Structured wiring is a general term that refers to a whole-house network of audio, video, data, telephone, television, home automation or security signals. Structured wiring begins at the structured networking panel, which accepts cables from outside providers and distributes the signals directly to each room in your home. These direct lines are called “home runs” and they ensure the strongest possible connection and signal to each of your electronic devices.
Wire your home with high-performance cabling such as CAT-5e (Ethernet) or coaxial cables.
Tip: Splicing cables together can lead to loss of signal quality. Running all cable directly from the networking panel to the termination points eliminates splices and keeps signal quality strong on each cable.
Pre-fabricated networking panel's are available in a variety of sizes and configurations that include the devices necessary to distribute the signals you need throughout your home. These may include punch down blocks for telephone wires, signal amplifiers, routers, modems and an electrical power source to power the different devices in the panel.
From the networking panel, you can run different types of cables depending on the signals you plan to distribute.
- CAT-5e (Ethernet) and CAT-6 cables connect telephones, computer networks, home automation networks and audio/video distribution systems and is the most common method of wiring a home.
- CAT-5e cables consist of 4 pairs of wire (8 total conductors) with an Ethernet capability of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps). They terminate in RJ-46 plugs which look like wider versions of common telephone plugs.
- CAT-6 cables offer up to twice the bandwidth of CAT-5e cables.
RG6 Quad Shield coaxial cable, usually called coax, is most often used to carry television signals and cable-based broadband Internet signals and to connect video equipment.
- CAT-5e and coaxial cables are the backbones of a structured cabling system that organizes and distributes connectivity throughout your home.
- For a structured media setup, you can buy bundles of wiring with two runs each of CAT-5e and coaxial cables.
Fiber Optic Cables
Fiber optic cable is less common in residential applications than coax and CAT-5e, but it holds tremendous potential for delivering massive amounts of data, video, and audio at very high speeds. They use glass or plastic threads to efficiently transmit data.
Wall Plates, Connectors & Accessories
Twisted-pair or coaxial cable connectors keep your home wiring looking stylish and cutting edge with hole covers and video amplifiers.
- Multi-port wall plates allow you to run different types of cable from the networking panel to each room and terminate them all in a single wall plate. The ports accommodate snap-in connectors for coaxial, Cat-5e/6 and telephone terminations. Blanks are available to close-off unused ports.
- Twisted-pair cable connectors (aka RJ-45 jacks) look like wider versions of common RJ-11 phone jacks. These fit the ends of CAT-5e cables.
- F connectors, or coaxial cable connectors, are often used with coax in broadcast and cable television equipment. F connectors provide an inexpensive and stable connection to these communication devices and other cables.
- Fiber optic cables require different types of connectors from those used with coax or CAT-5e cables. If you choose to use fiber optic cable in your home, you may need to install a special adapter in your computer to utilize a fiber optic connector.
- Video amplifier modules boost the strength of cable TV signals and eliminate FM interference, and is ideal for longer cable runs or when splitting to multiple locations.
- Blank inserts cover up unused housing openings and preserve extra ports for future applications.