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Builders are pricing to specs. On the whole, a modest mid-spec house. Nothing astonishing. 4 bedrooms, 2 storeys. 200 sqm.

What data cables are recommended, for reasonable performance options and some future-proofing (without disproportionate boost in cost)? Currently specs include only TV cable in every room.

Thanks.

(PS Non-techie here, so translation to simple English always gratefully received).

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Cat6 for data, terminated to sockets (not plugs) in the rooms and to a patch panel where they congregate - often where the BT master socket comes in as that’s where you’ll likely have your DAL router. You can then buy a cheap Ethernet hub and use it to share the data connection from your DSL router to each socket as required (you use little patch cables which are quite cheap).

 

Every static device (smart TVs, consoles etc) that have an internet connection should be on a wired cable to free up your WiFi for genuinely mobile devices (phones etc) but you can use WiFi if you want.

 

 Challenge you may have is the DSL router is also your WiFi hub so that may not be the ideal

place for it, however you can buy WiFi repeaters and plug those into convenient data plugs to cover other areas of the house.

 

For telephone extension then standard telephone cable, not sure if data cable can be repurposed - but maybe if you use the same twisted pair. Be wary of having the DSL modem too remote from the master socket as that can impede the data rate if the internal wiring is not good or introduces interference.

 

TV / satellite signal is coax - usually you have a powered multiplex somewhere to share the antenna signal to all the sockets, not sure if you can do same with satellite.

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I've got cat 6 to every room, never used it once. Apparently good if you have virgin though? Think Wi-Fi boosters are the future

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32 minutes ago, Oz07 said:

I've got cat 6 to every room, never used it once. Apparently good if you have virgin though? Think Wi-Fi boosters are the future

I agree, structured cabling is so 20th century.

There is a reason my 100 quid phone can cast to a screen.

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We have CAT6 all over the house, partly due to home automation, but also for fixed devices. So our TVs, console, my work computer, the hub for our solar panel controller, the printer, two wireless access points and a few other bits and pieces are all hardwired.


Wireless is pretty good most of the time, but before I finished the structured wiring, we used to get the odd connection drop-out, especially with the printer and one of the TVs. Always infuriating having to sort it out, even if it just involved a reboot or re-entering a password.

 

I don't think I've ever had a single connection problem with any hardwired device.

 

Personally, I'd run at least two and better yet three CAT6 cables to any place you plan to have a television, one for where you believe you plan to put a printer, and one to any place you think you might like to have a wireless access point (for a large house, having two such points will generally improve everyone's wireless experience).

 

The wire itself is really cheap, and you don't even need to terminate it at first. Just leave it coiled up in the wall, and keep a clear photographic and measured record of where each one is. Install each point as and when you find you need it.

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Cat 6 for me too, 2 runs per point

you need 47mm deep boxes to allow for bending radius and termination, you could put a double socket box and include the TV point in the same face plate.

 

I did mine 15 years ago when rewiring and I only started using it 3/4 years ago when x boxes and smart TVs arrived. I think it’s worth it, given you are building from scratch.

 

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I ran cat5 to every room, but so far only one is actually used, for a hard wired ethernet to my desktop pc.  Everything else, firesticks, game consoles etc just connects to the wifi.

 

The network cables are in the wall behind socket boxes not terminated at either end, ready to be fished out and put into use some time in the future should the need arise.

 

Same with phone cables.  What a quaint idea thinking every room would need a phone point.  Yet more cables lurking ready to be connected should someone decide a hard wired landline phone is actually a good idea.

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I rewired a couple of years. CAT5e to every room, use 3 of them, one in the box room for the computer, and one to each of the virgin cable boxes.

I also have one hard wired phone downstairs and one upstairs, as they will still work in a powercut. The cordless ones won’t and the mobiles don’t pick reception in the house unless they connect to the WiFi.

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No one has mentioned power over ethernet uses so far.

 

My priorities when wiring my house will be:

 

Support for two WiFi zones that I assume provide automatic handover to the strongest access point.

External WiFi zone to cast a decent signal into the main patio.

Entrance door security cam+speaker via wired POE.

A few external POE security cams plus an internal garage cam, probably won't wire these up until I am half way through retirement.

Two wired telephone sockets because GSM is weak in the village.

Extra isolated wired connection to the home office for network security.

An extra smart router that can fail over to a GSM antenna in the attic because our rural broadband has multiple bad days each month when the data rate plummets from 35 to 0.5.

A cable at each possible TV location. People often recommend two, not sure why?

 

 

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44 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

No one has mentioned power over ethernet uses so far.

 

Not explicitly, but I use PoE for the access points mentioned above. Definitely need to think about this if you want cameras, too.

 

44 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

A cable at each possible TV location. People often recommend two, not sure why?

 

Consoles would be the obvious one if you or your children use them. I believe Sky boxes can use ethernet too (and I'd want a hard connection if I were streaming UHD), plus if you want a Plex-type box or DVR, that's another connection. I think two is the minimum unless you know you won't use any of these things.

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Most Smart TVs now only work on WiFi so unless you have SkyQ (and specifically ask for it to not have over Wifi connectivity) then a single port is fine. Agree with @jack about PoE, and also consider running to a couple of centralised wall or ceiling locations to fit PoE access points. 
I did see a faceplate a couple of weeks ago that gave 2 access points from a single cable but it used all pairs and you would need to be very careful about not putting a PoE injector on that cable ..!!

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4 hours ago, PeterW said:

Most Smart TVs now only work on WiFi 

 

Most? That really, really surprises me. I bought two mid range smart TVs (one Samsung, one Sony) last year, and both have ethernet. I don't recall seeing anything in any of the reviews I read about countless models saying they were wireless only.

 

Sure, you can connect just about everything via WiFi but it's undoubtedly the case that hard wiring is a more robust solution. My experience is that WiFi is sometimes imperfect, and frankly life is too short to be spending any of it sorting out avoidable IT issues.

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@jack did they work out of the box with Ethernet ..? A lot have to be overriden to use the Ethernet if it’s available and reset to WiFi when power is lost (LG for example) so only use it as a backup. Happy if they are available still but the focus seems to be more and more on WiFi enabled which is frustrating and as you say leads to more issues. 

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No, in both cases I just plugged them in.

 

Actually, now I think of it, the Samsung was first used wirelessly because I hadn't yet terminated the CAT6 cable at that location. Once I did that, I just plugged it in and changed the network settings, and it worked fine.

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Smart TVs I’ve seen have Ethernet connection, but tend to default to WiFi as that’s what the masses use.

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