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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a little help, so hopefully I'm in the right place. I have a new home being constructed (stupid timing with the economy yes, but exciting nonetheless). I am a current directv subscriber and plan to continue. I am working with my builder on electrical right now and I'm trying to decided how to set things up. In my current home I have one HD DVR setup. I can envision maybe 2 DVR's and hopefully also take advanctage of some media share and ondemand setup in the new home,though I don't know much about that to be honest.
With that said, how should I have things run in the home? The budget with the builder calls for a basic coax and cat5 drop in each room. Any extra drops are more $$$. Do I need to make sure to run those on the same wall in each room. Also, should I try to plead out for 2 runs of coax to that one drop for each room as well?
I'm wanting to make sure to do things right, but have to keep close to the budget.
Thanks in advance
 

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Where do they drop to? A data closet?

I'd get cat6 personally instead of cat5. Even if he's going to put cat5 connectors on the ends, you can change those out later to cat6. It's the wire in the wall that's tough to change.

One coax is enough for even a dual-tuner PVR if you use SWM technology. There's not a lot of reason to think you'd need two coaxes unless one goes bad or you want OTA without diplexing. So, one is probably enough but two is safer. Do you feel lucky?

Definitely get the data and coax to the same wall plate in each room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
flipptyfloppity said:
Where do they drop to? A data closet?

I'd get cat6 personally instead of cat5. Even if he's going to put cat5 connectors on the ends, you can change those out later to cat6. It's the wire in the wall that's tough to change.

One coax is enough for even a dual-tuner PVR if you use SWM technology. There's not a lot of reason to think you'd need two coaxes unless one goes bad or you want OTA without diplexing. So, one is probably enough but two is safer. Do you feel lucky?

Definitely get the data and coax to the same wall plate in each room.
I typed cat5 but actually got him to up it to cat 6 today.
We are working out where the runs are going, but yes they will all be at a central point somewhere, just not a closet necessarily.
Now, please explain th SWM technology a little or point me somewhere. I know that with my setup now I have 2 runs but I am not familiar this. I was thinking of trying to get 2 runs to the same plate in the den and bonus, but didn't know if I might regret not having it in the bedrooms.
Also, this may be a question for another place, but will I or should I use the same run of cat6 for ethernet and phone in some rooms?
 

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SWM technology is listed above.

http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=134597

It lets you run your receivers, including two-channel DVRs, with just one wire. You can even split it (within reason). It has some limitations, like you can't have more than 8 total tuners (a regular receiver having one tuner and a DVR two). OTA might also require a 2nd wire, although some people have success with diplexing.

You cannot really use the same run of cat6 for ethernet and phone. If you want to have ethernet and phone, you're gonna need two runs. You could use one of cat3 (phone cable) and one of cat6, or you could use two cat6s. A phone plug will fit into a RJ45 (cat 5/6) connector.
 

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BamaPT said:
Looking for a little help, so hopefully I'm in the right place. I have a new home being constructed (stupid timing with the economy yes, but exciting nonetheless). I am a current directv subscriber and plan to continue. I am working with my builder on electrical right now and I'm trying to decided how to set things up. In my current home I have one HD DVR setup. I can envision maybe 2 DVR's and hopefully also take advanctage of some media share and ondemand setup in the new home,though I don't know much about that to be honest.
With that said, how should I have things run in the home? The budget with the builder calls for a basic coax and cat5 drop in each room. Any extra drops are more $$$. Do I need to make sure to run those on the same wall in each room. Also, should I try to plead out for 2 runs of coax to that one drop for each room as well?
I'm wanting to make sure to do things right, but have to keep close to the budget.
Thanks in advance
One thing you may want to consider, is where you put your furniture today may not be where it ends up in the future. I built a new home last year, with this in mind. I have coax jacks on just about every wall in every room where it was practicle to do so. This paid off for me just this past weekend, as we moved my son's bedroom furniture around. When I moved his TV from one wall to another, I simply plugged in to another jack rather than having to run coax around the room to the new TV location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rockaway1836 said:
One thing you may want to consider, is where you put your furniture today may not be where it ends up in the future. I built a new home last year, with this in mind. I have coax jacks on just about every wall in every room where it was practicle to do so. This paid off for me just this past weekend, as we moved my son's bedroom furniture around. When I moved his TV from one wall to another, I simply plugged in to another jack rather than having to run coax around the room to the new TV location.
That's what I'm trying to do, but it is going to cost me for each extra drop which could add up in a hurry. Especially if I try to run both cat6 and coax to each location. I was really hoping to have at least 2 locations/drops in each room.

Thanks flippty for the link. Haven't had time to read through it all but I will. I think I will go ahead and have 2 coax runs to the places I know I might have DVR for now.
 

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BamaPT said:
That's what I'm trying to do, but it is going to cost me for each extra drop which could add up in a hurry. Especially if I try to run both cat6 and coax to each location. I was really hoping to have at least 2 locations/drops in each room.

Thanks flippty for the link. Haven't had time to read through it all but I will. I think I will go ahead and have 2 coax runs to the places I know I might have DVR for now.
If I remember right. It cost me $25 or $30 for each additional coax run (over 3) I didn't do Cat5 or 6. I ended up with 14 total coax lines. If you're thinking about at least 2 runs in each room you're on the right track for sure.:)
 

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My recommendation is for 2 coax and 2 cat5/6 jacks at each location. The cat5/6 serves both voice and data, so 2 gives you one voice and one data.

The 2 coax allows you to (a) run a non-SWM DVR or (b) run a separate OTA line if you need it, or other possible uses. It gives you flexibility, and is much cheaper to put in during construction than later.

I also agree with outlets on opposite walls in the larger rooms.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
carl6 said:
My recommendation is for 2 coax and 2 cat5/6 jacks at each location. The cat5/6 serves both voice and data, so 2 gives you one voice and one data.

The 2 coax allows you to (a) run a non-SWM DVR or (b) run a separate OTA line if you need it, or other possible uses. It gives you flexibility, and is much cheaper to put in during construction than later.

I also agree with outlets on opposite walls in the larger rooms.

Carl
That's pretty much exactly what I want to do, but again it comes back to the cost. As bad as I hate to, I'm probably going to have to limit the number of drops to other walls and make sure and do 2 coax and 2 cat6 to the primary spots.
 

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Just remember that the cost of running ONE line later on would probably cover 4-5 additional drops today.

Also, keep in mind that it's generally easier to retro-fit to interior walls (assuming attic or crawl-space access) than to exterior walls, so exterior walls should be your priority. But your top priority will be any "islands" or walls that you won't have access to later. For example, if you have a slab foundation and a two-story house, there's no way to get additional cables to interior "middle" walls without tearing out sheetrock. In that situation, you would want to be triple-sure you get all the wiring you will ever need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
IIP said:
Just remember that the cost of running ONE line later on would probably cover 4-5 additional drops today.

Also, keep in mind that it's generally easier to retro-fit to interior walls (assuming attic or crawl-space access) than to exterior walls, so exterior walls should be your priority. But your top priority will be any "islands" or walls that you won't have access to later. For example, if you have a slab foundation and a two-story house, there's no way to get additional cables to interior "middle" walls without tearing out sheetrock. In that situation, you would want to be triple-sure you get all the wiring you will ever need.
All good points. I'm trying to make sure I cover those walls for sure, as there are a few I could get to myself if need be.
I talked with the head electrician today and any extra runs are $45 a piece. So I get a typical 1 run of coax and cat6(for phone) in each room. Now if I add another coax and another run of cat6 that's $90. Then if you figure you need another wall with all those runs, it really adds up quick. Plus, I'm looking to do some sort of structured wiring with a central hub that will tack on another $150 or so. Better now than later but lots of decisions.

With the SWM technology available now, should I nix the two runs of coax to one wall? Right now I have 4 total receivers with one being HR20. I will be getting them to do a move and hopefully I can swing another HD DVR somehow. If I am following this correctly, that would put me at 4 tuners total and leave me with 4 regular tuners. I would think I would be OK to go that route but don't want to limited myself.
 

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I strongly recommend 2 coax per wall for most rooms, and 4 per wall in the "main" TV location(s). If you ever want to use an OTA antenna, it should have dedicated cable. You may want a cable modem. Future "multi-room viewing" or other technologies might require a second cable. Considering the cost of building a home, the wiring costs are minimal (I know; easy to say when YOU are spending the money!).

At least you are way ahead of the 99+% of people who build a house and don't ever even think about things like media cabling...
 

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I guess a very important question is: Do either you or your wife like to re-arrange regularly? My wife does, and wiring to anticipate that is tough. If you are going to put your furniture in and never move it, you can probably skimp on alternate wiring locations.

Carl
 

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I recommend 1 coax assuming you can get SWM and at least 2 CAT5 because in the event that you decide to centrally place all your receivers one day HDMI extenders can be used over Ethernet cabling allegedly. So say down the road we get to a single receiver with 8 tuners and 8 outputs you can always find a way to send the stream to your machines.
 

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I built my house 4 years ago and was asking myself the exact same questions back then that you are now. I went cheap and didn't put the extra coax or cat5 in the bedrooms and I really regret it now. At $45 per run, that is so cheap compared to what you would pay in 2 or 3 years when the house if finished and someone needs to come out and fish wires.

An extra 8 runs at $45 will run you $360. Adding $360 to a 30 year mortgage does pretty much nothing to your monthly payment. Trust me, do it now and you will be very happy in a few years that you did. Wire the crap out of the house, i wish I did!
 

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One more suggestion I have is to think about having the builder run speaker wire for surround sound as well. Speaker wire is dirt cheap and so much easier to run when the home is being built. Heck, if you talk to the right person, they might even let you in before sheetrock is put up and let you run the wire yourself. I know a few people that did that when they were building there homes.
 

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If you are at all handy, get yourself a 500' spool of RG6 and run the extra lines desired.

After the electrician is done (and before the sheetrock goes up) use the holes already drilled for the runs. Coil them in the back of the box and they will be there for future use.
 

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mtm said:
One more suggestion I have is to think about having the builder run speaker wire for surround sound as well. Speaker wire is dirt cheap and so much easier to run when the home is being built. Heck, if you talk to the right person, they might even let you in before sheetrock is put up and let you run the wire yourself. I know a few people that did that when they were building there homes.
Speaker wire is technically not low voltage, you're probably supposed to have junction boxes behind the wall plates for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
mtm said:
I built my house 4 years ago and was asking myself the exact same questions back then that you are now. I went cheap and didn't put the extra coax or cat5 in the bedrooms and I really regret it now. At $45 per run, that is so cheap compared to what you would pay in 2 or 3 years when the house if finished and someone needs to come out and fish wires.

An extra 8 runs at $45 will run you $360. Adding $360 to a 30 year mortgage does pretty much nothing to your monthly payment. Trust me, do it now and you will be very happy in a few years that you did. Wire the crap out of the house, i wish I did!
Good point, looking at the cost over 30 years. This is my first time to build though and I am finding out pretty quickly that the $300-400 over is happening on just about everything we go to pick out or do. :eek2:

mtm said:
One more suggestion I have is to think about having the builder run speaker wire for surround sound as well.
Already on that to. Considered doing it myself but the electrician is certified for home theater and is going to do it on the side for me. I'd rather let him do, quicker and more likely to be done right than if I did it.

techrep said:
If you are at all handy, get yourself a 500' spool of RG6 and run the extra lines desired.

After the electrician is done (and before the sheetrock goes up) use the holes already drilled for the runs. Coil them in the back of the box and they will be there for future use.
This I might do. Not a whole lot to running coax and I might be able to do that myself over a weekend.

Thanks for all the input. I'm going back to the house tonight to try to nail down exactly what I want them to run and what I might can do myself.
All this work on wiring and I find out that in this new section of the neighborhood we're building in, DSL and cable aren't available yet. :eek2:
I'm planning to stick with DirecTV anyway, but sure can't live with dial-up. Hopefully it's coming soon.
 

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BamaPT said:
Good point, looking at the cost over 30 years. This is my first time to build though and I am finding out pretty quickly that the $300-400 over is happening on just about everything we go to pick out or do. :eek2:

Already on that to. Considered doing it myself but the electrician is certified for home theater and is going to do it on the side for me. I'd rather let him do, quicker and more likely to be done right than if I did it.

This I might do. Not a whole lot to running coax and I might be able to do that myself over a weekend.

Thanks for all the input. I'm going back to the house tonight to try to nail down exactly what I want them to run and what I might can do myself.
All this work on wiring and I find out that in this new section of the neighborhood we're building in, DSL and cable aren't available yet. :eek2:
I'm planning to stick with DirecTV anyway, but sure can't live with dial-up. Hopefully it's coming soon.
A note on the speaker wire, make sure you're setting up for 7.1 (that's right, left, side right, side left, back right, & back left), and a single high quality coax run for the subwoofer. Also, I'd strongly consider running two sets of wire for the front right and front left speakers if you decide to bi-amp. 7.1 bi-amping receivers are pretty much the norm nowadays.

Tony
 
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