Is it better to install WIRED ap on all floors instead of ALOT of long homeruns ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Gathering all infofor a project I will undertake hopefully in a month or so..Plan to wire my 3400 sq ft house for a whole house home network. Will be using pcs,xbox,ps3,WD media players,etc. Plus a nas type setup.Number of devices will figure out later but probably about 2 drops per room.

What I really need to know is if I could just wire a main drop to basement,1 st flr, and 2nd flr (3 lines total) and then on each flr install a wired 8 port switch to handle the load for that flr? Will you get same performance? This is what I was considering..1 on each flr.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I could homerun ALL those cables to a specific location,but man that would be alot of wire pulling. Hence why I'm wondering if it would be okay to just run 1 main cable per flr then install that switch on each flr . My wife and I prewired whole house for cable/satellite. Got it done but was alot of drilling thru top plates,and time in attic, etc..

Just in case anybody is going to mention wireless,yes I will have it in the house,but I'm ol school and don't trust it to deliver the goods in terms of having 10+ devices going and not get hiccups. YES, I may be wrong but wired to me is the ONLY way to go to do the bulk of the job.

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post #2 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 06:27 AM
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Run one wire to each main area (wherever it makes sense) then put a network switch there to break it out to all the devices in the area.

Technically you could see better performance if you ran dedicated wires to each device and brought them all back to one demarcation point (if you routinely transfer multiple *large* files between many different computers and just need to have them transfered *right now*) but in reality you will likely not see the difference in the real world.

Just as an example, you could have about 10 gadgets like a PS3, Xbox or WD media player broken out on one gigabit switch and all of them could still get "full power" transfering between floors.

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post #3 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Gathering all infofor a project I will undertake hopefully in a month or so..Plan to wire my 3400 sq ft house for a whole house home network. Will be using pcs,xbox,ps3,WD media players,etc. Plus a nas type setup.Number of devices will figure out later but probably about 2 drops per room.

What I really need to know is if I could just wire a main drop to basement,1 st flr, and 2nd flr (3 lines total) and then on each flr install a wired 8 port switch to handle the load for that flr? Will you get same performance? This is what I was considering..1 on each flr.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I could homerun ALL those cables to a specific location,but man that would be alot of wire pulling. Hence why I'm wondering if it would be okay to just run 1 main cable per flr then install that switch on each flr . My wife and I prewired whole house for cable/satellite. Got it done but was alot of drilling thru top plates,and time in attic, etc..

Just in case anybody is going to mention wireless,yes I will have it in the house,but I'm ol school and don't trust it to deliver the goods in terms of having 10+ devices going and not get hiccups. YES, I may be wrong but wired to me is the ONLY way to go to do the bulk of the job.

Now, if all the devices were trying to get data from the same server, they would be sharing bandwidth anyway.

There are some issues with collisions and the like when you tier switches, but in a small home environment they aren't usually a big deal.

brickie

Each trunk line will be limited to 1GB in each direction. Thus, if all the devices on one floor requested data on devices on a different floor they would need to share I/O.
Whereas, in an all home run situation, each independent device pair would not share I/O with other devices communicating to one another.

Now if each device was requesting data from the same server, you share bandwidth anyway.

Tiered switching can cause collisions and the like, but in the home environment it's usually negligible.
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post #4 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 07:04 AM
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Honestly three 1Gig home runs will be plenty for anything we have today. I don't know about your choice of switch but you won't run into any problems with the architecture. 100Mbps will do anything you need in a home network so 1Gbps is plenty for the home runs from each floor.
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post #5 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 09:08 AM
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One ethernet switch per floor is almost certainly fine, BUT...

Do you see yourself having a home media server? (You mention WD media players.) Moving video files around consumes a lot of bandwidth. What if you ran one homerun from each tv/video location to the same switch your media server will be on? Very little extra cost if you already plan on pulling hard-wire connections anyway.

Essentially, you'd be isolating the video traffic to one switch. Might make sense if you plan on serving a lot of blue-ray rips or similar.

Just an alternative to consider.

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post #6 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post

Essentially, you'd be isolating the video traffic to one switch. Might make sense if you plan on serving a lot of blue-ray rips or similar.

Let's think about this, assuming that the average BR runs about 30 Mbps (which is actually rather conservative as they tend to run at or below 25Mbps most of the time) and that a normal gigabit connection can handle contiguous data like a RB rip at rates easily up to 60 MBps, that means that even with just one gigabit connection being spread out throughout the house, you're still capable of serving 16 BR rips at a time...

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post #7 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 11:28 AM
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Sounds like one cable to ea. floor is a unanimous OK.

For aesthetic purposes though u will need to build a little junction box, a good place WITH POWER to place ea. floor's switch box, and of course you will be dealing with more terminations and patch cables, no big deal. Depends how many runs per floor we talking about.

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post #8 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampfox View Post

Each trunk line will be limited to 1GB in each direction. Thus, if all the devices on one floor requested data on devices on a different floor they would need to share I/O.
Whereas, in an all home run situation, each independent device pair would not share I/O with other devices communicating to one another.

Now if each device was requesting data from the same server, you share bandwidth anyway.

Tiered switching can cause collisions and the like, but in the home environment it's usually negligible.

Switching should never cause collisions. You can in theory get buffer overflows if you are using cheap switches with almost no buffer capacity but even that is rare these days. If you are seeing collisions on a switch you have wiring problems.
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post #9 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

Sounds like one cable to ea. floor is a unanimous OK.

For aesthetic purposes though u will need to build a little junction box, a good place WITH POWER to place ea. floor's switch box, and of course you will be dealing with more terminations and patch cables, no big deal. Depends how many runs per floor we talking about.

Keystone jacks and an outlet.
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post #10 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry to get back late to thread..Good that it sounds like this would be fine. I may still do a homerun to basement but glad I have the option not to.

This would be mainly for the purpose of a media server type setup. Would want to stream mkvs,music,pictures etc..So if something is flawed in that regard plz let me know.

I linked to the monoprice switch just because it was cheap but thay seem to put out some good reliable stuff.Of course when time would be willing to go better if necessary.

As for the number of devices in use, it might be xbox,ps3,2-3 wd media players,3-4 laptops, and dishnetwork equipment. I doubt it ever would all be in use at the same time. Plus cellphones via wifi too...Based on number of runs though,that switch I liked to might not be enough anyway..

4 bedrooms on 2nd flr, 2 runs each. Family room room upstairs with possibly 4 runs in that room.1 for Dish,and 1 for media player. Plus 2 in their for laptops for my wife and I if we want. Then 2 in family room on 1st flr. Plus 2 more for once agin future use. Then 2 in office or so?? Don't think kitchen needs any??? And 4 in basement for xbox,ps3,,etc.. So if my math is right, total could be around 22 runs..Man that seems like alot. But any further advise or thoughts always appreciated!!

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post #11 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 07:06 PM
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Well I have more equipment than you do and about the same size house. I have eight runs and five port gig switches attached to those and I never have an issue.

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post #12 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 08:03 PM
 
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What, something like a mesh network? It would work if you are running a Radius software, but really all you need is one AP, unless you have a dead zone somewhere, then you can always place another unit at that point.

I would pull Cat-5e or Cat-6 to all rooms, at least two pulls per room, and run them all back to a central point. Same with RG-6. You can then as needed, place a 5 port switch where you may need more connections, or place a Repeater or AP at that deadzone.

If you have a basement, run the runs to each point that you can bring it up the wall to where the plate will be, or if a attic if home is on a slab, run up into the attic, then across to each point that you want the wires to go down for the plates.

I can reach my AP from a 50 foot radius, with it sitting four feet below grade. It is running at 400mW in b/G mode. As long as you run in mixed mode, the device will attempt to connect from best to worst. That means if it cannot connect at N, it will try G, if not able at G, it will connect to the slowest of course, which would be B. B is usually used for long haul type networks, where you are not so concerned with how fast that the data gets there, it just needs to get there.

As for my network, I use a 8 port Netgear GS-108 gig switch for everything but the three Uverse settops, which are directly connected to the RG for my ATT Uverse service. I ran everything into a 24 port patch panel, and really only currently have 9 wired devices, everything else in our house is wireless. I have moved files from my netbook running Ubuntu Linux to my desktop that is wired, and have had no problems, while at the same time my son is watching something on Netflix, I am watching something else on Netflix or streaming through Amazon OnDemand, and my wife is watching something on the Uverse settop in our bedroom. Never a slowdown with all of that bandwidth going on through the network.

Now on the other hand, I have had first hand experience watching my office of 20 people cripple a T-1, with pushing huge pdf files through the network, which in turn comes back for us to breakdown to place on a document imaging server. It got to the point that it behaved as if we were connected to a 24baud modem. We probably on average push several Terabytes of data on a daily basis in my office through the network, and by the end of the week we have probably pushed at least 2 to 3 Petabytes through 100meg & 1gig connections, depending on which workstation, and currently do not have a problem, because they have fixed the issue.

I could imagine if that was the same on most of our home networks, you would be pulling your hair out trying to fix it with QOS, which is a godsend btw when it comes to prioritizing network traffic. Open Source projects like pfSense, m0n0wall and the such do better at QOS than your off the shelf consumer grade routers.
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post #13 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 08:25 PM
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Keep in mind a CAT5 run can easily be 300 feet with no problems. Once you get over 385 feet you will start to lose packets. I seriously doubt you have any runs longer than 385 feet, unless you live in a mansion. Have them all going into one switch. This way, it is very easy to manage and trouble shoot when things go wrong. I've seen people install AP's all over the place, switches all over the place and their network is just a jumble mumble of hardware and wires all over the place. Always do it right the first time, then it is all done. Of course before closing everything up test the lines! I have 4 CAT5 connections just behind my TV. I never thought I would ever need that many.
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post #14 of 38 Old 04-20-2012, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Don't think kitchen needs any??? ...... So if my math is right, total could be around 22 runs..Man that seems like alot.

Kitchen - of course u do, don't everybody have a TV in the kitchen?

I have 14 runs in a 1,000FT condo for comparison. OK, so I over-built somewhat but I wanted to have the jacks ready when/if the wifey decides at some future time to re-arrange the furnishing and now the TV faces the other way! then am all set. Of course mine was DIY so no labor cost but if you have to pay for every run I understand.

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post #15 of 38 Old 04-21-2012, 07:27 AM
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if you end up runing one cable to each locatin you might as well do two instead. It's always better to run dual cables to any location than just one.

But ideally setup APs around the house as well as wired locations to directly the connect devices as well.

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post #16 of 38 Old 04-21-2012, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info...I may just homerun everything.Just ALOT more work.to do the basement and 1st flr is easy. Basement ceiling is unfinished. Easy access to floor joists. Which makes it easy to go thru sole plate to fish 1 st flr walls.

The 2nd flr a little harder...The builder installed a cable shoot( 3" pvc) from basment to attic. Right now i have alot of Dish network,ota,etc in it..Nowhere near full though. I assume it would be okay to run cat 5 or 6 along with all the coax lines running thru there? This is why my first though was a switch up on 2nd flr.1 main line going up there. And all rooms feeding to it. Vs. having to pull lines thru 2nd flr walls,into attic,then down the pvc tube, then over to a MAIN switch probably located in basement. I can do it but alot more work...We wired the whole house ourselves for coax everywhere.Don't know why I wasn't thinking to do cat 6 when I was pulling all that coax..

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post #17 of 38 Old 04-21-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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post #18 of 38 Old 04-21-2012, 11:05 AM
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Have fun pulling all that cable to homering everything. In the end you will likely be rewarded with a nice little network that lets you shuffle media all around the house with ease... ...which is the same thing you'd have gotten if you ran the minimum number of wires and just broke it out with switches where necessary...

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post #19 of 38 Old 04-21-2012, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Gregzoll, absolutely will make sure to do that...Being a union bricklayer in many buildings we build we have to fire stop the top of walls,etc... Actually this helps me to be VERY comfortable with construction and doing stuff other than masonry around the house.

Suntan, I feel you. By no means have I made up my mind. Probably won't have a clear way to go until I'm ready to do it. But I love getting everybody elses opinion to see what they thought as far as this goes. My main purpose is video distribution!! This must be flawless.

Mr Bob, the way our kitchen is made,it looks directly into the family room on the 1st flr. so you have a clear view of the 60" we just installed in there.May still do kitchen though just because it's so easy.

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post #20 of 38 Old 04-21-2012, 03:51 PM
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Running single home run lines is a best practice, as someone mentioned up to 385 feet.

While yes you can split your network and probably won't notice too much, think about reliability and complexity.

KISS... home runs limit connection points (also points of failure) to a minimum, where as a split network, doubles connection points and network devices.

More connections, devices, etc means more risk for failure and increased troubleshooting factors.

The good thing about more switches though, if one fails you can just move one from another floor (giving up service) to get that more important floor up and running.

If you can run 1 cable to supply a switch, you can run 10. Obviously there are situations where it would be immensely easier to only run 1 but I am guessing since you already have a conduit, that isn't much of a problem. Not to mention if you want to do it nice and tidy, split network means more keystone jacks, more patch panels. All of which are more expensive then you think, costing you more money then just doing your floor trunks right. Not only that but you still are fishing the same amount of wire, just in shorter sections.

Now with todays wireless dependencies, you can feel more comfortable with less runs, focusing more on your wireless AP and media streaming needs... Then if for some reason you need more jacks in a room, then add a switch.

Don't do a duct tape job before you need to, duct tape job on top of another duct tape job always is more problematic. Judge accordingly, if your 3rd floor needs 20 jacks and you can only fit 10 in your conduit, adding another conduit can be a true pain in the arse, so maybe splitting off another switch is a good solution there (but not for all other floors too)... So just balance "proper" with "pain in the arse" factor, don't just automatically common denominator to the laziest solution.
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post #21 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 07:24 AM
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You know there was a time back in the day where running a direct line to everything was the only option...



Then Major Squier invented multiplexing and we were able to start making progress in wired telecommunications.

Seriously, do you think AT&T runs dedicated lines between your house and grandma's house?

Setting up a proper home network with switches is not a duct tape job. It is a practical solution to an otherwise silly waste of effort.

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post #22 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

It is a practical solution to an otherwise silly waste of effort.

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You are entitled to your opinion. But if you HR everything you have total flexibility to configure the system as needed. Starting out with distributed switches cuts down on your options.

CATx cable is often used for things other then a ethernet network. If your cables are all HR'ed you have the capability to use them for other purposes.

Not HR'ing IMO is short sighted.

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post #23 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 08:22 AM
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Switching should never cause collisions. You can in theory get buffer overflows if you are using cheap switches with almost no buffer capacity but even that is rare these days. If you are seeing collisions on a switch you have wiring problems.

Home runs never cause collisions. Using true stackable switches never causes collisions.

Having one switch connected to another switch opens up the possibility of collisions because two devices can request data from the same device but are on different switches and thus the switches don't know of the others request and it isn't queued appropriately. It generally only happens in high traffic environments. The solution is to use separate subnets for each of the tiered switches, but in a home, navigating across subnets is a PITA. Thus, in low traffic environments, like a home, the practicality of easy network management trumps the theoretical, but unlikely collision event that merely slows down trafific.
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post #24 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fcwilt View Post

You are entitled to your opinion. But if you HR everything you have total flexibility to configure the system as needed. Starting out with distributed switches cuts down on your options.

CATx cable is often used for things other then a ethernet network. If your cables are all HR'ed you have the capability to use them for other purposes.

Not HR'ing IMO is short sighted.

Filling your conduit full of ethernet cables doesn't sound like a very future proof and flexible plan to me. Although a person can always pull the 4 or 5 redundant runs back out a few years down the road when they want to add a different type of cable, then they can add some switches at that point.

Anyway, if you think it is shortsighted to just run a single CAT cable to the back of the family TV, and then break that out with a switch to plug the Xbox, PS3, WD player and whatever else, so be it. Running 3 or 4 cables to the back of that TV isn't going to change the user experience one bit.

Of course, to properly combat short sightedness, the OP should really tear down all the draywall and install proper RJ45 connections every 6 feet radius like his electrical outlets are placed. Don't want to be caught unprepared in the future.

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post #25 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Filling your conduit full of ethernet cables doesn't sound like a very future proof and flexible plan to me

Like I said CATx cable is used for a lot of things beside computer networks and as more and more homes have CATx cable more uses will be found for it. So a multiplicity of CATx cables is a good plan - and using conduit as well is even better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Of course, to properly combat short sightedness, the OP should really tear down all the draywall and install proper RJ45 connections every 6 feet radius like his electrical outlets are placed.

Now you are just being ridiculous.

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post #26 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opentoe View Post

Keep in mind a CAT5 run can easily be 300 feet with no problems. Once you get over 385 feet you will start to lose packets. I seriously doubt you have any runs longer than 385 feet, unless you live in a mansion. Have them all going into one switch. This way, it is very easy to manage and trouble shoot when things go wrong. I've seen people install AP's all over the place, switches all over the place and their network is just a jumble mumble of hardware and wires all over the place. Always do it right the first time, then it is all done. Of course before closing everything up test the lines! I have 4 CAT5 connections just behind my TV. I never thought I would ever need that many.

You would be hard pressed to find any residential dwelling that would run into a problem with wire length. A single centralized location could easily service a 30,000 sq ft ranch house. Most estates are 2 or 3 stories. That pretty much covers most uber-estates in the US.
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post #27 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcwilt View Post

Like I said CATx cable is used for a lot of things beside computer networks and as more and more homes have CATx cable more uses will be found for it. So a multiplicity of CATx cables is a good plan - and using conduit as well is even better.

Ideally, the runs would all be home runs. There is no better way, and in new construction it doesn't add a lot of cost.
Yet, in a retrofit some compromise is reasonable to keep labor/cost to a reasonable level.

I have one 24 port switch that is completely filled and is used for my office, home theater and family room entertainment center. Most of the other rooms were wired to a different location in my basement. It wasn't worth the time, effort, and cost to re-run another dozen lines, thus they are on a different switch. It's a reasonable compromise, and I get gigabit speed though out my house.
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post #28 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Swampfox View Post

It wasn't worth the time, effort, and cost to re-run another dozed lines, thus they are on a different switch. It's a reasonable compromise, and I get gigabit speed though out my house.

Eactly.

I've been moving HD media throughout my house for a decade now, adding BR rips years back. I've been using HD hardware media streamers from before the original popcorn hour was released. As it stands I have three different switches throughout the house (many of those years were spent with just a 100Mbps network) and I have never had an instance where LAN congestion has caused a hiccup in playback. All these claims of what could go wrong are Red Herrings.

So far the only compelling argument to homerunning all circuits to one switch is so that in the future if a person happens to want to reallocate all those CAT cables for something *other than networking* they can then install switches to free up the cables for whatever else they want to hackney into their wiring

These forums love to overkill everything. Especially stuff like wiring. Go to the Dedicated Home Theater forum were people constantly suggest running 3 pair of 12GA romex to the rack for electronics that will all happily run on 15A of juice. Same with networking. Even around here you still get people claiming crazy stuff. Heck, for years people around here would claim that you *needed* Gigabit to stream OTA ATSC recordings even though the ATSC spec maxes out at 18Mbps. It's silly, and it keeps happening because of threads like this where people that just love to geek out about networking continually recommend solutions that are complete overkill.

-Suntan
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post #29 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 06:52 AM
 
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Suntan, please show us the information from the industry, that this is a proper process for networking? Have you ever seen it done your way in commercial applications? What you are doing, is how we used to do Token Ring topology. It does not work with current methods, is why everyone uses Star Topology. Why, because it works.
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post #30 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Filling your conduit full of ethernet cables doesn't sound like a very future proof and flexible plan to me.

When I built my house the AV people talked me into running some type of a fiber cable to multiple rooms such as the den, theater, office, etc. Saying it would future-proof me. Well ten years later I still don't know what type of cable it is and it certainly hasn't been the future. Back then I thought wireless would rule and although it's been much slower than I expected I still do. Products like this will become mainstream...

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Wire...5188974&sr=8-1

It's still early but wireless will take over the world... just like the corded phone didn't have a chance.

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