^ 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.
I had actually already bought the cable before you had a chance to reply as I need to put up drywall to meet a March 31 deadline for an energy audit to get federal grant money (in Canada) for the energy saving renovations I am doing on my new house. So, I knew I couldnít rely on you getting back to me in time!
I entirely agree with your reasons for going with Cat 6A U/FTP and Fibre, and I encourage others to do so as well. However, I ended up going with Category 6 rather than Augmented Category 6 for a number of reasons. I did 26 drops to 11 locations with Superior Essex DataGain Category 6+ (UTP) and got a Leviton 48 port patch panel loaded with Category 6 QuickPort connectors, so I can take out half of those and stick them in the wall outlets. Yes, the only colour available is black, but I donít care as this was done in an effort to save money (you may have noticed that my math didnít add up, and yes I need 4 extra connectors).
With this cost saving measure I can to test the limits of HDMI over an unshielded Category 6 infrastructure. This house is just a small bungalow, so the runs are all less than 15m. I actually decided to maintain a minimum length of 10m to avoid problems with return loss.
With the emergence of HDBaseT, Iím not overly concerned about running into the same bandwidth issues you may have with the Atlona PROHD (as opposed to the HDBaseT based PRO2HD). The only conceivable problem I can think of is that a few runs come within 35 to 50 cm of CFLís, which are definitely sources of EMI and may cause issues when they are turned on. But, as an engineer, I took the cost saving decision to investigate and learn if this possible source of interference, which isnít widely documented, is truly and issue. Low levels of EMI in commercial environments may occasionally (e.g. lights turning on) cause packet loss and slow down a network for a moment, but the same EMI may cause a few seconds of blank screen with an HDMI signal.
Iím also running and terminating everything myself and I wasnít able (until recently) find someone who could certify the network with a Fluke DTX 1800.
I was looking into pre-terminated fibre, because it looked like the cost of terminating and testing would exceed the cost of pre-terminated for a few short runs. I also decided against that as the hardware that operates over fibre is generally double that of the copper equivalent. Did you terminate some of your fibre or is none terminated at the moment? If you did terminate any, did you use pigtails and find someone with a fusion splicer, or did you go with mechanical connectorís (epoxy/no-epoxy/polish/no-polish). If not, which method would you go with and why?
This has mostly been a learning experience so I can fully automate my future home in the next 7 or 10 years. I now understand the infrastructure and emerging technologies and the possibilities and problems you can run into.
The fibre was left unterminated for now because of the variety of possible ends.
Usually I lurk the forum to steal all of your ideas, but for once here's a subject which I may clarify...
My company primarily focuses on high bandwith data center infrastructure, but lately we've been doing
work with a control4 installer.
The only viable reason to install fiber or Cat6a residentially is for long distance runs. For most of your applications, in reality,
Cat5e is more than sufficient at this time. I have yet to see a 10gigabit copper ethernet switch anywhere besides a university test lab. This is
because the devices attached to that switch only have a gigabit network port. CAT6a WILL NOT MAKE GIGABIT ETHERNET FASTER. Whether we're
discussing copper or fiber cabling, the question to ask is what is at each end. Cat6 will generally be a good "future resistant" choice for a majority
of installations in that when 10gigabit over copper becomes common, most residential runs are generally less than 55M (180ft).
As far as Fiber, there are some definite advantages to residential use in some circumstances where you run into distances between switches exceeding
the 100M mark (especially between buildings for lighting isolation).
For the first time we're actually seeing a demand for residential Fiber (Control4 is Awesome). Not on a room to room distribution but between houses/garages/
shops/horse barns/etc. It is impervious to electromagnetic interference and great for interconnecting network switches over long distances.
Please note that there are different types of Optical Fiber specifically designed for different applications and these applications are always changing. So at this point I would encourage anyone considering installing Fiber as part of their structured cabling throughout the home to invest that money toward chases/conduit to allow future installation.
In the mean time I'll continue to steal your ideas and if anyone needs assistance with cable selection let me know.
The latest standard from the TIA for enhanced performance standards for twisted pair cable systems was defined in February 2008 in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-10. Category 6a (or Augmented Category 6) is defined at frequencies up to 500 MHzótwice that of Cat. 6.
Category 6a performs at improved specifications, in particular in the area of alien crosstalk as compared to Cat 6 UTP (unshielded twisted pair), which exhibited high alien noise in high frequencies.
The global cabling standard ISO/IEC 11801 has been extended by the addition of amendment 2. This amendment defines new specifications for Cat. 6A components and Class EA permanent links. These new global Cat. 6A/Class EA specifications require a new generation of connecting hardware offering far superior performance compared to the existing products that are based on the American TIA standard.
The most important point is a performance difference between ISO/IEC and EIA/TIA component specifications for the NEXT transmission parameter. At a frequency of 500 MHz, an ISO/IEC Cat., 6A connector performs 3 dB better than a Cat. 6A connector that conforms with the EIA/TIA specification. 3 dB equals 100% increase of near-end crosstalk noise reduction when measured in absolute magnitudes; see 3dB-point.
Confusion therefore arises because of the different naming conventions and performance benchmarks laid down by the International ISO/IEC and American TIA/EIA standards, which in turn are different from the regional European standard, EN 50173-1. In broad terms, the ISO standard for Cat6A is the highest, followed by the European standard and then the American.
When used for 10/100/1000BASE-T, the maximum allowed length of a Cat 6 cable is 100 meters or 328 feet. This consists of 90 meters (300 ft) of solid "horizontal" cabling between the patch panel and the wall jack, plus 10 meters (33 ft) of stranded patch cable between each jack and the attached device. Since stranded cable has higher attenuation than solid cable, exceeding 10 metres of patch cabling will reduce the permissible length of horizontal cable.
When used for 10GBASE-T, Cat 6 cable's maximum length is 55 meters (180 ft) in a favourable alien crosstalk environment, but only 37 meters (121 ft) in a hostile alien crosstalk environment, such as when many cables are bundled together. However, because the effects of alien crosstalk environments on cables are difficult to determine prior to installation, it is highly recommended that all Cat6 cables being used for 10GBASE-T are electrically tested once installed. With its improved specifications, Cat6A does not have this limitation and can run 10GBASE-T at 100 meters (330 ft) without electronic testing.