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Ask a Pro
Whole-house Wiring: What Do You Need?
August 29, 2013 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Coax, Cat5, fiber optic… what wires will make your home future-proof?
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10 Comments (displaying chronologically) Post a comment
Posted by Todd A  on  08/30  at  01:36 PM

So, the article says to consult with a CE pro? Nice, that was 2 minutes I ‘ll never get back.

Thanx.

Posted by JB  on  08/30  at  02:58 PM

I agree with Todd, thanks for wasting my time yet again. This happens too frequently here. In fact, I’m done with Electronic House. Nothing of substance anymore. This site is a joke now days.

Posted by Marshall  on  08/31  at  07:09 PM

I’m really looking forward to the day when we can just use Cat6 for everything, fiber if we realy need to go high-bandwidth.  We’re getting close with HDBaseT, and let’s face it, everything is 1s and 0s now.  Is there any real use for co-ax anymore except that it’s an outdated standard that cable/dish still hangs on to?

But yes, this article was a complete waste of time.  My two cents as a non-professional:  Run 2xCat6 from a central location to every data, AV, wall plate, and phone (if you don’t already have cell phones)  locations.  Basic inwall copper for your speakers of an appropriate guage from a sounce location (central or remote).  Screw the rest, but plan on buying baluns/convertor boxes until the rest of the world catches up.  We already laugh at RG59 an 4-conductor, in another decade we’ll be laughing at co-ax and cat5.

Posted by Joe P  on  09/02  at  09:59 AM

Ditto, Useless. Ask someone else as we can’t be bothered, and neither can I…
good bye.

Posted by Dabu  on  09/02  at  11:28 AM

Completely useless article. Not quite sure why CAT5 is mentioned, if the objective is a future-proof install.

Posted by AVGuys  on  09/02  at  09:18 PM

I recently wrote this to a potential client that wanted to design the house system himself, and asked what our opinion was for running enough wires to future-proof his new home:
“Our current “future-proof” wiring plan is:
RG-6 for cable TV
RG-6 for 2nd tuner (cable or satellite)
RG-6 for outside ATSC antenna
RG-6 for Satellite radio (XM/Sirius)
RG-6 for Cell Repeater
CAT5 for control (infrared, serial RS232, IP)
CAT5 for audio (balun or unbalanced)
CAT6 for network
CAT6 for 2nd network feed (uVerse video, etc)
CAT6 for video adapter (Balun1)
CAT6 for video adapter (Balun2)
CAT6 for video adapter (spare)
Without Fiber optic cables, this should cover “the future” of the next 3 years.”

The client wrote back and said:
“That does look like significant overkill – at the least for me. I would not see seven wires all being used at each location”

Posted by kol  on  09/03  at  02:29 PM

Conduit to accessible is your friend. 1-1/4” Resi-Gard will take a lot of wire.  Don’t worry about wire, make a permanent path you can pull whatever is needed through when the time comes.

Posted by Marshall Guthrie  on  09/03  at  03:42 PM

Agreed on the conduit.  But, when we get another standard like HDMI that is near impossible to terminate in the field and has a pretty significant connector size, especially at the lengths often needed when conduit is involved, that 1/14” gets pretty tight pretty quick.  Another reason we need to get to HDBaseT ASAP.

As far as hardwire for control and other low-bandwidth applications, there’s certainly no substitute for wire, but I’m hoping wireless will make those systems expandable and easy to install.  I’d be more concerned about running duplicate lines to a high bandwidth application than making sure every possible control point is wired.  But, if you can do both…

Posted by avidcasey  on  09/09  at  03:56 PM

You can’t future proof anything ever, period

Posted by Paul  on  09/25  at  06:53 PM

Everything will run over Ethernet or wireless.  It’s just the direction of the business.  Why not run all TV video over Ethernet cabling (HDMI over Cat5 which can be changed to HDBaseT later on or Crestron 8G+).  Then do all your switching centrally. 

Run Cat5 for network
Run Cat5 to all touchpanel and light switch locations (for centralized lighting)
Run Cat5 for Phone.  Better yet, put in a PBX and do phones as IP.
1 or 2 Coax for inbound signals (Antenna or cable Service/internet)
1 or 2 fibers for inbound signals (internet)
16/2 or 12/2 for speakers.

Put all technology at the core so you can change out the technology without changing the infrastructure.  Add some fiber if you really want.

Add conduit runs to the main connection locations and you can pull any cable you need as needs advance.

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