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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This forum has been an invaluable source of information to me over the years. I joined back in 2007 and have only has to post questions a few times because all my questions have usually been answered somewhere on the forums.

Anyways. I’m not the most tech savy person. Here’s my situation:

I want to view 1080p content from my Mac Mini (latest model) to my Vizio P-Series HDTV in the next room. I’m trying to figure out the best method with the highest resolution while still maintaining a stable connection.

Option 1: Both devices will have a wired Ethernet connection. I could stream video content via wifi from Mac Mini to HDTV using DLNA. Concern: if the stock Vizio Media App freezes, it takes forever to fast-forward video to the place it froze.

Option 2: My apartment hasn’t been sheet-rocked yet so I could easy connect the devices by running an HDMI cord through the walls.

I’m considering the Cabernet Series Active High Speed HDMI® Cable with RedMere® Technology, 40ft from Monoprice. It has a VW-1 in-wall fire safety rating.

Which option would give me the highest resolution with the most stability? Or is there another better option for me to consider?

thanks!

josh
 

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This forum has been an invaluable source of information to me over the years. I joined back in 2007 and have only has to post questions a few times because all my questions have usually been answered somewhere on the forums.

Anyways. I’m not the most tech savy person. Here’s my situation:

I want to view 1080p content from my Mac Mini (latest model) to my Vizio P-Series HDTV in the next room. I’m trying to figure out the best method with the highest resolution while still maintaining a stable connection.

Option 1: Both devices will have a wired Ethernet connection. I could stream video content via wifi from Mac Mini to HDTV using DLNA. Concern: if the stock Vizio Media App freezes, it takes forever to fast-forward video to the place it froze.

Option 2: My apartment hasn’t been sheet-rocked yet so I could easy connect the devices by running an HDMI cord through the walls.

I’m considering the Cabernet Series Active High Speed HDMI® Cable with RedMere® Technology, 40ft from Monoprice. It has a VW-1 in-wall fire safety rating.

Which option would give me the highest resolution with the most stability? Or is there another better option for me to consider?

thanks!

josh

Certainly using a high quality hdmi cable would be best if you want a mirror of your Mac. You can also use cat5 cable with an hdmi balun. Lastly if you want to stream look at getting another client device that runs Plex or Kodi. Roku or Fire TV will run Plex. Best approach for streaming IMHO. Its what I do. Then you can use wifi for this. TV clients that use DLNA are not generally very good.

Bob Silver
Netgear Networking Advisor
 

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This forum has been an invaluable source of information to me over the years. I joined back in 2007 and have only has to post questions a few times because all my questions have usually been answered somewhere on the forums.

Anyways. I’m not the most tech savy person. Here’s my situation:

I want to view 1080p content from my Mac Mini (latest model) to my Vizio P-Series HDTV in the next room. I’m trying to figure out the best method with the highest resolution while still maintaining a stable connection.

Option 1: Both devices will have a wired Ethernet connection. I could stream video content via wifi from Mac Mini to HDTV using DLNA. Concern: if the stock Vizio Media App freezes, it takes forever to fast-forward video to the place it froze.

Option 2: My apartment hasn’t been sheet-rocked yet so I could easy connect the devices by running an HDMI cord through the walls.

I’m considering the Cabernet Series Active High Speed HDMI® Cable with RedMere® Technology, 40ft from Monoprice. It has a VW-1 in-wall fire safety rating.

Which option would give me the highest resolution with the most stability? Or is there another better option for me to consider?

thanks!

josh
I would not run HDMI in wall right now unless you know you can easily swap it out later for a newer revision. With HDMI 2.0 around the corner there's no telling how soon you may need to change it out. CAT6 on the other hand should be run from a central location to every room in the house. CAT6 will be viable for a long, long time. As Bob mentioned, because of the prevelance of CAT6, there are also a lot of ways to leverage it for other uses.

If all your media is in itunes, you can use an AppleTV to watch your library. If not, a FireTV with Plex on it would work well, you would just need to run a plex server on your mac mini.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would not run HDMI in wall right now unless you know you can easily swap it out later for a newer revision. With HDMI 2.0 around the corner there's no telling how soon you may need to change it out. CAT6 on the other hand should be run from a central location to every room in the house. CAT6 will be viable for a long, long time. As Bob mentioned, because of the prevelance of CAT6, there are also a lot of ways to leverage it for other uses.

If all your media is in itunes, you can use an AppleTV to watch your library. If not, a FireTV with Plex on it would work well, you would just need to run a plex server on your mac mini.
Thanks. What would I need to purchase exactly to make this work? Can u recommend products? Cheap but still high quality.
 

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i would always go Ethernet over any other wiring. no doubt about it.

wireless is getting faster and faster, now with 802.11ac up to 6Gbit/s, interference and neighbors' 20 year old microwaves excluded... :)

if i was deigning a place right now, i'd still run Ethernet from every room to a hub in a chosen destination, and maybe even two cables to the entertainment location.
 

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Thanks. What would I need to purchase exactly to make this work? Can u recommend products? Cheap but still high quality.
As long as you're not concerned with doing the work, running the cable through the framing etc.. then here's what I would use:

CAT6 Couplers.
http://www.amazon.com/Intellinet-Fe...sim_147_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=1BV4F2P273E3A8J1RFW1
4 Port Keystone Wallplate: - Run at least 2 cables to each room. You can fill any empty ports with blanks.
http://www.amazon.com/Shaxon-BM303W...sim_147_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=0WWNTHKZVRRJVGS8864J
Blanks:
http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Blank-Insert-Wall-Plate/dp/B004C4SKSO/ref=pd_bxgy_147_img_z
Cable: - Measure your runs and and buy the appropriate length
http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=102&cp_id=10232

You'll need a switch at your home run point to plug your cables into. There are a few good budget brands, I'm partial to TP-Link, but Trendnet and Monoprice branded switches are just fine. Install the wallplates and run the cables through the framing back to your home run point. Use some velcro cable ties at your home run point to coil up any excess cables and make it look neat and tidy.

My setup at home goes like this:

Cable Modem ----> Port 1 one my ASUS Wifi Router ----> Port 1 on my 48 port TP-Link switch.

Everything wired in my house goes through the TP-Link switch. Everything Wireless goes through the ASUS.

i would always go Ethernet over any other wiring. no doubt about it.

wireless is getting faster and faster, now with 802.11ac up to 6Gbit/s, interference and neighbors' 20 year old microwaves excluded... :)

if i was deigning a place right now, i'd still run Ethernet from every room to a hub in a chosen destination, and maybe even two cables to the entertainment location.
We ran 8 to the family room, 2 to all other rooms. :p
 

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I bought 50' and 75' spindles of CAT6 for in walls and used http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=104&cp_id=10425&cs_id=1042501&p_id=8200&seq=1&format=2 as well as the ones with IR ports for the living room to repeat the main receiver remote for setting things up. This all went into a closet where my modem/router/switch sit. This was done in a 1930's house while redid the electrical, so it was a bit easier to destroy the house at will. We also put a jack on the outside deck for a projector. If I was doing this again I would have run 2 or 3 HDMI jacks to every TV location just so there is an option for internet plus HDMI at each TV. Of course all the rokus, video games, raspberry pi, freenas server, and whatever else sit in the closet.

To control the living room I setup a Harmony Link, which works, but its a POS. The rest of the house uses rokus controlled by a phone or tablet. Which is where Plex comes in.

I could never get the Vizio TV to send smart apps sounds back to the receiver so that TV uses either a Dune-HD or Roku. Did I mention how easy the roku makes everything once its all setup? :p I also ran wires for 5.1 sound to the closet. I mean if you can run whatever you want, why not do it now?

The women in my life thought I was going overboard, once the house was moved into, with all the wires gone changed their thinking.
 

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I have Prime, so things are usually cheaper after you add in Monoprice shipping.

There are a lot of complaints about those couplers regarding reliability.
 

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This forum has been an invaluable source of information to me over the years. I joined back in 2007 and have only has to post questions a few times because all my questions have usually been answered somewhere on the forums.

Anyways. I’m not the most tech savy person. Here’s my situation:

I want to view 1080p content from my Mac Mini (latest model) to my Vizio P-Series HDTV in the next room. I’m trying to figure out the best method with the highest resolution while still maintaining a stable connection.

Option 1: Both devices will have a wired Ethernet connection. I could stream video content via wifi from Mac Mini to HDTV using DLNA. Concern: if the stock Vizio Media App freezes, it takes forever to fast-forward video to the place it froze.

Option 2: My apartment hasn’t been sheet-rocked yet so I could easy connect the devices by running an HDMI cord through the walls.

I’m considering the Cabernet Series Active High Speed HDMI® Cable with RedMere® Technology, 40ft from Monoprice. It has a VW-1 in-wall fire safety rating.

Which option would give me the highest resolution with the most stability? Or is there another better option for me to consider?

thanks!

josh
Make sure to install some kind of conduit, in case you need to replace the cable at a later time.

What is the price of that cable?
 

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There are some items that seem to be missing from your original post -

Does your Vizio play "all" types of 1080p content? - M2TS, TS, MKV, AVI, DVIX etc.
Audio - are you using any type of AVR?
Are you planning to play video media from iTunes?

If you plan on using Plex/XBMC or iTunes, it may be wise to run HDMI. You may find that
running Cat 6 to your TV offers other services that you would use down the line (music streaming, web etc.)

If you can't run both Cat 6 and HDMI, perhaps just HDMI and consider testing out some Powerline AV option vs direct Cat 6 (5e should be sufficient).

While WiFi might seem like a good choice, there are times when high bit rate media files do have challenges. What I have found is running two routers in
bridge mode (to handle the heavy lifting) worked best rather than the media related devices doing the work. Naturally, this is quite an expense and may not
be within your requirements of solution at a reasonable cost.

There are so many variations on a theme that without the more information on your goals and what you do have (devices along with their type of ports and types of media files along with their audio streams), it becomes a bit hit and miss to give direct advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are some items that seem to be missing from your original post -

Does your Vizio play "all" types of 1080p content? - M2TS, TS, MKV, AVI, DVIX etc.
Audio - are you using any type of AVR?
Are you planning to play video media from iTunes?

If you plan on using Plex/XBMC or iTunes, it may be wise to run HDMI. You may find that
running Cat 6 to your TV offers other services that you would use down the line (music streaming, web etc.)

If you can't run both Cat 6 and HDMI, perhaps just HDMI and consider testing out some Powerline AV option vs direct Cat 6 (5e should be sufficient).

While WiFi might seem like a good choice, there are times when high bit rate media files do have challenges. What I have found is running two routers in
bridge mode (to handle the heavy lifting) worked best rather than the media related devices doing the work. Naturally, this is quite an expense and may not
be within your requirements of solution at a reasonable cost.

There are so many variations on a theme that without the more information on your goals and what you do have (devices along with their type of ports and types of media files along with their audio streams), it becomes a bit hit and miss to give direct advice.
Currently, I stream 1080p AVI, MKV, MPEG-4 to my Vizio hdtv via Plex DLNA from my Mac Mini. It streams fine through wifi. I'm used to this set up. Been using it this way for a while.

But the stock Vizio media player sucks: forward, rewind, etc. is real pain in the can. I'm not sure what the Vizio Plex app will be like once it's released to non Plex Pass members.

In the new apartment I'll have wired Ethernet to each room, which will help.

The thought of directly controlling my Mac Mini thru iPad with an HDMI cable is appealing. But I'm also thinking of going the Apple TV (the upcoming release) route for simplicity sake since I use Apple products across the board. Although, a lot of peeps like Roku...

I don't use iTunes for video, but I'm not totally opposed to it. I know I'll have to convert mkv to iTunes playable files unless the new Apple TV is compatable with mkv (yeah right).

Which ever route I take the set up will only be about 40 foot run with HDMI or HDMI TO CAT6, so not too bad.
 

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I admit I prefer to have a player near the TV. With this in mind, I have used Mac Mini (XBMC both OSX and Linux) as well as Blue Ray players that can play networked files as well as Dune Media players. It just becomes a lot easier to have a solid performing player (or several) than to compromise with items like ATV. There are similar priced devices to the ATV if cost is a concern that do as well and play more types of files. I would be hesitant to "convert" anything for ATV as it often includes some sort of compression in the process that renders an inferior performing video presentation.

Using WiFi can and will make rewind and forward options a bit sticky. Then again, there are times even with ethernet this can occur (depending on the device). You may want to look at forums discussing Dune type players (Medi8tor also) as some include the option to put a hard drive within the unit itself. Some of these devices are to be had second hand if that is also of interest (for a lower cost).

My present set up include Mac Mini XBMC/Kodi for guests to use, Oppo 103 Blue Ray (for my personal use and discs) with both going to an AVR then TV. I pretty much don't use any of the TV's smart features. I have set up for others ATV, Western Digital's counterpart and lots of HTPCs. I admit I have a dislike for the ATV as they seem nothing more than a tool to get people into the "iTunes" store while counterparts, as mentioned often add a lot more value with taking other types of files, some capable of HD audio etc.

If you are set on using the Mac Mini in another room, Plex is certainly a good option and you may want to add to your investigation various types of remote control options that would work well with your set up.
 

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For any in-wall wiring where you want a/v I would highly recommend solid core CAT-6 in conduit. High speed HDMI (either passive or active) is a cheaper option but you will be swapping out cables in the future. Current high speed HDMI cabling can handle the bandwidth required for HDMI 2.0a but the standards are changing rapidly, only solid core CAT-6 will still work long after current high speed hdmi cables are no longer sufficient. Active HDMI cables with Redmere technology is a good alternative if your runs are longer that 25' and you want a thin, flexible cable. However, because of the chipset in the sink side end (tv) side, they can fail overtime like any electronic device. That being said, if the cables are in a conduit, pulling new cable is easy. The downside is that for optimal use the Redmere cables need to be connected directly from source to sink. In other words, no switches or couplers.

CAT-6 is costly though because you will need to use active termination (HDBT) which can be pricey but it is only way to really "future proof" your wiring needs for years to come. If you just want to extend an ethernet connection to hardwire your HTS so you don't have to depend on WiFi, then CAT-6 terminated with a punch down keystone jack is cheap and efficient. From the wall I have a CAT-6 ethernet cable running to a 10-port gigabit switch and from there, ethernet to my devices. I do that now and it works perfectly. I prefer not to use any WiFi for my HTS at all because there are just too many issues that can cause interference.
 

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CAT-6 is costly though because you will need to use active termination (HDBT) which can be pricey but it is only way to really "future proof" your wiring needs for years to come. If you just want to extend an ethernet connection to hardwire your HTS so you don't have to depend on WiFi, then CAT-6 terminated with a punch down keystone jack is cheap and efficient. From the wall I have a CAT-6 ethernet cable running to a 10-port gigabit switch and from there, ethernet to my devices. I do that now and it works perfectly. I prefer not to use any WiFi for my HTS at all because there are just too many issues that can cause interference.
One thing I kept coming across for long HDMI runs was that it didn't always work or there were sync issues. In OPs case running CAT6 for the HDMI and running a separate CAT6 for internet/LAN makes a lot of sense, and something I wish I did while the walls were open.

Its not as big of a deal for me because I have the entire system running into a closet next to my switches/router/modem. But if someone wants their player next to the TV it matters. Though the player hidden using a wifi app or IR extender is much more clean.
 

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HDMI is currently certified for up to 25'. That doesn't mean it won't work beyond that but you will have problems the longer the run is. One way around that is to use a thicker gauge cable. The downside of that is loss of flexibility and increased strain on the input ends. That's the beauty of using an active cable with Redmere technology. You can have much longer runs with a much thinner cable. The downside of that is the possibility of the active components of the cable ( a little chipset in the sink end) failing over time. Hence the use of conduit. I use solid core CAT-6 in conduit to extend my ethernet connection so my HTS can be hardwired and not depend on WiFi. I also have an extra solid core CAT-6 cable in there along with a pull string should I need to add another cable or start pushing an HDMI connection.
 

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My 2 cents: Any solution running HDMI cables between rooms is niche and inflexible. Go with a network solution. Let your MAC be a MAC.

I'm not a fan of DLNA, but PLEX is popular and simple so that is worth a try. There are many media players that can just access shared folders from your MAC, so you have many options if you don't like DLNA. (FireTV with KODI might be worth a look, ROKU is not good for local content), Of course, there is no law against sharing your content folders AND running PLEX or similar DLNA type server at the same time, giving you all kinds of flexibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks everybody for the advice.

can I use cat6a for this project? I know it's a step up from cat6, just wanna make sure it'll still work.

Prolly, a total noob question. That's ok. I have no pride. I've been married for 15 years. Heh.
 

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Thanks everybody for the advice.

can I use cat6a for this project? I know it's a step up from cat6, just wanna make sure it'll still work.

Prolly, a total noob question. That's ok. I have no pride. I've been married for 15 years. Heh.
Certified solid core CAT-6 or greater will work just fine.
 
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