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Setup LAN for 2 PCs and cable HDTV to 4 rooms

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June 25, 2012 12:08:54 AM

How to setup a wired LAN for transferring HDTV to any of 4 HDTVs (none intelligent). Is CAT 6a optimal? What are network bottlenecks if I use a gigabit router?

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a b X LAN
June 25, 2012 5:01:30 PM

For short distances, CAT5e will work just fine. The primary benefit of CAT6 is that it’s built to higher tolerances, making it less susceptible to crosstalk and other noise. But generally that’s only a concern as the line grows longer. I certainly wouldn't run out and purchase CAT6 if I already had CAT5e, just a waste of money in most cases. The only exception might be if you planned to run ethernet through the walls. In that case, it just makes sense to future-proof the installation given the effort/cost involved.

I'm not sure what "bottlenecks" you might be anticipating. As long as you’re using Gigabit adapters, you should attain Gigabit speeds. If you were *really* concerned with squeezing out every last bit, you might be better off w/ a standalone Gigabit switch. Most routers use only budget-grade Gigabit switches. For example, they likely don’t support jumbo frames, use smaller and fewer buffers, have a relatively small backplane (so concurrent throughout maybe compromised), etc. But like CAT5 e vs. CAT6, I wouldn’t opt to upgrade to the higher-grade solution unless I had specific problems. In most cases, the budget solutions will suffice.
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June 26, 2012 5:05:14 PM

You can't use a LAN to send your TV signal to the TVs especially if they don't have networking capabilities. You need to setup a decoder box from your TV provider on each TV. You can setup some network connections using devices to the TVs and stream video from your computers or network storage to them though.
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July 3, 2012 1:08:47 AM

eibgrad said:
For short distances, CAT5e will work just fine. The primary benefit of CAT6 is that it’s built to higher tolerances, making it less susceptible to crosstalk and other noise. But generally that’s only a concern as the line grows longer. I certainly wouldn't run out and purchase CAT6 if I already had CAT5e, just a waste of money in most cases. The only exception might be if you planned to run ethernet through the walls. In that case, it just makes sense to future-proof the installation given the effort/cost involved.

I'm not sure what "bottlenecks" you might be anticipating. As long as you’re using Gigabit adapters, you should attain Gigabit speeds. If you were *really* concerned with squeezing out every last bit, you might be better off w/ a standalone Gigabit switch. Most routers use only budget-grade Gigabit switches. For example, they likely don’t support jumbo frames, use smaller and fewer buffers, have a relatively small backplane (so concurrent throughout maybe compromised), etc. But like CAT5 e vs. CAT6, I wouldn’t opt to upgrade to the higher-grade solution unless I had specific problems. In most cases, the budget solutions will suffice.


Good feedback. I found a great deal on pairs of powerline 500 adapters and chose to buy them. They came with CAT5 cables but seem to work ok. I replaced my fast ethernet router with a gigabit router and purchased a gigabit switch. Any slow spot on the network will impede performance and I still hope to forward my decoded cable signal through the LAN.
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July 3, 2012 1:17:09 AM

hang-the-9 said:
You can't use a LAN to send your TV signal to the TVs especially if they don't have networking capabilities. You need to setup a decoder box from your TV provider on each TV. You can setup some network connections using devices to the TVs and stream video from your computers or network storage to them though.


Thanks for your response. What you say may be true at present. So I decided to get a ROKU to put on my new network and stream programming to it. Its up and running now but its too soon to assess how satisfied I will be. Still a refurbished ROKU with ethernet, HDMI and wireless from WOOT at $50 is a great buy. Internet tv will work for me! There are other devices coming out which may accept m-card decoders and cable companies must provide them (at a modest fee). The cost/benefit ratio is marginal if you need a new PC and large HDD to have your own PVR.

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July 6, 2012 2:26:43 AM

Best answer selected by furf.
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