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Possible to Replace Cat5 with Cat6?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
So I finally decided to try a few bluray iso's and they play great locally. However, over the network they seem to suck, and by suck I mean it is impossible to watch with it constantly stuttering.

I believe this is due my CAT5 in-house wiring. I can stream all of my compressed h264 files but anything above 20gbs has a bit of stutter. These ISO's are unbearable.

Is it possible to fish a cat 6 cable if I Pull it along with my cat5 cables? The router and switch are both located in the basement, and where I plan to stream from is located on the 2nd floor. I have a few rooms where I can experiment and see if I can pull it through, but I'd rather not try that.

The switch is gigabit, so that is ready to go. All NIC's have gigabit ports. But the house was built in 1998, so the cabling is all CAT5, not cat5e, which is my bottleneck (I think).

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post #2 of 25
Try this first:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1420027/i-cannot-figure-out-why-my-blu-ray-videos-are-stuttering-solved

It could be throttling.
post #3 of 25
I use an app called TCPOptimizer that fixes the throttling issue and many other settings. It does just what the name indicates and optimizes your network interface card settings. It makes changes to your registry so you might want to back it up first so you can restore it if you need to.
post #4 of 25
CAT-5 and CAT-5e both use 4 twisted pairs and both support 1000BASE-T. Unless your wiring is substandard, I suspect something else is causing the problem. You can easily eliminate the wiring as the cause by moving the computers temporarily to the basement, connect them directly to the switch, and attempt to stream the video.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilani View Post

Is it possible to fish a cat 6 cable if I Pull it along with my cat5 cables?

If they were installed correctly by an electrician, they'd be tacked to the studs or going through the studs so it'd be next to impossible to use them as a fish for new wiring. Also, even if it weren't tacked, you'd very likely get caught up where it goes through any plates or studs.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

CAT-5 and CAT-5e both use 4 twisted pairs and both support 1000BASE-T. Unless your wiring is substandard, I suspect something else is causing the problem. You can easily eliminate the wiring as the cause by moving the computers temporarily to the basement, connect them directly to the switch, and attempt to stream the video.

This is incorrect. Cat 5e and 6 are rated for Gigabit speeds. Cat 5 is not.

OP, what speed do you get if you just try and copy the file across the network?
post #7 of 25
IIRC 1000baseT was specifically designed to work with existing Cat 5 cabling, although Cat 5e is recommended for new cabling. Cisco sure seems to think so.
post #8 of 25
OP, is your network Cat 5 or Cat 5e?
post #9 of 25
None of this really matters as even 100mbps is more than enough for playing a single blu-ray. OP your problem isn't the fact that it is CAT5. It is possible there is a problem with the cable or more likely where it is punched down on the back of the plate has come loose.

Even more likely there is a problem somewhere else.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

None of this really matters as even 100mbps is more than enough for playing a single blu-ray. OP your problem isn't the fact that it is CAT5. It is possible there is a problem with the cable or more likely where it is punched down on the back of the plate has come loose.

Even more likely there is a problem somewhere else.

 

Agreed.

 

What kind of speeds do you get while transferring a file over the network? Is it a constant speed or is it fluctuating?

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by erickotz View Post

This is incorrect. Cat 5e and 6 are rated for Gigabit speeds. Cat 5 is not.

No, CAT-5 is indeed rated for 1000BASE-T. The spec was put forth before there was CAT-5e. As long as CAT-5 is installed in accordance with ANSI/TIA/EIA-568A, dated 1995, gigabit ethernet will work. It had to be backwards compatible because large businesses couldn't afford the expenses of replacing miles of expensive copper cables just to get the higher speeds.
Edited by kegobeer - 3/18/13 at 2:26pm
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
Thanks for all of your input, here is the update.

All my systems are stuck at 100mbs under the NIC property screen. For a second I tried just connecting two PC's to a gigabit router just to test out a stream and it indeed played my Blu-ray iso's without a hitch. The second I had to use my in-house wiring is when stuttering started. (I forgot to check the transfer rate for this set up)

The first thing I fixed was removed a power line adapter that was just connected to a non-used computer. That got me back to a reasonable speed.

Prior to doing this I was getting 3-5MBit/s transfer speeds, I am now anywhere from 8-12 depending on the distance between the computers.

I can now play 20+gig files through the network but it is a no go with Blu-ray ISO's. I'll try the folder option in PDVD12 and see if that makes a difference (maybe a problem with ISO streaming?) but I am doubting it.

I have a few rooms with unnecessary jacks, maybe I can try fishing from there?

Thanks!

EDIT: I should note that a lot of the cat5 cabling here was intended for a phone system. I ripped some of the jacks and turned them into RJ-45's. Not sure if this is relevant but maybe there's a chance the cat5 1000base standards were ignored since some of them were used for phones?

Throughout the walls all the cables are CAT5. But from PC->wall and from the little hub thingermajig (where the wall cables terminate)->gigabit switch it is cat5e.
post #13 of 25
You need to check on the health of your network links.

Assuming you are using MS windows, you can run cmd.exe to get a command line and then type "netstat -e" and look at the Error count. If it goes up during playback or file transfers then you know you have cabling problems, or your switch is busted. You'll want to check both the server and the playback PC for errors.

If neither server nor playback PC show errors in netstat, the problem is unlikely to be a cabling issue and more likely to be software config problems on one end or the other.
post #14 of 25
If your CAT5's are daisy chained from jack to jack as they might be for a phone system, then you are losing bandwidth at each termination. Eliminate any you can.

In addition to the testing above, before you go pulling new cable, I'd run a temporary one through the house and ensure it solves the problem. This saved me an unnecessary pull.
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Edited by DanPackMan - 3/19/13 at 5:13am
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

If your CAT5's are daisy chained from jack to jack as they might be for a phone system, then you are losing bandwidth at each termination. Eliminate any you can.

In addition to the testing above, before you go pulling new cable, I'd run a temporary one through the house and ensure it solves the problem. This saved me an unnecessary pull.
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Good advice.

If you pull the faceplate off and there is more than one cat.5 or cat.3 then it is daisy-chained for having the same phone line in multiple rooms.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi All,
Thanks for the quick responses. The cables are not daisy chained, each faceplate has its own cable that can be traced down the basement with my cable tester. I'd say there are 30 or so cables running around my house and 30 jacks.

I will try the cmd prompt thing next to test for errors as soon as I get home.

Thanks!
post #17 of 25
Are you using a network cable scanner?
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Solved my problem guys. Apparently someone decided to install a router behind my TV to get Wi-Fi access to there room..So this entire time I had my computer going like so
PC -> Router -> Wall->Switch
Now it is
PC->Wall->Switch

Still showing 100mbit speed but now I get 11-12 consistent data transfer speeds. Everything seems to be good except a few stutters for loud sound scenes. I'll report back if I can eliminate those stutters.

And incase anyone was wondering, format did not matter. Neither ISO nor the Folder format played better than the other, at least not for my set up.

Thanks everyone!
post #19 of 25
Most likely your problem isn't the cable, it's the way it's terminated. Gigabit requires all 4 pairs. Some sloppy folks got in the habit of only using two pair of wires, since this is all that was required by 10/100. Also, I've seen lots of newbies incorrectly wire their cables 1, 2, 3, 4 rather than 1, 2, 3, 6. If you know how to terminate Ethernet, this will make sense to you. If you don't understand what I'm saying, do some reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TIA/EIA-568

If it's wired 1, 2, 3, 4... you'll have errors even at 100. 10 will work fine.

Anyway, I'll state it again, I'm betting all 4 pairs are not cabled through. Your NIC and switch will automatically fall back to 100 if they aren't wired right.

Oh, and if they were wired for phones, there's a chance they used CAT3, which will only have 2 pairs. You can do 10/100 on CAT3. I haven't seen CAT3 used since the early 90's, but it's possible...
post #20 of 25
One of the best days of my HTPC/WAF needing life was the day I discovered they'd wired all the phone jacks with Cat 5e. smile.gif. Some toolless jacks from monoprice and an hour or so later they were GigE jacks. It took longer on the basement side to unwind everything and get that hooked up to the switch.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

One of the best days of my HTPC/WAF needing life was the day I discovered they'd wired all the phone jacks with Cat 5e. smile.gif. Some toolless jacks from monoprice and an hour or so later they were GigE jacks. It took longer on the basement side to unwind everything and get that hooked up to the switch.

I was really excited to find cat5e behind my phone jacks. I was then really disappointed to find out that they ripped out 4 of the wires.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

Most likely your problem isn't the cable, it's the way it's terminated. Gigabit requires all 4 pairs. Some sloppy folks got in the habit of only using two pair of wires, since this is all that was required by 10/100. Also, I've seen lots of newbies incorrectly wire their cables 1, 2, 3, 4 rather than 1, 2, 3, 6. If you know how to terminate Ethernet, this will make sense to you. If you don't understand what I'm saying, do some reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TIA/EIA-568

If it's wired 1, 2, 3, 4... you'll have errors even at 100. 10 will work fine.

Anyway, I'll state it again, I'm betting all 4 pairs are not cabled through. Your NIC and switch will automatically fall back to 100 if they aren't wired right.

Oh, and if they were wired for phones, there's a chance they used CAT3, which will only have 2 pairs. You can do 10/100 on CAT3. I haven't seen CAT3 used since the early 90's, but it's possible...

The cables are definitely cat5, it says it right on them. The phone jacks are only using 2 pairs but the Ethernet jacks are using all 4. I cant say that are terminated properly but I'll give it a check when I get home. I do not get any errors right now at all though. The cables connecting to the jacks are O/W O G/W B B/W G Br/W Br, hope that is correct.
post #23 of 25
That would be the correct way to terminate them.
post #24 of 25
there is a setting on your nic card or nic controller that should be set for auto negotiate and it should NOT be set up for 1000T or Gige or anything like that. I bet that is your issue. I doubt you are hitting the limits of the cable. I had this same issue. that fixed it.
post #25 of 25
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