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Decided to run cable all over the house before drywall goes up in the basement.


Went with 2 Cat5e and 2 RG6-QS to each room (plus 2 extra data to the office). This was what I heard/saw recommended lots of places.


When I saw Cat5e (Gigabit-certified) cable at Home Depot for less money than I had seen online before, I picked some up. I figured it didn't matter which Cat5e cable I got since it was just for data and this would be pretty future-proof (GigE).


Now that I have had more time to look around here, I see people talking about future-proofing for HD video distribution using enhanced 5e and Cat6. I didn't even realize that there was more than one type of Cat5e cable. Not sure how I missed that when shopping online. I think all the cable I saw said "350MHz" and I didn't realize what I got was less (probably 250MHz).


The cable's all been run, so I don't expect to change it, but did I mess up by not getting enhanced 5e? These are pretty short runs. Does that help?


Thanks,

- LoopinFool
 

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If the cables are from a quality manufacturer and do actually meet the Cat 5e requirements, the cable will perform equally well for you in your home. Some cables have a little extra "headroom" designed into them to exceed the Cat 5e standard. But, if you installed all the cables correctly, you will not be able to distinguish the difference.


Now the real problem in the industry is low-quality import cables (there is plenty of great quality import cables as well) that likely don't meet the Cat 5e spec despite being labeled that way. Unfortunately, for the end user there is almost no way to distinguish the difference without expensive testers.


On the topic of 250 MHz vs. 350 MHz etc - remember that Cat 5e is only specified to work up to 100 MHz. Some manufacturers print higher "tested" numbers on the cable to try and differentiate their products. Regardless, there is no Cat 5e cable in the marketplace that has positive PS-ACR (Power Sum Attenuation to Crosstalk Ratio) numbers at 250 or 350 MHz, so this is generally marketing glitz that has become an urban legend for data cables.


Assuming you used quality manufacturers for your installation and followed the proper installation guidelines, you should have no problems.


Carl Fedders

Product Manager - Coleman Cable Inc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedders /forum/post/0


...On the topic of 250 MHz vs. 350 MHz etc - remember that Cat 5e is only specified to work up to 100 MHz. Some manufacturers print higher "tested" numbers on the cable to try and differentiate their products. Regardless, there is no Cat 5e cable in the marketplace that has positive PS-ACR (Power Sum Attenuation to Crosstalk Ratio) numbers at 250 or 350 MHz, so this is generally marketing glitz that has become an urban legend for data cables.

Nice post Carl.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoopinFool /forum/post/0


Decided to run cable all over the house before drywall goes up in the basement.


Went with 2 Cat5e and 2 RG6-QS to each room (plus 2 extra data to the office). This was what I heard/saw recommended lots of places.


When I saw Cat5e (Gigabit-certified) cable at Home Depot for less money than I had seen online before, I picked some up. I figured it didn't matter which Cat5e cable I got since it was just for data and this would be pretty future-proof (GigE).


Now that I have had more time to look around here, I see people talking about future-proofing for HD video distribution using enhanced 5e and Cat6. I didn't even realize that there was more than one type of Cat5e cable. Not sure how I missed that when shopping online. I think all the cable I saw said "350MHz" and I didn't realize what I got was less (probably 250MHz).


The cable's all been run, so I don't expect to change it, but did I mess up by not getting enhanced 5e? These are pretty short runs. Does that help?


Thanks,

- LoopinFool

Carl is talking about what we affectionately call little e and big e. cat5e is enhanced. its enhanced cat 5. cables that cat5(big)e cables that are sweep tested to 350MHz, basically have more head room, they wont really carry more info.


Besides, 1080i component signals only need about 30MHz of bandwidth, 480p needs about 12MHz
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sport06 /forum/post/0


Carl is talking about what we affectionately call little e and big e. cat5e is enhanced. its enhanced cat 5. cables that cat5(big)e cables that are sweep tested to 350MHz, basically have more head room, they wont really carry more info.

"Big E" and "Little E" never existed anywhere in the category specifications. You can interchange lowercase or uppercase and it makes no difference. The big E originated from before a 5e standard even existed as some manufacturers tried to differentiate their extra headroom products (beyond the Cat 5 spec). The 5e specification was ratified later and actually meant something as it included extra testing requirements beyond Cat 5 (I believe several of the Power-sum testing, but can't recall exactly).


Oh, and I could sweep test a wire coat hanger to 350 MHz. What you really need to look at are the values at that frequency range. Nobody ever does that.


Carl Fedders

Product Manager, Coleman Cable
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedders /forum/post/0


"Big E" and "Little E" never existed anywhere in the category specifications. You can interchange lowercase or uppercase and it makes no difference. The big E originated from before a 5e standard even existed as some manufacturers tried to differentiate their extra headroom products (beyond the Cat 5 spec). The 5e specification was ratified later and actually meant something as it included extra testing requirements beyond Cat 5 (I believe several of the Power-sum testing, but can't recall exactly).


Oh, and I could sweep test a wire coat hanger to 350 MHz. What you really need to look at are the values at that frequency range. Nobody ever does that.


Carl Fedders

Product Manager, Coleman Cable


Agreed. I am saying that there is min-compliant Cat5e. (little e) and 350MHZ cat 5e (big e). Essentially, its all marketing.
 
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