What cable do I need to install?

If you've done you're planning you should know the answer.  But sometimes it's hard to know what you want when the chance comes to blanket cable your house.  It really depends on what you are trying to achieve but the most important seems to be video, audio, ethernet and phone.

rack_hole_coax

Here's a list of the cable types you'll need to install.

HDMI

Run a cable to everyroom with a TV if you can.  You can cover longer distances using Cat 5 and a Balun.  HDMI carries sound so it's a very effiecient way of transporting audio and video down one cable.

 

Component Video

Gives a great picture and has the ability to view older devices if required.  Sky+ is a good example of using component via a RGB to Component converter. You can use Sat grade 75 ohm coax to run your component cable which reduces costs massively.  I have used this in my house and it works very well.

 

Coax cable

Don't underestimate it! I run 6 coax cables to each room.  3 for video, 2 for audio and 1 for IR and UHF.  I make all my audio leads from sat grade 75ohm coax  using  R6 twist on F connector fittings.  Like the ones you see on the back of your Sky box but gold.  The quality is always superb and I'm fairly fussy.

 

Cat 5/6

You are always going to need Cat 5 or 6, so put as much as you can in.  I ran 4 Cat5's to each room.  You can use them for anything from ethernet, phone, video, audio, hdmi, dvi, component to simple IR transmission so always best to have a few spare as they don't take up much space.

rack_patch_panel

Here's all my cat 5 coming into my rack and patched in to my Belkin patch panel.  Most probably best to patch it in first whilst you have the space.  You don't have to have a patch panel if you know what you're going to do with every cat 5 cable.  But a patch panel gives you the flexiblity to move anything to anything.  It also keeps unused cables out of the way.

 

Speaker Cable

Always best to buy this in 100m rolls.  If you're installing ceiling speakers you'll need quite alot.  Make sure you buy quality cable but you really don't have go stupid for rooms which won't project the sound properly such as bathrooms.  I used ProPower 1.5 sq mm oxygen free copper speaker cable.

ceiling_cable_first_fix

The cables needed to put in a 5.1 surround system with LCD or plasma display via Component video, HMDI or Cat 5.

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