Multimedia cable


New Member
Has anyone ever used/heard of multimedia cable used to run through the house to help prepare for what technology is coming down the pike. I was told it exists and might include fiber optic, power, RG6, cat5, etc...

any thoughts on it.

What do people think aobut running fiber optic for future or is wireless taking over and its pointless????
My take on it is that wired is always more reliable, and always is far ahead on bandwidth, and consumers are ever-hungry for bandwidth.

As such, I wired my house, but also plan on adding wireless in the near future and have just been watching the latest technology for wireless (and given the wiring I haven't needed wireless lately).

As far as the bundled cable (with multiple cables wrapped in a plastic sheath), I would recommend against it from my limited experience with it. Here is why:

1. It is harder to run, the wrapper makes it harder to manage
2. If one wire in the bundle is damaged, it becomes annoying (that wire needs to be no longer used and another wire run).

I thought it was a great idea until I used it...

Back to fiber: Verizon is going after fiber to the curb, which could translate into some possible expansion inside the home. However you can currently do gigabit ethernet over copper (cat5) and I have heard they can do 10g ethernet over copper as well. Therefore, the question becomes will fiber get you anything other than a more expensive cable run and some very expensive termination tools?

I don't know the details, but the termination tools for working with fiber were close to $900 when I last looked (although I do not have the background in fiber).

Given all this I did not run fiber and went with cat5e when I did mine. Time will tell, but the bandwidth that is available currently over cat5/6 is probably not going to be fully utilized for some time.

If, HD type signals become more prevalent, and the resolution increases (I heard we will begin to see double to triple current HD specs soon) fiber could become a reality sooner than later. On the other hand, if they can continue to squeeze huge bandwidth from cat5/6/etc there is little reason (am I missing something) to go with a more expensive route and more complicated termination.
wireless is only good for internet browsing (IMO). With wireless you will not be able to maintain consistent quality signal (interference and bandwidth). A wired connection will provide consistent speeds without the dropped packets (neccesitating resending data/requests) I think, again I think, that HDTV encoded in mp2 requires around 900 mbs/s which wireless does not provide and wiredonly provides on gigabit networks. This being said, mp4 is now becoming popular dropping the neccesary bandwidth but I am sure the TV quality and encoding rates will forever play cat and mouse (speed vs. encoding quality). I personally wire everything but maintain wireless networks for browsing also.
Two things to keep in mind.

Chips for UWB (Ultra-wide-band) wireless are available now from a couple of vendors. UWB is designed for wireless media, in general, and HDTV in particular. The first generation devices support around 1 gigabit/second. The UWB spec contains features like QOS, specifically designed to stream media throughout the home.

All fiber is not created equal, there are a number of different types. Single-mode and multi-mode and they can be designed for different wavelengths. So it's not a good idea to run fiber unless you know ahead of time what you will use it for.