Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Wiring infrastructure - audio, video and networking

I plan to have multi room audio and video in each room. I do not want Sky boxes on show so plan to store all the audio and video gear for the whole house in the cupboard under the stairs. I need to run speaker cables /video and data cables from here to each room in the house. 

I am running a total of 4 cat5e cables and 2 coaxial cables into each room.

To make this easier I bought 200meters of the cable below which has 2 strands of cat5e and coaxial cable in one strand. 

This makes  life a lot easier as instead of having to run 6 cables into each room I now only have to run 2. One strand will come out in each room where there is a TV and another strand directly below the TV . I will run ducting in between the TV and the point below in case I  need to join cables/ run something below.

The reason I am running the cable to the TV point is not just to carry an aerial signal but also most TVs are now smart TVs which have iPlayer, 4OD, etc built into them so need a data connection.  Not only that should I ever want to use a HDMI Matrix to supply video all over the house , use an IR changer or HDMI over cat5 I can upgrade. I am going to use Apple TV2s running Plex to watch movies ,TV series and Netflix. I find wireless networks too unreliable with carrying video which is why I want cat5 cabling throughout.

The bedrooms will have two strands as will the study. The lounge chimney breast will have one strand, as will the wall for the new extension opposite the kitchen should I ever want to place a TV here, finally I will also run a cable to the pillar in the kitchen for the option of a small TV here and in the bathroom.

In total I will be installing 19 speakers in the house, broken down as follows.
Bedrooms and study will be having 2 ceiling speakers.
Ensuite and downstairs bathroom will have a single stereo speaker unit ( single speaker that handles both left and right sound via one unit)
Lounge area 5 speakers for the 5.1 home cinema 
Dining area will have 4 speakers
Outdoor speakers will have 2 speakers.
To wire all this up I bought QED multicore QX16 four core speaker cable. One strand will have 4 cables inside which will wire up two speakers. This makes wiring up a lot easier as instead of having to run two cables into the bedroom, study and bathrooms I only need to run 1. For the dining area 2, ,3 for the lounge and 1 strand for the outdoor speakers.

By using the cables above instead of having to run 8 strands of cable into each room I now only need to run 3.

Finally I plan to run HDMI cables from the cupboard to each TV point for the bedrooms/study and lounge I prefer good old fashioned HDMI for this rather than HDMI over cat5 as the technology right now is very expensive for the good units and the cheaper ones have reliability issues.

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