Originally Posted by phildaant
We don't have cable TV yet since we haven't moved in yet and remodelling the house, but we're planning to since OTA will not get all the channels because of a giant hill/small mountain blocking the Mt. Wilson transmitters. We used a portable DTV to test the OTA stuff. The previous house owners had Dish service so we used that coax cable for a huge attic antenna to a portable DTV downstair. We were wondering how we can use it with TWC setup. TWC doesn't carry some OTA channels like 31.x.
Well the coax from your attic antenna is now your OTA/ATSC antenna feed, providing OTA/ATSC capability to any location in your house you run the coax to. Splitting it once up in the attic should provide two reliable coax runs to two locations in the house without needing any other amplifier or booster. You might even get away with three if you need it.
But all it takes is a "cable runner" guy to run the coax through your ceilings and walls down to the [two] locations [family room and master bedroom?] you wish to make OTA/ATSC available, and terminate it with a standard 75ohm coax connector wall plate. Standard stuff. More runs may require an amplifier/splitter to feed all those legs, but again standard stuff. RG6 quad-shielded cable is the standard to use.
At the same time, you figure out where you're going to get your TWC coax coming into your house ("network room"), and have your cable runner guy run coax legs from there also to all of the rooms in your house where you have TV viewing locations planned. This will allow whole-house DVR setup putting the "server" in that "network room" and "satellite STBs" at each of the viewing locations, communicating through the coax runs. You can have your cable runner guy terminate the TWC coax legs in the same wall plate that you had your roof antenna coax legs terminated in (i.e. a 2-connector wall plate).
While you're running cables, you should think about running CAT6 ethernet cable from that same "network room" to all of your likely TV/hard-wired computer locations. It may be that "wireless" could work throughout your house for visitor laptops, but there's no question a wired ethernet CAT6 connection (to a router in the "network" room connected to the cable modem there) will give you absolutely the best Internet performance as well as PC-to-PC performance on your home LAN if you have multiple machines.
Note that running ethernet cable to the HDTV locations also provides support for streaming capability from the Internet, either to streaming-capable BluRay players or ethernet-capable HDTV's or similar services. Can't be wrong to have an Internet connection available at each HDTV (or in every room of your house), and wired is absolutely your best choice given this unique remodeling opportunity.
Also, some older homes have strange metal "shielding material" (or the functional equivalent) built into walls. So although you'd think wireless ethernet should work fine given the distances involved, it turns out there's just too much "interference" from the building materials used in the home. Again, wired ethernet is absolutely the 100% problem-free solution, if you have the opportunity. You will totally avoid any surprises or problems that are bound to occur when trying to use wireless to achieve reliable high-bitrate HDTV or Internet streaming.
Your cable runner guy can add an ethernet jack to that same wall plate in each TV room, or for other locations just have an ethernet jack wall plate.
Bottom line: when you're re-modeling your house that's the time to do future-proof wiring, even if you have no immediate plans to make use of it. The next owner might, and having this done is therefore to everyone's advantage.
(a) run roof antenna coax to every room from your attic. You can leave ends up there disconnected from a splitter until you need them, and you can always add a splitter/amplifier if necessary. But at least the OTA/ATSC antenna coax feeds to each of your possible TV viewing location rooms will allow you to connect any HDTV in that room to your roof antenna to get OTA/ATSC channels not provided by cable.
P.S. - TWC recompresses their channel content, so you'll find picture quality superior OTA/ATSC for local networks than the comparable channel carried by TWC. But of course, if you want to use a DVR you need to go with TWC's feed.
(b) run TWC coax legs from the "network room" to every room in your house. You'll eventually figure out the patch panel connections you need, and having everything in one place (coax entry, cable modem, gigabit router) will make it all possible to upgrade or modify without too terribly much inconvenience).
Note that having TWC coax legs going to each room also supports another TWC implementation option if you don't want to go whole-home (although I don't know why you wouldn't choose this clearly superior option). You can simply have a standalone TWC DVR in that particular TV location, fed by coax to that room from the "network room" patch panel where it is just a pure "split" off of the main incoming coax, having nothing to do with the whole-home DVR/server that is fed from the other side of the "split" which feeds satellite STB boxes around the house through TWC coax legs to those other rooms.
Having total TWC coax wiring to each room from the "network room" gives you all your configuration options and flexibility at each TV location.
(c) run CAT6 ethernet cable to every room in your house, from the "network room" where you plan to have the TWC coax arrive. CAT6 will support gigabit LAN, which is what you want for absolute best modern performance of a home LAN. The cable modem and whole-house DVR/server and gigabit router will live in this "network room", and you can plug in any computer (desktop or laptop) into the wall ethernet jack you will be installing on a wallplate in every room (looks good when the same single wallplate is used to hold the roof antenna coax and TWC coax connectors).
Don't forget to have your cable runner guy NUMBER each and every wall plate outlet and have matching numbers on the cable terminations down in the "network room" so you know what goes where in this "patch panel" environment involving many many coax and ethernet cable legs all terminating in that "network room". In fact, if possible I'd request DIFFERENT COLOR COAX CABLES to be used for the (a) attic antenna OTA/ATSC coax legs, and (b) TWC cable coax legs. Color-coding makes things easier to deal with, along with proper numbering tags at each end of each coax and ethernet leg and also on the wallplates themselves for complete organization and so that you can create your own "home wiring diagram" for reference.
It can never be wrong to wire your house properly (in advance) while you have that opportunity. You're very likely not ever going to do it again, and certainly will very likely not tear open wallpapered walls to add a cable run (WAF and all that). Might as well do it right the first (and hopefully only) time you do it. Just takes a little planning and thought.
Anyway, once your house is wired properly, you can do anything you want. You can put computers anywhere, HDTV's anywhere fed either by (a) TWC from whole-house DVR with a satellite STB at the TV location fed by TWC coax leg to that room, or (b) OTA/ATSC roof antenna feed for local channels not available from TWC but available OTA/ATSC. You'll simply feed the HDMI output from that room's DVR (or whole-home satellite STB) to your HDTV's HDMI input for TWC, and you'll feed the roof antenna OTA/ATSC coax from the connector in that room to the antenna input of your HDTV, and you'll switch inputs on your HDTV as you desire to allow you to watch either OTA/ATSC or TWC.
One other point... if you do have a 3-way split on the TWC coax coming into your house, with -3.5db loss on one output and -7db loss on each of the other two, be sure and send the lower-loss (-3.5db) output to the cable modem and the higher-loss (-7db) outputs to the DVRs (which are better able to deal with the lower signal strength). More splits may require TWC to install amplifier/boosters, but a simple system with just 2-splits (both feeding -3.5db outputs) for cable modem and one whole-home DVR should be no problem at all.
Of course that's just me. That's what I'd do if I were remodeling and had the opportunity to run cable throughout my house.
I'd plan for a "network room" as my home LAN/HDTV "hub", with patch panel and many coax and ethernet CAT6 runs to all rooms (even the kitchen!!), even if not yet currently implemented with hardware at the other end.
NOTE: if the "network room" is maybe in the basement or otherwise far away from some remote distant location in the house, having a wired ethernet run from the router in that "network room" to the remote location room provides yet another Internet option: "WI-FI access point" (i.e. a "wireless hot spot" in your home) just by connecting an inexpensive WI-FI broadcast access point device (say from Netgear or Linksys) to the wired ethernet connection available on the wallplate in that room. Now that far distant remote room has just become WI-FI-enabled (i.e. "hot spot") for wireless use by visitors or anyone or any device (e.g. Kindle, tablet, iPad, etc.), where it never really would have been usable that way since the real wired/wireless router is far away down in the "network room" dungeon at the other end of the house.