STP or UTP, in regards to Home Theater, Home Networking and HDMI over Ethernet ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-09-2015, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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STP or UTP, in regards to Home Theater, Home Networking and HDMI over Ethernet ?

Hi guys, so I have another confusion to settle .... I need to know if I should use STP or UTP cables for connectivity in my home. Done significant reading on this already, and it seems that STP cables are generally recommendable for outdoor or industrial use, or where "there's a lot of RF interference". Problem is, I don't know if the 3rd clause applies to me or not. I say this because in my HT room, I have a 4" tall skirting running all around the room which will be used for cabling placement. Inside this space, I will have a bunch of cables running, which includes HDMI cables (2 or 3), Ethernet (4 or 5), USB cables (2 or 3) and Power cables (2 or 3). The Power cables I'll use will be shielded, however I don't know if that will be enough or not. Would this close proximity to a shielded power cable warrant the use STP over UTP ?

Within my HT room, I'll also be running Ethernet cables for HDMI over Ethernet use in the future, so I need to know if STP is really needed for this or not.

Additionally, I also want to network internet connectivity for all floors in my home (4 floors), and will be passing the cable through conduits inside walls. The conduits may or may not come close to any power cables.

So given all this info, should I use STP or UTP ?

STP cables also seem to require grounding for effective use. I honestly don't know if I'll be able to ground them or not.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-09-2015, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ahmadka View Post
Hi guys, so I have another confusion to settle .... I need to know if I should use STP or UTP cables for connectivity in my home. Done significant reading on this already, and it seems that STP cables are generally recommendable for outdoor or industrial use, or where "there's a lot of RF interference". Problem is, I don't know if the 3rd clause applies to me or not. I say this because in my HT room, I have a 4" tall skirting running all around the room which will be used for cabling placement. Inside this space, I will have a bunch of cables running, which includes HDMI cables (2 or 3), Ethernet (4 or 5), USB cables (2 or 3) and Power cables (2 or 3). The Power cables I'll use will be shielded, however I don't know if that will be enough or not. Would this close proximity to a shielded power cable warrant the use STP over UTP ?

Within my HT room, I'll also be running Ethernet cables for HDMI over Ethernet use in the future, so I need to know if STP is really needed for this or not.

Additionally, I also want to network internet connectivity for all floors in my home (4 floors), and will be passing the cable through conduits inside walls. The conduits may or may not come close to any power cables.

So given all this info, should I use STP or UTP ?

STP cables also seem to require grounding for effective use. I honestly don't know if I'll be able to ground them or not.
Don't worry about STP - just go with standard UTP. The twisted pairs already offer RF protection anyway. Just make sure you don't run the UTP parallel with power lines; always cross at a 90 degree angle if possible.

In addition, make sure you use riser-rated UTP if you're crossing between floors.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-09-2015, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't worry about STP - just go with standard UTP. The twisted pairs already offer RF protection anyway. Just make sure you don't run the UTP parallel with power lines; always cross at a 90 degree angle if possible.
That's the thing, I don't have a choice here, I have to run both power and data cables in parallel across all the skirting in my HT room ... This is why I'm a bit concerned whether I should use UTP or STP.

I would have gone with STP in a heartbeat, until I read that it needs to be grounded. I don't know how easy or hard this would be to do, as so this is the question because of which I'm posting here.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-09-2015, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ahmadka View Post
That's the thing, I don't have a choice here, I have to run both power and data cables in parallel across all the skirting in my HT room ... This is why I'm a bit concerned whether I should use UTP or STP.
Just keep the UTP away from power lines whenever you can. But even if they are next to each other, the MHz-range digital signals aren't going to care about the 60Hz AC wave... This is just "good practice", but won't cause any problem. You're more likely to cause problems by poorly installing or terminating STP.

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-10-2015, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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What about factory made short STP patch cables (various lengths between 3 ft ~ 15 ft which I've already purchased from Monoprice) ? Is it okay to run them in parallel alongside long UTP cables and a few power cables within the same 4" tall skirting running around the HT room? Or should I use UTP cables in their place too ? I ask because I read somewhere that STP cables can 'attract' interference and possibly cause problems in nearby cables too. I just don't know if this occurs in the presence of factory made STP cables or not.

Also, do factory made STP cables also require grounding ? I don't see any ground wire coming out of them which you'd connect to ground.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-10-2015, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ahmadka View Post
What about factory made short STP patch cables (various lengths between 3 ft ~ 15 ft which I've already purchased from Monoprice) ? Is it okay to run them in parallel alongside long UTP cables and a few power cables within the same 4" tall skirting running around the HT room? Or should I use UTP cables in their place too ? I ask because I read somewhere that STP cables can 'attract' interference and possibly cause problems in nearby cables too. I just don't know if this occurs in the presence of factory made STP cables or not.

Also, do factory made STP cables also require grounding ? I don't see any ground wire coming out of them which you'd connect to ground.
The ground is at the patch panel. They are special receptacles that takes the shield and ground them. Only one end gets this treatment, otherwise you could introduce a ground loop

Last edited by zoepup; 03-10-2015 at 05:58 AM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-10-2015, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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The ground is at the patch panel. They are special receptacles that takes the shield and ground them. Only one end gets this treatment, otherwise you could introduce a ground loop
So what if I'm connecting both ends to devices, such as a router and PS4, how is the ground wire grounded ?

Can I use my already brought factory made STP cables, or should I ditch them and buy UTP cables instead to connect devices ?
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-10-2015, 06:30 AM
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Based on your layout "which includes HDMI cables (2 or 3), Ethernet (4 or 5), USB cables (2 or 3) and Power cables (2 or 3)" I wouldn't bother with STP.

In 20+ years in manufacturing facilities, I have only once used STP and this had nothing to do with the interference form the very large machinery. Actually, it had to do with the facility being located at end of commercial airport runway. And it helped.

Doing STP wrong will cause more problems than not doing it all.

STP has shields inside that must be grounded. Consider them extra wires that must be terminated somewhere. Your PS4 and router have no means to account for this. Most applications will use a patch panel that has special grounding bars that these shields will connect to (on one end only). This grounding bar will then terminated to proper earth ground. Simply plugging an STP into a PS4 or router will not do anything and may cause the shield to attract more noise.

You have a few power cables. Don't worry about it or over think it. It will work fine with UTP
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