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adamwillan's picture
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Home network??

Sorry not sure if this is in the right section plus my basic knowledge but am looking to learn about creating a home network (I think this is what I mean). It is one part of technology that has passed me by from only ever living in a rented flat and having all technology in one room!

I have just purchased a new house, which I will be completing a total rennovation on including rewiring. What are the advantages of me installing cat 6 around the house, and how much is it likely to cost? I am planning the below and would be good to know whether Cat 6 will enable me to listen to music and watch tv around the house?

Sitting room - just a TV and potential soundbar in the future
Music/dining room - My stereo (rotel ra-12 amp, marantz cd6005, and Q acoustics 2050i speakers) and laptop (with all stored music)
Bedroom 1st floor - Want to buy a mini system something like the Marantz 610 to listen to music (or something more appropriate), and maybe a tv (sky/virign from downstairs)
Office 1st floor - Would be good to listen to the mini system or other but not a priority
Cinema room 2nd floor - I've got a optoma 720p projector and would like to watch sky/virgin from the downstairs box

Thanks any help about how I can do this, or advice on where I can read up on doing it would be much appreciated.

Adam

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RE: Home network??

My main sources usually are google and Amazon. Search for the topics you want to learn about, and as a starter I look on Amazon for prices. 

I purchased 15m & 10m lengths of Cat6e cable and a Netgear FS105 5 port switch. The 15m connects the modem in my hall (via trunking, under floorboards, through walls etc) to the Netgear switch in my music room. Using 3 of the 5 ports - for Sony BR, Onkyo AVR, and the final one for the 10m cable that connects to my desktop computer in another room. All works perfectly and internet access on the computer is much better with a wired connection than with wifi. The two remaining ports on the switch will be for a NAS and possibly a Sonos Connect. Another port on the modem is used for a Sonos Bridge, leaving me two spare ports - which I would use to run separate cables to other parts of the house.

My house has already been re-wired previously, but if I was doing it again now (yes I know I am not supposed to) I would add ethernet cable as well and consider using ethernet wall plates. Trunking is easier however, both to install and remove/get at afterwards, and done well looks fine.

I would imagine the main issue would be planning it - ensuring that you know exactly where your kit will be placed in each room, and how many connections you need. Easy really Smile  

 

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RE: Home network??

 

Yeah google is handy! With this though struggling with not knowing the terminology to search for. I guess what I can't get my head around is what can the switch do. How does the network know what information to send through what cable? Could you run a hdmi splitter out of the sky box, with a ethernet on the other end into the splitter, then a ethernet cable from the switch to hdmi cable in my projector and the system know to send that signal on that route? also can you have multiple systems linking over the network at once? Can I display my laptop screen downstairs on to projector upstairs through the hdmi or ethernet ports on the laptop?

I am embarrassed listening to myself with how little I know about this...

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RE: Home network RE: Home network??

Hi Adam

A home network is simply a number of computers/network enabled devices that link together either by a wired or wireless connection. In my case my router/modem is connected by ethernet cable to my computer, Sony blu ray player, Onkyo amp, and Sonos Bridge. All these devices are network enabled - they all have a ethernet connection. The Netgear switch is simply like an extension lead, it allows the incoming ethernet cable from my modem to be split into five ports. One port has a cable running to my computer, another to the blu ray player and another to the Onkyo amp. Becasue the ethernet cables are all linked together, any of the devices can connect to the internet (via the modem), my computer can see the other devices on the network, the Sony blu ray player and the Onkyo amp can both connect to my computer and play music stored on it. Also, my computer runs the Sonos control software, and connects to the Sonos bridge (which is connected to another port on the modem) streaming music stored on my computer to the bridge to allow it to then send the signal wirelessly to my Sonos Play:1. So all my network enabled devices are linked by ethernet cable, each device must have software that alows it to either connect to the internet or send or stream from other devices linked to the network.

So, for example, my Sony BR player has software that allows it to connect directly to the internet and stream BBC iplayer or Lovefilm (I have an account). It also has DLNA capabilities, which allows it to seek stored music files on the network (on my computer) and stream them to a media player (in my case connected to the Onkyo amp). 

To answer your question - the network does not know what to send where, it is each network enabled device that has software allowing it to stream or connect to other network enabled devices/internet.

Cant help with Sky as I don't have one, but I suspect you would have to connect your projector to the Sky box using a long hdmi cable?

Hdmi and ethernet cables are different. 

You can have multiple devices (network enabled) working at the same time. For eample I can stream internet music on my Onkyo, whilst my Sonos Play:1 plays in the kitchen (controlled by my computer via the Sonos bridge) and surf the internet on my computer.

Do you have a local hifi dealer or home computer shop you can pop into to get some face to face advice - that might be easier.

 

 

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RE: Home network??

 

Thanks for the response that makes sense, I think I have just assumed that because I read somewhere that you can watch tv on cat 6 it would all be part of the same thing. After reading more tonight you can watch tv over cat 6 by using hdmi extenders either side of a dual cable, but these are separate from a network.

The cable all looks pretty cheap so hopefully it should be simple enough for me to install around the house as I pull it apart.

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RE: Home network??

This link may help you, basically the guy's done it and made his own web page.

 

http://www.swhowto.com

 

adamwillan's picture
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RE: Home network??

skippy wrote:

This link may help you, basically the guy's done it and made his own web page.

 

http://www.swhowto.com

 

 

Thanks had a quick look and looks really helpful. Will have a longer read tonight. Although I'm not sure I should be spending all my time researching cables and stereo systems when I've got a whole renovation to price and do Wink

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RE: Home network??

adamwillan wrote:
The cable all looks pretty cheap so hopefully it should be simple enough for me to install around the house as I pull it apart.

It certainly shouldn't be more than a few quid, there's absolutely no reason to pay the sort of money that PC World and the like will charge you for a ten metre cable.

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RE: Home network??

While you're at it you could also run speaker cables from each room where you want music additional to your main, conventional listening system to a central location for accessibility.
As funds permit you could get a multi channel amp and room by room fit in-walls or ceilings all contolled by one Sonos Connect.
In-wall cable comes on large rolls and is cheap compared to the audiophile "grade". It must be used as it is non toxic in the event of a fire.

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RE: Home network??

skippy wrote:
While you're at it you could also run speaker cables from each room where you want music additional to your main, conventional listening system to a central location for accessibility. As funds permit you could get a multi channel amp and room by room fit in-walls or ceilings all contolled by one Sonos Connect. In-wall cable comes on large rolls and is cheap compared to the audiophile "grade". It must be used as it is non toxic in the event of a fire.

Good point I hadn't even thought about doing that. At the very least my rotel amp has two speaker outs, so I could pick up speakers and run some speaker cable from my music room to the sitting room and be able to play in both rooms at the same time. Pretty much what I do already in my flat already as I have two little speakers on another wall to use with my projector.

In terms of the Sonos the girlfriend pretty much struggles to switch on the amp and change sources as it is, think I will need a separte mini system in the bedroom where she can press play to listen to in the morning.

Think I have worked out now that I will run 3 cat 6 (2 direct from central hdmi splitter connected to sky/virgin box, and one through a switch) and one coaxial to the bedroom, cinema room in the loft, and maybe spare bedroom.

Planning wiring is much more exciting than planning plasterboards and insulation...

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RE: Home network??

Good to see you're on top of it. Funny with the Sonos, we had a party over Xmas and I put my playlist on, towards the end of the night there was a few couples and one of the wives asked about the music so I showed her the tablet and told her to find any track thru rdio (similar to Spotify), then add to queue. She swore in amazement, liked it so much she went out at weekend and bought one and signed up to rdio, simple as that. Please beware though, these things cause arguments, her fella put a few tracks on the playlist, but declined to dance, alcohol was involved and words were said, the offending tracks were simply deleted and the joviality resumed :grin:

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RE: Home network??

My wife gets totally confused with my home cinema setup and will never turn on the hifi.

But Sonos is another matter, when I show people my new Play:1 in the kitchen, without prompting she tells them how easy it is to use.  Smile

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RE: Home network??

Don't be shy with the number of sockets you put in each room. If you think you need 1, put 2 in, sensibly spaced apart. If you think you need 2, well you get the idea. It's cheap to do while you're at this stage and gives you massive flexibilty later on, you never know how small changes in plans can effect room set up.

Same goes for electrical sockets.

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RE: Home network??

skippy wrote:

Good to see you're on top of it. Funny with the Sonos, we had a party over Xmas and I put my playlist on, towards the end of the night there was a few couples and one of the wives asked about the music so I showed her the tablet and told her to find any track thru rdio (similar to Spotify), then add to queue. She swore in amazement, liked it so much she went out at weekend and bought one and signed up to rdio, simple as that. Please beware though, these things cause arguments, her fella put a few tracks on the playlist, but declined to dance, alcohol was involved and words were said, the offending tracks were simply deleted and the joviality resumed :grin:

 

Annoying I had responded to this but it must not have worked. Yeah is always funny showing an untechnical person gadgets. I bought my girlfriends parents a bluetooth speaker for their kitchen at Christmas, I reckon her mum will still be searching for the invisible cable now.

Living in a flat I have never looked in to the sonos systems, I had always assumed they were a bit gimmicky and wouldnt have great sound quality. From recent things I have read this doesn't sound to be the case though? What is the connect, is that just a wifi sender/organiser or is it also an amp? Do you need players around the house or just speakers? If the sound is good it could be an option compared to investing in a network enabled mini player like the marantz 610

 

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RE: Home network??

omnibeard wrote:

Don't be shy with the number of sockets you put in each room. If you think you need 1, put 2 in, sensibly spaced apart. If you think you need 2, well you get the idea. It's cheap to do while you're at this stage and gives you massive flexibilty later on, you never know how small changes in plans can effect room set up.

Same goes for electrical sockets.

Seems like the best plan. Just need to work out where is the best place to have a central point.

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RE: Home network??

Having done this myself, there's some great answers on here.   I went for a reel of cable (Cat 5e) which is plenty good enough for a 1Gbps network, and much cheaper too.  Cat 6 is only really necesary in a server room if you need to go over 1Gbps.  

I would avoid the cable reel as hand crimping (adding the plugs to the ends of the cable) is a royal pain, very fiddly and time consuming, you also need a good crimper, plugs, a tester and two people to make the job quicker.   Cable Monkey are a good option for pre made up cables, concur with the advice on having two connections in every room - redundancy if nothing else.  

If you need more connections in a room consider buying a cheap hub with 5 ports, its like an extension block and will have very negligible impact on performance, milliseconds of latency (this is considerably than the best wifi connection).  

I added a complete co-ax distribution as well, made sense as you can have Sky/Virgin/Freeview in every room.   For your switch go for netgear these are really solid, you may need someone to help with you defining IP addresses and so on, its not difficult.

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