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Thread: Home TV & Telephone System Advice

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Home TV & Telephone System Advice

    Hi All,

    I’m hoping someone here will be able to give me some advice on my home Tv and Telephone system setup. We’ve basically been getting our house completely redone and have taken the opportunity to add at least 2xCAT5e and 2xTV cables to each and every room with all the cables terminating in the attic.

    Now that we are getting close to the end of the build I would like to find out what is and is not possible (I should probably have done this before we started!!!). We would like to have cable TV in all the rooms, we are currently with VirginMedia ex Telewest. My initial idea was to have the main cable come in to the attic and from there split it to the different rooms. This would mean having a decoder box in each and every room we want to have cable Tv in, which could be a bit on the expensive side. Is there a better way of doing this? I was hoping to add some PVR functionality too. I was wondering if I could set up a PC to handle the incoming TV signal and then use that to distribute it to the rest of the house, but wasn’t sure if that meant everyone would have to watch the same channel.

    As for the Telephone system, I would like to know if I can use the new CAT5e cables to add a phone to every room (it wouldn’t be every room most likely 3 rooms + 1 fax machine).

    I think these are all my questions for now, any and all help is appreciated.


    Thanks
    Davinder

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Hi Davinder,

    Answering questions in reverse order...

    Yes – you can run phones over cat5.
    Ideally you will terminate all of your cat5 runs onto a patch panel in the loft. 19” wide panels are the office/data centre standard, but 10” wide “SOHO” panels & cabinets are also available and may be something to consider if you don’t have too many runs. You also need to get your incoming phone line into the loft, but you can (maybe) do this using one of the cat5 cables you’ve already installed.

    Once you’ve got the phone line into the loft the recommended method to distribute it is to “common-up” a number of patch panel sockets – you do this by punching-down cat5 across the back of the sockets so in a group of say, 8 sockets, all of the pin-1s are connected together, all of the pin-2s, etc. You plug your phone line into one socket and then connect cat5 patch cables between your commoned-up phone ports and the patch panel with the cat5 cables going out to the rooms. In each room where you want a phone you’ll need adaptors to convert the wiring from an RJ45 socket to BT plug – I use ones from CPC similar to this: http://cpc.farnell.com/TE05150/offic...mmtel-41528281.


    If you had terrestrial freeview then IIRC its possible to view one channel, record another, provided the two channels were from the same MUX (i.e. the same group of channels broadcast together). There are 5 or 6 (?) MUXs covering the full range of TV & radio channels. Google for "MythTV" to get an idea of what's possible. Windows MCE also offers similar functionality.

    Freesat might also be an option although the DVB-T (terrestrial freeview) cards are more common than DVB-S (satellite)

    As for getting the signals back out to the rooms, you could run over coax, but you'd get better picture quality by using the Cat5 and transmit/receive boxes like these:
    http://www.kat5.tv
    Also see the KAT5 forum here on Automated Home.

    That's a fair bit to take in - feel free to post more questions

    HTH,

    Tim.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Hi Davinder,
    You may also want to look at the Delta8 unit as a distribution method - depends if you want to keep the cable types for specific media i.e Cat5 for telephone, coax for T.V.

    www.automatedhome.co.uk/Media/SHS2007-Video-Schneider-Electric-Clipsal-C-Bus.html

    Regards,
    Paul

  4. #4
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    Hi Davinder,

    Answering questions in reverse order...

    Yes – you can run phones over cat5.
    Ideally you will terminate all of your cat5 runs onto a patch panel in the loft. 19” wide panels are the office/data centre standard, but 10” wide “SOHO” panels & cabinets are also available and may be something to consider if you don’t have too many runs. You also need to get your incoming phone line into the loft, but you can (maybe) do this using one of the cat5 cables you’ve already installed.

    Once you’ve got the phone line into the loft the recommended method to distribute it is to “common-up” a number of patch panel sockets – you do this by punching-down cat5 across the back of the sockets so in a group of say, 8 sockets, all of the pin-1s are connected together, all of the pin-2s, etc. You plug your phone line into one socket and then connect cat5 patch cables between your commoned-up phone ports and the patch panel with the cat5 cables going out to the rooms. In each room where you want a phone you’ll need adaptors to convert the wiring from an RJ45 socket to BT plug – I use ones from CPC similar to this: http://cpc.farnell.com/TE05150/offic...mmtel-41528281.


    If you had terrestrial freeview then IIRC its possible to view one channel, record another, provided the two channels were from the same MUX (i.e. the same group of channels broadcast together). There are 5 or 6 (?) MUXs covering the full range of TV & radio channels. Google for "MythTV" to get an idea of what's possible. Windows MCE also offers similar functionality.

    Freesat might also be an option although the DVB-T (terrestrial freeview) cards are more common than DVB-S (satellite)

    As for getting the signals back out to the rooms, you could run over coax, but you'd get better picture quality by using the Cat5 and transmit/receive boxes like these:
    http://www.kat5.tv
    Also see the KAT5 forum here on Automated Home.

    That's a fair bit to take in - feel free to post more questions

    HTH,

    Tim.
    Hi Tim, thanks for the reply

    Just to make sure I've got this right....

    With the telephones in the patch panel I basically bring in the main line and punch it down to one of the ports and then daisy chain this port with the 8 neighboring ports. So now I basically have 9 ports in my panel that have a telephone connection and simply use patch leads to connect them to the relevant network ports in the house. Does this sound right? Have I got the wrong end of the stick?

    For the TV side of things I'm very interested in MythTV seems like a brilliant system, but this does mean I would need a client box where the TVs are (but these can be low spec machines from what I understand).
    I do have a couple of questions that I hope you can help with:
    1.With MythTV can you watch live TV (I can't seem to find the answer to this)?
    2.How many multiple connections could you use with MythTV.
    3.Will I be able to get cable TV using MythTV?

    I have also stumbled across LinuxMCE which I'm investigating has anyone got any experience of this? It seems to do a lot of home automation work too.


    Thanks

  5. #5
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    With Myth TV and Linux MCE watching any TV, and recording for that matter depends on the TV tuner card in the system. If you have a cbale tv tuner card then you can watch cable. But only if its compatible with the cable subscriber system in your area. They may use a smart card or similar pay to access system, so you would need a card that is compatible with this.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davinder View Post
    Hi Tim, thanks for the reply

    Just to make sure I've got this right....

    With the telephones in the patch panel I basically bring in the main line and punch it down to one of the ports and then daisy chain this port with the 8 neighboring ports. So now I basically have 9 ports in my panel that have a telephone connection and simply use patch leads to connect them to the relevant network ports in the house. Does this sound right? Have I got the wrong end of the stick?

    Thanks
    Yes, that's pretty much it
    Rather than punch it down, I've crimped an RJ45 plug on to the end of my incoming phone line (in reality it's a cable from the outlet of the master socket so has a BT plug on one end and an RJ45 on the other). This is then plugged into one of the commoned-up sockets.

    If you search this forum for "krone" you'll find a thread with pin-outs for the secondary adaptors - you just need to make sure you connect the incoming phone line to the right pins so that the phones work out in the rooms

    I'm not a MythTV expert I'm afraid, but toscal seems to have answered instead.

    HTH,

    Tim.

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