Cat5e for video runs?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Jason Sunde, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. Jason Sunde

    Jason Sunde Auditioning

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    I am trying to figure out what the best way to run video from a receiver in the basement to a tv in the living room. When I built the house a few months ago, I ran 2 cat5e's and a RG6 to each jack, but now that I am moved in and bought a new receiver, I am getting serious about how to do the hookups. My receiver upconverts to S-Video and component outputs, I have component between the DVD and receiver.

    My question is: should I try to use the cat5e or the coax to run video. If I use cat5e should I run S-Video jacks or is there a way to preserve the component level signal. I'm not sure if I can pull the RG6 back and replace it with something else, but it might be possible.

    I'm torn between the flexibility of the coax I already have in place and wanting to maintain the best video quality reasonable possible.

    Any ideas?

    Jason
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Good video distribution is tricky.

    3 coax would make for an awesome video run of component video and handle HD/ED.....

    If you falling back to svideo, you may as well fall all the way back to composite, and just put RCA jacks on the coax.
     
  3. Jason Sunde

    Jason Sunde Auditioning

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    Might be easiest, since I can get Keystone jacks for either S-Video or RCA. Save the good stuff for the dedicated theater room yet to be finished.

    Jason
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Jason.

    Just because they sell keystone jacks with female RCA connectiors or svideo jacks does not mean you can connect up Cat5 or Cat6 wires to them.

    The network cables were designed for digital data (ones and zeros). The strands are twisted so that the digital pulses that cross-talk on one twist are then opposed by the next allowing you to send digital signals hundreds of feet with little problems.

    Analog video signals are a very different story. These need coax to run nearly any distance. Your only choice is the RG6 cable and you can only push RF or composite video.

    (And we have not even discussed how to get the sound from the basement).

    While the keystone jacks look nice in the catalogs - these are usually horrible for the video and sound quality. They also give you a break in the cable that is prone to oxidization and loose connections.

    CONNECTORS ON WALL PLATES:

    If you were to send video to a wall-plate, you should use BNC connectors or "F-style" connectors. These are the only two that really work by maintaining the 75 ohm impedence that video signals require. If you do this, there are custom cable sites that will build you cables with BNC connectors on one end and RCA jacks on the other. (NO extra charge for these either).

    Dont be afraid of BNC connectors. These things have a twist-lock feature rather than friction-fit (which is why all professional gear use them), and do an outstanding job maintaining video quality using a $0.29 connector. Even my beloved Canare RCA plugs (at $2+ each) dont do as good a job as a basic BNC for a fraction of the price.
     

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