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Going to wire my house- CAT6a?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
The main purpose is to be able to stream 1080p Blu Ray rips to different media players throughout the house. I will be running 3 or 4 cat6 cables into the attic and then down the walls into 3 bedrooms. All of the destinations will reach the switch within 100ft so I am just going to get 100ft patch cables, so I don't have to connect the end jacks. I did that once, what a PITA.

Keeping "future proof" in mind, would you guys recommend I run CAT6? or CAT6a? Again, the main purpose is BR rip streaming, but it would also be nice to have the speed when transferring files across the network. Theoretically I could even do CAT5e, but I would ideally like to do this once, due to how uncomfortable it is going to be up in the attic.

And it's starting to get coooooold in NY smile.gif
post #2 of 33
The main difference in CAT6 versus 6a relates to 10GBASE-T (10 Gigabit Ethernet) installations, plus an improvement in terms of crosstalk at higher frequencies. 6a can run 10G-T up to 100 meters, 6 "only" up to 55 meters (still more than your maximum run), but unless you're planning to get networking equipment capable of 10GBASE-T, this shouldn't really matter. For Blu-ray rips, even Gigabit Ethernet would be overkill for your purposes, so if there's some cost savings available there, I would say CAT6 should be more than adequate. Just my opinion, though.
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks. I was thinking the same thing.
post #4 of 33
If you really want to take extra steps for future proofing, consider running two sets of cable instead of one. There could be a time in the future where having a separate internal network might be useful.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
If you really want to take extra steps for future proofing, consider running two sets of cable instead of one. There could be a time in the future where having a separate internal network might be useful.

I'd 2nd this, there is little in the way of extra price especially if you buy it all at once (monoprice). Not much worse than running cables through the attic and down walls just to have to do it again if you change or increase your setup or components.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Im not sure what you mean by this. Why 2cables?
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnBlanker View Post

Im not sure what you mean by this. Why 2cables?

Future proofing. You never know when you may need an extra drop. You simply run the extra cable. You don't even have to connect it to anything. It's there when you need it. The cost should be negligible as you already plan to run 1 wire to each location.
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 
Oh, right. the comment about using the extra cable for an internal network threw me off. I am running the cable for the internal network.

Getting the cables into the attic is not the hard part (I don't think), it's getting it down the walls from inside the attic. My attic has a truss system which makes crawling around up there very difficult.

Right now I will have 3 switches connected:

modem
|
nighthawk router
| |
wire to office pc wire to 8 port switch1
| |
port 1-5 = all going up to attic. port 6 going downstairs to switch2
| |
wire1 from attic to switch3 in living room for: switch2 for: xbox2, receiver, tv, htpc, ps3
xbox, wdtv smp, BR player, receiver
|
wire 2-4 all going to other rooms (for later hookups)
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
rats, that diagram didn't format correctly.
post #10 of 33
Might be best for you to make the diagram in Paint or Word or some external program and attach it to your post...I'm confused trying to trace why there are 5 separate runs of wire going to the attic?
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
lol, here is the diagram. From the attic, the first cable will go down into the living room, all other will just remain disconnected in the attic. I have 2 bedrooms, a bath, and a kitchen. You never know, cat6 in the bathroom? maybe one day, for something.


post #12 of 33
Looks like a good plan. Just make sure the CAT6 runs in the wall are specified for in-wall use (usually have a CM or CMG rating), and you should be good to go!
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks! yes they are, monoprice, these ones.
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
Do you think I might have bandwidth problems due to the 2 switches are connected to another switch? The data going to the wDtv smp in the living room will be passing through 2 switches.
post #15 of 33
Switches should not cause any noticeable impact, unless of course, you install a non Gigabit switch in a Gigabit network.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnBlanker View Post

lol, here is the diagram. From the attic, the first cable will go down into the living room, all other will just remain disconnected in the attic. I have 2 bedrooms, a bath, and a kitchen. You never know, cat6 in the bathroom? maybe one day, for something.

 

 

The pic above might work, but it's not optimal. First ...

- you run the best wire you can afford ... Cat6a or Cat6e (it will be there for 10-20 years).

- You install the real SOLID WIRE cable from the spool (inside walls), and terminate with Punch-Down Tool with jacks rated to match cable.

- I suggest a real Cat-6 Patch-Panel in wiring closet on main-floor

- At least 2-3 runs into each room. Optimally, each device has it's own wire but can share a bit if all devices aren't used at once.

- If PC is FileServer (or whatever is NAS), it should be connected directly to that main Gigabit Switch-1 (router becomes only for slower Internet traffic).

 

Edit: Really doubt those pre-made patch cords are in-wall-rated ... but doesn't really matter because you are not suppose to run them in walls. Patch-cords only go from the wall socket to machine and are usually pretty short.


Edited by Tesla1856 - 11/7/13 at 8:01pm
post #17 of 33

A house should be done pretty much like a small business. I just skimmed this, but looks about right:

 

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-wire-your-house-with-cat5-or-cat6-ethernet-cable-480020760

 

Since the main switch, modem, router, UPS, etc are usually in the same room as Patch-Panel, I usually use air-conditioned space. If his setup above is too industrial for your closet or utility room, there are some wall-boxes used for residential structure wiring. Maybe you have seen them now-days at HomeDepot or Lowes?

post #18 of 33
Best to get a managed switch do you can take advantage of VLANs and QoS. Those both work hand-in-hand to give you better network performance and you can put priority on your streamers and then create a guest VLAN so when you have people over they don't bog down the entire network as well as keep them isolated.
post #19 of 33
I would not recommend spending extra on a managed switch unless the need was clear. Most residential network use cases don't really require those features, or the user would not see a noticeable improvement with them. The simplicity of an un-managed switch is a benefit in itself.
post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
In the article, they mention running separate lines to each device. I guess this is ideal, but it really does make it inconvenient. In my living room it's going to be hard to run a single line there. I can't imagine running 5 lines, that's why I put a switch there so I can keep it behind the tv stand with all wires hidden.

For the downstairs setup, I could get away with running 5 lines down there. I was going to do the same as the LR and put a switch behind the tv stand.

Do you think it will really make a difference?

Each location (LR and downstairs) has about 5 networked devices. 2 xboxes, ps3, wdtv, receiver, BR players, 2 htpcs, and extra cables for future devices.

The other question is, do you think it will make a difference where the file server/pc is on the network. I drew up 3 different ways I could place the file server on the network. In the pic below.

btw, thanks so much for all the great advice.
post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
Firg 1 is the ideal, with every line going to each device, but I can't really do this. In fig 2, I'm looking at how many devices does the packet need to travel through to get to the destination. So if a packet is on the nas and wants to get to a device on switch 1, it has to travel through 3 devices, switch2, the router and switch3.



Edited by johnBlanker - 11/8/13 at 8:50am
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
I revised my original sketch from above to place the nas/file server on the main switch. Now it's less devices to jump through.

But this plan has the switches daisy chained. And this plan requires an extra switch.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

I would not recommend spending extra on a managed switch unless the need was clear. Most residential network use cases don't really require those features, or the user would not see a noticeable improvement with them. The simplicity of an un-managed switch is a benefit in itself.

Not if you care more about your media then anything. There are people that epically freak out if they have the slightest buffering. Make no compromises if you're serious.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
well, everyone says using cat6 with gigabit switches is overkill for just streaming 1080p ans I shouldn't have any problems pushing this content. I don't want ANY buffering, skips, dropouts, etc.
post #25 of 33
You'll be needing that with 4K content.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnBlanker View Post

I revised my original sketch from above to place the nas/file server on the main switch. Now it's less devices to jump through.

But this plan has the switches daisy chained. And this plan requires an extra switch.

That plan will work just fine. If you have a gigabit router with enough ports, you might get buy without Switch #1 initially, until you start using the spare runs.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnBlanker View Post

I revised my original sketch from above to place the nas/file server on the main switch. Now it's less devices to jump through.

But this plan has the switches daisy chained. And this plan requires an extra switch.

This is better. You want to be able to access (high bit-rate) files and low-ping-game from both rooms at once. Think of Switch-1 as the main back-bone Gigabit switch. It handles all traffic. All rooms terminate there (wiring closet). At least 2 or more runs to Living room, Downstairs, or any room.

 

Your runs are likely fairly short, so PC-NAS-FileServer could physically be in any room as long it's directly connected to Switch-1 with dedicated wire.

 

Everything I said in above posts about physical wiring still applies.

 

Managed switch would be nice (if you can afford it) but for residential, this is fine I think:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=trendnet+gigabit+8-port+unmanaged+switch&N=-1&isNodeId=1

post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
So, I set up shares on my upstairs pc and loaded powerdvd on the downstairs pc that I just threw together. Tried playing a BD rip and it was choppy. Replaced all the cat5e cables with my new ca6 cables from monoprice and now it plays fine. I guess the cables really do matter huh.
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
Just have to get into the attic now and run that far cable to the side wall of the house (the LR). What do you think the chances of the exterior wall having fire block inside would be? I suppose it doesn't help that on the direct outside of the house is my fireplace chimney? lol. Something tells me it's going to be hell getting a cable down there. I have to get my studfinder out.
post #30 of 33

I'll 3rd this (is that a thing?)

 

As more devices are becoming network-ready, there may come a time where having a separate internal network could be a life saver.

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