RedMere is a new active technology that uses a chipset imbedded in the connector of an HDMI cable featuring RedMere. HDMI Cables powered by RedMere technology are significantly smaller in diameter (up to 70% smaller depending on the cable length) than standard HDMI cables. The reduced diameter allows for easier routing of cables and less strain on the input and output jacks of your sources and displays. Redmere technology allows 1080p video to be sent much farther distances than previously available with standard HDMI cables, and in many cases will be much better option to HDMI extenders that often had to be used at distances as short as 25ft. HDMI cables using RedMere technology are directional so additional care must be taken during installation to be sure the electronics side of the cable is connected to the display side.
High Speed HDMI Cables with RedMere
Twisted pair copper cabling has been the predomninant technology used to support commercial and residential Ethernet networks . As the need for greater bandwidth continues to grow, structured cabling systems have followed suit, evolving and supporting higher speeds and great bandwidth.
Ethernet cabling systems today are dominated by 1 Gigabit networks, with twisted pair representing 90% of all 1G ports. The TIA standard for CAT 6A was published in 2008, but the market was initially slow to take off due to cost of first generation 10GBase-T equipment.
The landscape is changing and 1G Ethernet switch ports are projected to decrease. The migration to higher network speeds, such as 10GBase-T has begun. The 10G growth rate is currently in the double digits, and will most likely surpass 1G in total port counts by 2014, according to market research.
As bandwidth demading services like cloud computing and vitualization gain momentum, we are certain to see requirements for 40G speeds or higher. Cisco Systems has predicted adoption rates for 40G switching equipment to outpace 10G in just five years.
The global cabling standards bodies TIA and ISO are both in early stages of developing future copper cabling standards that support 40G or higher. The TIA TR 42.7 committee plans on defining standards to support 40G speeds using twisted-pair cabling system with a frequency of up to 2 GHz performance. The ISO/IEC next generation cabling standard currently under development, known as ISO/IEC 11801-99-x, looks similar to the draft TIA standard. It also targets speeds of 40G or higher and a frequency of up to 2.0 GHz.
Existing CAT 7A (class FA) cabling and connectors have been suggested as a possible solution to support 40G applications. However, this technology presents some limitations. Current CAT 7A operates at 1GHz (ISO is the only standard body recognizing CAT 7A), but both TIA, ISO, and IEEE are currently targeting frequencies well above 1GHz, as high at 2GHz for next generation cabling.
In order to get functioning speakers in multiple rooms, the first step is getting the wires from the source to the speakers. Running wires can seem fairly simple, and it can be if its done right… the first time.
Before you start drilling holes or opening walls, begin with drawing out a wiring diagram. Measure the distance from the source / receiver to the speakers figuring in for volume controls etc. Its good practice to always leave extra wire when running to a location, while it may seem wasteful if you have to cut off a few extra feet at one end or the other, it is much better than ending up 2ft short on your run. When calculating the distance from source to speaker take into account the added distance around studs and joists, as this can add some distance to the run.
With your completed diagram, determine how many wire runs you will need and where they are going to end up. Each speaker will need a two conductor speaker wire run to it. If you are using in wall volume controls between the source and the speaker, it may be easier to pull a 4 conductor run to the volume control and then 2 conductor cable from the volume control to each speaker .. right and left. You will want all of the speaker runs to terminate at one location, where your amplifier or speaker selector is located.
Buy your wire in bulk and pull it from the source to speaker location before you make any cuts, to ensure you don’t end up short of your desired location. Be sure to use a CL2 or better cable rated for in-wall installation. A minimum of 16ga wire is required, but 14 gauge would be an even better choice especially if your runs are on the longer side.
If you are using one of the more advanced distributed audio options, like the D5RHK from Xantech for example, Cat5e cable is run from the central hub to the keypad located in each room. The left and right speakers are each connected with 2 conductor speaker wire to the keypad. Be sure to check your products requirements before you begin diagramming and purchasing cable.
Todays technology offers a multitude of ways to distribute audio though out your home.
The most basic option requires very little effort to implement. Most A/V receivers today offer powered second zones. To add a second pair of speakers all that is required is to run speaker wire directly from the receivers second zone output to a second set of speakers, volume level is controlled via the receivers volume control. In most cases the powered second zone will also allow for a second audio source to be played in either of the selected zones.
Another option is the use of an Impedance Matching Speaker Selector like the XSS24100W that takes the power of a receiver or amplifier and distributes it to multiple speakers. The impedance matching feature of the speaker selector maintains the proper impedance “load” on the amplifier, protecting it from damage. Individual volume control of these speakers can be accomplished by adding volume controls in each room, connected between the speaker selector and the speakers. Products such as Aton’s DLA series Speaker Selectors forgo the basic impedance matching technology of standard speaker selectors and utilize circuitry that actively monitors how many rooms are on, along with their respective volume levels, and delivers maximum available power to each room, protecting the amplifier from damage. The DLA units feature an electronically controlled volume control that can be varied using IR or RF remote controls.
If you are looking for more features, better volume control and higher quality sound the best option is to install a multi-source, multi-zone whole house audio distribution system. The whole house distribution system utilizes individual amplifiers for each zone and allows you to run multiple speaker pairs, one pair tied to each zone amplifier. Not only do these distribution systems offer multiple speaker zones, but they typically allow for multiple input sources which can be routed to one or many of the zones at any time. Source selection and volume control are handled by a “local” keypad for each zone. Xantech’s D5RHK DIGI5 System uses cat5e cable to connect a keypad/amplifier unit to a headend hub unit that contains the source inputs and handles the routing of those inputs to the various keypad zones. Speaker wire connects the keypad/amplifiers to the speakers
A balun is a small transformer that converts audio or video signals from balanced to unbalanced and vice versa (hence the term “balun”). Baluns provide the required impedance matching for audio and video signal transmission between different wiring systems, ie sending a component video signal (75 ohms) over Category 5 cable(100 ohms). Not all baluns however, are true baluns, the term balun has become synonymous with any device that transmits audio and video over structured cabling. Many of these devices are better labeled “extenders” as they do not do any impedance matching, but instead use other technologies to “match” the A/V signal to the cable.
Baluns (extenders) – Pros and Cons
- Baluns extend the transmission distance of audio and video signals
- Baluns allow you to send multiple signals over a single cable
- Twisted pair cabling is smaller and in many cases easier to hide than traditional cable
- Baluns help eliminate ground loops.
Baluns are not the ideal solution for every application;
- Balun performance can be compromised each time you convert a signal or pass through a connector. Make every attempt to maintain a point-to-point connection. Audio and Video signals may be run through a passive patch panel as long as point-to-point connectivity is maintained. Data cannot be run on the same twisted pair cable.
- Balun performance may be compromised in facilities with excessive RF interference, cabling should not be run within one foot of fluorescent lights and should not be run for more than three feet parallel to high voltage lines.
A power surge may last for only a few millionths of a second, but during that brief time, thousands of volts circulate your houses electrical system … frying circuit boards in your refrigerator or microwave, crashing computer hard drives, and damaging home-theater systems.
Lightning induced surges are the most powerful and the most damaging, but the fact is most surge-related damage is not caused by lightning. Far more frequent are surges caused by power company generated surges, downed power lines, air conditioners, motors and other high current electrical devices within the home. The damage inflicted minor power fluctuations may not show up for sometime, but each time an appliance takes one of these small “hits” it is shortening the life of the unit. One day the unit just stops working! Power surges can also enter the home via telephone, DSL and cable lines.
To guard against surges, one should follow a two-pronged approach, a whole-house surge suppressor to tame the large power spikes and a “power strip” surge suppressor to catch the smaller AC spikes for sensitive electronic devices and computers. During normal use a surge suppressor allows electricity to flow through them, but when the line voltage exceeds the surge suppressors rated “clamping voltage” the excess voltage is diverted to ground, usually within fractions of a millisecond.
A whole-house suppressor is hard-wired to the electrical service panel, a process that takes a licensed electrician about two hours. Look for Whole-house surge suppressors that are rated for 45,000 Amps peak maximum surge current, at a minimum. Other features include thermal protection , and lights or alarms that indicate when a device has taken a hit. Some whole-house units provide protection for phone and cable lines as well. Whole-house suppressors can not stop surges completely, excess voltage may still get through, this is where “plug-in” surge protectors come in to play offering an additional line of protection for more sensitive electronic hardware.
Leviton 51110-PTC Multimedia Whole House Panel-Mount Surge Protector
Leviton 51110-1 Residential Whole House Surge Suppressor
During new construction or remodel, a good practice is to install low voltage raceway from your central wiring point to the major Audio and Video, as well as data locations throughout the home or business. Using a raceway product makes for easy changes to cabling when a new technology arises or an equipment change necessitates an additional cable or two.
Carlon Resi-Gard nonmetallic flexible raceway is available in 3/4″ to 2″ diameter sizes with factory installed pull tape in sizes 1″ to 2″. The raceway is hand bendable, lightweight and easily cut to length to reduce scrap. Bright orange color clearly signifies a low voltage installation. UL Listed
Carlon Resi-Gard Raceway
Z-Wave technology can make any home a smart home without having to to do extensive rewiring. Z-Wave is a wireless system that allows lighting controls, window shades, door locks, thermostats and more talk to each other, and to you, via remote control. Operating at 900 MHz, the Z-Wave signal easily travels through walls. It uses reliable, low-power mesh network design, each device is both a transmitter and a receiver…there is no central transmission point. If one of the transceivers in the system fails, functionality of the other devices in the system is not compromised.
Z-Wave is a modular system, you can build your control system as your needs change. As an example, let’s say you started by adding Leviton Vizia-RF Z-Wave dimmers or switches to control your home lighting. The systems can be programmed to shut off all lighting when you’re at work, and turn back on you when you return home, saving energy
and money. You could integrate a Z-Wave lock, so that when you unlock your door a specific, preprogrammed lighting scene would activate as you walk in the door. A further enhancement to the system might add Z-Wave to your garage door, and your home security system. When you arrive from work, push a button and all your Z-Wave devices will work in concert — the garage door will open, your entryways will light up, your security system will recognize you, and your front door will unlock. How’s that for remote control?