Volkswagen Passat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
I got this user title because I'm old and special
Joined
·
8,552 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here is my dilema. Trying to do a home network. The house is already built, so the walls are up. Take in consideration I have 7 rooms to network. 5 upstairs, 2 downstairs. Really, the network is mostly going to be used for music (MP3s) and movies(Divx, Mpeg-2).
What is needed to make this work properly? Which is better?

Should I use structured wiring and just run 3 Cat5e and a couple of RJ-6 to each room to do my home network. I mean if I am going to run the Cat5e, I might as well run the other wires. However, I am not electrically inclined. I need a wire room too which requires more electrical skill.
Also, it is a 2 story house, so one of the stories will be more difficult to wire. The bottom story doesn't really have a crawl space to run wiring. And upstairs I have the attic. Should I just have a electrician do it? How much would that cost? Is it worth it?

I was thinking a parital WLAN and wired Lan. Downstairs wireless, upstairs wired. However if I am going to pay for the WLAN stuff, shouldn't I just go all wireless. I only have 4 systems right now with plans for 3 more barebones.

With the 802.11g, wouldn't a WLAN be fast enough to transfer video without a delay from a server? I have been banging my head against a wall figuring out which is better to do. Also, I would need a switch if I did the wired LAN. HELP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,444 Posts
I would say all wireless. Make sure it's secure and then you have nothing to leave behind too. While a wired house may impress some buyers some may not care so it might not add anything.

I'm slowly migrating my wired machines to Wireless.

<Add-on> On further thought. you may want to try to test how well wireless will work before buying all the hardware. I'm sure for mp3s it would work but not sure how it would do with the video, may be just fine, noit sure. </add-on>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,682 Posts
not sure about the video streaming, but i personally use wires when i need to send more than a few MB over the wireless (i have B).

you should be able to get an estimate from whoever you want to run the wires, i'd base my decision on that. i did ours but it's a split-level with a false ceiling in the lower-level so it was a piece of cake (sorta). wired is so much cheaper and faster, if you can get it in place without spending too much money...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,281 Posts
I did both wired and wireless. Cat5e or Cat 6 wire. If you want to make it easy to replace the wires run them through some form of conduit. I ran speaker wire in the living room, family room, and garage. (Garage spearker wire is run to the living room for access to the stereo. This allows me to listen to music, movie, or tv broadcast in the garage) If you run speaker wire run it for 6.1 or 7.1. I only ran it 5.1 in the living room and family room.(doh!). I also ran telephone and RG-6. Telephone was done with CAT5.

Media panel is in the office closet in the basement. If you are a sattelite owner, you will need to take into account the different LNB's and their special needs. (Apparently their are some)
 

·
I got this user title because I'm old and special
Joined
·
8,552 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have a wireless 802.11b router with a wireless PCMIA card laptop. I have no dead spots in my house. The "B" is great for MP3s and has no delays. I just want to stream video and I know 11 Mbps isn't fast enough. I was hoping a 54 Mbps would be able to handle the rate for DIVX at least and maybe MPEG-2. Anyone know at what rate that runs at?

As for running wire in my Family room. I plan to have it professionally done for a 7.1 system and some track lighting all at once. However, I might run the 2 additional channels from the 7.1 to the outdoors. That is when some money comes my way. So in about 20 years. :D

I guess I could have some free estimates on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,295 Posts
You can always do wireless, but if the house is at least empty now it's not too difficult to do the wiring in most places. All of upstairs can be linked in the attic, how you get to downstairs can be tricky, but if there's one cable in place you can do without, you could run a Cat 5e or fiber down for a wideband link, then distribute downstairs based on your wall plan, duct layout, etc. We had a few neighbors steal into the 'hood and wire up their home theater systems while the houses were being built, we kicked ourselves for not doing so, but got it done when we put a loft in. Our network is all copper, the wireless might come in handy when we wanna work on the couch or a chair. PCs are too much of our life at work, though, so we typically use them only in the study even though most rooms have a network drop. Entertainment-wise, running something off a server may be something doable over the copper that likely couldn't be done wireless, at least not for extra$$ at some time still in the future.
 

·
wishin
Joined
·
3,664 Posts
OCTICK said:
I have a wireless 802.11b router with a wireless PCMIA card laptop. I have no dead spots in my house. The "B" is great for MP3s and has no delays. I just want to stream video and I know 11 Mbps isn't fast enough. I was hoping a 54 Mbps would be able to handle the rate for DIVX at least and maybe MPEG-2. Anyone know at what rate that runs at?

As for running wire in my Family room. I plan to have it professionally done for a 7.1 system and some track lighting all at once. However, I might run the 2 additional channels from the 7.1 to the outdoors. That is when some money comes my way. So in about 20 years. :D

I guess I could have some free estimates on it.
I just watched the Sopranos streamed over my 802.11b network (11Mbps) from the office to the bedroom last night....worked just fine. It was divx though. But I can try and stream something with more weight to it if you'd like (i.e. MPEG2, or something else with a high bitrate).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,095 Posts
go wired, cat6 or better. multiple pulls just in case. and maybe some 75ohm cable runs too for digital audio or RF video.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,441 Posts
wireless may be able to handle a single stream of divx, but imagine the bandwidth needed to send multiple DTS-HDTV streams around the house. plan for the future, you can never have enough bandwidth - get wired up. You don't want to be watching a movie that suddenly gets choppy when someone decides its time to play an online game.* I used that cat-5e/RG-6 structured cable in my house. It is very easy to run, and terminating is easy with the right tools. Still, it takes time, you might consider contracting it just to get it done in an afternoon.

If cat-6 had been available in the structured cable, I'd have gotten it in a blink.

*I say all this and I still have yet to build my HD-Tivo jukebox server... so, its all about how you're going to use all that bandwidth. wireless serves most people well enough
 

·
wishin
Joined
·
3,664 Posts
psm0110 said:
wireless may be able to handle a single stream of divx, but imagine the bandwidth needed to send multiple DTS-HDTV streams around the house. plan for the future, you can never have enough bandwidth - get wired up. You don't want to be watching a movie that suddenly gets choppy when someone decides its time to play an online game.* I used that cat-5e/RG-6 structured cable in my house. It is very easy to run, and terminating is easy with the right tools. Still, it takes time, you might consider contracting it just to get it done in an afternoon.

If cat-6 had been available in the structured cable, I'd have gotten it in a blink.

*I say all this and I still have yet to build my HD-Tivo jukebox server... so, its all about how you're going to use all that bandwidth. wireless serves most people well enough
Octick, I didn't realize you may have a situation which calls for multiple streams at once....if that's the case then I'd agree with psm0110. I'm the only one in the house that uses the bandwidth so in my case wireless is just fine. And since I have a DVD player in any room I'd want do watch a DVD the only thing I stream is Divx (1150kbps video, 224kbps audio) wireless is plenty for me.

[edit]
As a side note, even though I haven't tried it, my understanding is that DVD video (approx 8Mbps + audio) can be streamed on a 11Mbps connection; assuming you actually get the 11Mbps. With 802.11g it shouldn't be an issue at all. Again though I still agree with psm0110 if more than one person is going to be using it; go wired
[/edit]

[edit 2]
Sorry for the repeated edits...but I was curious about my statement above (dvd is approx 8Mbps) as I rolled that out of my head but I wasn't sure if was remembering the spec correctly. So after some searching I did find that DVD Video (MPEG2) has a max bitrate of about 10Mbps but Hollywood movies apparently have an average bitrate of only 3-5Mbps. So you should definitely be able to stream video over 802.11b. Stil (again) I agree with psm0110 given a multi user situation.
[/edit 2]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,330 Posts
OCTICK said:
The bottom story doesn't really have a crawl space to run wiring. And upstairs I have the attic.
Does that mean you have no basement? The attic wiring would be very easy. Wire terminations are easy to learn too and you can find plenty of help online (including here, just ask). It's all low voltage, so there's nothing to fret over.

If you have any locations on the first floor where you want a wallplate that could be directly beneath a wallplate on the second floor, then you're in business there too. Rent a long drill bit or right-angle drill and continue your drop down to the first floor from the second. You'd be using the opening in the wall on the second floor to drill through the floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,505 Posts
FWIW... here's my opinion. The direction of computing in the future is wireless. EVERYTHING will eventually be wireless. It's cheaper in the long run since you don't have to do inside wall wiring. Even at today's speed of 54MBPS, that's still fast enough to meet your needs. Video, audio, large file transfers, etc. The next generatiiono of wireless promises to be even faster so stay tune.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Two things...

1 Wired will always be faster and less likely to have probelms. Stick the wrong cordless phone near the current wireless systems and you can see serious data issues. My parent's 11g was crawling until we realized that the kitchen's cordless basestation was behind the wall from the wireless base. Moved the wireless 6 ft and all was well.

2. Be sure the cable is UL listed. Even low voltage runs. When I redid my basement with the surround and gigabit network, I found that running regular cables can nulify some insurance claims. For example in-wall speaker cable is special, and the CAT 6 I used is special UL for in-wall applications. From what I can see, it is just a much thicker shell on the wire, but I'll bet there are other things...

Oh, and even if you do hardwire, be sure to set up a wireless too. Being able to stick the laptop anywhere and web surf is a nice thing to have.
 

·
I got this user title because I'm old and special
Joined
·
8,552 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Well, I did start my network last night. I went and bought a whole new WLAN. I used D-link since they seem better than my pain in the ass Linksys. There Air Extreme says you can burst at 108 Mpbs. This extremely optimistic, but at 30 Mbps I would be happy. Now, I have a new Router, and three wireless Access Points.

Eventually, I would like to feed all 7 rooms, but I know with 802.11g, I would be lucky to get a good steady signal for movies to only 4 or 5 rooms simulataneously. I am basing this on the current specs of the up coming Microsoft Media Extenders and the current Sony's Roomlink. Both state 5 individual wireless connections with using a 802.11g WLAN. I have seen Sony's in action, and it is quite impressive. I would like to emulate it.

Currently, I don't have a need for all rooms to be functional. My 2 daughters aren't old enough to use a computer, but 1 is about a year out. So, I doubt I will ever be streaming more than 4 rooms with video at once. However, technology changes. So, I do plan to run structured wire eventually. I need the WLAN still for my lap top and for other areas that might be too expensive to run cable to. Like the Kitchen!

When I do run the wires, which should be soon, I would do the access point in the garage since it will be directly below my server room. Plus, it will be next to the phone and satellite lines. However, how hard is it to wire up something like that. It looks intense to me. Especially if you do, Cat for phone and computers, and RJ-6 for video. Also, some people ran 2 sets of 12 gauge covered speaker wire through the house. OMG! My head is swimming thinking of how I would do that crap. I mean do I need a switch for this stuff like a Router room at buisnesses. More $$$
 

·
I got this user title because I'm old and special
Joined
·
8,552 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
GunTeach said:
Two things...

1 Wired will always be faster and less likely to have probelms. Stick the wrong cordless phone near the current wireless systems and you can see serious data issues. My parent's 11g was crawling until we realized that the kitchen's cordless basestation was behind the wall from the wireless base. Moved the wireless 6 ft and all was well.

2. Be sure the cable is UL listed. Even low voltage runs. When I redid my basement with the surround and gigabit network, I found that running regular cables can nulify some insurance claims. For example in-wall speaker cable is special, and the CAT 6 I used is special UL for in-wall applications. From what I can see, it is just a much thicker shell on the wire, but I'll bet there are other things...

Oh, and even if you do hardwire, be sure to set up a wireless too. Being able to stick the laptop anywhere and web surf is a nice thing to have.
Isn't the type of Cat I am looking for called Plummed or something like that. Basically, Covered RJ-6 and Cat5e/Cat6 meant for Vertical runs in walls. Also, you can't run parallel with power. It has to be a certain number of inches away. :???:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,638 Posts
I say go wireless. I have just the hard wired computers in my office for my desktop and server,etc. But all of my other computers are wireless. Just make sure you secure your network. It's easy. I have about 5 layers of wireless security setup for my network. Email me later and I can tell you how to set this up.

I have a wireless G network, which gives 54 Mbps transfer rates. I think this would be good enough for your stuff. Also, IIRC, I saw some wireless G setups at Best buy that can do 128 Mbps. Check that out too. Just buy all of the wireless stuff, and if you don't like it.. just return it before your 30 days are up.

Also, if you need a stronger signal, you can relocate your antenna or use each computer as a network bridge to regenerate the signal to the next. That way it's not trying to pull just one signal from the access point. I haven't done this but I think it can be done.

You could always get a wireless card and steal your neighbors insecure wireless connection. Most people don't lock down their access points... suckas!

Kevin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,396 Posts
I've had bad experiences with wireless, but that's probaby because the fireplace is directly between the computer room (where the modem and routers are) and the living room (where my laptop w/ built-in 802.11b is). Signal would get dropped all over the place, and it was generally unacceptable. Was using wireless for a while through a Powerline wireless adapter, (horrible transfer times), but now I'm on a really crazy setup, but I can run videos off one of my other computers with minimal stuttering.

The setup (so people can call me :crazy: :lol: ):

video computer -- wired router 1 -- switch -- wired router 2 -- Powerline Ethernet adapter 1 -- Powerline Ethernet adapter 2 -- wireless router (54g) -- laptop (802.11b)

I seem to get around 3Mbps transfers from the desktop with this setup, and was onlly getting around 300kbps with the old Powerline wireless adapter. I could download fine from the web, but from that computer, something was up.... :suspicio:


Not exactly like your situation, but if you get a decent wireless setup, it should work really well, even if it's just 11Mbps. Going with 54Mbps+ should just make it better, though I'd say to try to wire what you can easily (for speed/security), and then go wireless for mobile or "remote" computers. Too much possibility of interference on wireless, plus 100Mbps+ transfers are nice. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,122 Posts
OCTICK said:
Isn't the type of Cat I am looking for called Plummed or something like that. :
It's plenum rated cabling. Basically that means it is rated for in-wall use with no fire protection. When it bruns, it does not emit toxic fumes...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,051 Posts
Are you looking to use 100baseTX? or 10BaseTX? I would just get cat 5e cabling with RJ-45 connectors, you can run UTP up to 100m per segment. Get yourself a bridge to connect upstairs and downstairs but it will expand your collision domain. If you have the $$$, go for a switch as it'll confine each port with withs own collision domain and run it full duplex if you can to completely eliminate collisions. Then hook a router into the network for the internet connection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
duandcc said:
OCTICK said:
Isn't the type of Cat I am looking for called Plummed or something like that. :
It's plenum rated cabling. Basically that means it is rated for in-wall use with no fire protection. When it bruns, it does not emit toxic fumes...
Actually, plenum is fire retardant, PVC jacketed cable is not. While the Plenum jacket will still burn, it does not release the toxic fumes that PVC does. There is no difference in the transmission/bandwith quality, since both are unshielded twisted pair in their most common form. Plenum will cost you more, depending on the brand and rating (Cat 5, 5e, 6) it can easily run you more than $200 per 1000ft box for name brand. Many commercial applications require the use of plenum rated cable. As a rule of thumb, I use plenum for all of my commercial structured wiring installations. PVC jacketed cable is fine for residential use in a single-family structure, but consult you local building codes for any specific requirements.

A hybrid (copper/wireless) network can give you the best of both worlds, but there are a few things to consider when designing it:

1. How many PC's and other network devices (MP3 server, printers, etc) will be on the network. Wireless is shared bandwith, so speeds decrease as network traffic increases.
2. What are your mobility needs? Are you using any laptops on your network?
3. How expensive will it be to run UTP cable to the first floor? This depends on how clean of an installation you want it to be. Expect the price to go up if you do not want any of the wire runs to be visible (i.e. stapling the cable to the baseboard vs. fishing the walls).
4. If you plan to run the cable yourself, invest in a decent 110 punch down tool and/or crimp tool.

I also agree with the suggestions of going with an ethernet switch, opposed to just a hub. An unmanaged 8-port switch is not expensive and will help keep your collisions down while optimizing your traffic. I will stay away from recommending any brands, since I am sure it will spark a discussion as heated as best oil or tire thread. :wink:
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
About this Discussion
27 Replies
18 Participants
StyxNStones
Volkswagen Passat Forum
Passatworld is a forum dedicated to Volkswagen Passat enthusiasts to discuss mods, Quattro, Turbo Diesel, reviews and more!
Full Forum Listing
Top