Structured wiring for TV and sound

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Old 03-04-17, 11:19 PM
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Exclamation Structured wiring for TV and sound

We've been doing renovations for a few years and during that time, we've watched only Netflix via PC monitors, using a cable modem.

Now I'm ready to finish the structured wiring for TV's, so we can buy some new ones.

We do not want TV's and audio connected via WiFi - only wired connections. I have a bunch of pre-made Cat5 cables to run through the house. I chose that route to not have to get into possibly bad homemade cable crimps.

Are there structured wiring wall plates that accept Cat5 connectors on the back side and the front (Cat5 in Cat5 out), or how is this done? I found this, but don't know how the backside cabling connects: https://www.tselectronic.com/shop/pr...port-Plate/958

We've been watching TV via PC's with network connections. How do new TV's connect? Can they simply be connected by Cat5 to my network to my cable router, or do they still use a real coax cable? If coax, do I still use the router or what?

Thanks guys.
 
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Old 03-04-17, 11:35 PM
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I just installed several high end Samsung TV's. They are connected wirelessly to the network and perform perfectly.

I run an RG-6 cable and a network cable to each TV when I do the pre-wiring.

If you want to use wall plated connections then you will need to purchase a punch-down tool to connect the network cabling to the keystone modular jacks. The wires get pushed into the slots in the back of the jack with the tool.

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Old 03-04-17, 11:40 PM
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Ah - I see. Thanks Pjmax.

What about continuity issues doing the punch down? I only have an analog multimeter, so how do you know?

Also, are coax connections history and it's all Cat5 to my cable modem?

Lastly, I'm installing the modem in the basement and want to connect it to a "hub" type of wall plate via a short coax cable. How does the "supply" coax connect to one of these snap in pieces on the backside?
 
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Old 03-05-17, 05:31 AM
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Google keystone jack and you will find every possible connection you could ever hope for. Coaxial jacks will have an F connector or BNC connector on both the front and back sides for making the connection. They have Ethernet jacks that have either punch-down connections or Ethernet on the back side. Most, if not all of the electronic parts companies on the Internet supply them and many are available at the local big box mega-mart homecenter as well.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 07:49 AM
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Thanks Furd. I still need my questions answered though.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 08:56 AM
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Are there structured wiring wall plates that accept Cat5 connectors on the back side and the front (Cat5 in Cat5 out), or how is this done?
Answered, yes cat 5 is Ethernet.

How do new TV's connect? ...do they still use a real coax cable?
Both.
What about continuity issues doing the punch down?
Use a proper punch-down tool and you will have no problems.

Also, are coax connections history and it's all Cat5 to my cable modem?
Both coaxial and cat 5 (Ethernet) are used. Coaxial connectors generally are F type but BNC type may be used in some instances.

How does the "supply" coax connect to one of these snap in pieces on the backside?
They have type F coaxial connections on both sides.

Or is it that you do not know that "cat 5" is also called Ethernet? That coaxial cable connectors come in a plethora of sizes and styles with type F being the most common for television? There is also cat 6 and cat 6e, still using the Ethernet connectors. Some TVs MAY even have optical (fiber optic) connections. Fiber optic, most noticeably the FiOS (Fiber-optic Operating System) pioneered by Verizon brings all signals to your home via a fiber optic cable where it is then broken down to coaxial, Ethernet and telephone wiring. This system gives greater bandwidth than straight coaxial cable as used to be the norm for cable television, and later, Internet, signals.

In fact, even the term Ethernet is incorrect when referring to the jack itself. Properly it is a "Registered Jack" and will have a number that denotes the style and number of contacts. The most common is RJ45 (or RJ-45) which has a maximum of eight contacts (four pairs) arranged in one of two (or maybe more now) wiring schemes.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 12:18 PM
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One small correction Furd.. The optical connection (TOSLINK) on the back of a TV is NOT for FiOS (FiOS stands for Fiber Optic Services, not fiber operating system BTW ) or any other fiber network connection. It is a PCM digital audio link for connection to a surround receiver or soundbar. Most devices these days have either an optical or coaxial (RCA) digital output. They both carry the same signal, just in different ways.

When you get your internet via a fiber connection, the fiber only extends to the gray box on the side of your house (the Optical Network Terminal or ONT). From here it is converted to coaxial and 10/100/1000-BASE-T(X) for connection to your TVs and router/gateway. The fiber itself does not go into the house or any devices inside.

And honestly PJ, it's always best to hardwire those devices which can be. Leave the WiFi for your phones and laptops.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 12:26 PM
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And honestly PJ, it's always best to hardwire those devices which can be. Leave the WiFi for your phones and laptops.
Of course..... but it all depends on what the customer wants to spend.
When I quote things here..... it's work I've done for customers.

I run an RG-6 cable and a network cable to each TV when I do the pre-wiring.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 04:51 PM
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One small correction Furd.. The optical connection (TOSLINK) on the back of a TV is NOT for FiOS (FiOS stands for Fiber Optic Services, not fiber operating system BTW )...
Who wrote anything about a TOSLINK connection? I wrote MAY have an optical connector. I do not keep up on everything new with televisions so I don't know for a fact that no television has an optical video input. That is what MAY have means.

Thank you for the correction of what FiOS stands for.

When you get your internet via a fiber connection, the fiber only extends to the gray box on the side of your house (the Optical Network Terminal or ONT). ...The fiber itself does not go into the house or any devices inside.
Depends on the installation. The "gray box" MAY be mounted inside! And again, I am not absolutely 100% up-to-date on the latest technologies used to bring information into residences but I HAVE read about eventually bringing fiber optic to individual devices.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 09:47 PM
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I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are no TVs (or any other consumer-level device for that matter) that have a fiber network/video connection, and there won't be for the foreseeable future. Copper is still king on the edge of infrastructure, and we haven't even begun to approach its bandwidth limitations. Even a standard Cat5E cable can support 10GbE links up to 45m, although you'd be hard pressed to find any TV or streaming device with anything more than a 100Mbps NIC today (because even a 4K stream isn't going to use more than about 25-30Mbps) . Thunderbolt 3 supports up to 40Gbps and is most likely the next "standard" port that will begin appearing on TVs (although this would be in the realm of using your UHD 4K/8K TV as a native mode monitor, as a replacement for HDMI, not for anything you'd run into of a streaming/broadcast nature).

Fiber and its associated switchgear is just still way too expensive and has too many installation requirements to be practical on a residential consumer scale - which leads to a Catch-22... Consumer electronics manufacturers will not start including fiber connections (because they cost a hell of a lot more than a 100Mbps NIC) until there is a demand for them, and installers won't start installing fiber in homes until there are devices to support them.

Not arguing, just saying...
 
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Old 03-07-17, 02:06 PM
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Great help guys! Thank you.

3 more questions:

If I have a choice of wiring with Cat5 or coax from wall plate to TV, is there a preferred cable choice?

I saw the Leviton recessed wall plate that has a 110V outlet on the left and a choice of jacks on the right. What kind of box goes in the wall that accepts line voltage and structured wiring? Is there any reason not to use this and keep the boxes separate?

https://www.tselectronic.com/shop/pr...port-Plate/958
 
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Old 03-07-17, 05:10 PM
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That plate is the choice of most installers. Basically it has an "old work" box attached to the back of the receptacle side. Keystones are generally installed using a low voltage "frame" (just a hollow plastic piece that has no back), because datacom and HD video cabling is sensitive to being crushed/kinked as would happen in a box. It makes no difference whether you do them together or separate, the all-in-one plate simply makes for a neater install unless you have more than 6 connections, then youod use a separate power receptacle and a 12 port double gang Keystone plate.

As PJ said, run both. If this will be a smart TV hooked up to cable/cablecard or an antenna, you will need both. If this TV will be wall mounted, you should also consider running at least one HDMI, a TOSLINK optical, and an RCA (coaxial digital) from the TV plate to a box below it at standard receptacle height, where stand/table could house a cable/satellite box, BluRay player, sound bar/surround receiver, etc in the future. Run a separate coax and Cat5 to there from your central point as well. It's always better to overwire while the walls are open than regret not running something later.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 05:42 PM
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Thanks taxz420!

So there's one part I still don't get because we haven't had cable TV since we had a set top box.

I have a cable modem for Internet now (we watch netflix on PC's) so do I need something else to distribute real cable (which we will subscribe to again) thoughout the house? There is only 1 coax in - no out, just female RJ45 connectors.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 08:53 PM
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The cable modem needs its own cable outlet. Wherever you've decided to have your cables come together in the house (usually a utility room), run the main cable there. It will go into a 2 way splitter first. One output of the 2 way will go directly to the cable modem. The other outlet will go to another splitter with however many outlets you need to hook up the TVs.

With this new wiring it's likely you'll wind up with more Cat5 cables than you have ports on the modem (most have 4). In this case you'll need a "switch". Basically it's a splitter for networking. The best thing to do is get a switch with more ports than you need now (ie: 8 or 16 port), plug EVERYTHING into the switch, then run a cable from an open port on the switch to one of the ports on the modem. It's always good to have extra ports because all these new IoT devices like smart bulbs, light switches, thermometers, etc have their own "hubs" and "gateways" that can be hidden away but still need a port.
 
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Old 03-08-17, 05:25 AM
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Thanks again taz420

Yeah I already have two switches on my network for computers and printers.

So from the wall splitter, one leg goes to the modem for Internet data and the other goes to a splitter that feeds x number of TV's. So the modem "understands" it's data signals and the TV's understand theirs?
 
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Old 03-08-17, 04:21 PM
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Yeah exactly. Each device is tuned to receive its own signals and ignore the rest, so it all gets split off the same cable. One thing to keep in mind though is if you are subscribing to digital cable that has boxes for the TVs, you are actually limited in how many you can connect without a bidirectional booster (not a cheap amp, this is something you'd ideally buy from the cable company) or a second drop from the pole. Usually it's around 5-6 plus the modem. The modem is heavily reliant on a part of the signal called the "return path" for sync and upstream data - that's why you always run it off a 2-way splitter at the very beginning. Digital boxes also use the return path, but only for certain functions. Your ability to simply watch usually wouldn't suffer.

Each output of a 2 way splitter introduces about -3.5dB of signal loss (depending on the quality of the splitter - some cheapo/low quality splitters have higher loss). Each output of a 4 way splitter introduces about -7dB of loss (on top of the loss from the 2 way upstream of it). 6 ways are about -10dB and 8 ways are about -14dB. Every -3dB loss basically means the signal strength is cut in half in both directions.

The incoming signal from the cable company is very strong to begin with and can tolerate many splits. The "return path" signal however, is generated by the modem/digital boxes and is comparably very weak - so it can only tolerate so much loss before you start having issues with disconnects, resets/retrains, slow speeds, etc. In the case of digital cable boxes, the program guide, pay-per-view/OnDemand, DVR, and any other function that relies on its ability to communicate back with the cable company will also have issues.
 
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Old 03-09-17, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for the very thorough explanation taz420.

Are there some quality brands of splitters/wallplates that you can recommend?
 
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