuff that we have on WiFi in my house, are the following: An Android phone, two iPhones, a Nook with the n2a Android software micro-SD in it, our thermostat that uses Wireless-B for the radio. Everything else is wired. The total devices on our network is at 15, most we have had on it was 21 devices, with no problems. We have used our Roku wireless with no problems. Then again Netflix is not that fast.

Personally, when pulling Ethernet, take the number of drops and multiple by four for future proofing.
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post #19 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

+3. Gigabit wired network is mandatory for HD video and audio streaming. Might cost more up front, but the time and aggravation saved is priceless.

Gigabit isn't required, but hardwired is.

I backbone on DirecTV's whole home DVR network system. They have a deca converts the coaxial from the wall to a network cable. I somply take the network portion, put it on a switch, then one cable to the directv box and another cable to my htpc's. This ends up being a 100mb network, but it streams my 1080p movies with HD audio tracks flawlesly. I store them all on a windows home server, and play them on zotac zboxes (little atom cpu's), works great!

So, consider that to be a free option if he opts to go with directv.
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post #20 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 07:35 AM
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100 mb is PLENTY to stream even the highest bitrate bluray around. Gigabit is way way way more bandwidth than needed.

That said, wireless today still isn't fast enough to reliably do that, wired 100mb is though.


So there's 2 things here:

802.11ac, which is the next wifi standard, and you'll see hardware available for it as early as this fall, WILL be fast enough (likely sustain throughput faster than 100mb ethernet).

So if you could wait that long wifi would be fine for that purpose.

As long as you're not streaming to 5 different rooms at the same time or something... in which case you're still better off being wired for gigabit.


The second thing though... is not what's fine for today, but what's fine for tomorrow. or tomorrow 5 years from now. Or 10.

When whatever replaces BR comes along 100mb wired or not won't be fast enough....hell, GIGABIT won't be fast enough... you'll need 10GB networks to stream uncompressed 4k video for example.

So go wired. And Cat 6a.
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post #21 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

If you're building in structured wiring and paying the small fortune needed to wire up a house that big, you definitely don't want to do it twice. CAT 5e is probably fine for today, for most needs (but not all), but will it suffice in 3 years? You really don't want to have to rip and replace all that wiring, you will have lost all the money you saved going with CAT 5e in the first place, and then some, not to mention in the immense hassle.

Cat6 is ALOT closer than you think. We have been changing out 5e for 6 in a large amusement park for the past few years. All for future proofing. The occassional 5e is still run in non critical locations but I personally wouldn't even consider 5e what with 6 being available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by child of wonder View Post

When I built my house in 2006 nearly every room had 2xCat6 drops. Mind you, the house was only about 1750 square feet, but that was still 16 runs of Cat6.

A 1000' spool of wire was only about $175 at the time IIRC.

If a person has a 12,000 square foot house, they can afford the extra couple hundred bucks to go with Cat6.

I couldn't agree more.

Wireless is awesome but it does have inherent issues that just aren't worked out yet. I say what's an extra couple hundred of dollars when looking at the grand scheme of things for all the money being spent anyway? An investment in the future, that is what it is...not to mention the ultimate level of aggrevation wireless can do to somebody...
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post #22 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 08:16 AM
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Wired is the only way to go.. sorry
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post #23 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 08:18 AM
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I used the WD Homeline kit for my wired connection and works great it uses your house wires to send the signals through
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post #24 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moviebuff1234 View Post

I used the WD Homeline kit for my wired connection and works great it uses your house wires to send the signals through

I tested this, and it didn't work for me . I was trying to set up my daughter's room, but it appears that I will have to run a Cat5e line to her room. My house was built in the late 1980's. So the electrical probably aren't the best in the world lol.

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post #25 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by moviebuff1234 View Post

I used the WD Homeline kit for my wired connection and works great it uses your house wires to send the signals through

IS that for the power lines? One of the problems with those is if there is a power outage your network will go down. While if you use twisted pair and UPSs, your network can stay up during a power outage.

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post #26 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

IS that for the power lines? One of the problems with those is if there is a power outage your network will go down. While if you use twisted pair and UPSs, your network can stay up during a power outage.

Or a generator to power your home
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post #27 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurtz9 View Post

100 mb is PLENTY to stream even the highest bitrate bluray around. Gigabit is way way way more bandwidth than needed.

It would seem so on paper, but in reality most 100Mb adapters are lucky to see 60Mb sustained throughput. It'll work OK most of the time for things like BD ISO streaming, but any parallel traffic on the network could cause issues. The modest required investment for Gigabit network is a no-brainer and eliminates any possible issues, especially in a large house with many connections sharing the same bandwidth.
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post #28 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

It would seem so on paper, but in reality most 100Mb adapters are lucky to see 60Mb sustained throughput. It'll work OK most of the time for things like BD ISO streaming, but any parallel traffic on the network could cause issues. The modest required investment for Gigabit network is a no-brainer and eliminates any possible issues, especially in a large house with many connections sharing the same bandwidth.

60mb is being nice A good rule of thumb is 1/10th the bandwidth is your goal.

For example, when I transfer a 25gb file from my htpc to my whs, I get, at best, 90-110mb transfer rate. That is with a gig ethernet on the htpc, cat6 wiring to a gig switch, cat 6 wiring to a gig ethernet on the whs...all roughly 3 feet apart.

But, that is file transfer, and streaming a movie from the server to the htpc may be different speeds.
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post #29 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 09:47 AM
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You should run a test first with a good quality wireless router to see if it's feasible. There are also powerline ethernet adapters which may work pretty well in newer homes.

http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-XAVB51...4076585&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.com/ZyXEL-Powerlin...4076689&sr=8-9


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post #30 of 88 Old 04-10-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzirkelb View Post

60mb is being nice A good rule of thumb is 1/10th the bandwidth is your goal.

For example, when I transfer a 25gb file from my htpc to my whs, I get, at best, 90-110mb transfer rate. That is with a gig ethernet on the htpc, cat6 wiring to a gig switch, cat 6 wiring to a gig ethernet on the whs...all roughly 3 feet apart.

But, that is file transfer, and streaming a movie from the server to the htpc may be different speeds.

That doesn't sound right for a gigabit connection. Maybe you are limited by the WHS transfer rate? 110mb/s is very slow. I can get at least double that(220mb/s, which is still slow) to my WHS(most of my drives are connected over USB) and around eight times that(720mb/s to 850mb/s) throughput to my unRAID which uses a cache drive.

Even in late 2001 when I first went gigabit, I got over 500mb/s transfer rates to my server from my HTPC using ide hard drives. I would transfer 25GB to 40GB of HD recordings each week for later viewing.

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