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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background

Ok, bought a new house last month and have had some work being done on the main level before we move in which is almost done and prob moving in in a couple of weeks or so, so before that I want to get some wire runs in. The house is built in 2005.


Now, the basement is finished and already comes with a built in theater (saves me time and money), all the equipment for the theater room is in another room and all the equipment is controlled by the control4 unit installed by the previous owner (i'm planning on switching some of those out for zwave as i'm more of a DIYer and want to control everything from my iphone)

What I want to do

I basically want all hardware (satellite boxes/HTPCs) located in the basement and only want a TV/Remote control in my other rooms. I need Dish Network, and am thinking to go with 4 Solo HD receiver (since the dual tuner receivers use RF for changing channels on the secondary TV) and be able to control the receivers with IR.

I also want sonos music system in each of the rooms listed.

I have 5 rooms (not including the theater room) for which I want TV and a Media Center connected (i can only get TV in 4 rooms though, b/c of the 4 single tuner receivers)

- Main Level Bedroom - TV + sonos

- Living Room - media center + TV + sonos

- Upstairs Master Bedroom - media center + TV + sonos

- Upstairs Media Room - media center + TV + sonos

- Basement Workout Room - TV (maybe, not sure yet) + sonos

- Basement Pool Table/Bar room - TV + sonos

What I'm *Thinking* of doing

Now, I was thinking of just running long HDMI runs (monoprice cables) to each room with a TV, cat 6 cable, and an IR emitter/blaster which end at the basement equipment room (i'm planning on using a Global Cache unit in the basement to control the equipment through an iPhone/iTouch).

Those 3 cable runs from each room to the basement should cover everything I think and should allow me to play around with different setups if one does not work out.


Also, each room already has connection for cable, but that's pretty much useless for satellite.


Now before I start buying...does that sound right? how would you set it up? what am I missing?


Thanks
 

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1 cat6 (or cat5e) wire isn't even close to being enough. Run at least 3-4 at every location that you are thinking of running 1.
 

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Best practice is to run at least two coax and two ethernet drops to every room when doing a wiring job. The idea is to help "future proof" against any changes you may make to your system in the coming years. And let's face it, there's always something new just around the corner.


Standard HDMI cables aren't really designed for long runs. You may be able to find some heavy duty ones, or you may need to use baluns and run the signal over cat5. Figure out the lengths of your runs, and then compare costs to find your best bet.


You may also want to consider using a matrix switcher. This would allow you to distribute device outputs to any of the TVs, so you could use Dish or the Media Center PC from any room in the house with a TV. You could also reduce the number of Dish receivers in this case, unless you need the ability to have four different programs on at once.
 

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Forget HDMI, and go with multiple cat6 runs to each drop, using baluns. Cat6 can be used for IR as well.


HDMI (or this year's version) will be replaced eventually.


You said you wanted to futureproof.


If you want it done before you move in, in 2 weeks, call a pro.


I'm guessing Control4 has an iPhone app, or has one in the works, but I dunno for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your replies...long HDMI runs are out of the question as some of my runs are gonna be longer than 100', so doing 4 (maybe 5) cat6 runs to each location...he is planning on running it from outside (so using outdoor cat6 CMX cable) through PVC piping terminating to a patch panel in the basement. But i'm calling another guy to maybe run it from inside and patch up the drywall etc...(still ordering outdoor cable though just incase we do an outside run, and will use it indoors if necessary).


I was thinking of hard wiring some 2 IR Extender cables per location also ( http://www.smarthome.com/8186/Xantec...-784-00/p.aspx ) but don't know how it will hold up when it is run outside..!?


That's all i can think of right now :/


Thanks
 

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IR signals can be passed over cat5e/cat6 cables, you don't need dedicated cable.


That 'IR' cable you linked from Smarthome isn't in-wall rated, either.


Given the extent of wiring, you may want to ask a pro, if you're pressed for time. If he's good, he'll think of things you've missed.


I've never had a distributed video system, but I think you only need a couple tuners, if you will only watch a couple at a time.


Does the Sonos use in-wall or in-ceiling speakers? You may want to consider wiring for them.


You're planning on a drop to each room, but all the wires may not be located in the same place (in each room). Do you need an IR receiver by the door anywhere, perhaps the workout rooom? Do you know where the TV will be located in each room? You may want more than 1 drop, in some rooms, if your wife may want to move the TV.


Tell the installer how much extra cable you want, at each drop, sometimes called a 'service loop'. If you're DIY, you may appreciate a few/several extra feet. Tell him exactly what height you want each drop mounted in the wall - oulet height (be specific, in inches), switch height, eye height.


Without a lot of experience, consulting a pro may save you $$$ down the road. If you had a couple months, then you could DIY more successfully.

Here's a good read , for some wiring tips. Worth the registration, and download. Click 'Download File', in the middle at the bottom (it's been missed before). The second half of 102 is particularly useful. It's slightly dated - cat6 x 2 can replace each of your (longer) HDMI runs, though the baluns can be expensive. This is where the pro/CI consultant could be very useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I know they're not rated inwall/outdoor, but my reason for doing this was so I can have a ir blaster/emitter run from my Global Cache unit in my basement to my TVs (but not really needed but I watned every room to be controlled by my iphone also)....i tried looking for way to transmit IR over cat5/6 but didn't really come up w/ anything...so how can i setup ir through cat5/6 to use w/ my GC unit (it accepts 3.5mm)


I'll have atleast 3 tuners active at one time, putting 4 dish network tuners in there just as an "in case" type deal.


The sonos wiring does not need to run to the basement, as the sonos unit can be located in the same room and everything is controlled wirelessly, but yes I am planning on doing the in-ceiling wires for these at the same time, but I'm not really worried about these as it is pretty simple.


My only other concern is the baluns to use at each end....monoprice has one for $20 ( http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2 ), so it can't hurt to try that before I try something more expensive.
 

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Will you want to have the dish network receivers audio play over the same speakers that sonos will? Or just over the TV speakers? Keeping them separate will make it easier on you but it would be nice to utilize the speakers for TV viewing.


To each TV Pull 2 Cat6 for HDMI and 1 Cat5E for control (IR). Use this keystone jack for IR. It leaves you with 6 additional conductors for future use.




If you cant get the Baluns to do HDMI properly you can always use the Cat6 for component & stereo Baluns on the longer runs.


You can pull 2 RG6 to each TV if you want. Its quite possible that RG6 will be better at 'balunizing' HDMI or whatever in the future. It also gives you some flexibility as far as adding a sat or cable box locally in the future.


What we normally do is look for a closet of cabinet in each room that could possibley house local components. We home run every cable to there. Then we run jumper loops over to the TV from the closet or cabinet. If there are no local sources we just 'barrel' every cable straight on thru to the TV. But if you want a local BD player or ipod dock or whatever.. you can do it easily and its all hidden in a cabinet or closet so you dont have to have components sitting under the TV in the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/16974882


Will you want to have the dish network receivers audio play over the same speakers that sonos will? Or just over the TV speakers? Keeping them separate will make it easier on you but it would be nice to utilize the speakers for TV viewing.

Separate speakers, as i'm planning to place the ceiling speakers at different locations than next to/above the tv.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/16974882


To each TV Pull 2 Cat6 for HDMI and 1 Cat5E for control (IR). Use this keystone jack for IR. It leaves you with 6 additional conductors for future use.

oh nice that will make it a lot easier....I'm guessing cat6 cable would work fine also? I'm planning on 4 cat6 runs to each room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/16974882


You can pull 2 RG6 to each TV if you want. Its quite possible that RG6 will be better at 'balunizing' HDMI or whatever in the future. It also gives you some flexibility as far as adding a sat or cable box locally in the future.

Each room already has 2 runs of RG6 to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/16974882


What we normally do is look for a closet of cabinet in each room that could possibley house local components. We home run every cable to there. Then we run jumper loops over to the TV from the closet or cabinet. If there are no local sources we just 'barrel' every cable straight on thru to the TV. But if you want a local BD player or ipod dock or whatever.. you can do it easily and its all hidden in a cabinet or closet so you dont have to have components sitting under the TV in the room.

Yeah lets see how this goes! if not then that will be my solution.
 

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Theoretically Cat5E will work for everything. I suggested Cat6 based on several threads at remotecentral where those in the know said it worked better. Cat6 will work for everything that Cat5E would so if you run 4 Cat6 you are covered.


Dont forget to get Cat6 keystone jacks and/or patch panels and even the jumper cables from the jacks to the baluns should be Cat6 cable with Cat6 connectors.


I have seen guys use the Homedepot Cat5 RJ45 connectors on Cat6. It works but its not Cat6 anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks...just placed my order for all my cables/keystones/wallplates/patch panel, etc...lets hope everything goes smoothly, i'll update once I get the wire runs in.


Take Care
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hum, one question if anyone knows....


Now lets say I install that IR Keystone using one pair on my cat6, how would I terminate it? Ideally I would want to terminate it to 3.5mm jack to plug into my Global Cache unit....


anyone have any ideas?


Basically I would use 2 pairs of one of the cat6 cables, one pair I would use as a receiver and one pair as a emitter..but how would I terminate the emitter end to connect to my GC unit (which only accepts 3.5mm plug) Can I just solder it on to a 3.5mm connector!?


Thanks
 

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For IR from keystone jack to global cache you just need to get mono 3.5mm" to 3.5mm" mono patch cable. Stereo will also work. Or if your going straight from the cat6 into the global cache do as you said and solder on a mono connector.


Maybe get some heat shrink to make it look neat. Put it on each set of conductors individually and then one over both to relieve strain. This pic is speaker wire but its the same concept.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ah ok, so just put another keystone at the terminating end (in the basement) and use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm plug to go to my global cache unit....coo, thank you very much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All my wires will be here tuesday/wednesday...my longest run is going to be 120-125ft, i ordered the cheap monoprice HDMI over cat5 transmitter, but I don't think thats gonna cut it for the long run....any recommendations as to what unit to get that will work well, I want to test the units and see if the work with 120ft cable before I run them through.


Also, some units take a single HDMI cable ( http://www.markertek.com/CATV-Headen...-EX0101T.xhtml ) and some take dual cat5/ca6...


Edit: Dish is 1080i, so not concerned about that as i think that will run fine over cat6 at those distances, but using HTPCs (movies/music/pics) also which will be run to those displays and all my my TVs are 1080p, BUT, all those units will only be using 2.0/2.1 audio (as i have a direct setup w/ my theater for 7.1 sound).


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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