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Cat 6 vs. Cat 6a


tbear1

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What do most installers use?

I have installed conduit to all TV locations and will be pulling my own wires after closing. This was more economical than prewiring. I have done quite a few searches on the site but don't see consensus on the actual specs installed. From my research it looks like non-stranded STP Cat 6a is SOTA. It also looks like this is over-kill based on the required specs for HDBaseT matrix switches.

I am leaning towards running non-stranded UTP Cat 6a. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks

Glenn

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I'd run CAT5e personally.

It is tempting to just run the Cat 5e. It seems to meet the needs of most of the matrix switches and is about 50% cheaper in bulk form. I have read a couple white papers on Cat 6 and it is superior, but I don't know if any of the current hardware is really taking advantage of it.

Glenn

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Hey, if had my way back in 2008, I would have fiber in the troughs right now. Just run CAT 6 and plenty of it. In 2015 you'll wonder why you ever lost sleep over cost.

Fiber is interesting, but I don't see any mainstream products that are using it. I am not a fan. I think we will see wireless video distribution before fiber.

Glenn

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Give me a wired connection any day. Spectrums are too crowded, wireless n spec seemed to take forever to materialize out of draft form, you can put a ton of stuff down fiber like gig ethernet, control, etc in addition to hdmi 1.4 features.

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Give me a wired connection any day. Spectrums are too crowded, wireless n spec seemed to take forever to materialize out of draft form, you can put a ton of stuff down fiber like gig ethernet, control, etc in addition to hdmi 1.4 features.

I agree on the technical superiority of fiber, but the advances in copper and wireless distribution continues to develop. Copper continues to move forward fast enough to make fiber a niche product. HDBaseT and Ethernet capable Tv's are an indication of the trend.

Wireless is a no brainer because of the potential market size. But I agree that a wired connection (copper or fiber) is preferred.

What about cat 6 vs. Cat 6a?

Glenn

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From what I read, for shorter distances (up to 120 feet when bundling a bunch of cables together or 180 feet otherwise) you can run 10-Gigabit network over Cat6. Cat6a can be used to run 10-Gigabit network over longer distances (330 feet).

Cat6 also give better insulation.... whether or not anyone needs that... who knows...

We're just building our house now and had Cat6 STP run everywhere. Where we live we were charged 20% more per foot for Cat6 vs Cat5e.

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From what I read, for shorter distances (up to 120 feet when bundling a bunch of cables together or 180 feet otherwise) you can run 10-Gigabit network over Cat6. Cat6a can be used to run 10-Gigabit network over longer distances (330 feet).

Cat6 also give better insulation.... whether or not anyone needs that... who knows...

We're just building our house now and had Cat6 STP run everywhere. Where we live we were charged 20% more per foot for Cat6 vs Cat5e.

Thanks for the reply. It is interesting to hear what other people are doing. The low voltage company I have to use did not want to deal with Cat 6.

That is interesting on the Cat 6 vs. Cat 6a distance comparison. Why did you go with shielded runs? Will the installer actually be grounding the shield to the keystones? I looked through the showcase section of these forums and did not find any examples of grounded installations in their racks.

Glenn

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STP because it's better insulated/sheilded... We have a lot of cabling going thru the house and didn't want the chance signals would not transmit properly somehow... Whether or not really needed...don't know. Not sure if they are grounding them.

Cat6 is harder to work with vs cat5e. Maybe that's why your company didn't want to deal with it.

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My entire home uses Cat6A STP with a 6 strand fibre backup run to each drop . Could not be happier with this decision. Networking, HDMI distribution is all flawless and blazingly fast :)

It will take the installer a few terminations to get the hang of it and then its probably 15% longer per connection. No biggie for getting a 10G ready network. If you want pictures I can through up a few of the patch panels in the racks etc. Let me know.

qVAMPIREp

I see there is interest in the previous posts so here you go guys. Note the diameter of the Cat6a STP in picture 2 is about the same or slightly larger than RG6

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My entire home uses Cat6A STP with a 6 strand fibre backup run to each drop . Could not be happier with this decision. Networking, HDMI distribution is all flawless and blazingly fast :)

qVAMPIREp

Wow. Really nice install. What are the specs for the two racks (middle Atlantic 32U?)

Glenn

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i am installing my own network in my house now and i would have to say that going CAT6a STP was the best thing i have done so far....it might be harder to run and thicker to get through tight places but it will be worth it in the end when you dont have a bottle neck bc or your wiring...and also interference

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Hey' date=' if had my way back in 2008, I would have fiber in the troughs right now. Just run CAT 6 and plenty of it. In 2015 you'll wonder why you ever lost sleep over cost.[/quote']

Fiber is interesting, but I don't see any mainstream products that are using it. I am not a fan. I think we will see wireless video distribution before fiber.

Glenn

"Fiber is interesting" Kinda like, "Mr. Hand, will I pass this class?' Gee, Mr. Spicoli, I don't know"

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My entire home uses Cat6A STP with a 6 strand fibre backup run to each drop . Could not be happier with this decision. Networking' date=' HDMI distribution is all flawless and blazingly fast :)

qVAMPIREp[/quote']

Wow. Really nice install. What are the specs for the two racks (middle Atlantic 32U?)

Glenn

They are both ERK-2725 27U on wheels. Nice working height for the modems and NAS drives but the ERK-3525's might have been slightly better perhaps.... I've got too many gadgets I guess ;)

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They are both ERK-2725 27U on wheels. Nice working height for the modems and NAS drives but the ERK-3525's might have been slightly better perhaps.... I've got too many gadgets I guess ;)

The ERK series has a nice look to it. Your system is the first one that I saw with two 'shorter' racks together. It looks well balanced.

Spicoli

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They are both ERK-2725 27U on wheels. Nice working height for the modems and NAS drives but the ERK-3525's might have been slightly better perhaps.... I've got too many gadgets I guess ;)

The ERK series has a nice look to it. Your system is the first one that I saw with two 'shorter' racks together. It looks well balanced.

Spicoli

Thanks, I have a great dealer. The intent was to have the networking/phone and Control4 on one side and the AV components on the other side. For the most part this was accomplished except for the Dune Player. With the huge bundle of cables coming in it's better to keep it setup this way so that if you change switches to fibre or whatever else you want you don't need to rewire everything.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We use Cat6a on some items and I have a ton of it in my house. Its all UPT non-shielded which isn't a ton of money (but its more no question about it). From modular connector to modular connector its no problem at all. I even have a rapid tool to terminate both ends but terminating it in an RJ 45 jack is next to impossible. I've purchased the unofficial Cat6a jacks (I say unofficial because you are only supposed to do terminations to RJ 45 in the factory to maintain the rating) but those jacks don't work very well at all. If there aren't many runs, its usually more cost effective to terminate to a modular jack and use a 3" Cat6a patch cable.

Its 10 times faster than Cat6, should be sufficient for future proofing for a year or two :)

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I even have a rapid tool to terminate both ends but terminating it in an RJ 45 jack is next to impossible. )

I have zero problem using a 45 end :).

I personally run both cat 5 and 6. Using the cat6 for high bandwidth video and the cat 5 for everything else. Or just cat5 if the distribution isnt that heavy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

CAT6 UTP for data, audio, intercom, etc and CAT6 STP for video. Would run STP if i could but our prewires already cost way too much for our clients as we futureproof for all distribution. If you are utilising B&O hardware CAT7 is their standard from now on.

Speaking of distribution i am impressed by the new Crestron DM distribution. 1 CAT6 STP cable can do hdmi video, audio, ethernet and control. Only thing it doesn't do is audio return.

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  • 5 weeks later...
I have zero problem using a 45 end :)

With what connectors? I was referring to Cat6a not Cat6. There are no Cat6a 45 jacks except one brand which suck and takes about 30 minutes per end (the VPI one's here http://www.vpi.us/catacc-plugs.html ) Maybe there's another brand out there I haven't seen. If you have some please provide link. If you mean Cat6 (not Cat6a) I can rival Joe's video challenge termination time on those puppies. :)

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  • 1 month later...
My entire home uses Cat6A STP with a 6 strand fibre backup run to each drop . Could not be happier with this decision. Networking, HDMI distribution is all flawless and blazingly fast :)

It will take the installer a few terminations to get the hang of it and then its probably 15% longer per connection. No biggie for getting a 10G ready network. If you want pictures I can through up a few of the patch panels in the racks etc. Let me know.

I'm about ready to order a NextLAN Cat. 6A solution, but I'm torn between the AXi (10Gain XP UTP cable) and the shielded (U/FTP cable) solution. Any particular reasons why you went shielded? My concern with a shielded solution is that it is much harder to meet the Category 6A specification for short links. This limits most of my runs to a minimum of 15 m, which limits the number of drops i can do with 1000 ft of cable.

I'm just wondering what were your reasons for choosing U/FTP or UTP?

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  • 2 weeks later...

^ Sorry didn't see his until now. The main reason is interence both from other cables and power. My fiend is a Network hardware specialist with Bell and given the small cost premium and desire to distribute video this was a no brainer for me. I also ran fibre etc for future proofing. The last thing I wanted was to have a bad HDMI drop over Cat 6a and his was all the insurance I could get before the walls were drywalled.

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