Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

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unclescrooge
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Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:46 pm

I've gutted a house down to the studs and now am in the process of renovating it.

It occurred to me I should probably prewire it for Direct tv and internet.
Is it worth it to get an installer out to do this?

Has anyone gone through this process? Any do's or don'ts?

renue74
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by renue74 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:52 pm

I'm doing this now. I bought a 1935 craftsman bungalow.....to use as a rental. I stripped it down to the studs, removed all the plaster & lath.

It had old knob and tube electrical....which I removed and wired the house with new romex and breaker panel.

I also added a communications panel and will run Cat 6 and Coax from all the bedrooms and living room to the back comms panel.

Why not do it and future proof the house? Yes, I realize wifi is always an option, but with the walls and ceiling open, I cost me and extra $300 in cable to run it myself.

Just be sure the ethernet wire is not running parallel to the electrical wire. That causes interference. Also, they should not be running through same stud wall top plate holes. They should be on their own. The cat and coax cable can run together....they just can't be near the electrical.

Time to run in a 1600 sq/ft bungalow.....about 1/2 day.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:57 pm

The latest greatest DirecTV boxes are wireless.

Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV...all wireless. The new wireless routers can extend to the whole home and service dozens of devices.

Land lines..disappearing.

I would not spend the extra money to run cable, phone, Ethernet to every possible room.
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by NYC_Guy » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:59 pm

Yes, but don't go crazy.

I would not wire for music. I would run Cat 6a to the location for a main office in the house. I'd also think where you would want each wireless access point. These can be hidden in closets. If you have a big house, you may want a few wireless access points. Put an A/C outlet and a Cat 6a port in those locations. I would also run Cat 6a and coax to the places where you would want a TV.

I would have all of the Cat 6a run back to a single managed switch. Something like http://amzn.to/2p4lNIA

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:04 pm

Haven't been in your shoes yet (although I've seen my parents and a close friend both build houses and watched the thought process that went into it), but I'd suggest doing that, especially if you'll be living in the house. I understand it's a lot cheaper to do that wiring in advance while the walls are open. You'll have to give some thought as to where you want the outlets and such, but you'll have the chance to have them exactly where you want. You might also think about whether you want in-wall wiring for speakers, security cameras (depending on where you live), specialized lighting (eg undercabinet lighting, automatic lighting in a closet), and specially placed outlets (e.g., in a cabinet so you can make a device charging shed) (I'm borrowing from a wish list I put together, so perhaps not relevant to you).

I bought a house that had been "renovated' by a flipper (never doing that again...), and for some reason they didn't put in any in-wall TV or ethernet wiring. It actually has worked out okay, but that's because it's a smallish rowhome and I've been able to manage all the needed hookups with wireless tech (e.g., we have a TV upstairs that we run using an Amazon Fire Stick connected to our wireless network), but it would be nice to have had the option to have some hard wiring for these things. For example, we ran the cable outlet straight through the wall right behind the TV in the living room. Works fine (and we've since cut the cord and only get Internet via the cable anyway), but it would have been nice to be able to put the router, network server, and other things upstairs in the office rather than crammed in the TV cabinet. You mentioned Direct TV, so if you have a roof or wall mounted dish, I imagine the wiring would by necessity be more complicated than what I had to do, which probably reinforces doing it while the walls are open.

I'll have to defer to others on cost, etc., but I'll be watching this thread, as I'm considering a reno for our next house purchase in a few years. I and probably others would find it very informative if you reported back on your experience with the reno after it's all done.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:05 pm

bloom2708 wrote:The latest greatest DirecTV boxes are wireless.

Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV...all wireless. The new wireless routers can extend to the whole home and service dozens of devices.

Land lines..disappearing.

I would not spend the extra money to run cable, phone, Ethernet to every possible room.
I'd just say based on my own experience with a "wireless" house that having at least a few hardwired points is helpful and gives you options. So I'd at least do a few key areas (eg office, basement, living room). But from what others are saying, this is cheap relative to the costs of a full gut renovation.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

bloom2708
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:08 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
I'd just say based on my own experience with a "wireless" house that having at least a few hardwired points is helpful and gives you options. So I'd at least do a few key areas (eg office, basement, living room). But from what others are saying, this is cheap relative to the costs of a full gut renovation.
I agree. If you are at the bare studs, doing it yourself and can spend $300 or $400 for some cabling, go for it. A central/accesible media room with lines coming from outside (cable modem, phone line) might be enough.
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Nearly A Moose
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:14 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Nearly A Moose wrote:
I'd just say based on my own experience with a "wireless" house that having at least a few hardwired points is helpful and gives you options. So I'd at least do a few key areas (eg office, basement, living room). But from what others are saying, this is cheap relative to the costs of a full gut renovation.
I agree. If you are at the bare studs, doing it yourself and can spend $300 or $400 for some cabling, go for it. A central/accesible media room with lines coming from outside (cable modem, phone line) might be enough.
Another idea might be to build a tasteful, well-ventilated "electronics/media" closet or cabinet that designed to house all the various gadgets. Run all hard wires to there, and make sure if you put in a wireless router it can reach the rest of the house and if you put in AV equipment, that it can receive signal (so might require and IR repeater). Well-ventilated is key, though.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:30 pm

I would do it. My suggestion, if practical, is to have a distribution panel or "structured media center" in some location where it will be easy to later add a new connection to the outside, like a first floor closet over a crawlspace or against an outside wall, or in the basement. That way, for example, a new connection like fiber or a different TV service can be reasonably added in the future.

From there, my preference is to run coax and a pair of ethernet cables to the living room and master bedroom, and if you have them, bonus room or office. Everything else is much lower priority.

If you're planning to have a nice theater room with surround sound, prewiring for that is also a good idea, as long as you know ahead of time where you actually want everything. If you're even going as far as having all the AV equipment hidden away in a closet, that might be a good place for the distribution panel, too.

Centralized multi-zone sound systems, so you can play music in the kitchen or on the patio from a high quality AV receiver, for example, often seem like a good idea, but it seems like increasingly people are just going the easy route of using stand-alone systems that stream online, or from a PC or network attached storage. Audio isn't very high bandwidth, so those systems should work acceptably with a marginal wifi connection.
renue74 wrote: Just be sure the ethernet wire is not running parallel to the electrical wire. That causes interference. Also, they should not be running through same stud wall top plate holes. They should be on their own. The cat and coax cable can run together....they just can't be near the electrical.
I think code calls for 2 inches of separation between power and low voltage wires if they aren't in conduits. I was taught 12 inches separation for parallel runs of electrical and ethernet as a rule of thumb to avoid interference, but I have had pulls where the building just didn't allow that all the way, and have never had a trouble with a few feet of close parallel wires, even on some runs where the total length was close to 100 meters.

Unclescrooge is talking about hiring an installer to do the work for him, however. The installer should take care of details like this themselves.
NYC_Guy wrote:I would have all of the Cat 6a run back to a single managed switch. Something like http://amzn.to/2p4lNIA
Things like the switch are later details for once you're ready to move in, and most homeowners are not going to be managing their switch. If anything, they'll handle network management from the router and leave any switches they use in their default configuration.

may pop
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by may pop » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:32 pm

In our rentals a box and raceway(pipe to an open area) to prevent the cable "installers from drilling through the outside of the house.

Ron

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unclescrooge
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:56 pm

iamlucky13 wrote: Unclescrooge is talking about hiring an installer to do the work for him, however. The installer should take care of details like this themselves.
I'm fully capable of doing this sort of work myself. But I don't want to. Age and moderate levels of wealth have made me lazy!!!
:mrgreen:

However, based on the excellent responses from all, I think I will run coaxial (RG6?) and ethernet (cat6?) between living room, study and family room.

Seems like something I can do without getting too dirty!

Thanks for the great responses!

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unclescrooge
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:57 pm

NYC_Guy wrote:Yes, but don't go crazy.

I would not wire for music. I would run Cat 6a to the location for a main office in the house. I'd also think where you would want each wireless access point. These can be hidden in closets. If you have a big house, you may want a few wireless access points. Put an A/C outlet and a Cat 6a port in those locations. I would also run Cat 6a and coax to the places where you would want a TV.

I would have all of the Cat 6a run back to a single managed switch. Something like http://amzn.to/2p4lNIA
Thanks for the link! Can I put this in the crawlspace?

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celia
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by celia » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:58 pm

We had to get an electrician to add new wiring when we got FIOS. A few years later, we changed where we wanted the TV and router. :annoyed

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:59 pm

If wired to at least key locations, ie: each floor, with Cat6 then at least you have the option of putting in secondary wireless routers for more access points and better internet signal.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by NYC_Guy » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:21 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
NYC_Guy wrote:Yes, but don't go crazy.

I would not wire for music. I would run Cat 6a to the location for a main office in the house. I'd also think where you would want each wireless access point. These can be hidden in closets. If you have a big house, you may want a few wireless access points. Put an A/C outlet and a Cat 6a port in those locations. I would also run Cat 6a and coax to the places where you would want a TV.

I would have all of the Cat 6a run back to a single managed switch. Something like http://amzn.to/2p4lNIA
Thanks for the link! Can I put this in the crawlspace?
Yes, but you may need occasional access (e.g., to reboot after a power outage). I'd put it someplace that you can reach it without too much trouble. That goes for any portion of the network - modem, router, wireless access point or switch.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:34 pm

celia wrote:We had to get an electrician to add new wiring when we got FIOS. A few years later, we changed where we wanted the TV and router. :annoyed
Yeah, this. I think anything has a high risk of changing over time. the ethernet, coax, and phone lines (remember those) will gradually change. the location you'll want things will change. The items demanding the connectivity will change (10 years ago it was desktop computers, now it's more likely to be a TV).

Also, if you know how well wifi works in your house that would help. For instance, in our house, one wifi router has good coverage every except the downstairs office. so a sort of conduit between those rooms would be useful... but other than that we don't particularly need ethernet.

And i agree that arranging a good access point for outside "stuff" to come in the house (satellite cable internet phone whatever), it useful, because otherwise the installer is just going to start drilling holes in walls, attics, or crawlspaces.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by mccannr » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:36 pm

While you're doing the extra wiring...I'd strongly recommend a careful consideration of where you'll put televisions to ensure proper wires get located behind the TVs so the end result is all wires look hidden. I also have a conduit behind a TV that is really handy. Takes wires to that location from another place, and allowed for new wires to be added through the walls with ease. Technology will change. New wires will be needed. Though I'm sure most will be wireless in the future. I have a piece of plastic twine in the conduit that long enough for me to attach it to a new cable and pull it through. Makes fishing wires easy.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by arsenalfan » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:50 pm

I would consider:
1. Cat6 and power drops in areas where you will put future wifi routers
2. HD antenna wiring coax conduit from attic to your TVs in case you want to cut the cord.
3. Wall Cat6/Coax and AC plates wherever you may put a future TV.
4. In-wall speakers with wire drops to a closet if you want Sonos.

We built a home and put Cat 6 in each bedroom, and did built-in speakers in the walls/ceilings wired to a closet for Sonos for rooms we wanted music. We also did prewires for TV Cat/AC power on the walls in certain rooms.

This was 3 years ago; we only use 4 of the 21 Cat6 drops, for routers and apple TV. Sonos is great, and the home AV rooms are great too (playroom, family room, master bedroom) with minimal clutter. We cut the cord last year, and I do wish we had an attic HD antenna. Just bought a computer printer, and that's wifi.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:25 pm

mccannr wrote:While you're doing the extra wiring...I'd strongly recommend a careful consideration of where you'll put televisions to ensure proper wires get located behind the TVs so the end result is all wires look hidden. I also have a conduit behind a TV that is really handy. Takes wires to that location from another place, and allowed for new wires to be added through the walls with ease. Technology will change. New wires will be needed. Though I'm sure most will be wireless in the future. I have a piece of plastic twine in the conduit that long enough for me to attach it to a new cable and pull it through. Makes fishing wires easy.
By conduit, do you mean PVC tubing?
how is the fishing twine attached?

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unclescrooge
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:26 pm

arsenalfan wrote:I would consider:
1. Cat6 and power drops in areas where you will put future wifi routers
2. HD antenna wiring coax conduit from attic to your TVs in case you want to cut the cord.
3. Wall Cat6/Coax and AC plates wherever you may put a future TV.
4. In-wall speakers with wire drops to a closet if you want Sonos.

We built a home and put Cat 6 in each bedroom, and did built-in speakers in the walls/ceilings wired to a closet for Sonos for rooms we wanted music. We also did prewires for TV Cat/AC power on the walls in certain rooms.

This was 3 years ago; we only use 4 of the 21 Cat6 drops, for routers and apple TV. Sonos is great, and the home AV rooms are great too (playroom, family room, master bedroom) with minimal clutter. We cut the cord last year, and I do wish we had an attic HD antenna. Just bought a computer printer, and that's wifi.
What's an AC plate?

renue74
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by renue74 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:29 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
mccannr wrote:While you're doing the extra wiring...I'd strongly recommend a careful consideration of where you'll put televisions to ensure proper wires get located behind the TVs so the end result is all wires look hidden. I also have a conduit behind a TV that is really handy. Takes wires to that location from another place, and allowed for new wires to be added through the walls with ease. Technology will change. New wires will be needed. Though I'm sure most will be wireless in the future. I have a piece of plastic twine in the conduit that long enough for me to attach it to a new cable and pull it through. Makes fishing wires easy.
By conduit, do you mean PVC tubing?
how is the fishing twine attached?
Common tubing for running cable in the wall from the TV to an outlet is called "smurf tube."

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-2-in- ... lsrc=aw.ds

It's an easy way to run HDMI and cat6....let say you have a flat screen TV above the fireplace. You could run the tube and cables in the wall down to a media center area where you have your equipment.

The twine is pulled in the tube fore future use.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by NYC_Guy » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:42 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
arsenalfan wrote:I would consider:
1. Cat6 and power drops in areas where you will put future wifi routers
2. HD antenna wiring coax conduit from attic to your TVs in case you want to cut the cord.
3. Wall Cat6/Coax and AC plates wherever you may put a future TV.
4. In-wall speakers with wire drops to a closet if you want Sonos.

We built a home and put Cat 6 in each bedroom, and did built-in speakers in the walls/ceilings wired to a closet for Sonos for rooms we wanted music. We also did prewires for TV Cat/AC power on the walls in certain rooms.

This was 3 years ago; we only use 4 of the 21 Cat6 drops, for routers and apple TV. Sonos is great, and the home AV rooms are great too (playroom, family room, master bedroom) with minimal clutter. We cut the cord last year, and I do wish we had an attic HD antenna. Just bought a computer printer, and that's wifi.
What's an AC plate?
An electrical outlet.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:53 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:The latest greatest DirecTV boxes are wireless.

Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV...all wireless. The new wireless routers can extend to the whole home and service dozens of devices.

Land lines..disappearing.

I would not spend the extra money to run cable, phone, Ethernet to every possible room.
I'd just say based on my own experience with a "wireless" house that having at least a few hardwired points is helpful and gives you options. So I'd at least do a few key areas (eg office, basement, living room). But from what others are saying, this is cheap relative to the costs of a full gut renovation.
+1

We have pretty good wireless at home, but the Roku box on Ethernet does feel snappier. Not a deal breaker, but it is noticeable. Btw, the good wireless we enjoy is because we prewired the house, and can have WAPs where we need them.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by kermit » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:27 pm

To everyone saying the future is wireless: you realize that something needs to provide the wireless coverage? And that walls, floors, other electronic devices, etc will prevent a single AP (access point) from covering your entire home? Sure you could buy a single combo router / AP that most people use but you are likely to have dead zones. Now is the time to, very cheaply, plan ahead to prevent that.

You should wire 2 drops into each and every room. Why not 1? Because there is no difference in running 2; your just stringing along an extra cable. You might not use them but the cost is so trivial now and so expensive later that it just makes sense. Have them all run to a central place, plug in a nice POE (power over ethernet) switch there, and litter your home with POE APs like those from Ubiquiti. One per floor is usually enough if they are central but having a drop in each room means you can move them around or add more to remove all dead zones.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:31 pm

bloom2708 wrote:The latest greatest DirecTV boxes are wireless.

Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV...all wireless. The new wireless routers can extend to the whole home and service dozens of devices.

Land lines..disappearing.

I would not spend the extra money to run cable, phone, Ethernet to every possible room.
bloom2708,

I am a wireless network engineer. I prefer wired connection. I wired many walls of my house with dual Ethernet outlets plus one coax cable outlet.

KlangFool

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:35 pm

OP,

1) Run 2 Ethernet cables. If one is broken, you have one more.

2) For the living room, make sure that you have an outlet at every wall. Then, you do not need to extend cables across the living room and cause people to trip over cables.

KlangFool

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by bluebolt » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:30 pm

mccannr wrote:While you're doing the extra wiring...I'd strongly recommend a careful consideration of where you'll put televisions to ensure proper wires get located behind the TVs so the end result is all wires look hidden. I also have a conduit behind a TV that is really handy. Takes wires to that location from another place, and allowed for new wires to be added through the walls with ease. Technology will change. New wires will be needed. Though I'm sure most will be wireless in the future. I have a piece of plastic twine in the conduit that long enough for me to attach it to a new cable and pull it through. Makes fishing wires easy.
+1
I have coax running to every room that has a TV and in each of those rooms there is a separate run of HDMI from where the TV is mounted to where the cable box/Tivo/video input sources are. Also, there's power where every TV is and also where the input devices would be. In the living room, that's in an enclosed cabinet, in the master bedroom it's where the dresser is, in the guest bedroom, also where a dresser/table is.

Not having any wires exposed and having power for the TVs makes a huge difference. No wires anywhere in sight.

The living room is the only place where I have multiple video inputs, so there's a receiver hooked up to the HDMI out that goes to the TV and all the other video sources plug into the HDMI inputs on the receiver.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:41 pm

unclescrooge wrote:I've gutted a house down to the studs and now am in the process of renovating it.

It occurred to me I should probably prewire it for Direct tv and internet.
Is it worth it to get an installer out to do this?

Has anyone gone through this process? Any do's or don'ts?
How about running stereo wire too.? I would love ahome which is fully wired.

hudson
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by hudson » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:46 pm

What about fiber?
This link might help. The author likes CAT5E cable. She says conduit could be installed...with extra pull tapes... so that you can add cabling later.

https://support.google.com/fiber/answer/2657583?hl=en
Last edited by hudson on Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Don_Qua » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:13 pm

It's totally worth it. We just had a new house built and we paid a little extra to have it wired for cat5 and coax for TV with a small data cabinet in the laundry room where all of the cables come together. By doing this I was able to use one of the coax drops to centrally locate the cable modem and wifi router in the livingroom. Another run goes back to the data cabinet and connects to a switch that I installed which allows our PC's to be connected by ethernet. Because of this we get fast connections and none of the Netflix buffering that our wifi only neighbors carp about. There's no way of future proofing a house but you can bring your house into the 21st century. Install the network wiring, you'll be glad you did.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by radiowave » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:58 pm

One other thing to consider while you have bare walls is to prewire for a security system:

- each window hardwired
- all entry doors and garage door
- wire for passive infrared detector (PIR) at key locations
- wire for smoke/CO detectors every floor
- outside wiring for driveway detector or other outside needs like low voltage lights
Find a place to put the security cabinet, possibly collocate with media cabinet.

One other thing to consider is to put spot lights at each corner of the house with local switches also consider prewiring for inside/outdoor cameras. Possibly a camera at the front door hook to the door bell. If you want to get creative, consider a home automation build. The one thing that is a problem is the small junction boxes for switches. Rewire with the largest electrical junction box you can find. That gives you an option to install Insteon or Z-Wave. Note Insteon needs a white neutral wire to work for most applications. look up Smarthome.com for more info on the possibilities.
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by radiowave » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:00 pm

One other thing, having a hardwired LAN port in key places where you hook up your laptop, printer, etc. adds an extra layer of security rather than wireless. Put in a multiport switch and you're all set.
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:15 pm

renue74 wrote:
Just be sure the ethernet wire is not running parallel to the electrical wire. That causes interference. Also, they should not be running through same stud wall top plate holes. They should be on their own. The cat and coax cable can run together....they just can't be near the electrical.

Time to run in a 1600 sq/ft bungalow.....about 1/2 day.
So cat6 and electrical can run perpendicular to each other?

hightower
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by hightower » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:17 pm

unclescrooge wrote:I've gutted a house down to the studs and now am in the process of renovating it.

It occurred to me I should probably prewire it for Direct tv and internet.
Is it worth it to get an installer out to do this?

Has anyone gone through this process? Any do's or don'ts?
Its not going to add much cost to an entire renovation. You might as well do it. We had our house wired with at least one phone and cable jack in each room. This was a total renovation of an old house as well. I'm glad we did because I can put our cable modem anywhere in the house we want and I can easily switch to a ethernet service provider if I want as well.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by lazydavid » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:33 pm

Definitely do it. Hardwire everything that you don't have to move regularly. We paid to have at least one Ethernet/RG6 plate installed in every room in the house, that all homerun back to the hall closet. The cable modem, router, and a 16-port switch are on a UPS there, and I have 8-port switches in the Front Room, Living Room/Kitchen, Office, and Basement. Pretty much all the ports are in use.

Every device that is hardwired gives you a better connection on that device, AND every wireless device in your house, due to the decrease in contention for the airwaves. My wireless is plenty fast and reliable for our laptops and mobile devices, in large part because all of my TVs, AV Receivers, game consoles, DVRs, printers, etc. etc. etc. are NOT using it.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:41 am

Thanks everyone for the great tips!

I'm going to put rg6 and cat 6a in each room.

I have a few questions regarding the set up.

I have a split level house. The upper level is 2400 sq ft, but closet space is hard to come by.

It's much easier to put it in the lower level which is only 600 sq ft, but I can carve out a closet in the crawl space.

What should the dimensions of the closet be? I'll have 8 sets of cables coming in. I'll need space for a cable modem, and a switch.
Is 14 inches wide, 18 inches deep and 24 inches tall sufficient? It'll have a wire mesh on top for ventilation.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by lazydavid » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:58 am

That's pretty close to the dimensions of the top shelf in my linen closet where all my gear is. the switch, cable modem, cable amplifier/splitter, and some other stuff are mounted on the wall to save space. Only the UPS and router are actually sitting on the shelf.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by SimonJester » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:16 am

unclescrooge wrote: So cat6 and electrical can run perpendicular to each other?
Ideally cross at a 90 degree angles and try to keep 3 to 6 inches of separation.

I have installed myself and overseen probably close to 1 million network drops in my profession and in all my time I have only come across a few instances where interference from electrical interference was a problem. When this was the case it was not standard 110V /220v involved.

If installing yourself, read up on the rule for CAT6 bend radius (4x the diameter of the cable, approximately 1 inch).


unclescrooge wrote:Thanks everyone for the great tips!

I'm going to put rg6 and cat 6a in each room.

I have a few questions regarding the set up.

I have a split level house. The upper level is 2400 sq ft, but closet space is hard to come by.

It's much easier to put it in the lower level which is only 600 sq ft, but I can carve out a closet in the crawl space.

What should the dimensions of the closet be? I'll have 8 sets of cables coming in. I'll need space for a cable modem, and a switch.
Is 14 inches wide, 18 inches deep and 24 inches tall sufficient? It'll have a wire mesh on top for ventilation.
Don't forget power in this location and the possibility of a UPS unit, at the very least a surge protector.

I would make this bigger then you need to allow for air circulation, remember heat kills electronic components. Most of the cable modems are ruining pretty hot.

If going into the crawl space I would probably not enclose it at all, just mount shelving on a wall to hold the gear.
I assume by crawl space this is accessible from inside the house and above ground water level?
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by bluebolt » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:59 am

I don't have cat5/6 anywhere in the house but I do have coax going to each room.

I can decide whether to use the coax for:
1) video
2) wired networking using MOCA
3) connect a wireless access point to expand wireless coverage and add wired ethernet
4) any combo of the above

I have Fios, so #3 comes for "free" since the Fios routers are also MOCA bridges.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by msk » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:27 am

I have designed and built several houses (for myself) in the past 40 years. Decided a long time ago that all this video/internet/music stuff is evolving too fast for built-in wiring. Hence my attitude has been to minimize hard wiring. E;g. in media rooms I put in duct work (1") for speakers all around, with my concept as to where the TV/projector will be. Then DW rotates all my pre-conceptions but since there are outlets at each corner, we can still have much of the wiring hidden. Antenna coax access to roof and around the media room via the speaker ducts. Not very purist but works well now that all incoming signals are digital anyway. Phones: mobiles now do all the heavy work, no intercom or landline wiring. Internet/wi-fi: this really depends on how large the home is. We have Cat 6 to each room (the house is built of concrete breeze blocks hence not very friendly to wi-fi). Because it's a large house we ended up needing 7 wi-fi active routers, but any 2 story house really ought to have at least one per floor. Otherwise the kids may complain that wi-fi is too slow in the basement...

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Watty » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:29 am

Before you put the drywall up you may want to go through the house and take photographs of all the wiring and plumbing for future reference. More than once I have wished that I had x-ray vision to see inside a wall.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by leftcoaster » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:43 am

Pull that blue plastic conduit so you can replace a damaged or obsolete wire.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by radiowave » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:48 am

unclescrooge wrote:Thanks everyone for the great tips!

I'm going to put rg6 and cat 6a in each room.

I have a few questions regarding the set up.

I have a split level house. The upper level is 2400 sq ft, but closet space is hard to come by.

It's much easier to put it in the lower level which is only 600 sq ft, but I can carve out a closet in the crawl space.

What should the dimensions of the closet be? I'll have 8 sets of cables coming in. I'll need space for a cable modem, and a switch.
Is 14 inches wide, 18 inches deep and 24 inches tall sufficient? It'll have a wire mesh on top for ventilation.
Consider a rack you can mount to the floor or put on casters with a solid base. That gives you some flexibility for putting in switchers/routers, etc.
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by hudson » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:54 am

unclescrooge wrote:I've gutted a house down to the studs and now am in the process of renovating it.

It occurred to me I should probably prewire it for Direct tv and internet.
Is it worth it to get an installer out to do this?

Has anyone gone through this process? Any do's or don'ts?
Consider getting quotes from installers if possible. There's nothing like recent experience...and experience with the local providers. Even if you don't use an installer, you will likely learn something. If you can't get an installer onsite to make a quote, maybe send one a floor plan with pictures and see if they would quote from that. Maybe specify that the network be tested with results provided. There's nothing like having someone who has done many homes on site talking with you about your specific circumstances and needs. (And if conduit is run, consider larger conduit with requirement that pull tape be there at the end of the job.)
Last edited by hudson on Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by jerryk68 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:58 am

Watty wrote:Before you put the drywall up you may want to go through the house and take photographs of all the wiring and plumbing for future reference. More than once I have wished that I had x-ray vision to see inside a wall.
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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by Lemonaid56 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:24 am

As someone that has worked many years in both those communication fields I say run the wires. Run them to every room and maybe also to a central location closet or utility room so you can set up the wifi from there.
Wifi does work great, most of the time. Subject to interference on occasion and reception quality depending on the size of the house.
CATV wires give the fastest and most secure reception and internet speeds as long as you use a high quality shielded cable and the same goes for the CAT6 cables. Don't go cheap. This is a one time expense and much easier to do when the walls are open and there is no insulation. Looks better also. Other writers here have already given you the best tips for doing the installation yourself but if you contract it out go back and double check those tips about closeness to electrical lines and outlets.
I have been involved with a few horror shows where the electrician wired everything and to make things look neat they ran all the cables together then tie wrapped them to the electrical- worst idea ever. Especially if you are the one trying to trace back a cable/wire through the attic or basement. Interference will be your biggest issues there too.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:54 am

Yes, run the cables, see Klangool's posts. I'm also in the wireless industry and there is much that can go wrong. Wires are more reliable but the connectors do break so plan on some extra ports.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:53 am

SimonJester wrote:
unclescrooge wrote: So cat6 and electrical can run perpendicular to each other?
Ideally cross at a 90 degree angles and try to keep 3 to 6 inches of separation.

I have installed myself and overseen probably close to 1 million network drops in my profession and in all my time I have only come across a few instances where interference from electrical interference was a problem. When this was the case it was not standard 110V /220v involved.

If installing yourself, read up on the rule for CAT6 bend radius (4x the diameter of the cable, approximately 1 inch).


unclescrooge wrote:Thanks everyone for the great tips!

I'm going to put rg6 and cat 6a in each room.

I have a few questions regarding the set up.

I have a split level house. The upper level is 2400 sq ft, but closet space is hard to come by.

It's much easier to put it in the lower level which is only 600 sq ft, but I can carve out a closet in the crawl space.

What should the dimensions of the closet be? I'll have 8 sets of cables coming in. I'll need space for a cable modem, and a switch.
Is 14 inches wide, 18 inches deep and 24 inches tall sufficient? It'll have a wire mesh on top for ventilation.
Don't forget power in this location and the possibility of a UPS unit, at the very least a surge protector.

I would make this bigger then you need to allow for air circulation, remember heat kills electronic components. Most of the cable modems are ruining pretty hot.

If going into the crawl space I would probably not enclose it at all, just mount shelving on a wall to hold the gear.
I assume by crawl space this is accessible from inside the house and above ground water level?
Thanks!

Yes, the crawl space will be accessible from lower level via a 3x3 ft door. The height is about 4ft and probably 500sq ft.

I live in Socal. The only ground water will be from an overflowing bathtub!

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:23 am

unclescrooge wrote:...It occurred to me I should probably prewire it for Direct tv and internet.
Is it worth it to get an installer out to do this?

Has anyone gone through this process? Any do's or don'ts?
I have done this in 2 houses.

In both cases when I had cable installed for both TV and internet, the installer ignored the preinstalled wiring, drilled new holes in both exterior and interior walls and ran his wires where he wanted them. This is faster for him than using your preinstalled wires.

The other negative is that the CAT 5 wire I used they could not criticize, but one of the claims was that the coax TV wire was not of high enough quality. As a practical matter, no wire except what they have on their own truck is of high enough quality in the opinion of the installer.

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Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Post by mccannr » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:16 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
mccannr wrote:While you're doing the extra wiring...I'd strongly recommend a careful consideration of where you'll put televisions to ensure proper wires get located behind the TVs so the end result is all wires look hidden. I also have a conduit behind a TV that is really handy. Takes wires to that location from another place, and allowed for new wires to be added through the walls with ease. Technology will change. New wires will be needed. Though I'm sure most will be wireless in the future. I have a piece of plastic twine in the conduit that long enough for me to attach it to a new cable and pull it through. Makes fishing wires easy.
By conduit, do you mean PVC tubing?
how is the fishing twine attached?
I think these have been well responded to already. The tubing is essentially behind a wall plate, runs A to B. Believe it is PVC but was installed before I bought the house so not 100% sure.

The plastic twine--I've used this a lot. It is amazing how many wires you think you'll need, only to stop using them. I've now run through this conduit >3 HDMI cables (no longer use any), fiber optic audio cable (no longer use), and coax (not currently using). The plastic twine saved me many times. Basically a piece of plastic twine through the conduit, with the twine being substantially longer than the conduit itself. This is key because you want to be able to tape the wire you want to a section of the twine and be able to pull the wire/twine through the conduit, and still have twine on the beginning end when you're done pulling the wire through so you don't have to re-run your twine back through the conduit. Once done with the twine, I pull it back to where I have equal-length tails on both side of the conduit, fold it up on each side, and then tuck the twine behind the wall plates.

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