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Thread: Newbie home networking questions

  1. #11
    Automated Home Jr Member nickgale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie home networking questions

    To me the Abitana, Lexcom, Single point systems just don't stack up, you can easily run 4 cat5 and a Coax to each point for the same price. What if you want Sky HD in the future - you'll probably need to put the sky box local to the TV and the ONLY choice here is good quality WF100 coax.

    I do this for a living and my standard install is 4 x Cat5 and a minimum of 1 Coax to each point where a TV is likely to be used. Coax can be used for a basic cheap UHF distro or to get Sat box in a room, one Cat 5 can send Composite + Audio + IR, one can be used for Data or phone (Sat box or MCE PC) and the remaining two could be used for HDMI (boxes now exist for sending HDCP compatable HDMI signals over Cat5) To me this is about as future proof as you can get. Abitana, Lexcom, etc. won't do this.

    As for the Hub end - good old 19" rack is the best if you can hide it, or look at Home Network Science for a wall mounted box or Leviton if you can recess it.

    Happy to give you a quote or more advice

    HTH Nick

  2. #12
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie home networking questions

    Not too sure where you get your info on the Abitana and Lexcom systems from.
    To give you an idea of what the Abitana system can do, here is a basic rundown of what my home system consists of.
    I distribute to 3 TVs a digital cable box, a freeview box and the analogue cable system we have here in Spain. The digiboxes are at my node 0, I have full ir control via the Abitana system. The telephone is also distributed to various points throughout the house via the Abitana system. My router is also conneced to the system. I also have audio distribution via the system. So any RJ45socket in the house can be either a TV, Telephone, Ethernet or Audio point. I also distribute RS232 via the system as well. All distribution boxes are in the Abitana patch panel.
    "(boxes now exist for sending HDCP compatable HDMI signals over Cat5) To me this is about as future proof as you can get. Abitana, Lexcom, etc. won't do this." Wrong. This will work with the Abitana system and also the Lexcom system. Infact anything designed for a Cat5 system will work.
    Also now Abitana do a High Definition Component Video + S/PDIF Audio adapter, for point to point distribution of HD.
    I know that the Lexcom system can do most if not all of the above, though I'm not 100% sure about the HD (unless its a Cat5 based HD system which it can handle just like Abitana).

  3. #13
    Automated Home Jr Member nickgale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie home networking questions

    The main point I'm getting at is that the only thing the Abitana system does over a Cat5 based system is allow you to send UHF signals on the same cable , but the cost of the special cable is so much greater than Cat5 you could run a coax + 4 x cat5 to each position for less money.

    In the UK the Abitana Cable costs 237.04 for 300m and you can only use it for one purpose at a time, i.e. TV or PC or phone or Video, etc.

    4 x 305m boxes of Cat5 plus a drum of Coax will set you back around 220.00 and by running 4 x cat5 and a coax to each position you can use it for 4 or 5 purposes at the same time. So if you have a TV, Media Centre PC and Sat box in the same position you can run all of them for the same cable cost as one item with Abitana.

    Runing a Coax to each position also allows for a local satellite box in a room, something that you can't do with the Abitana system.

    Using the Leviton plates you can get 4 sockets on a single gang UK plate.

    And there are many different options available for Cat5 including High Def Component + SDIF, HDMI, S-Video, Composite + Stereo, IR and RS232. Yes these will also run over the Abitana cable and the Lexcom cable, it will just cost you 5 times as much for the cable!

    The modules are also expensive - 4 port ethernet router for 126.59 + adsl modem, when you can buy a Netgear ADSL 4 port router for around 50.00

    If you're sending three central sources over the Abitana system I presume you're using the 4 channel Modulator and viewing these as an analogue channel on the TV? If so I'll bet the sound is in mono?

    Most importantly we've just installed a system with two Toshiba LCD TV's - neither of which appears to have an analogue tuner, so how would that work in your system? Analogue TV switch off starts here in the UK in a couple of years it won't be long before we see only digital tuners on TV's, at which point the whole Abitana and Lexcom TV distribution model falls apart. (Yes they have a Composite Video+Stereo Audio module but that is only single input)

    My advice is simple - stick to tried and tested structured cable systems like Cat5 and Coax, it does the job and you can mix and match components from a whole range of manufacturers. (what happens if Abitana go bust in the future?)

    Abitana are good at one thing, they produce a well marketed and presented system that people can understand, not many manufacturers have managed this, but in my opinion you can do far more for less money.

    Nick

  4. #14
    Automated Home Guru vex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie home networking questions

    Completely agree with you Nick.

    The conventional methods using CAT5e and Coax is so flexible especially in todays homes with small rooms and limited layouts.

    As I say in my presentations, the only real place that the Cat5-hybrid,7/8 systems work are in very large and open plan living areas where room and area functions can change from day to day.

    The interesting variable to this is the new system from Scheider caller Delta8, using Cat7 baserd technology but passing TV, Telephone and Data to the same RJ45 plate and the same time, you then choose which service you want or even plug in a service splitter and get all three at the same time.

    We just have some tests to do on it, to see if it will pass IR and then we will be selling it to the trade. Allong with our cat5e/coax systems.

    Chris
    www.intouchtech.co.uk (trade)
    NOW PART OF INVISION UK, One of the leading home technology distributors to the CI Market.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Newbie home networking questions

    Quote Originally Posted by vex
    Completely agree with you Nick.

    The conventional methods using CAT5e and Coax is so flexible especially in todays homes with small rooms and limited layouts.

    As I say in my presentations, the only real place that the Cat5-hybrid,7/8 systems work are in very large and open plan living areas where room and area functions can change from day to day.

    The interesting variable to this is the new system from Scheider caller Delta8, using Cat7 baserd technology but passing TV, Telephone and Data to the same RJ45 plate and the same time, you then choose which service you want or even plug in a service splitter and get all three at the same time.

    We just have some tests to do on it, to see if it will pass IR and then we will be selling it to the trade. Allong with our cat5e/coax systems.

    Chris
    Hi guys,

    This thread makes a very interesting read!

    I have just bought a new flat with "Lexcom" cables throughout (3-4 in each room I think). There is as yet no termination and no central box - so as far as I can tell I just have unterminated cat5 cables running through my walls (although Lexcom call them cat7??) - is this correct?

    Basically, what I want is an AV centre in my living room - Sky HD, HTPC, Home Cinema Amp and speakers, and then distribute the video signal from HTPC and Sky (SD is fine and what I expect to be able to send easily) to TVs in the 2 bedrooms, and audio from the AV receiver (i.e. music, sky, htpc) to these rooms also.

    I also want internet network access in the living room and one of the bedrooms (preferably wired in both - although can live with wireless in the bedroom).

    Is getting a Lexcom hub etc. the best option or is there a simpler (and cheaper) method for transmitting from my setup? What are my options price wise?

    Thanks guys,

    Rob

  6. #16
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    I'm after some advice, Nick or anyone! Renovating/extending a detached bungalow and will have 3 receptions, study plus 4 beds. Will want telly in 2 receptions (sky+ box in both, one of them HD), 3 beds, kitchen and study. Will want networked computer in study and one reception (plus wifi for the rest), phones in one reception, kitchen and one bed and also want music in one en-suite (but think I'll do that locally as mrs has swish ipod dock I can pipe through).

    Have looked at Digital Plumbers, singlepoint and one or two of the other systems recommended on this thread - but as we'll be rewiring the whole house the disruption's not a problem, so am really after the best and most flexible option without breaking the bank.

    Cheers!

  7. #17
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    If you have a close look at singlepoint (actually it is Kerpen HomeNet ) You will see that it is a neural highly shielded cabling system that will allow signals up to 2.5 Ghz which is more than the 2.1 GHz SKY and data up to 10GBit. And in addition there are cables for SPDIF, composite, S-Video, etc..... where you do NOT need any electronic device to "adapt" the signal to Cat5/6 carrying capacity.

    Contrary to abitana, Lexcom and the like, Kerpen does NOT suppl active components such as audio hubs, etc so you are FREE to use whatever you like. No need to stick with one manufacturer and his prices.

    So this system is versatile and independent what you can't say about any other once and not even of Cat5 as they NEED electronic devices - which by the way costs $$$ and adds to the overall costs you have to look at in addition to cable costs.

  8. #18
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    The Kerpen system uses what looks like a proprietary connector, the HomeNet 1200 Connector, rather than the industry standard RJ45. So if the company disappears. You are stuck with a system you may not be able to use or buy connectors for. Where as many of the other systems use industry standard connectors so are available from many sources.
    Last edited by toscal; 28th October 2007 at 06:45 PM.

  9. #19
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    Right, but this product is on the market for about 10 years now in commercial installation and is sold by Kerpen in Germany who are in the business for 80 years and part of LEONI which is one of the biggest manufacturer of cabling in Europe and it is sold by BKS in Switzerland for 10 years. They are also in business for more than 20 years. So there is no big risk of them going out of business.

    The problem with the RJ45 is the quality. It is not gas tight, shielding stops at the cable and doesn't go through the connectors, etc... I have seen - just as any other professional on this list - so many RJ45 that are getting loose over a short time.

    I think the question is more like: Old standard and old fashion system or versatility, future proof and high capacity.

  10. #20
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    Red face abit lost now

    hi all, this is interesting stuff. i am doing a full refurb of a 5 bed, 2 storey victorian house and want to put in the right wiring so in the future when i actually have any money i can put in a full av system - pc/sky/dvd & controls.

    currently i am l looking at abitana, single point and as many suggest here, bundling several cat5 and a coaxial together to acheive similar results. thinking one central point in each room with all services going to that point.

    stage 1
    i am looking to drop in internet-data/freeview-video-dvd/telephone/sat-bt vision to all 5 bedrooms and 2 reception rooms with master bedroom, kitchen and reception having built in ceiling speakers.

    stage 2
    would like them all to have indepenedent control of all content via remote.


    any thoughts or suggestions...

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