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Thread: Component video + (digital)audio: CAT5 vs "as is"

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    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Question Component video + (digital)audio: CAT5 vs "as is"

    I am doing some cabling in my house. One of the tasks is to provide transmission of the audio-video signal from the living room (Playstation 3, Popcorn Hour A-110, Itgate TGM-220) to the kitchen. Of course, being able to watch TV in the living room. Of course, there should be ability to use any source with any TV, independently.

    I am going to use Component signal for Video distribution and Digital for Audio (is that sane?). Of course, I will need some matrix switch. The next question is whether I should just use one long Component cable (~10m) or implement some Cat5-based solution? What are the advantages I'd get with Cat5? For a moment, I do not see any (I see the disadvantage: price). But may be there is something I just did not think of?..

    In terms of brands: can anyone comment on Shinybow switches and CAT5 distribution products? They seem relatively cheep.

    Thanks!

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    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Using CAT5 or similar means you are more flexible with your requirements. Sure while Co-axial cable may be slightly cheaper this limits you a composite type video feed only or some form of UHF TV signal. With CAT5 you can be distributing in either composite or HD(various options here), or with CAT7 or Abitana's Omnimedia cable you can also distribute UHF plus it doesn't always have to be video CAT5 or similar cabling gives you the advantages of maybe changing a particular socket to say a telephone line or audio or network connection. And with many digiboxes requiring telephone connections and some have network connections then is is much easier if the infrastructure is already there.
    Have a look at www.abitana.com not a pure CAT5 based solution the cable is a bit of a hybrid CAT5 CAT7 cable.
    Whenever cabling whatever solution always put in more than you require. If you think you need 2 cables to a location put in 4. Originally I only needed 3 sockets in my lounge but I put in 6 (I have an Abitana based system). And I only now have 2 empty sockets.
    If the budget doesn't allow for the extra cabling then make it easier to add in the future. This can be done by using larger conduits, and running a pull through string along with the cable so its there when you need to pull through the extra cabling.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu

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    My actual concern is not the price of the cable itself - but the price of 2 extra devices "component-->cat5"/"cat5-->component" which I would not need in case of pure component-based solution. I am not sure I would be getting the value from that investment

    Of course, I am putting a lot of CAT5 around my house, a bit of extra would not make any real difference - I just do not see why I could not add a couple of point-to-point Component (like http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/component/index.htm) and Audio wires instead of buying 2 adapters. BTW, does the rule "cables put=2*cables needed" apply to video/audio cabling as well? I always thought of it in terms of data networks...

    Thanks for the advice!

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    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svu View Post
    My actual concern is not the price of the cable itself - but the price of 2 extra devices "component-->cat5"/"cat5-->component" which I would not need in case of pure component-based solution. I am not sure I would be getting the value from that investment

    Of course, I am putting a lot of CAT5 around my house, a bit of extra would not make any real difference - I just do not see why I could not add a couple of point-to-point Component (like http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/component/index.htm) and Audio wires instead of buying 2 adapters. BTW, does the rule "cables put=2*cables needed" apply to video/audio cabling as well? I always thought of it in terms of data networks...

    Thanks for the advice!
    This is why CAT5 or similar is often used instead as you don't have to worry about not having enough.
    Price for the adapters depend on quality and what you want it to do. As an example Abitana's RJ45 to Aerial socket is about 24 pounds. But it also includes the IR bus lead so you can transmit and receive IR on the IR Bus. It also has a gain adjust so the device can be properly set up if you have a complex system. Their composite video / scart adapters are the same price and have the IR bus lead. Either an IR receiver or transmitter gets plugged into it. Then in the patch panel you would have either a TV dist hub or a video dist. hub, then plugged in to these would be your sources.
    The thing with using Co-Ax for your video dist. is that it limits you to using that cable really for just that. And also when or if video standards change the cable may not be up to speed. But with the CAT5 type systems there will probably be an adapter that will convert it.
    I think at the end of the day if you are happy with using Co-Ax for your video distribution, and don't see it as a major problem if standards change, and you can see using your current set up for the next five years or so then OK.
    About audio and video feed the rules I think apply to this as well. Just remember to keep your set up as flexible as possible. Who knows what options will be available in 2 years time.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu

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    Thanks, I will check Abitana products! Yes, I want to be as flexible as possible - the question is just how much it costs

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    One question: how happens that Abitana manages to put hi-def component video (+s/pdif audio) into 1 cat5 cable, while other vendors say they need 2 cables, because of the bandwidth? Who's lying? It is suspicious that Abitana does not explicitly mention the max resolution...

    http://www.abitana.com/webshop/en-gb/dept_120.html, product ABI-AS1003S00

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    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Hi svu,

    Toscal's covered some of the benefits of using a cat5-type solution.

    For video over cat5 have a look at the KAT5 modules (http://www.kat5.tv/index1.html) and via the forum here on Automated Home.
    I'm not sure if the component modules are listed on the website above, but they are capable of HD resolutions over a single cable, and with digital audio too.

    Vendors often require 2x Cat5 cables when distributing hidef via HDMI presentation as the HDMI spec covers more than just video.

    I'm sure you realise, but I'll make the point anyway just in case, the majority of a/v over cat5 solutions are not "network" or "streaming" solutions, they simply used the balanced cable structure of the cable itself to pass the signals down, i.e. don't plug them into your router!


    For matrix switches look at Kramer. Not cheap, but professional quality.

    HTH,

    Tim.

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    TimH: I looked at kat5 - but could not find the solution for Component video, it is not mentioned anywhere (

    Thanks for explaining the issue with 2 cables - it seems 1 cable would do the job. (sure I will not put AV cables into router/switch

    I will check Kramer...

    Thanks a lot for the substantial information!

  9. #9
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    Kramer is really pricy. I am looking to get budget matrix for ... well, around 300 eur or smth.

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Hi,

    For confirmation of KAT5 & hi-def see this message from one of the mailing lists associated with Automated Home:
    http://www.ukha-archive.com/ml/kat5/.../msg00001.html

    HD video over component and digital audio via the same unit on the spare "channel"

    I guess the website lags the product development a little...

    For cheaper Kramer kit try ebay, e.g. item # 270382366717 on www.ebay.co.uk
    (I've no connection with the seller)

    HTH,

    Tim.

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