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CAT5/6 Baluns

extenders baluns cat5 cat6 dtv

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22 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   chadm9375

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 12:01 PM

Getting anywhere with DTV is impossible.  We are building a house and wanted to ask a few questions regarding cable runs prior to drywall being done.  Of course DTVs response is place an order for service and the installer will take care of everything.  I'm not an imbecile and very capable of doing what's needed without having to pay for service for 2 months before we move in.  My question is simple.  (I think)

 

I'm wanting to run CAT5 or CAT6 (whichever would be needed) to each room for TV.  The runs would terminate in a central location.  I would like to be able to run Coax from where the dish will mount to the same location as the ethernet cable runs.  I am wanting to know if I can use baluns to go from the multiswitch box from DTV to the receivers.  We would like to go ahead and place the receivers by the TV but would like to run ethernet only.  It's been years since we've had satellite TV and lots has changed.  Do they even use multiswitch boxes now?  Any help is appreciated.  If you have any questions I can clarify let me know.  The cable runs for each wouldn't be over 75' from the multiswitch location.

 

Thanks!

Chad


Edited by chadm9375, 16 February 2014 - 12:02 PM.


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#2 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 01:20 PM

Well running Ethernet to each tv is a great idea but you need to also run coax rg6 and I'd use cooper core. DIRECTV uses coax to connect all recievers together through switches (and multi switches if you have over 8 tuners in the system) although these days only one run per receiver no matter what kind of receiver and uses the coax for its own network for mrv and on demand. You will simply inject Internet into the system at one place only.

It actually works best that way anyway.

Home runs to one place is an excellent way to go.

If run four lines from the dish to the central area so you can have any number of receivers you want.

How many tvs are you planning on having?

If you might ever consider ita for anything including radio antenna run at least two coax to each spot and a goth to the roof. If do that anyway since it's so cheap to do that now. Actually I'd run three from The main tv area.

What kind of system have you been using lately in terms of total tuners and tvs on at one time and number of things in tv at one time you might watch or record?

#3 OFFLINE   chadm9375

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 01:42 PM

We are planning on 6 TVs. We are currently using IPtv and that is not available where we are moving. Is DTV doing something special with rg6 that prevents the use of baluns? From what I understand we are just converting to a different medium to deliver the signal. Not that I mind running rg6 per se, I just don't see companies using this for very long in the future. We will not use an antenna as we are very rural. We would only get about 4 channels with it. We are running 2 Ethernet drops to every location and if we use the baluns for dtv we will run 4. Just trying to figure out what it is with rg6 that I can't accomplish with Ethernet cable. That ks for the feedback.

Chad

#4 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:00 PM

We are planning on 6 TVs. We are currently using IPtv and that is not available where we are moving. Is DTV doing something special with rg6 that prevents the use of baluns? From what I understand we are just converting to a different medium to deliver the signal. Not that I mind running rg6 per se, I just don't see companies using this for very long in the future. We will not use an antenna as we are very rural. We would only get about 4 channels with it. We are running 2 Ethernet drops to every location and if we use the baluns for dtv we will run 4. Just trying to figure out what it is with rg6 that I can't accomplish with Ethernet cable. That ks for the feedback.

Chad

this is where you are mistaken.  There is a reason why coax is being used, ease of installation and price.  I do not see coax going away for a very long time.  What ever you do with baluns would not be approved by DirecTV and you will be on your own.  Best to run that RG6 now if you don't want DirecTV to run outside when the house is complete.


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#5 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:04 PM

Those baluns are intended for running digital audio, component video, CCTV and so on over cat5. NOT satellite, or even cable/OTA. Splined cat6a has a rated frequency of 500 MHz, and Directv has frequencies 4x higher than that. The "rated" frequency of cabling doesn't really exist as a number, but the rating tells you when the losses may become to high for the purpose it was designed for. Directv may or may not work at all, and if it does it would probably only work over short distances. I'd sure as hell try something like this BEFORE I put drywall up on my house, and wouldn't take the word of anyone else on whether it works or not, even if they sounded like they know what they're talking about.

 

Of course, whether the baluns work or not isn't an issue, because as peds48 says, it would not be approved by Directv. When the installer comes, he'll tell you he has to run RG6 or can't complete the install. You could do a self-install to get around this, but that costs more and takes more time, and for what? And you'd have to do all your own repairs and upgrades, because no Directv installer would ever touch it, even if the issue clearly had nothing to do with your funky cabling.

 

More importantly, consider resale value of that house. No coax won't be a deal breaker, but if I was buying a home someone had custom built that had no coax (but had coax run to the roof?) I'd wonder where else they cut corners to save a few bucks that isn't so obvious and keep looking.


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#6 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:41 PM

Coax will easily outlive all of us and maybe even Ethernet.

And DIRECTV experiment with ip once. Needless to say they went another way.

I'd never consider building anything without both copper core not copper clad steel coax and Ethernet both and both in multiple quantities.

#7 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:04 PM

If was building a house I'd have two runs of RG6 per room (cable or SAT plus an OTA line) and 2 Cat 5/6 per room.

All home run back to one central point.

 

So no matter I choose going forward, I would be ready.



#8 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:11 PM

If was building a house I'd have two runs of RG6 per room (cable or SAT plus an OTA line) and 2 Cat 5/6 per room.

All home run back to one central point.

 

So no matter I choose going forward, I would be ready.

 

Agree here, although I ran 3 runs on each wall ending up with 6 Cat 6E Ethernet and 6 RG6 on each wall while remodeling.


Edited by wingrider01, 16 February 2014 - 07:12 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:02 PM

Coax will easily outlive all of us and maybe even Ethernet.

And DIRECTV experiment with ip once. Needless to say they went another way.

I'd never consider building anything without both copper core not copper clad steel coax and Ethernet both and both in multiple quantities.

 

I don't think the requirement for coax in residences for cable/satellite will last much beyond a decade. Not a chance in hell it outlives ethernet. Ethernet in some form will probably still be around at the end of this century, long after coax is as much a memory as the 300 ohm twin lead used by old school antennas.

 

Directv pulling the plug on their MFH3 IP technology was not because there's any fundamental reason why IP delivery is bad, or because coax is superior to cat5. That particular implementation of IP technology just didn't work out for them for reasons that aren't too hard to guess if you know much about how MFH3 worked. I don't think that past failure will stop them from trying again someday, using a different implementation.

 

The design criteria of MFH3 was to work in an environment with existing wiring - not just greenfield cat5 but cat3 telephone wiring and RG59 coax, with the operator offering Directv as part of a "triple play". Thus the IP delivery was designed to work within the performance envelope of VDSL2 (cat3) or MoCA (RG59) It was envisioned not only in large apartment buildings, but in single family housing developments, with the headend residing in a telco pedestal.

 

The target market wasn't unreasonable, but unfortunately the implementation really sucked. Not only did it require the special receivers that everyone is familiar with, the head end was both fantasically expensive and singularly inflexible - when Directv launched new satellites the MFH3 headend required both software and hardware upgrades (costing thousands of dollars) to enable reception of new bands, even though the standard SL5 dish was perfectly capable. If there are any MFH3 installs still operating they'll need further upgrades to receive the new Ka hi transponders once D14 launches that everyone else will get with a simple receiver firmware update.


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#10 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:19 PM

I don't think the requirement for coax in residences for cable/satellite will last much beyond a decade. 

 

Even if that were to be the case ( I don't agree) it will be a dumb idea not to built a house to support today's technology just because it will not get use "tomorrow"


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The the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

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They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.


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#11 OFFLINE   chadm9375

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:06 PM

Thanks for all the awesome feedback. Looks like we're running both. Wasn't trying to cut corners just wanted to do what makes sense. I honestly see the entire content delivery methods changing in the next few years. I think it would have changed by now if companies like dtv didn't need their roi on the satellite. Looks like we'll have to wait and see.


Chad

#12 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:30 PM

Thanks for all the awesome feedback. Looks like we're running both. Wasn't trying to cut corners just wanted to do what makes sense. I honestly see the entire content delivery methods changing in the next few years. I think it would have changed by now if companies like dtv didn't need their roi on the satellite. Looks like we'll have to wait and see.


Chad

Sorry to to beat a dead horse here, but what makes sense is to run coax.


Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

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They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.


Think Differently 

#13 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:01 AM

I don't think the requirement for coax in residences for cable/satellite will last much beyond a decade. Not a chance in hell it outlives ethernet. Ethernet in some form will probably still be around at the end of this century, long after coax is as much a memory as the 300 ohm twin lead used by old school antennas.

 

Directv pulling the plug on their MFH3 IP technology was not because there's any fundamental reason why IP delivery is bad, or because coax is superior to cat5. That particular implementation of IP technology just didn't work out for them for reasons that aren't too hard to guess if you know much about how MFH3 worked. I don't think that past failure will stop them from trying again someday, using a different implementation.

 

The design criteria of MFH3 was to work in an environment with existing wiring - not just greenfield cat5 but cat3 telephone wiring and RG59 coax, with the operator offering Directv as part of a "triple play". Thus the IP delivery was designed to work within the performance envelope of VDSL2 (cat3) or MoCA (RG59) It was envisioned not only in large apartment buildings, but in single family housing developments, with the headend residing in a telco pedestal.

 

The target market wasn't unreasonable, but unfortunately the implementation really sucked. Not only did it require the special receivers that everyone is familiar with, the head end was both fantasically expensive and singularly inflexible - when Directv launched new satellites the MFH3 headend required both software and hardware upgrades (costing thousands of dollars) to enable reception of new bands, even though the standard SL5 dish was perfectly capable. If there are any MFH3 installs still operating they'll need further upgrades to receive the new Ka hi transponders once D14 launches that everyone else will get with a simple receiver firmware update.

 

Actually I said that wrong.  Its not really ethernet per se I see going, although I do see its current version going and being replaced at some point with a newer protocol version...But what I meant to say is I see CAT 5 and 6 dying out sooner rather than latter vs coax. (fiber, cat 7 etc)  Coax will always be around because in the end, its perfect for all rf signals from an antenna like ota and radio.  Its not going anywhere.  And internet is not going to replace all things rf in the air in our lifetimes.  And it also works excellent for Ethernet!  IN fact I think its cheaper to use coax for ethernet than making ethernet work as coax, if it even works well enough for all possible scenarios for rf transmission like Coax does.

 

And actually, you proved my point on the IP test Directv did.  It makes no sense because its so much more complex to move to an ip system than to advance a coaxial system that we have now.  Much easier to setup and control and operate both for a tech and for hardware etc.  Even in your dswim speculation, reality is if they did move to ip in that realm, they'd likely still do it all over coax using moca technology instead of Ethernet.



#14 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:15 AM

Thanks for all the awesome feedback. Looks like we're running both. Wasn't trying to cut corners just wanted to do what makes sense. I honestly see the entire content delivery methods changing in the next few years. I think it would have changed by now if companies like dtv didn't need their roi on the satellite. Looks like we'll have to wait and see.


Chad

 

 

IMHO it always makes the most sense to prepare in three ways.  The most widely used today, the next widest used today, and empty conduit for tomorrows that we cant even dream of yet...

 

Of course just running multiple coax and Ethernet gives you some capability going forward anyway, just look at how Directv has Ethernet running in its coax cables as it is now anyway. So if you can run conduit as well as coax and cat6 (ethernet works over coax and cat6 both since we would be a little specific here it seems) to your main tv spot and your main area where you might put a sound system and maybe your main computer area, Id do that if possible too. But thast me just being over the top with the conduit.  Reality is you likely will never need more than coax and cat6.

 

Small Rant...

Oh, and don't forget to run some phone wire, or a their cat 6 line here and there.  Amazes me how many homes they remodel and forget all about that and think everyone only uses their cell phones anymore.  You might not need it, but the next owner might.  Also, if you plan on growing old and living their forever, a medical alert system would require home phone service as well.  Something many people seem to forget when remodeling in my area. Saw an open house today that was remodeled and is a flip house, and the idiots that remodeled it cut off and buried all telephone wires in the walls and installed zero coax and network jacks anywhere in the house.  Same contractors are brain dead.

Rant over....  ;)

 

 

Coax is no where near dead, not in ten years, not in fifty.  Think of all the coax cable running on all the telephone poles in this country,   They are not getting replaced anytime soon, no way.  That's hundreds of billions of dollars it would take. Its far more entrenched than Ethernet ever will be.  And as they do build new, its fiber.  And guess what Fios does?  They run fiber to the house, then coax for the rest.  Its not cat6 cable.  ;) Coax takes seconds to terminate, Ethernet way to long by comparison.  Its not installer friendly for video providers at all so I don't see it ever overtaking coax.



#15 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:41 AM

Even if that were to be the case ( I don't agree) it will be a dumb idea not to built a house to support today's technology just because it will not get use "tomorrow"

 

I already suggested the TS run coax. It is what it is needed today and tomorrow. Whatever one's thoughts are on whether or not coax may still be needed in 2025 or 2030 are irrelevant to what you should run today.


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#16 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:34 AM

Actually I said that wrong.  Its not really ethernet per se I see going, although I do see its current version going and being replaced at some point with a newer protocol version...But what I meant to say is I see CAT 5 and 6 dying out sooner rather than latter vs coax. (fiber, cat 7 etc)  Coax will always be around because in the end, its perfect for all rf signals from an antenna like ota and radio.  Its not going anywhere.  And internet is not going to replace all things rf in the air in our lifetimes.  And it also works excellent for Ethernet!  IN fact I think its cheaper to use coax for ethernet than making ethernet work as coax, if it even works well enough for all possible scenarios for rf transmission like Coax does.

 

And actually, you proved my point on the IP test Directv did.  It makes no sense because its so much more complex to move to an ip system than to advance a coaxial system that we have now.  Much easier to setup and control and operate both for a tech and for hardware etc.  Even in your dswim speculation, reality is if they did move to ip in that realm, they'd likely still do it all over coax using moca technology instead of Ethernet.

 

Well, it is hard to argue against cat5/cat6 being replaced before long, given how quickly networking standards, and the cabling required to support it, have evolved. But despite that I think we may be at the point where the ethernet and cabling technology used in the home evolves much more slowly, and begins to lag far behind the state of the art. I don't see a good case for 10 Gbit ethernet in the home, let alone 100 Gbit. Maybe someday, but not for a long long time. Today 10 Gbit ethernet in the home is a solution looking for a problem, and that's already easily doable with cat6/cat6a.

 

The technology for RF cabling has evolved far more slowly than cabling for networking because there has been little evolution required. RG59 replaced 300 ohm twin lead for convenience and RG6 replaced RG59 because satellite uses a higher frequency ceiling. There is nothing driving a replacement of RG6 on the horizon because there's not going to be any evolution in the need for passing RF signals around the home. Instead, the need for passing RF around the home (as opposed to initial distribution from the source) will simply go away over time. That is, you might still need RG6 to get cable to your home from the pole, or from your dish to one location in the house, but you won't need RG6 run to a bunch of rooms in the long run.

 

Think of it this way. The "analog window" keeps shrinking. It used to be that you watched content on your TV that was analog from the moment it was filmed/recorded to the time you watched it. It was never digital data at any point. Over the years that has changed and digital has taken over on both ends, squeezing towards the middle. Today we receive content that was filmed/recorded digitally and processed digitally all the way until it is broadcast to you - as modulated digital data on an analog RF carrier. Your antenna/dish receives it, you pass that RF around your home, but once it gets your set top, it is converted back to the original digital data and displayed on your digital display device. Thanks to HDMI, even the link from the set top to your TV is no longer analog RF.

 

Do you think that the process of shrinking that analog window will cease? I believe someday it won't be converted to digital data at each TV location (i.e. in individual set tops) but in a single location. Like the Genie already does - of course, the Genie clients use coax, because that's what people have today, and that's what Directv installers know how to do. But they communicate with the Genie using IP, so they're already moving down the path towards making coax irrelevant. The wireless Genie client (if they ever release them) goes down that path further, and becomes the first Directv set top since the ill-fated H20i/HR20i to not need the RF input. It won't be the last.


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#17 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 08:38 AM

Technology and infrastructure both change continuously. No matter what you run today, it may not serve the purpose in 5 or 10 years, or it may very well.

 

If you have a choice, run large enough conduit to all the really important locations, then you can pull whatever you need through it for the next generation of technology.  If I were doing new construction right now, I would run conduit to a few key locations (including outside for dish/cable connections), where it would be fairly easy to run other wire from to the final locations.



#18 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:58 AM

To suggest that RF will be used inside the house for anything but wireless/cordless or Wi-fi is probably denying progress.

I'm not even sure it will be all that popular outside the home save wireless phone and data service that is gobbling up spectrum at an alarming pace.

Coax isn't nearly as flexible as some make it out to be (both physically and applications-wise).

If they stopped taking a homeland security iron fist approach to regulation of twisted pair networking, it would be much more widely (and wisely) used.

It comes down to a business decision on the part of DIRECTV and the decision they've made is to shoehorn everything they can into RG6 (the wireless Genie Minis notwithstanding).

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#19 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:09 PM

Well, it is hard to argue against cat5/cat6 being replaced before long, given how quickly networking standards, and the cabling required to support it, have evolved.

CAT5E will get you easily to GigE, so there's really not that much of an evolution taking place at this point.

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#20 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:33 PM

CAT5E will get you easily to GigE, so there's really not that much of an evolution taking place at this point.

 

If you read my next sentence, you would see that I'm saying the same thing :)


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