Coax over Cat-5

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by nattyd, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. nattyd

    nattyd New Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    I hope someone has some experience with this...

    I own an old (4+ years ;-)) house that I unfortunately did not build so as you can guess, the wiring is inadaquite for my HD setups. After trying unsuccessfully to pull a second cable from the attic to the living room I am frustrated by not being able to watch one channel and record a second one on my HD250.

    But, I have one last option...

    I do have a cat-5 run to the same location. I am set up for wireless so it's not a big deal to lose the net connector. Can I use a Coax to RJ45 Balun? I would be running one coax line diplexed with an OTA HD antenna and the second DTV line would be on the cat-5 run.

    Would this do the trick?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. dagap

    dagap New Member

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    Alpharetta, GA
    Run the second cable. If you can't do it then hire someone. And while he's there, have him run a third cable in case you ever want to add an OTA antenna.

    All the other options will be more expensive and/or result in degraded picture and audio.
     
  3. nattyd

    nattyd New Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    So I am guessing you are saying it won't work? ;-)


     
  4. dagap

    dagap New Member

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    Alpharetta, GA
    I don't know of a way to make it work. There are gadgets that will encode/send and receive/decode AV on cat5, but that's not what's on the coax satellite line. The coax line is a 2-way thing, with the receiver setting voltage and sending signals to tell the multiswitch what it wants to watch. I've never heard of a gadget that will do what you're asking.

    You could look into stacking the line. Search solidsignal.com for stackers and destackers. It'd be cheaper to run the second coax, though. Plus, IIRC, stacking won't work with the latest satellite dishes.

    You could move the HDTivo to a location that has two coax lines, then send the decoded AV to your TV via the one existing coax, or via the cat5 gadgets. You'll need the gadgets plus a way to get the remote's signals back to the HDTivo. Plus you might lose picture and/or sound quality.

    A lot of people centralize their equipment and use modulators to put the signal from each device onto a particular channel. If you want to watch the DVD player, then tune any connected TV to channel 5. The Tivo is on channel 6. The VCR is on channel 7. Etc.

    PQ suffers, and some of these things have mono audio. I can't even guess how they handle HD, if it all. Plus all this stuff would cost more than having a professional fish a cable.
     
  5. HogarthNH

    HogarthNH DirecTV Addict

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    Somewhere, OK
    Quoted for truth.

    Don't try to make stuff more complex than it needs to be, folks. :)

    Even if you save a few bucks in cash now, your frustration level will make it not worthwhile.

    H
     
  6. nattyd

    nattyd New Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Not trying to be complex, just don't think fishing a second coax run is an option...
     
  7. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    If you have the baluns already it might be an interesting experiment. But keep in mind that it might possibly work now, it almost certainly won't work with the higher bandwidth requirements of the 5-LNB dish that's needed for Ka-band reception.
     
  8. bdlucas

    bdlucas Right side up again.

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    Cat 5 cable is speced to 100 MHz, well well short of the speced bandwidth of coax, and the bandwidth needed for satellite, or even just OTA, by a decimal order of magnitude or so. Of course a single number like bandwidth doesn't capture the whole story (attenuation, S/N ratio, required error rate), but it seems pretty unlikely to me. But as Doug says if you have the baluns to do the experiement it would be interesting to see confirmation of this.
     
  9. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

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    Binghamton, NY
    Does your plumbing vent stack go from attic to basement (providing you have a basement)? If so, then you may be able to run a line from the attic to the basement and then back up to the living room.
     
  10. yostmatt

    yostmatt mE

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    Hollidaysbur...
    It's ok to dumb things down... Life will be easier.
     
  11. dagap

    dagap New Member

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    Alpharetta, GA
    Another option to get a signal into the basement is to hijack an existing cable. This is what I did.

    My home is "wired for cable", with all coax runs terminating at a central point in the basement.

    Well, the dish is on the roof and I didn't want coax stapled to the outside of my home and then drilled through the brick. So we went into the attic and picked a room that had a coax run but didn't need TV. We picked a guest bedroom (screw 'em!). Cut the line, installed a F connector, then used a coax bullet thingie to connect it to the line from the dish. Ta da! A live cable in the basement.

    Of course, this only works if your upstairs cable runs go through the attic.
     
  12. nattyd

    nattyd New Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    It's a 4 year old house in southern California so that means only a small partial attic and no basement.

    I called a cable installer and they are coming out early next week to take a look. Yes, I am a bit nervous having dealt with my fair share of nightmare installers...

    IMHO - D* should spend more time figuring out how to optimize their installation/cables and less time building their own PVR.

    I appreciate all the brainstorming.
     
  13. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    I've used cat5e to run SD video for specific purposes, but with mixed results. The units to do this have essentially a remodulator on one end and a demodulator on the other, and they degrade the signal, most don't pass audio or stereo audio, and cost in the $100-200 range. Sometimes I've seen bad ghosting in such setups, too. It is probably very impractical to move HD video over cat5e.
     
  14. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    1) You can't run the satellite signal over a Cat5. Most Coax/Cat5 baluns don't cover the range required for satellite.

    2) You can run 1080i/720p component video over cat5 easily. The cheapest way (using Leviton Quickports) works well, with minimal ghosting. There are also more expensive ways, but if you can pay for them, you can run new cable.
     
  15. bdlucas

    bdlucas Right side up again.

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    More to the point, the Cat5 cable itself itself has nowhere near the required bandwidth.
     
  16. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    So, could you run it over fiber? Or even better, multiplex all 4 feeds over one fiber run?
     
  17. Kingfish

    Kingfish "Every man a king"

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    I'm sure you've tried using the existing coax cable to pull three stings through then use one string to pull another cable through, the second one to pull the existing coax back through, and the third to leave in place to pull future wires?
     
  18. bdlucas

    bdlucas Right side up again.

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    In principle fiber would have more than adequate bandwidth to multiplex all 4 feeds. I suspect the equipment to do this however might be a bit of a DIY job :)
     
  19. nattyd

    nattyd New Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    I tried pulling the cable through but met significant resistance. I have a 'professional' coming out next week to try to fish the new line/s.

    Question: while he's here should I have him run two additional coax (tota of 3) lines based on the new D* hardware that is coming or will a total of 2 coax be sufficient?
     
  20. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    You'll need a 3rd for antenna signals with the 5-LNB dish since they can no longer be shared with the satellite coax lines. As long as you don't exepct to have more than one dual tuner receiver there, running 2 more lines should be best. If you might have a second receiver with 2 more tuners, you might consider running a total of 4 more (for a total of 5), especially if it won't cost much more to get them all done at once.
     

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