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Cable_newbie
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Help with refurb cable planning please

I'm soon buying a home that needs a full refurb. I plan on including cat 5/6 cabling as part of this. I will have 1-2 lodgers, and am considering the VIP bundle. I'd like to figure out how I can get TV access in each room. All help much appreciated.

Background on setup:

  1. Lounge: Smart TV (w/Ethernet). I'll probably have some complex ARC setup too that I don't yet fully grasp as I'll have soundbar, DVD player, console etc.
  2. Bedroom 1: Smart TV and PC linked to it as monitor. Both PC and TV have Ethernet ports.
  3. Bedrooms 2/3: Ethernet connection, possible laptop/PC or TV connection depending on lodger preference.

My questions:

a) I presumed the boxes could all link to the router via cat cable. *I prefer stability to wifi). A worrying online chat with a Virgin rep suggested a "special" cable was instead required, but his/her English and technical knowledge both seemed suspect...what's the situation?

b) Assuming some kind of proprietary cable, can I get it shipped in advance of my being a customer so my builder can integrate it in the walls during the refurb? Are appropriate faceplates/end connections male-male links available as with Ethernet? 

c) I want to have access to the full package in each room, but don't care if only 2 of the rooms have recording capability. Can I achieve this with some combination of the two supplied boxes, and an app / internet-based service on the PC(s)? If there is some shortfall in service to the non-box setups, do I at least get the sports/sky movies channels?

d) I understand if the only option is to get extra boxes it's 7.5/mo per box plus a one off fee - correct?

e) How much of my 200mb is taken up per TV viewer / channel recording in the background? Will I be risking maxing out my internet bandwith on TV channels?

Thanks!

 

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Superuser
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

a) If you opt for V6 boxes, then not only can they, but they'll have to. However, every single broadband or TV box from VM needs a coax connection to the VM network as well. This would be installed by VM.

b) Possibly. The only commercially available cable which VM will even consider connecting to their network is Webro HD100. Even then there's no guarantee if the installation isn't done properly and there's too much noise.

c) Not any more, no. VM only offer recording boxes.

d) Correct.

e) None, unless you're consuming app-based content.

TV: XL+SkySports V6
BB: 200Mbps SuperHub: Arris
Loc: ME10
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Superuser
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

a) If you opt for V6 boxes, then not only can they, but they'll have to. However, every single broadband or TV box from VM needs a coax connection to the VM network as well. This would be installed by VM.

b) Possibly. The only commercially available cable which VM will even consider connecting to their network is Webro HD100. Even then there's no guarantee if the installation isn't done properly and there's too much noise.

c) Not any more, no. VM only offer recording boxes.

d) Correct.

e) None, unless you're consuming app-based content.

TV: XL+SkySports V6
BB: 200Mbps SuperHub: Arris
Loc: ME10
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Cable_newbie
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

Thank you, very glad I thought to ask about this before I did the work. I'd be rather unhappy with ruining all the cable planning with new cables snaking up the walls all ugly Smiley Happy

Coax is same as TV aerial right? I was planning on having those in each room also of course, from the antenna in the flat. However you're saying they now each need a second link to the area where the modem is. I can plan for that now that I know.

So if I used the below for all my aerial stuff, I should be OK given I'll be using new materials? (What might cause "noise" otherwise?):

http://www.webro.com/coaxial/tv-satellite/hd100-cable/

 

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Superuser
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

The best thing you could do is provision ducting within the walls with holes/cavities at appropriate access points with string laid to pull through any cable the installer needs to run.

With the cable run, a passthrough faceplate could be slipped over the end before a connector is added just outside the wall. Yes you'd have a short length of cable protruding from the socket to attach a longer patch cable to the box, but you wouldn't have the complexity of doing it yourself.

Cable coax is *not* TV aerial coax, nor is it satellite coax either, but it can be used for the same purpose.
As a minimum, I'd suggest you'd need dual Cat6 sockets (one for a PC, one for a VM box), one TV aerial socket, one passthrough faceplate (i.e. a hole) for the VM coax.

Noise can be caused by shorts, improperly earthed connections, or poorly attached connectors. The reason I'm suggesting letting the installer do it all is that being a cable network, every house is connected to every other, so noise on one can feed back to the street cabinet and affect everyone else. If it's your fault, guess who foots the bill for fixing it Smiley Wink

Depending on your build schedule, getting VM in to install should be something you plan as early as possible, and then complete the rest of the decoration around it, especially if you're looking to embed the cables in the wall.

TV: XL+SkySports V6
BB: 200Mbps SuperHub: Arris
Loc: ME10
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Cable_newbie
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

Thanks again.

First - I'm confused by "Cable coax is not tv coax etc". Are you simply making the point that I can't re-use one run for both uses? or are you saying that the coax brand you recommended literally can't also be used for TV aerial purposes because it wouldn't work for TV aerial signals (and I terefore have to get some other type).

For the broader point, my key concern is from past experience trying to organise telecoms companies to send engineers at x time and work in y way is typically impossible. I'd also have to estimate a time, and might be wrong if builders get off schedule. Imagine saying to Virgin "actually cancel tomorrow but send them next monday please"(!)

I can't have the build held back because the engineers don't turn up etc. I'd also rather not start spending £100/m for 2 months before I'm actually in using the service.

Due to the horrible concrete / duplex situation I'm envisaging complex runs, partly "in wall" (plaster on top"), parly in false celing, partly through drilled holes and even partly in what I think is crown moulding. I can't imagine any series of holes enabling an engineer to come in and slip cable through the whole run after the building work. If I get them before the building work, as you say it would leave ends uncapped, meaning a) they'd have to come back b) they'd probably refuse to do the work....

When I say "I" am doing the work BTW, I mean a builder/electrician with decent experience. If I use the "premium" cable, (do I need "premium" end-caps/faceplates(!)?). I'd have thought laying the cables alongside the Cat 6 work should be done equally well as by a Virgin engineer? If they then test each coax end point and are happy with the noise, then they're effectively signing off the instalation, so I don't see any liability issues arising unless I'm missing something?

Surely whatever local interference is present will be present with their cable laying as much as mine?

Thanks again - sorry if this is frustrating for you and I'm missing something obvious just trying to figure out how things need to work!

 

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Superuser
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Message 6 of 9
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

That comparison should perhaps have been the other way around - while you can use cable coax for TV aerial purposes, you certainly can't do the reverse. The VM cable (and similarly Webro HD100) is triple shielded as much to prevent emissions from the cable as external emissions causing problems with the signal flowing through the cable - VM reuse some of the broadcast TV (and I think DAB) spectrum through their own cables, so they need to be properly isolated from the outside world; another reason to want it properly connected.

If you get in touch with the new build team (I realise yours isn't, but they're probably the closest you're going to get), that might be something feasible. Unlikely, I grant you, but it can't hurt to ask.

If you have ducting in place for the TV coax/Cat 6/VM coax then you may as well run it yourself, but do leave it uncapped and give yourself room for some slack - the last thing you want is to install a faceplate connected to exactly the right length of cable and find there's something which requires chopping the cable.

A rough diagram of the layout might be helpful in terms of understanding what cable to run to where. Including omnibox location, where you want the TV, SuperHub, switch, how the rooms are situated relative to each other - it may be that one of the techs who roam the forum will have a better idea as to how to provision the cable. The one thing I'm definitely not sure on is the faceplates & terminators/connectors. If at all possible I'd avoid any cable terminations until the install - if you know where the sockets are going, then install the back box and poke the cable through, just decorate around it.

Agreed, if they're happy with the SNR then they've signed off the installation, but if not then potentially there's a long fault-finding process to embark upon - It's an exercise in making sure you're prepared for the install (laying the cable), but ensuring you're on the hook for as little as possible in terms of actually installing it (connecting it up), if that makes sense.


TV: XL+SkySports V6
BB: 200Mbps SuperHub: Arris
Loc: ME10
    Please use the Search feature before starting a new thread
To thank or if you Like a post, use the Kudos +button. If it's an answer to your query, click Options.
Finally, if all else fails, take a deep breath and remember there's more to life than the internet and TV!
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frank_gm
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

Apologies if I am misunderstanding the original post but, if all you want in the bedrooms is standard TV connections, i.e. aerial not VM coax, and you want ethernet in those rooms also then you could do this in your own time, i.e. get your builder to feed the aerial coax and ethernet connections and forget getting VM boxes installed in the bedrooms.

Although I would also consider installing switches in both rooms so that whoever is there can have multiple ethernet connections, e.g. one for laptop and one for Smart TV.

Nice to be able to post again, after their mistake (removed by the Censorship team).
¡No Pasarán!
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Cable_newbie
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

Thank you - will leave uncapped as you suggest. Diagrams are beyond me!
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Cable_newbie
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Re: Help with refurb cable planning please

Thanks Frank - I'll have freeview available as backup / for rooms that ultimately don't get a virgin box. I'll have a 24 port switch and multiple cat5/6 cables to each room.
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