07:17PM | 06/11/03
Member Since: 06/10/03
1 lifetime posts
Just finished construction on a new house. The builder
was smart enough to run cat 5e throughout the home.
While this sounded impressive to me I reall yhad no
idea what this would mean for me. I heard terms like
Home automation and "smart homes" but really did not
know how to apply it.

I have a pretty good baseline knowldege of computers
and networking and have done some IT work but this is
an area I have never explored.

I move in in one week and I have a few issues.

#1. Home audio/video: In a miscommunication, the house
was not pre-wired for a home audio system per se. I
understand after doing some reading that cat5e can be
used for question is How? I assume I need some
form of transmitter from the audio/video source and a
similar receiver/decoder on the other end? DO I need
one at EVERY access point, or is this something that is
piped down the cable and anything plugged into it can
access it? Could I plug my PC in and pipe MP3s
throughout the house?

#2 We have a hard-wired alarm system (very basic
intrusion only) I want to add glass break sensors and I
also need to add fire-alarms for insurance reasons. I
am being told this MUST be done WIRELESS? It seems the
Cat 5e should also be able to carry that same

I know I am very green here and I have a siginificant
amount to learn. I appreciate anything you can offer on
these 2 questions as well as a source or two that might
educate me on utilizing the existing Cat 5e wiring,
most of what I am finding stresses X10 and it seems
that it would be counterproductiove to use X10 when I
have cat 5e



07:05AM | 06/17/03
Member Since: 06/16/03
2 lifetime posts
A good cource of information and learning can be found in the Hometoys E magazine here:


07:44AM | 06/23/03
Member Since: 06/22/03
2 lifetime posts
Check out for your security issues.


07:57AM | 08/03/03
Member Since: 08/02/03
1 lifetime posts

Cat5 in the house can help you with any of your low voltage appliances/needs. As long as you learn the "pinouts" on the RJ45 and how to terminate them with a crimper, you can hardwire anything to connect anything else in different location of the house. The use of a hub/switch will help connecting your computers, but you don't have to limit yourself to dedicating the cat5 to pc's especially since wireless access points can interconnect your PC's.


07:14PM | 08/04/03
Member Since: 08/03/03
3 lifetime posts
I recently wired my home with Cat 5e as well. You can run video over the wires if you're streaming over a network.

My plans are to build an A/V console from a Linux based pc which will server as the main hub for streaming video and audio throughout the house. This will also server as a Tivo recorder...yes, you can build your own Tivo

There are many things you can do with Cat 5e wiring...telephones, internet, network connectivity, streamin audio and video, etc.


10:54PM | 08/26/03
Member Since: 03/31/03
7 lifetime posts
CAT5 CAN be used for audio or video. Because of impedance differences, you need to get a "BALUN" (which simple stands for "Balanced -> unbalanced" transeiver. has such things. Basically you'd have a pair of RCA (phono) plugs at each end and wire in the middle. It's point to point.

I like to use a patch panel - usually where all the wires come together. That way, if I need to direct COAX2 in the TV room to COAX on (my video monitor in the bedroom) I can. I do this if I'm partway through a movie and want to run the DVD from the den into a modulator into COAX 2.

CAT5 can be used for serial (RS-232) connections, telephone, computer network (duh) and these others.

tricks includ e that computers use one 4 of the 8 connectors.
Phone uses 2. So you can mix those.

I run serial often with 4 connectors and have put 2 serials
on 1 CAT5.

Audio/video really want its own cable.

news:comp.home.automation also has lots of info.

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