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Thread: Firts timer Networking advice

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Firts timer Networking advice

    Hi guys.

    Would love some advice on a complete new system for home networking for a newbie . im quiet good with picking tech stuff up so not afraid of doing install alone.

    i have sky+,adsl broadband and phone (all with sky) poss to change to virgin so will need to take this into account.

    i would like to install sytem in loft and cable from there. that way i can trunk outside to the rooms required with little fuss.

    i would like to build system a little at a time and figure the cabling and what cable to use would be a good start.


    living room to have sky+(or capable sky HD feed in future),telephone,adsl,freeveiw, and surround sound. 1 points at both ends of room.(will sound be availble through hdmi or will i need to feed sound aswell)

    master bedroom,as above without suround.

    2 childrens bedroom with adsl,freeveiw

    what and how much cat5e to each point,how much ct1oo,what is best to cary HD signal to master bedroom and 2 points in living run will be more than 15-20m

    can i place 4 freeveiw boxes and 1 sky box in the loft and use a remote control in each room?( 4 freeveiw boxes for each room to have own remote in each room)so to limit the amount of equipment and cables in each room. infact the more i can hide in the loft and the better, would like to set and forget

    may add cctv 4 cams max and a recorder.again all to go in loft. Cams to be added just below guttering so no need to cable to rooms.

    hope this info will help. i see the more cable i can get to each point is better but dont want to overkill lol

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Cabling Advice..

    (oops seem to have hit submit twice!)
    Last edited by martynah; 4th April 2009 at 09:46 AM.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Cabling Advice..

    My, that's a big list.


    CAT5 cable - this is industry standard twisted pair networking cable - 8 wires, twisted (hence the name) into 4 pairs. You can run normal networks down these, and nowadays most if not all your home automation stuff too.


    Downstairs TV: You need probably 3 x CAT5 for this - 2 for a HDMI/CAT5 converter that will run your SKY+ picture and audio, plus 1 extra for your IR control back to the sky box (or you may find a wireless IR sender) e.g - plus an IR extender - my favorite is this one = I use 3 of these in our house, you can run them over just 2 wires on a cat-5.

    If you really want HD to your 2nd bedroom as well, get your wallet out, as you'll need a HD HDMI splitter to feed 2 TV's (like - 96) - a cheaper option for a Standard Def 2nd tv is to use the Co-Ax output on the sky+ box down your tv ariel cable to the tv (mono sound, and less nice picture) - or better a KAT5 S-Video adapter that would need just 1 CAT5 cable for sound+video+IR. = perfect 8-) ( @ 170) - if going for the HD splitter, you'll need another SLx-Magic-Eye for that also.


    Unless your house is made of granite, or really thick stone, I'd just put in a decent wireless router in the loft - your kids will be fine with that, your current plans dont include any IP based TV like appleTV or MediaCenter etc, and besides if you convert to that later you've just laid 3 CAT5 to your main TV and at least 1 or 3 to your 2nd TV.

    FreeView/Kids rooms

    I'm not sure I'd centralise their boxes, there is no value unless you're doing multi-room freeview, which is fairly pointless given each room is getting it's own freeview box essentially - I would consider either a cheap replacement flat-screen tv with built in freeview or a cheapo freeview box for each - anything else will set you back (e.g KAT5 - 170 per TV for no value)

    Also, the remotes will clash when used centrally, so you'd need to 'mask' them all off with separate repeaters - 4 tvs like this would cost you nearly 800 with 4 KAT5's and remote repeaters = not worth it.

    You could also for the cost of a sky remote and a sylink (about 20) give them an analogue sky+ channel off the main sky+ box - this would be mono and an analog tv channel - but would give them access to the PVR.

    Remember with all of this that you are only multi-screening the same Sky+/HD box, there is only one box, so everyone would have to watch the same things - this is one of the advantages of using either a couple of sky+ boxes (as multiroom sky is quite cheap these days_), or a media-center system with 100 linksys extenders in each room which means everyone can watch their own thing (subject to available tuners)

    Hope that gives you an idea, you're headed in the right direction, but I wouldnt centralise everything, and unless your kids are going to do photoshop editing over the network to a NAS, or stream HD movies to their PC's then wireless networking is fine.



  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Near Alicante Spain


    The main problem as already stated is that while centralising you multimedia equipment reduces clutter. It does present its own problems when trying to control via IR. One way is to get something like a Harmony remote with RF extender. The extender has 4 ports on it and each one can be programed to control a range of equipment. You would then need to set up essential the same device several times and tell the remote that each device goes to a different port. Then when you stick the IR eyes on to your equipment cover the eye and the IR window with silver foil tape this will block out any other ir signal.
    Something else the think about when centralising. A friend of mine bough a cheap DVD player. Connected it up to his LG Plasma TV only to find out that when he pressed play on the DVD remote it changed the channel on the TV. Then changing the TV back to AV it stopped the DVD player.
    You may want to look at Abitana's Home network system.
    While it does use a propriety cable. Its a hybrid Cat5 and Cat7 cable. One pair is CAT7 spec and the others are CAT5. Also they do a special HDMI adapter that only uses 1 cable rather than 2 normal CAT5 cables.
    Abitana's distributor in the UK is Minitran
    The HDMI adapter can be seen here
    The Abitana RJ45 sockets require no special tools other than a pair of small side cutters. See here for more info
    Renovation Spain Blog

  5. #5
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    For security cameras, I picked up a cheap PC on ebay and some cheap DVR cards. The cards came with knocked-off copies of Pico 2000 but I bought a legit copy anyway, as it works better!
    I run Windows 2008 server on the box (just had a spare license!) and remote-desktop to it to watch the cameras when I need to. Playback is fine over wireless-G as I keep an eye on the front door for deliveries whilst I work out the back.
    For cameras I bought some day & night colour/ir switching ones off ebay again. Two are fine, one is a bit naff. There's a lot of variation in quality even though they look the same externally. I got some long power+video wires fairly cheap online too. The door camera is from Focus for about 30 wired through a SCART to RCA adapter.

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