pre-wire at new construction

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magicofdisney

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 26, 2007
50
0
Tomorrowland
Hi,

We're building a home and having pre-wiring for satellite because I don't want any holes drilled through the walls. Can anyone help me out by telling me exactly what is needed to make this successful? We have 3 dvr's (1 HD and 2 SD) with an OTA antenna that appears to have an amplifier. The guy setting everything up makes it sound like he knows what he's doing and at this point I have no reason to not believe him. But if at the end of the day I'm told someone needs to drill holes to run the appropriate wires, I'm gonna go balistic. I guess what I most need to know is what type of outside access will be easiest for the installer and how should this connect to the inside box he's set up in our utility room? Thanks for any info offered.
 

HDTVFanAtic

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 23, 2005
1,973
0
Hi,

We're building a home and having pre-wiring for satellite because I don't want any holes drilled through the walls. Can anyone help me out by telling me exactly what is needed to make this successful? We have 3 dvr's (1 HD and 2 SD) with an OTA antenna that appears to have an amplifier. The guy setting everything up makes it sound like he knows what he's doing and at this point I have no reason to not believe him. But if at the end of the day I'm told someone needs to drill holes to run the appropriate wires, I'm gonna go balistic. I guess what I most need to know is what type of outside access will be easiest for the installer and how should this connect to the inside box he's set up in our utility room? Thanks for any info offered.

It sounds like everything is being homerun to your utility room, which is good and means the person might actually have a clue.

Bottom line, you can never run enough while the walls are open as you never know how things will change in the future.

Furthermore, pre-wiring has the most ability to be damaged when construction continues - whether an accident or not.

Bottom line, is take what you think you'll need and double (or even triple) it.

This includes phone lines and CAT 6 as well.

Some would even advise you to run a fiber optic line as well.

Furthermore, I would advise you running at least dedicated 20 AMP (not typical 15 amp) circuits to the family room to a dedicated outlet for just the Audio Visual Equipment (or 1 to the TV and one to a where the audio video equipment is).

Better to be prepared.
 

lou_do

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 2, 2005
957
0
Central Maine
Hi,

We're building a home and having pre-wiring for satellite because I don't want any holes drilled through the walls. Can anyone help me out by telling me exactly what is needed to make this successful? We have 3 dvr's (1 HD and 2 SD) with an OTA antenna that appears to have an amplifier. The guy setting everything up makes it sound like he knows what he's doing and at this point I have no reason to not believe him. But if at the end of the day I'm told someone needs to drill holes to run the appropriate wires, I'm gonna go balistic. I guess what I most need to know is what type of outside access will be easiest for the installer and how should this connect to the inside box he's set up in our utility room? Thanks for any info offered.

Make sure you have them run 2 lines to each satellite antenna outlet, for the DVRs. And as HDTVFanAtic states, have them also run Cat 6 cable in each room, back to a patch panel. There are so many new ways of using it to move data, audio, and video between multimedia devices, if you don't need it today, you will in the future. I am going through that now, trying to add it to my house. With all the problems I am running into I wish I had done it originally 3 years ago, when it was built.
 

HDTVFanAtic

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 23, 2005
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BTW, I do mean CAT 6 - not CAT5 - not CAT5e

People who only put in CAT5 5 years ago cannot use the 1Gb NICs - or the faster ones that are already coming out.

It's not worth it to skimp or it may be literally worthless.

In all honesty, if I were building again, I would run pvc piping to each room so I could snake whatever wiring I needed to in the future.
 

ChrisClearman

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 19, 2007
86
0
I'd put 3 coax runs (2 for dual tuners, 1 for real OTA) to each room you plan on having nice TV set-ups.

Phone isn't really necessary, but you might as well if you are running it.
 

cybertrip

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 9, 2005
227
0
Mojave Desert
You don't need 3 coax runs for OTA + 2 sat feeds. That's what Diplexers are for. I would recommend running 4 coax cables to each room. 2 cables on walls opposite from each other. I recommend running 4 CAT6 cables in the same manner. You can use the CAT6 for either voice or data. Just make sure you label the outlets correctly. I would use keystone jacks and have the two CAT6 cables use different colored jacks so you don't confuse one for voice and it actually be data and then fry your phone.

I also recommend running four coax cables from the utility room to the position that would be best for your dish. Place the D-Mark box underneath the eave so it is less noticeable and easier for the technician to work in. I also recommend two coax cables going to your Cable TV D-Mark just in case you want a cable modem or decide to switch to Cable TV later.

CAT6 is not necessary, but recommend due to standards. I have used 10 year old 400' CAT5 cable for 1gb ethernet without any major problems. Every once in a while there would be some packet loss. But I believe that was due to the length. I have used CAT5 and CAT5e in shorter lengths without any problems at all. CAT6 is more expensive but is highly recommended.

Also, fiber optic to the rooms... I think that's ridiculous considering Ethernet is usually preferred over fiber due to the cost. I believe Verizon is using ethernet to their tuner boxes. I would say put a conduit from your cabling closet/utility room to the phone D-Mark and let Verizon deal with running any fiber in the future.
 

jpn

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2005
756
0
You don't need 3 coax runs for OTA + 2 sat feeds. That's what Diplexers are for.

Actually the HR20 requires a separate home run for each sat tuner. Diplexers do not work with it. It's all over the D* DVR forum. We're not talking about DISH hardware.
 

AllieVi

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 11, 2003
943
0
Temecula, CA (area)
... In all honesty, if I were building again, I would run pvc piping to each room so I could snake whatever wiring I needed to in the future.
Bingo!

That's the best approach for new construction. Don't worry so much about the cables you need now. Instead, make it possible to install/change them later. PVC conduit is relatively cheap and easy to install. Use the largest possible (1" is a good size) and run it into the walls that you won't be able to access after they're finished. If you think you'll need lots of cables somewhere, install multiple conduits.
 

dishrich

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
3,290
342
Springfield, IL
You don't need 3 coax runs for OTA + 2 sat feeds. That's what Diplexers are for.

No, diplexors are a SECOND best way of making do with something that SHOULD have been done with separate cables to begin with. :rolleyes:
In many cases, such as on the D* HD dish, you CANNOT used diplexors at all, so that's a moot point! The actual cost of an extra coax run will most likely be LESS than the cost of your diplexors, as well. It is SO much less of a hassle to be able to work with totally separate coax feeds at both ends, instead of having to contend with the extra cabling associated with the diplexors.

IMHO, at least in your "main" viewing areas (TV room, Den, etc) I would run no less than FOUR coax's to each location where you might place your A/V equipment. (2 from a dish feed f/a dual-tuner DVR, 1 for an OTA &/or cable feed, & 1 to be able to backfeed from your receiver (via a modulator) to the rest of your house. I consider any location where you want to place a satellite receiver a "main" viewing area, so what I said above would apply to ALL of these locs. In locations where you most likely would NOT put a receiver (like a bathroom, kitchen, etc) then maybe 1 or 2 coax runs would suffice.

I've done several pre-wires like this & when the clients saw the end results, they were VERY happy that I ran the extra coax, which was a minimal cost while the walls were open. :) ;) It was also SO easy for me, for when move-in time came around, I was able to quickly get all the satellite receivers up & running AND backfed throughout the house in minimal time.
 
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peid

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Dec 22, 2003
227
0
South Dakota
I would do 4 coax in each room. 2 for DVR, 1 for OTA Antenna, 1-for Backfeed.

I would do 2 Cat6 in each room.

I would do speaker wires in each room for in ceiling speakers with individual wall controls.

Outlets, lots of them, everywhere. Not the 12' rule but more like the 6' rule. Switch all of the tops OR bottoms of each outlet for floors lamps, table lamps etc.

Wall sconces in theater room on both sides to simulate an actual theater.

Motion activated lighting in "walk-through" rooms.

In-wall low watt lighting on all steps areas.

That's about all I can think of for now.
 

Happy Camper

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 20, 2005
264
0
Central Texas
The advice you are getting here is terrific, especially when you are advised to double everything you think you'll need. We built our house in 2000, and I ran four lines of RG6 coax to our downstairs den home theater location.

Now, we have two lines hooked up to an HR10-250 TiVo, 2 lines hooked up to an HR 10 which is hooked into a whole house output modulator feed (one more line going backwards to the hub-we are now on five total), one antenna line hooked into the Sony television tuner, one more antenna line hooked into the HR10-250 OTA tuner and one antenna line hooked into the FM antenna terminal on my HT receiver. That's eight lines, and we do not have a particularly elaborate setup. We could have added yet another line for the tuner on our DVD player/recorder.

Modern stuff has lots of tuners and inputs-so put in at least two RG6 lines and a cat 5 bundle into EVERY room in the house, including the master bathroom, and then customize your TV and home theater locations, with as many as eight to ten lines. Put at least CAT 5 everywhere you want a phone, also.

One additional thought-new fiber optic systems, including Verizon FIOS, send telephone, (and video if you like, but also works on RG6 cable) over Cat 5 lines inside your house. You can't enough of those, either.

For power, we have two 20 amp lines to each home theater location, one for sound and one for video. Works best if you tell your electrician to put these circuits on seperate rails.
 
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Happy Camper

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 20, 2005
264
0
Central Texas
I get the point about Cat 6 also-it really is not much of an expense if you are prewiring-in any event, put in lots of it. Cat 5e works for us, but why not go as far into the future as possible.

Also, make sure you know where your antenna and dish is going to go (or cable input, or FIOS junction box). I know very few people now who do not have at least a 5x6 or 5x8 multiswitch off their dish, and most people have from two to six televisions (we have nine)-lots of wires is the point and prewiring is so incredibly easy and cheap. Retro-wiring is expensive and sometimes a nightmare.

I have NEVER talked to anyone who thought they put in too many wires in a prewire!:)

If you get any more complex than this, consult an HT professional, CEDIA qualified. Modern whole house sound, video and control systems can get pretty complex. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of OOOPs.
 

jpn

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2005
756
0
In all honesty, if I were building again, I would run pvc piping to each room so I could snake whatever wiring I needed to in the future.

Sure, but 2 things:
1, the cost. it could be a LOT of PVC. I know small amounts are cheap, but to do it your way means a lot of PVC home-runs and it's going to add-up fast.

2, physical limitations. you're limited in the diameter you can run through your studs. Realistically a 2x4 interior wall is going to be limited to 1-inch OD PVC. Right off, that's going to limit the wiring you can snake through it. most likely you won't get more than (2) coax and (1) cat-6, and that's not considering the elbows.
 

Happy Camper

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 20, 2005
264
0
Central Texas
We ran ONE pvc pipe from the attic down to the main junction box in the garage-the junction box being the location for our video distribution amplifier, etc. I agree with JPN that running pvc all over the house would have resulted, in our case, with more pipes for wires than for water and sewer and would have been a cosmic expense. Also, I'm fairly sure I'd have had to hire a plumbing contractor to do that much pvc in a bare bones home structure. Goodness, that's a LOT of pipe in a two story house. (we have each room wired, for instance, with Cat 5e and between two and eight strands of RG 6-yikes! We do not have whole house audio except through the video system, and our control system is all RF with IR blasters, with no room wall boxes)

PVC for critical runs in areas where you are likely to change wires makes sense, though. Just not a lot of it.

Isn't the lesson of this thread that you should 1.) plan carefully, 2.) over estimate expansion for future needs, 3.) prewire as much as possible while you can see all the studs and electrical, 4.) don't forget dedicated electrical lines and Cat 6, etc.?

Did we say that you should put in more than you think you'll need and do it very early in the construction process, hopefully with a pro?

To add to being perplexed-we have two rooms with wall and ceiling speakers-prewiring was a must for this stuff-going back later would have been a nightmare.

Those of you with one story houses and attic access are to be envied.
 
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AllieVi

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 11, 2003
943
0
Temecula, CA (area)
We ran ONE pvc pipe from the attic down to the main junction box in the garage-the junction box being the location for our video distribution amplifier, etc. I agree with JPN that running pvc all over the house would have resulted, in our case, with more pipes for wires than for water and sewer and would have been a cosmic expense. ...
I disagree about the relative expense.

A few years ago I wired my house while it was being built. At first I pre-wired directly onto the studs using dual RG-6 and dual Cat5 to lots of places that I didn't know if I'd need or not, "just-in-case". About midway in the project I began using conduit. I'm kicking myself for not doing it all with conduit.

I now know that many of those "just in case" cables will probably never be used and they weren't free. On a cents per foot basis, they cost more than conduit would.

Shortly after I installed the Cat5, Cat5e became the standard. Soon Cat6 will be the norm, but my pre-wired cables won't be easy to replace.

Electrical PVC conduit with an internal diameter of 1" costs about 25 cents a foot. If you need 1000' of it to do your house, that's $250. Add $50 for "sweeps (i.e., "elbows") and cement. Smaller, 3/4" diameter conduit would cut about $100 off that total cost. It could be used in places where you know you'd never need more than a couple cables.

A thin-wall variety of PVC pipe used in irrigation systems allows even more space inside (since the outside diameter is the same) and costs a lot less. I don't know if it meets building codes, though.
 
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