Number of Cable Outlets for New House?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by scoutstang, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. Apr 1, 2019 #1 of 20
    scoutstang

    scoutstang Cool Member

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    Hello, I'm going to apologize in advance if this topic has been covered many times before. I did a search and only found posts that were several years old. Also, I'm not super tech savvy, so please bear with me.

    I'm in the process of having a new home being built. I have to decide how many cable outlets I want and where to put them.

    I have a really old set-up in my current house. My dish has 4 lines running into my house, and I have two lines going to my really old DVR. (I think it's a HR20-100.) I only have one TV in my house, and will only have one in my new house, so I don't need a Genie, nor do I want to pay anything extra for it on my future bills. I think I will finally relent and get a new DVR when I move. Obviously I don't care that much about having the latest and greatest equipment if I still have my old DVR.

    With the SWM, am I ok just having one cable outlet going to the room where my TV will be or do I still need two cable outlets at the wall?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Apr 1, 2019 #2 of 20
    msglsmo

    msglsmo Member

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    When we built our new house three years ago, we placed one coax and one Ethernet port in every room of the house (except bathrooms).

    Additionally, we had two coax and two Ethernet ran from the outside of the home where our services attach to the home to a central location in the basement where our DirecTV and AT&T Fiber are located.
     
  3. Apr 1, 2019 #3 of 20
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    replace LNBF to SWiM kind, use one coax cable, connect it to Sat 1/FTM input

    personally, I would call CSR to see it a tech will come to install new SWiM RB SL3 dish
     
  4. Apr 1, 2019 #4 of 20
    Barry in Conyers

    Barry in Conyers Godfather

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    THIS!!!

    If a room has multiple walls where you might put stuff, then run coax and Ethernet cables to each possible location.

    Running cable during new construction is simple and relatively inexpensive; running additional cable in a finished house is an expensive PITA.
     
  5. Apr 1, 2019 #5 of 20
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    One other popular answer is to run conduit. Then you can pull whatever cable is appropriate for your future needs as they arise. For a professional job hire a company that does structured cabling ... not an electrician who has no certifications for pulling low voltage.
     
  6. Apr 1, 2019 #6 of 20
    Wolfmanjohn

    Wolfmanjohn Cool Member

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    I have 4 rg6 (1/sat, 1/ota, 1/xm or ant rotator or cable internet, 1/redundant) and 2 cat6 (1 for switch, 1 redundant) in 6 locations throughout the house. I installed it the hard way, as I bought the house pre-owned, but sure would have loved to have done it the easy way.
     
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  7. Apr 1, 2019 #7 of 20
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on whether the builder will let you run the cable yourself, or you will have to have a contractor do it. Running all sorts of unnecessary cable with a short lifetime (any coax will have a short lifetime for a house being built in 2019...) could add $1000 to the price tag. I'd only run it where you KNOW you will have a TV. Everywhere else, just run a couple pairs of cat5e or cat6.

    I know people here are always all about running tons of coax, including spares, to every wall of every room "just in case" but that's wasteful today unless you are doing the work yourself. Directv already supports installs where you only need coax to one location, where it comes in from the roof, you can use wireless elsewhere. You can also use ethernet, while it isn't technically supported, using a DECA to convert from ethernet to coax for clients works perfectly well. I'm willing to bet they explicitly support ethernet based clients for satellite installs within a year.
     
  8. Apr 1, 2019 #8 of 20
    scoutstang

    scoutstang Cool Member

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    Thank you. You are correct, the builder won't let me do anything to the house myself before closing, and only two coax and two cat5e are standard. Anything additional costs $95 each. I just wanted to confirm that I don't need to have two coax in one location to have both tuners on my DVR functioning unlike my current house's set-up which was put in over 10 years ago. Sounds like I don't.
     
  9. Apr 1, 2019 #9 of 20
    SledgeHammer

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    Why would a builder let you run the cable yourself? It's not your house until closing and you can always fall out of escrow. And what if you damage something? My builder in 2002 charged me $150 per custom run so I only did one "impossible" run with them. Attic to the first floor exactly where I wanted it. 2nd floor is easy to do in the attic. I would love to run a cat6 from my office to the TV, but no way to do that now... we didn't have smart tv's in 2002 :(. Had to settle for a 160mhz AC bridge. I'll probably upgrade that to an AX bridge when the prices come down a bit.

    I worked with a guy many years ago who wanted to run wire by himself and the builder said no for the reasons I mentioned, so he snuck in on the weekend and did it anyway. Ended up costing him $5000+ in "damages". The electrician charged him to rip it all out, charged him to inspect everything else and they charged him to replace all the wood he drilled through, etc.
     
  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    If you have the house custom built, you can put anything you want into the contract. I had friends ask me about this and I told them to get the builder to write it into the contract that they could run their own low voltage cabling. Not all agree to it, find one who will. I helped them buy cable and decide where to run it, and they went out on a weekend when the construction guys were gone and ran cat5e all over hell, speaker wire, and so forth. No one is going to let you run electrical or plumbing yourself due to the code requirements, but low voltage is no problem.

    Builders just don't like it because at $95 an outlet for something that costs them about $10 an outlet it is a huge profit center for them!
     
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  11. Getteau

    Getteau Icon

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    I agree that it's a huge cash cow for the builders. Centex wouldn't let me run my own cable when I built a house with them back in 2000 and gave me the same reasons. However, on today's 300-500K houses, an extra 1 or 2K is a rounding error when you consider everything that goes into building a new house and moving into it. If I ever built again, I would still run 2 coax and 2 cat 6's to every room. Maybe even to two different walls in the room if I can imagine the room being laid out in a couple do different scenario's. Especially on the downstairs part of a 2 story house. Upstairs or places where I have attic access, I may be a little more stingy. However, I'm also getting to the point in my life that I no longer feel the desire to drag cable through a 100 degree attic just to save a few hundred dollars. I would still run 4 coax and 4 cat 6's to the garage for the dish/cable modem/telephone line ... I may only see the need for 1 coax for DTV and 1 for my cable connection. However, the other 2 could be used in the garage if I ever decided to connect a TV in the garage.
     
  12. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    Not everything works the way it does in Iowa. In So Cal, you don't get a "builder" in your sense unless you are 10 million miles from civilization. In the civilized parts of So Cal, you want a new home, its going to be a new tract house of x number of plans and you can customize a lot of stuff (but not everything) and of course they gouge you big time on every little upgrade. As I mentioned, I paid $150 for a coax run in 2002 which is pretty reasonable. For recessed lights, they wanted $600 per room, so I passed an hired an electrician after the fact and they did all 3 upstairs rooms for $1200 vs. $1800. They also wanted $20K for flooring which I put in for $5K. They had similar markups on other stuff... like $110 to hook up the phone line in all 4 bedrooms vs the standard 1 room and appliance "upgrades" were almost double the cost of just buying it yourself.

    People do the gougey upgrades because some of them are hard / impossible to do after the house is built and some people don't have a lot of money, so by doing it through the builder you can put the cost into your mortgage which is a REALLY dumb idea since you'll be paying for them for 30 yrs and it'll affect your property taxes.
     
  13. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    If you are buying tract homes and selecting from a small list of plans I guess you aren't buying the lot yourself and hiring a builder? I'd never buy a house in a development where you have no choice in builder and only a few plans to choose from. There are some developments around here where that's the norm, the builder owns all the lots so if you want to live in that place you have to go with him and follow his rules, but I'd never consider those and would recommend anyone I know to stay away from them. That's like buying a new car straight off the dealer lot. Why even bother building if you can't get what you want?
     
  14. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    Most of the neighborhoods have 4 - 5 plans. It's not 100% custom. If you want 100% custom, you *might* find a lot in a "decent" location if you look hard enough and long enough if you want centrally located. If you don't mind living out in the boonies and driving an hour to work each way, then you can have 100% custom.

    Each neighborhood has a different look and feel, and even with 4 - 5 plans, each one of those is going to have 2 or 3 elevations. There's usually 4 or 5+ neighborhoods in a community, usually from different builders.

    If you don't like the builder for the community, go to a different neighborhood.

    Me personally, I like the Spanish style, stucco + tile roof, so its not that hard to find that. My main concern was the floor plan. I wanted a good set up for my HT. A lot of floorplans you find suck for a TV setup. Who wants to put the TV over a fireplace?

    The inside, I did some light customization through the builder. Closed in the den to an office, ran an RG6 cable, some decorative stuff, etc. I did a lot more customization afterwards because the builder rips you off and like I said, you'll pay for it through taxes, mortgage and get ripped off even more. A $1000 item that you could buy at the Home Depot would cost you probably $2500 through a builder and then at 3% interest, you'll pay close to $5000 for it over the life of the loan and that isn't even including the higher property tax.

    I'd love to do stuff to it, but I'm not really wanting to sink a lot of money into the house. It's just not worth it. If I pimped out my house, I wouldn't really get much more money for it. I'd probably over improve beyond the neighborhood which isn't too smart. I bought early in the housing bubble, so I've doubled my money and I have looked at more of a "forever" home over the years... but financially that's a hard sell. A 1700-2000+ sq ft house is over a million around here. And then throw in another $17k/yr for property taxes.
     
  15. codespy

    codespy RIP Starr! DBSTalk Club

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    Where I live, to get a State Master Electrician license/certification, the test includes questions referencing Article 800 of the NEC which covers low voltage as discussed in this thread. Those electricians are qualified to install cabling/but some are not the best at it. There are companies that specialize in only low voltage work, like structured cabling, but they are not required to have any type of license for low voltage installations in my state. That can have drawbacks too.

    I just failed rough inspection on a new $900,000 home today because of the low voltage structured cabling/wiring. It was not the electrical contractor who did the work, but a specialized company. The builder usually contracts with quality subcontractors, but this one did a piss-poor job.

    I agree with you running conduit, but will add that going with 3/4” gives you better flexibility than 1/2” conduit. Any hi/low conduit runs between TV and A/V equipment on same wall/same room should be no less than 1.5” (I used 2” for my house), to accommodate HDMI and other cables (typically done with ENT at that size). This provides for future expansion too, since wired is usually better than wireless.
     
  16. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I agree on the 3/4" conduit (or bigger if you're going to place where it is obvious that more cabling will be needed). It is easy to cut corners in a home installation but I prefer conduit where the low voltage can remain loose and replaceable. It is much easier to do it right than do it twice (or more).

    Unfortunately I have seen more problems with electricians who see "wire is wire" and think they can do low voltage. I don't know if you know how to wire a four pair Cat-5 or Cat-6 data cable (four twisted pair). I have seen where the installer separated the pairs for a phone connection - the solid orange and solid green used as a "line one" pair, the solid blue and solid brown used as the "line two" pair. The four white wires twisted together as a ground. If you don't know how wrong that is please don't touch low voltage! I have also seen someone twist together the blue and blue white, orange and orange white, green and green white and brown and brown white to get four wires out of four twisted pairs. Also wrong. I ended up ripping the wire out of my father in law's pre-owned house and starting from scratch due to errors like these. The old wire made nice pull string (credit given for not stapling it down in the walls).

    Mis-wires like that are obvious and usually repairable. What is usually missed is where someone pulls too hard on a cable. 12 or 14 gauge electric wire is more forgiving than Cat-6. Or they violate the minimum bend radius or use staples that flatten the cable and damage the wires. Or they splice cables together in walls and ceilings. A skilled low voltage pro will know how much of the twisted pair they can untwist when making a connection to a jack - and a reputable company will actually follow all of the rules and not take short cuts. It isn't a state license or certification that I am looking for - it is manufacturer and industry based education. Working beyond the state minimum licensed level and building infrastructure that will outlast the 30 year mortgage.

    Unfortunately I have also seen "structured cable" companies fail ... so it is important to know who is taking your money regardless of their certifications. If the "structured cable" company has let their industry certification lapse they have probably let their work practices lapse. That has been my experience. It is hard to know more than every trade who works on your house ... that is why I am glad there are inspectors who catch the mistakes. Hopefully the failed subcontractor learns from their mistakes or does not get the opportunity to repeat them.
     
  17. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    When I built my house, it came with the stock boring outlets and switches, so I decided to DIY and upgrade everything to decora (slight tangent, but these are a HUGE pain to install, lots of trial and error and shimming to get everything to line up right). I pretty much went room by room and unscrewed the old switches and outlets and screwed the new ones in. No problems. One particular outlet kept blowing the circuit breaker. I looked at it and I wired it correctly, but for some reason, it kept blowing. At some point, I ended up flipping the hot and cold and it worked. I chalked it up to some weird wiring thing (i.e. 3 way) that I didn't know about. Years later, I had an electrician wiring recessed lights to that particular outlet and he got zapped. He tells me the hot and cold were reversed because the drywaller must have hit the cable somewhere with a screw and the builder was too lazy to find it.

    I try to avoid hiring those folks. They usually end up causing damage to everything around the area they are fixing lol.

    I.e. why I avoid DirecTV truck rolls for example.
     
  18. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Seems to me the case have different root cause … if that imagine screw hit Hot and Neutral it would constantly trip CB, if it hit Neutral and Ground then only RCB would sense it, but it would be permanent tripping if swap H & N, if it hit Hot and Ground - obviously permanent short. I just don't see a variant when swapping Hot and Neutral would fix such "screw" mishap.
     
  19. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I had a cabinet installer drill a screw through a conduit intended for low voltage once. Fortunately he didn't hit the high voltage a few inches away on the other side of the stud. There was a backing board behind the drywall so the installer wasn't looking for studs.
     
  20. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    That was just the electricians theory for why hot and neutral was reversed there. There shouldn't be a legit reason to wire it up that way. Also don't see how it passed inspection. Isn't it illegal? Since anybody working on it could get shocked?
     

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