Prewiring for new construction

J

jarrodk

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Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 13, 2006
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I am in the process of building a new house, and am running all of my coax cables to one location in the basement. How do I determine the following:

1) Where will the DISH Network dish need to be located on my house;
2) if it's the opposite end of my central location of all coax cables, what cable type (and how many cables) do I need to run from the proposed dish location to the central location?

I'm assuming I'll need RG6 cable, but that it will need to run directly from the dish location to the location of each receiver.

Ideally, I'd like to have it prewired so I do not need to drill holes in the new walls and/or fish wiring through the siding.

Also, which dish should I be looking at installing for bext long-term flexibility? Is the SuperDish the way to go?

Thanks,
Jarrod
 
B

bhelms

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Without more information about your location, what equipment you have or will be buying, or what programming you want, this is a bit tough to answer precisely. You should run at least 2 RG-6 coaxes from your central location to each receiving location and you will probably want at least 3 RG-6 coaxes from the dish location to the equipment central location, and perhaps another for an OTA antenna. I usually tell folks to figure out the max. possible number of cables they can envision ever needing, then add one or two more! The real expense is in the labor to pull the cables, not in the wire itself, and that effort is certainly lowest when you're framed and before the insulation goes in. Talk to your electrical contractor to find out when he plans to be done, then follow him. Don't route low voltage wiring in the same places where it will be close to the power wiring, and don't run parallel to it as much as possible.

For your question 1), you should probably have a local installer come out to your site to find the best location(s) based on possible LOS issues. No one here can really answer that one without some additional information, but you should probably avoid a roof mount if at all possible.

For 2), the cable type won't vary unless you're talking over about 150'.

Prewiring is certainly advisable. Have you considered ALL the low-voltage possibilities: communications, entertainment (speakers), intercom/whole-house music, data network, home automation, security, CCTV, etc. Some folks will prewire for all. Some will put in conduit to facilitate future wiring and/or optical cable. YMMV...

Welcome, BTW...
 
Last edited:
D

dougmcbride

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 10, 2004
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Do a net search on "Structured Wiring" using your favorite search engine. Lots of good info out there.

Also, welcome!
 
Van

Van

SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,326
10
Virginia Beach
Lots of missing information, best thing to do is to have someone come out and wire up the house from a local company or from any of us on here who have cable and satellite experience on the installation side such as myself or simplesimon or webbydude depending on where your at.
 
J

jarrodk

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Jun 13, 2006
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Sorry about the lack of info, that's what you get from a newbie. ;)

I'm located near Gettysburg, PA. Right now I'm using a 511 on 2 TV's and a 322 for 2 other TV's. I'm extremely technical with networking, but have had little experience with Dish's hardware. The walls in the house are still open, and I have run telephone, CAT6 (which I believe is backward-compatible with CAT5e), and (probably only "normal") coax cable, with all wiring running from a central location in the basement to each room individually. Also ran the connection and electrical box for the HD projector in the home theater room. Passed on the security system, but I am wiring for internal surround sound as well as outside speakers. I'm currently subscribed to the 120 package with no current a la carte, though that's bound to change. No high-def yet, but I obviously would like to have that capability available for when I do subscribe.

Basically, the current plan is to either move Dish with me, or leave for a few months and then return. Just wondering how best to have it prewired so an installation crew does not need to drill too many holes in the new stone side of the house. I'd also like to upgrade the receivers if it's time to do that. I don't have VOD yet, and would like to have that availability sometime in the near future.

Thanks again for the feedback, some pretty smart people in this group!
 
osu1991

osu1991

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 4, 2004
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Wire is inexpensive to run when the walls are open. I personally have 6 coax runs from a box where my dishes are mounted into my media closet. I want to have enough to play around with Fta or whatever DISH might have in the future. I have 2 cat6 data cables running to each location from the media closet and 2 rg6 coax running to guest rooms and garage and patios for disributed signals. I actually have 9 rg 6 cables in the living rm, master bd, game rm, and office, so I can distribute HD with component video and have OTA and SAT from any of those rooms with just the 622 currently. It's overkill but works with all the new HDTV's I have bought in the last 2 years and all the other equipment I have accumulated over the years and still use. Normally for most people I will run 4 rg6 coax ( 2 for sat,1 for OTA, and 1 for backfeeds) in the main viewing area. I run everything to a central media closet inclosure and then go from there to individual locations.
 
J

jarrodk

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 13, 2006
19
0
Thanks OSU. I'm thinking I should get some RG6 cable and run it to some/all of the rooms. Another question (maybe I should start a new thread for this)--any way possible to have the DVR received in one room, and run it to all of the other rooms in the house? I'd like to avoid having non-DVR receivers in the house.
 
osu1991

osu1991

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Sep 4, 2004
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Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
That why I have all the cable to distribute component video. My 622 resides in one room and I use the hdmi on that tv and I also send the hd via the component outputs to two other hdtv's. So I can use the dvr from that one receiver on any of those tv's. I send tuner 2 which is sd out to the remaining rooms via the rf modulator. So any tv in the house can access the dvr material. At the time I was worried about distributing dvi or hdmi over a long distance and I knew I could do it with component. I used about 3000ft of rg6 and 1000 ft of cat6 and 1500 feet of shealthed two conductor speaker wire as I have surround and audio in the walls and ceilings of most of the rooms.
 
R

rickaren

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 7, 2004
421
3
IN
jarrodk said:
I am in the process of building a new house, and am running all of my coax cables to one location in the basement. How do I determine the following:

1) Where will the DISH Network dish need to be located on my house;
2) if it's the opposite end of my central location of all coax cables, what cable type (and how many cables) do I need to run from the proposed dish location to the central location?

I'm assuming I'll need RG6 cable, but that it will need to run directly from the dish location to the location of each receiver.

Ideally, I'd like to have it prewired so I do not need to drill holes in the new walls and/or fish wiring through the siding.

Also, which dish should I be looking at installing for bext long-term flexibility? Is the SuperDish the way to go?

Thanks,
Jarrod



Welcome Jarrod!

Here is what I did and this may help guide you.


Home Distribution System

Well here is what I did 5 years ago and at present do I look smart. Is this future-proof, who knows? I ran two RG-6 cables to two locations in most rooms. The thinking was one-in and one-out, or two-in. I had one location in the kitchen and sewing room, but all other rooms have two, just in case rooms are re-arranged. I also did the same with phone lines. Two lines everyplace I put phone lines (like any location I could place a TV in the future) and close to any TWO video cable install. I figured that could be on the wall like a Plasma flat screen, and maybe that TV signal would come by phone lines? Remember this was five years ago, and now that is about to happen.

I then had all cables (something like 24?) ran to the garage where I had installed a video distribution cabinet in the wall with a powered electric outlet. I also purchased a powered video 3X8 distribution panel to mount inside. These items were purchased from Smarthome.com, back then. I had numerous cables ran to the back of my big screen as outputs (could be inputs). I had five cables ran from the satellite dish to this location. I later added another four, but now the “single cable solution” is available from DISH and soon from DirecTV. With DVRs taking two input cables in the past, I ran out of cables, but now that may not be an issue.

I had Cable TV for locals back then and used it w/o power to feed them to one of five CRT TVs, and also DirecTV from one of two receivers to every other location. With the SD DirecTV Tivo (not the HD DVR) I could run the extra output to any room(s). Worked fantastic, with great PQ, just used the proper cable and proper splitter. I could run any source that used cable to and from any TV.

I added the original VOOM HD to my DirecTV complete with their free OTA outside antenna, then DISH to my DirecTV to keep VOOM programming. Their 942 and now their VIP 622 DVR have SD output so I use the TWO RG-6 as inputs to my new three LCD screens and even my Windows XP Media Edition computer! I am using the powered 3X8 now with great results.

I can view any SD DirecTV Tivo DVR live or recorded program on all five screens. I can view any DISH SD or HD recorded or live on all five screens plus OTA live or recorded since the OTA old VOOM antenna is utilized. I did use a low tech A/B chrome slide switch @ each screen (3 LCDs and computer) and made custom RG-6 cables. I programmed each set for only two stations and also the media player. The A/B switches are marked “DirecTV” and ”VOOM” (DISH) so all you need to do is place it in the proper input position and the hit the channel up or down once.

I bought a Tivo remote from Weakness that controls both of my Tivo DVRs (one SD & one HD) modified it to be a whole house remote. The DISH DVR comes with a second whole-house remote anyway. We can control input and DVRs from any location in the house. I can be watching something in the “Home Theater Room” or on the computer in my home office and she can be watching something else (and skipping commercials if she wants) in her sewing room. It is a really user friendly system that even my Wife can use! Yes there are only two of us with five screens. Stranger yet to most of our friends is that we usually never watch “Live TV”. It is common here but not main stream.

It was not expensive to install as we had the house built. I was really concerned since this is our last home being in a retirement community when you must be 55 and older (except for maybe a nursing or funeral home!) and is built on a slab with brick walls. I have never owed a home before that I couldn’t run cables in a craw or basement. Our previous home was also custom built and we realized how much pleasure and cost savings could be accomplished with just a little planning. Right now I couldn’t be happier with our video set-up, DISH and the LCDs PQ (yes computer screen is a LCD, too). Can’t say much good about DirecTV presently, but maybe that will change next year. GOOD LUCK and enjoy!
 
D

delos

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Jan 3, 2005
58
0
Port Ludlow, WA
jarrodk said:
Thanks OSU. I'm thinking I should get some RG6 cable and run it to some/all of the rooms. Another question (maybe I should start a new thread for this)--any way possible to have the DVR received in one room, and run it to all of the other rooms in the house? I'd like to avoid having non-DVR receivers in the house.

I wired my own home while under construction. I put an outdoor box at the back of a chimny and ran 5 x rg6 too it and back to my home run panel. then from there I ran 2 x rg6 and 3 x cat5 to each room. You can run HDTV over the cat5 now with good results. You can run stereo and composite over cat5 and of course network and phones. Use two gang low voltage rings in each room do not use electrical boxes they are too small. I did run 3 cat5s to each HD tv for component HD and that is works great.

I have two recievers at my home run box and I distribute the audio and video from there. . Some TV's like the guest room get RF from the 622, some get composite and the rest HD. My home run box is an equipment closet and I have stereo and alarm stuff in there as well. It all works good and it is flexible to make changes.
 
C

cleve_dnsc_tech

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 25, 2006
48
0
Avon, Ohio
As DNSC tech we love walking into a house that has been prewired. My company uses a dual line that has 2 RG6 lines and a tracer groung line molded together. All installs done now are required to be bonded to the house I.E. house #6 ground. When it comes to running your house lines I would recommend running at least 2 if not 3 lines to every corner in each room with an extra conduit with a string in it I know this may seem like over kill but, if your wife is anything like mine and wants to rearrang the room 6 times a year you'll thank me cause this will make things much easier. I would also recommend labling each line, i have seen this done several diff ways some run a black and a white line them lable them, others have used some sort of color code with colored electrical tape, but this will be a HUGE time saver. All the lines might seem a lil overboard but if ya think about what might be, think back 6 yrs ago dish didnt have dual tuners then when we got them we didnt have the pro plus technology so we had to run 2 lines to the reciever and 1 to the tv2 location... ya never know what might happen or what ya might want to do...ya dont wanna go and say "damit if i had only....." spend the extra $$ and time now and save your self alot of head achs in the future.

Now what type of dish to use dish would be the best to answer that question....
Super dishes up here in cleveland are used just for internationals...but in toledo and some areas in southern ohio they need a SD for locals.. but from what i hear that will be changing if i were you i would wait till the new D500+ the D1000+ and the D1000.2 come out in a few weeks. Also if your gonna be a new cust i guess there well be some pretty good promos comming out july 1st.

And if you were to give me your zip code i could tell ya about were to look with a compass in the sky.
 
SimpleSimon

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
3
Florissant, CO
cleve_dnsc_tech said:
As DNSC tech we love walking into a house that has been prewired.
ROFLMAO! :D

To me, and most other installers,we HATE to hear "It's pre-wired".

Too many of us have seen the junk jobs done by electricans and "my friend that knows computers" (aside: Yes, Mr. "extremely technical with networking", Cat6 does everything Cat5 does).

Anyway, if you listen to those that have posted here before me and overkill the wiring, you'll be OK. Don't forget - phone/LAN at EVERY location that might ever
have a receiver.
 
J

jarrodk

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 13, 2006
19
0
WOW! This is all coming in a bit over my head. A contractor ran our standard coax cabling, and I left a message for him last night to determine what type of cable he ran. I already ran Cat5e for phone, and Cat6 for ethernet (hoping to eventually move to gigabit speeds for transfer). I'm thinking I'll need to contact a Dish Network installer to determine the exact location of my dish so I can run RG6 cabling through the rough-in. It is also sounding like I should run more RG6 cable to each room, even if the contractor did run RG6 cables for TV.

Excuse my lack of technical expertise, but where can I find the components and/or a diagram as to how to hook all of this up from a single location in the basement to share DVR with all TV's in the house? If I want to hook up 5 TV's, will I need 3 receivers? It's sounding like I can accomplish this with one DVR receiver run through a single location in the house but operated from any room. This would be excellent if it's possible--it's saving a minimum of $10/month while also allowing DVR to be viewable in any room. I'm just trying to see past the current setup and understand what I need to allow multiple room output (since my current setup only allows viewing on the receiver TV and on channel 60 of the non-receiver TV by UHF remote).

Sorry, not up to speed yet. You guys are EXTREMELY knowledgeable with this!
 
J

jarrodk

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 13, 2006
19
0
cleve_dnsc_tech said:
As DNSC tech we love walking into a house that has been prewired. My company uses a dual line that has 2 RG6 lines and a tracer groung line molded together. All installs done now are required to be bonded to the house I.E. house #6 ground. When it comes to running your house lines I would recommend running at least 2 if not 3 lines to every corner in each room with an extra conduit with a string in it I know this may seem like over kill but, if your wife is anything like mine and wants to rearrang the room 6 times a year you'll thank me cause this will make things much easier. I would also recommend labling each line, i have seen this done several diff ways some run a black and a white line them lable them, others have used some sort of color code with colored electrical tape, but this will be a HUGE time saver. All the lines might seem a lil overboard but if ya think about what might be, think back 6 yrs ago dish didnt have dual tuners then when we got them we didnt have the pro plus technology so we had to run 2 lines to the reciever and 1 to the tv2 location... ya never know what might happen or what ya might want to do...ya dont wanna go and say "damit if i had only....." spend the extra $$ and time now and save your self alot of head achs in the future.

Now what type of dish to use dish would be the best to answer that question....
Super dishes up here in cleveland are used just for internationals...but in toledo and some areas in southern ohio they need a SD for locals.. but from what i hear that will be changing if i were you i would wait till the new D500+ the D1000+ and the D1000.2 come out in a few weeks. Also if your gonna be a new cust i guess there well be some pretty good promos comming out july 1st.

And if you were to give me your zip code i could tell ya about were to look with a compass in the sky.
BTW, my zip is 17331.
 
osu1991

osu1991

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 4, 2004
9,939
2,362
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Quote
Excuse my lack of technical expertise, but where can I find the components and/or a diagram as to how to hook all of this up from a single location in the basement to share DVR with all TV's in the house? If I want to hook up 5 TV's, will I need 3 receivers? It's sounding like I can accomplish this with one DVR receiver run through a single location in the house but operated from any room. This would be excellent if it's possible--it's saving a minimum of $10/month while also allowing DVR to be viewable in any room."


It depends on how many tvs you want to be able to watch live tv of different channels on at the same time. One dual tuner receiver like 622 can watch live tv on two separate tvs or one live program and one dvr program on the other tvs or two separate dvr programs on two tvs. If you have more than two people wanting to watch different programming at the same time then you may want more than one receiver.

I use open house wiring enclosures, network distribution hub and component video distribution amps, that I get from parts express. I don't know about wiring diagrams, I run everything into the wiring enclosures in a central location and then from the wiring enclosure to each room.
 
B

bhelms

Retired & lovin' it!
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
7,795
853
Central PA
You should be able to read the coax type printed on its outer jacket. Try that first. If it's not RG-6 then it will be RG-59, which can still work in most applications. (It's more "lossy" hence not preferred in most situations, but it's still 75-ohm impedance and over short distances should be OK.) It's a judgment call. If it's RG-59 then you might want to replace it now with RG-6 while you still can easily.

The number of receivers you'll want is really a question of how many different programs you want to watch at one time in different locations (don't forget the PIP feature in TVs that have it require multiple program sources). Answer that question first then you can determine how many "tuners" you'll want, but allow that you may want to upgrade/expand at some future point. Receivers/DVRs can always be "backfed" into your whole-house distribution system to allow you to receive their signals remotely and most now have UHF remote controls so you can operate them from remote locations. Or you can centralize the receivers. If you're sending HD from a central location, that will require some special accommodations but it's easily done.

In the example you gave, you could have a single ViP622 DVR. It could be located in the area where you want the HD TV. Then it's second TV output (SD only) could be fed into the whole house distribution system. From any remote location you could watch whatever is on tuner 1 or 2, or the OTA tuner, or the recorder. That's just one example. OSU1991 gave you a solution where you can feed the HD signal to all locations from one HD tuner, so that's another possibility. You should spend some time planning your system based on what you know now, and that will get you started. Following the advice to run multiple cables to multiple locations in each room and/or conduit gives you the flexibility to expand or change the system in the future...
 
J

Jared Twomey

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Supporting Founder
Mar 7, 2005
2,066
0
Tacoma, WA
SimpleSimon said:
ROFLMAO! :D

To me, and most other installers,we HATE to hear "It's pre-wired".

Too many of us have seen the junk jobs done by electricans and "my friend that knows computers" (aside: Yes, Mr. "extremely technical with networking", Cat6 does everything Cat5 does).

Anyway, if you listen to those that have posted here before me and overkill the wiring, you'll be OK. Don't forget - phone/LAN at EVERY location that might ever
have a receiver.

To an extent I agree with you on fearing a "pre-wire" job. But it depends on who did the prewire. If it was the electrican, when I run into my first problem, the first thing I do is pull the plate off the wall, because, at least around here, electrican's use those cheap screw-on connectors, and don't realize that stripping needs to be done carefully, or you cause shorts.
But around here more and more prewires are being done by the satellite companys... more and more people getting burned by an electrican that says it'll work for satellite, then we have to come out and break the news to the customer that personally I wont use RG59 to run a DPP system with seperator and diplexor...

As far as your question goes, I do at least 2 wires to each tv location, maybe just 1 to small rooms (bathrooms, kitchen, ect)... 2 cat6 to all tv locations(for phone and networking) and then 2 more rg6 to home office. All wiring into a closet or basement... also at juntion point I would have an outlet wired up. You might end up putting the receivers, distribution amps, ect there.
Then as far as the dish goes... I would do at least 5 RG6 from your junction point to either the dish location, or to the attic (if you plan on having the dish on the roof)
 
R

RVD420

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 4, 2004
902
0
Parts Unknown
Should have atleast 2 RG6 and 2 Cat6 to each room.

All going to a central location.

The dish will have up to 4 RG6 cables running to the central location.
 
Stargazer

Stargazer

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Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
16,565
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Western WV
That is what I plan on doing, putting 2 RG-6 at each connection location along with two phone wires and I am going to have an electrical outlet near where those will be at as well. All would go to a central location where they would get the feed whether it be from the satellite / switch or from a receiver or splitter. Do not forget to label all of the wires. Otherwise you will be testing each wire to figure out which is going where (if you have a signal meter like me and connect it to a satellite receiver to see which one lights up the meter). Where can someone find the cheapest CAT6 wire at?
 
J

jarrodk

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 13, 2006
19
0
I purchase 2 500-ft boxes of CAT6 and a 12-point patch panel for $147 delivered. Didn't seem like a bad price at the time.

So I now have five (5) RG-6 cables run from the basement to the location where the dish will be. But I only have one (1) RG-6 cable in each room. I'm assuming I should put a second cable (at the minimum) in each room where a receiver will be located. But Dish mention a DP-34 of DPP-44 switch to be used depending on which dish I use.

Any easy way to explain how to push the signal out from a central location in the basement to each TV location in the house? My current plan is to run 2 cables to each receiver, using one in and one out (which will go back to the basement, and run out to the other connected TV).

Thanks,
Jarrod
 

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