HOME AUTOMATION AND
WIRING FOR THE 21st CENTURY
- Have you heard the terms: Category 5 and RG-6?
- Category 5 is a high grade, "twisted pair", communication cable capable of 4 different phone lines, that can transmit voice and data signals.
- RG-6 is a high grade, "heavier duty", coaxial cable capable of transmitting 2-3 times more "bits" of information than the standard RG-59 coaxial cable.
- If you are considering purchasing a new home, one of the most important, wisest, and most cost effective things you can do, is to make sure your new home is prewired with this modern, state of the art, cabling. By installing this system of advanced entertainment, data and control cabling, you can rest assured your home will be ready for the future of TV and VCR use, Computer Networking and Internet use, Advanced Phone Systems and Videoconferencing, as well as other newly developed technologies in the future.
- With the proper cabling, any home, old or new, can handle just about any new technology that may comes its way, HDTV, home automation, you name it. In the meantime, this versitile "future ready" cabling "backbone" can provide the home with a network over which to share files between two or more computers, and distribute movies from a single VCR to every TV in the house, among many other tasks.
- That's not to say that homes with the "old" wire are completely outdated. The coaxial cabling found in most homes today can distribute cable TV to one, maybe two spots, and common telephone wire offers plenty of bandwidth for downloading information from the Internet, engaging in telephone conversations, and possibly Videoconferencing.
- But to realize the full potential of the future of Home Automation, as well as other new technologies of the future, a home needs a "higher grade" of cabling, and more of it.
- "Old" copper communications / telephone cabling, known as Category 3 (4 wires, capable of 2 phone / data lines), transmits data at speeds of up to 10 megabits per second. "New" Category 5 (8 wires, capable of 4 phone / data lines), by comparison, moves information at 100 megabits per second. This means modems can download information much quicker, telephones are less prone to interference and static, and computers within the home can network faster and more reliably.
- "Old" entertainment / coaxial cabling, known as RG-59, transmitting between 600 and 900 million bits of information per second throughout the home. "New" RG-6 coaxial cabling boasts a much larger bandwidth, transmitting as much as 1.5 billion bits per second. With more room on its coaxial pipeline, a home has an easier time accessing high definition television signals, and broadcasting a clearer cable TV picture.
- Category 5 and RG-6 cabling costs more per foot than lower grade cabling, and twice the amount of cabling is required, however, the benefits, are worth far more than the extra costs involved.
- The recommended wiring practice is to "homerun" the cabling, that is, run an individual piece of cabling from a central hub to each place you may want a computer, entertainment component, security camera, or telephone.
Installers commonly "homerun" two Category 5 and two RG-6 cables to each receptacle site. This way, the hub can receive signals, such as from a surveillance camera, on one cable, and use the second cable to send the signal to selected TVs.
- To simplify the prewiring task, a number of manufacturers bundle Category 5 and RG-6 cable together in one "jacket". Pulling this one "jacketed" cable throughout the home, cuts installation time considerably.
- Although no technologies today require Fiber Optic cabling, some installers recommend adding it to further "future ready" the home. UltraHome Home Automation Cable, is a new, cutting-edge technology cable. It is a "jacketed" cable which contains two Category 5, two RG-6, and one Fiber Optic cable, all in one "jacketed" cable. UltraHome cable would speed installation and give you the added benefit of having the Fiber Optic cabling already prewired into the home, which would protect you home from technological obsolescence.
- Information on the UltraHome Home Automation cable is available at CommScope Web Site. The following Link will take You there instantly.
- In addition to the cabling bundle, prewire packages can include multimedia outlets and a service hub. The hub is the heart of the wiring system. It receives signals from the outside services such as satellite, cable, the Internet and telephone, and intelligently distributes those signals to the appropriate equipment locations. The hub mounts to a wall within the utility room or basement. It is modular in design, meaning you can start with only a few functions, say, video distribution, then add capabilities like home control by installing another module into the hub. Most modules cost between $100 and $300 each.
- Signals from the hub travel to multimedia receptacles installed throughout the home. The receptacles resemble standard electrical wall outlets in size and shape, but also contain telephone jacks and cable jacks. Like the hub it's connected to, a multimedia outlet can be modified to suit your needs. In a home theater, for example, you might load the outlet with mostly cable jacks, while in the home office or computer room, load it with mainly telephone jacks.
- The prewiring of an advanced cabling system, installed in a new home, with a limited number of functions and outlets, start at around $500 to $750. The price increases for each additional reception site (location of multimedia outlets),each multimedia receptacle (multimedia outlet jack), service hub, modules, etc... Usually, this expense can be included in your new home mortgage.
- Some Builders offer the prewiring of an advanced cabling system as a standard feature, or as an optional upgrade. You should seriously consider including advanced cabling in any new homes being constructed today. It is an investment into the future.
- By no means is Category 5 communications cable and RG-6 coaxial cable the end of it. A home also needs speaker cabling for routing music to various rooms of the house, security cabling for linking sensors to a security panel, and control wiring for electronic devices, to communicate with a home control system. Although this additional wiring is not included in a prewire package, ask your installer or Builder, about putting it in now. That way, your new home will truly be ready for the future, will be able to accomodate any new technologies, and will increase your resale value above homes that do not have an advanced cabling system.
Cedar Creek Home Builders includes the prewiring
of an advanced cabling system of Category 5, and RG-6,
along with security system prewiring, in all new homes
currently being constructed. Multimedia outlets,
service hubs, etc... are available at an extra
cost. Standard, Category 3 and RG-59 cabling,
are still available at a reduced rate.
Cedar Creek Builders has been Certified as a
BIA Registered Builder, in Columbus, Ohio, again for 1999.