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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Quick question. I'm building a house and in doing so have the option to run cabling to my heart's content. I plan to install a DirecTV system, however since DTV doesn't carry my local channels, I'll be getting a package from the cable company with just local and public access channels. My questions are:

1. what is the best type of cabling to use for hooking up the DirecTV? I have heard RG-6 is required - is there any other type I should consider for better signal strength?

2. Can I use one line of cable to carry both the DTV and CableTV signals? If yes, would I just split into it both the CableTV source and the DirecTV dish, then split off at the TVs, one into the DTV receiver and one into the TV?

3. I'm assuming I can't run both signals along one standard cable - is there any type that can handle both signals at the same time with little or no quality loss?

4. Anything else I should consider while trying to set this up?


Thanks

Scott

AirlineMuseum.com
 

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Scott,


1. The rg6 should be fine, but some people prefer the quad shield.

2 & 3. Yes, you can use 1 line to carry CATV and D* using diplexors. Depending on your setup, you should probably consider a good multiswitch, either a 3x8 or 5x8. I have a Channel Master 3x8 and have not had any complaints. I would suggest running at least 3 separate lines. This allows for greater flexibility in the future, not to mention if you go with UTV or DTivo using both tuners. (I love my UltimateTV). You may also want to run some cat 5 while you are at it for broadband / home networking / IR system, etc. Hope this helps and good luck.


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
CSR: Thanks for the info, but I think I'm more confused now :(

what is a diplexor and what is a multiswitch?

Let's assume I'm going to get a single dish setup and have three DTV receivers located throughout the house (in three separate rooms) - what do I need for cabling infrastructure, splitters, diplexors, multiswitches, etc?

Let's also assume on Sundays I'm going to want to bring a receiver and TV downstairs into the room where I already have one receiver/TV in order to watch multiple football games at the same time - will I need to pre-wire an extra connection here, or can I just split off the one connection like I would with regular cable?


One other thing - If my area has digital cable, and has had it for a while, can I assume that the electrician will naturally be running RG-6 cable in the house?


Thanks


Scott

AirlineMuseum.com
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by AirlineMuseum.c
CSR: Thanks for the info, but I think I'm more confused now :(

what is a diplexor and what is a multiswitch?
A diplexor allows you to combine a satellite signal and a cable TV (or over the air VHF/UHF/FM antenna) signal into 1 cable on one end and then split them back into their separate signals at the other end. This simply saves you from having to run 2 RG-6 cables to each room to get Satellite and cable.


A multiswitch is what you use to split a satellite signal to multiple receivers. Due to the way satellite receivers work, you can't use a standard splitter or you'll run into problems. These come in a number of different forms, depending on your needs. A 2x4 multiswitch will take the 2 feeds from a regular satellite dish with a dual LNB and allow you to drive 4 satellite receivers. A 3x4 multiswitch does the same thing, but also allows you to add a cable TV (or over the air VHF/UHF/FM antenna) signal to the equation (think of it as having a diplexor built in). A 4x4 multiswitch accepts the 4 inputs from a dual-dual LNB dish (oval dish) and allow 4 receivers to get any channel from either satellite. A 5x4 multiswitch is the same thing, but again adds the ability to combine a cable (or over the air antenna) signal. There are also multiswitches with 6, 8, 12, and 16 outputs, which allow you to drive that number of receivers.

Quote:
Let's assume I'm going to get a single dish setup and have three DTV receivers located throughout the house (in three separate rooms) - what do I need for cabling infrastructure, splitters, diplexors, multiswitches, etc?
Assuming you will want cable TV too (based on the rest of your post), you would need a 3x4 multiswitch as a minimum. However, if you plan on watching high definition in the future, you really should get an oval dish at a minimum (with 2 LNB's) and a 5x4 multiswitch. If you think you may want to use DirecTivo's or Ultimate TV's at these locations, you would need a 5x6 multiswitch at minimum, as each of these devices has 2 tuners and therefore requires 2 feeds.


At each TV, you'll need 1 diplexor which allows you to split the cable TV feed from the output from the multiswitch.


My opinion is this:


1) Cabling from antennas, cable TV, and satellite dishes should all run to a central location in the home (somewhere near the fuse panel is the most common location). RG-6 cable should be used, quad shield isn't required but isn't a bad idea.


2) At the common location, you should mount a multiswitch. The satellite dish cables and the cable TV or antenna cables are connected to the appropriate inputs on the multiswitch.


3) The outputs from the multiswitch are run to the appropriate rooms - 1 line for each receiver you anticipate using in each room. While the walls are open, anticipate extra receivers, as running cables is easier now than later. Again, RG-6 cable should be used.


4) While running the wires, run at least 2 CAT-5 cables to each room, 1 intended for telephone use and the other for computer network use. Running a third for future use wouldn't be a bad idea. These cables should all be home run to the same common location as the other cabling.


5) Purchase and install appropriate terminal blocks to hook up your telephone and network cabling as needed (you'll need telephone lines for the satellite receivers, the network wiring is optional unless you have an immediate need for it). There are lots of options here ranging from well under $100 to well over $1000. The number of rooms and wire runs pretty much dictates what you need here. Based on your description, you should be able to stay under $100 for this.

Quote:
Let's also assume on Sundays I'm going to want to bring a receiver and TV downstairs into the room where I already have one receiver/TV in order to watch multiple football games at the same time - will I need to pre-wire an extra connection here, or can I just split off the one connection like I would with regular cable?
For every Direct TV receiver you want to use, you need a dedicated line from the multiswitch - don't try using a regular splitter like you would with cable TV or an antenna.

Quote:
One other thing - If my area has digital cable, and has had it for a while, can I assume that the electrician will naturally be running RG-6 cable in the house?
Never assume anything... Most likely the electrician and the general contractor aren't going to be interested in running all the cabling you'll need unless it's a high end house, so plan on having to do it yourself (assuming the contracter will let you, which they often won't) or plan on having to do it after the house is built (which is obviously more difficult). Ask the builder to run PVC conduits from the basement (assuming you'll have a basement) to the attic so you can run cables more easily in the future (again, many contractors won't do this, and many have no idea why you would want to do this).


Finally good luck with the new house - moving is a lot of work (just did that and still have a pile of boxes...), but often worth the effort.
 

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AirlineMuseum.c,

Talk to your electrician and find out what his standard install is. Mine was going to run a single coax (not sure what kind) and split it out to five rooms. I just told him where to put the wall boxes in each room and where to drill the holes to drop the cable. I spent Saturday, Monday and yesterday running 1,300 feet of RG-6 quad shield cable from Home Depot. I ran separate lines for cable modem and satellite instead of using a diplexor. Sometimes diplexors cause trouble and it's easier to run two lines now than later.


My installation is a little more complicated with a dedicated theater room that holds all of my equipment but I have had this planned out since the house was in the design stages.


-Robert
 
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