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DirectTV installation question and structured panel?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   todd1010

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 01:02 PM

I'm eventually going to have my house wired for a structured panel sometime in 2009. I am going to have the panel put in a closet centrally located in the house.

Since I'm having the DirectTV installed first without the structured panel should I have the installer go ahead an run the coax cable to the closet and leave a little extra so that when I install the structured panel I'll have most of the coax wiring already done.

I'm not sure if this would matter and I'm not sure how these installations go because I don't know much about any of this.

What would you do?

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#2 OFFLINE   brant

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 05:37 PM

i'm sure you could ask them to do it; whether they will i have no idea.


or you could just move the switch yourself when the structured media panel is installed. you'll need something called a "competitive mounting bracket" to mount the directv equipment inside the media panel.

#3 OFFLINE   crypt0wind

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 06:07 PM

Get DirectTV to install how you plan it for the future and I'd suggest get a enclosure/panel now, instead of later. The enclosures are fairly inexpensive compared to labor/time down the line to relocate wiring.

I'm in the middle of wiring up a 28" structured panel (sat, data, phone) in my basement. It doesn't sound like new construction, so a lot of pre-planning/design is helpful before hand or hire a expert. DirectTV techs, likely haven't seen a structured wiring panel, so don't rely on them. A complete DIY structured wiring project is complex, but great fun ;)

If you're doing multiple receivers get a SWM, it's much easier to wire with single RG6.

Also, get a bigger panel than you think you need. By the time you get all the stuff (sat, data, phone, ect) in the panel you run out of room for proper structured wiring standards.

#4 OFFLINE   todd1010

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 06:21 PM

I'm not sure what a SWM switch is so I don't know. Could you tell me what that is?

My hook up is pretty simple. We'll have two HR-23 HD-DVR boxes. Yes, the structured panel will be about 48" even though I'll probably never utilize all of that.

I was told I need to run 2 RG6 coax cables to "each" HD-DVR box so that I can utilize the DVR feature. I was told I need it hooked up this way but then again I don't know sh!t about this satellite stuff.




Get DirectTV to install how you plan it for the future and I'd suggest get a enclosure/panel now, instead of later. The enclosures are fairly inexpensive compared to labor/time down the line to relocate wiring.

I'm in the middle of wiring up a 28" structured panel (sat, data, phone) in my basement. It doesn't sound like new construction, so a lot of pre-planning/design is helpful before hand or hire a expert. DirectTV techs, likely haven't seen a structured wiring panel, so don't rely on them. A complete DIY structured wiring project is complex, but great fun ;)

If you're doing multiple receivers get a SWM, it's much easier to wire with single RG6.

Also, get a bigger panel than you think you need. By the time you get all the stuff (sat, data, phone, ect) in the panel you run out of room for proper structured wiring standards.



#5 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 07:50 PM

Here's a couple of pieces of info which hopefully clears things up for ya.

First, installers are underpaid and usually overbooked, and they are paid to do the minimum it takes to get your receivers working. Expecting them to run extra cable to where a structured panel may one day be just isn't going to happen, except perhaps if you pay them custom labor to do so. Every minute is precious when the tech's dispatcher is calling to see how soon he'll get to his 4 other jobs that he's already late to, and many techs also have to pay for their cable and other materials, so they won't be anxious to use "extra".

I *strongly* recommend that you run a *minimum* of 2 RG6 (and I recommend solid-copper center-conductor quad-shield for any permanent/in-wall install) to each outlet, along with 2 CAT6 cables for phone and network. More is better; cable is cheap, installation labor is expensive, and it isn't much more work to pull an extra cable to the same place vs. having to open the walls or re-do a wall fish later on.

A SWM is a Single Wire Multiswitch. DirecTV is starting to install Slimline dishes with SWM LNBs, allowing the dish to feed a total of 8 tuners, all from a single coax cable coming from the dish. The coax is split as needed to get one coax to each receiver. Dual-tuner receivers get the signal for both tuners through a single cable.

BUT... that 8 tuner limit is important; it can't be expanded, and standard procedure for 9 or more tuners is to go back to a "legacy" system which requires 2 lines per dual-tuner receiver. Thus, you'll still want to put 2 lines per outlet just in case you need them down the road. If you think you may want an off-air antenna or a cable modem, you'll need 3 coaxes. SWM dishes also are not (currently) used for installs that need International channels or that need locals from 72.5.

There is a way to expand a SWM setup, but it isn't free or provided by DirecTV. DirecTV makes an external SWM multiswitch called the SWM-8. It is intended for use for commercial or MDU installs, and DirecTV doesn't provide or support them in residential installs, but you can buy one yourself and install it. It needs a non-SWM LNB to feed it, and requires all 4 lines from the LNB to the 4 inputs on the SWM switch. This can be expanded by purchasing multiple SWM-8 units and splitting the 4 lines from the dish to feed them. Each SWM can then feed up to 8 tuners. The outputs of each SWM device must remain separated from each other, so only 8 tuners per "chain".

Last, your instinct to buy a large structured wiring panel is good; sat switches take up lots of room, and these days folks often have more than one as the number of active tuners per household continues to increase. Bigger is better.

#6 OFFLINE   todd1010

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 09:26 PM

Thanks for the very informative information. I called the DirectTV rep and asked them and they said I would be getting the:

HR-23
5 LNB Slimline Dish
SWM box (more than likely)

#7 OFFLINE   todd1010

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 09:46 PM

Here's a couple of pieces of info which hopefully clears things up for ya.


I *strongly* recommend that you run a *minimum* of 2 RG6 (and I recommend solid-copper center-conductor quad-shield for any permanent/in-wall install) to each outlet, along with 2 CAT6 cables for phone and network. More is better; cable is cheap, installation labor is expensive, and it isn't much more work to pull an extra cable to the same place vs. having to open the walls or re-do a wall fish later on.






Will they run the 2 RG6 coax cable to each tuner or is that considered extra labor?

If using the 2 RG6 coax cable to each HD-DVR box do a better job or is the SWM switch as good or worse?

Will I have to run CAT6 cable to use the On Demand service? I was planning on using CAT6 instead of CAT5 for the whole house wiring anyway.

You mention a phone line, but I don't have a land line or a Vonage type phone service, will this matter?

Sorry for all the newb question but I don't want to get into this 2 year agreement and not like the service or equipment and really want to understand how its set up.

#8 OFFLINE   TigersFanJJ

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 08:46 AM

Will they run the 2 RG6 coax cable to each tuner or is that considered extra labor?


They are required to run a second line to all DVRs on a non SWM install. However, you will probably have to pay extra if it is custom labor such as a wall fish. The best thing to do is let the tech survey what he is up against and then ask if any custom work will be involved and how much it will cost.

#9 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 12:29 PM

Since they're giving you a SWM dish, you'll only need 1 cable per receiver (for the sat signal), so that's all they'll run. As I said, if you're going to be putting cable in the walls for your structured wiring, you'll want more. Future setups may require 2 cables per receiver again, plus you may also want another service that uses coax for distribution.

I recommend running CAT6 if you're running any new telecom cable, as CAT5e is already at its limit with Gig Ethernet, which is common today, and 10 Gig will be common in less than 10 years, so you'll regret it if you have to recable to upgrade. CAT6 costs a little more, but the real costs are the installation costs, not the price of the cable itself.

Yes, you need some kind of Ethernet connection in order to use any of the OnDemand or other networking features (like MRV, which is in our future). CAT6 will be the most reliable networking method, as well as the fastest, and that's important when you're moving HD video across the network.




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