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New home wireing for AV distribution

08-06-2007, 08:13 AM
I'm building a new home and I'm working with a local AV dealer/installer. I feel fairly comfortable with thier suggestions, but I wanted to get a 2nd unbiased opinion of the overall install. Most of the equipment they are suggesting is dealer install only, so I want to make sure I'm not backing myself into a corner for future do-it-yourself expansion.

For audio we are installing a Netstreams audio distribution head. We will have 6 zones fully installed with 3 more roughed in for future. They will be running cat5e+16/4 to a keypad in each zone with 16/4 to each speaker and cat5e to an audio port (for local source and aditional audio out).

For video they are planning to put in 5 video zones with a single cat5e cable to each. This will support the Netsteams PAN6400 video distribution system in the future. This supports component video (1080i) over cat5e (4 source to 6 zones).

We plan to have all these terminate in a media closet (under the stairs).

My questions are:

1) is a single cat5e cable to the video port sufficient for future growth? should I put in 2 cables to plan for the future (1080p)? or run RG6? or both?

2) The Netstreams system is nice in that it all works together and seems to do everything I want now, but is dealer install only. Is there another more cost effective alternative that provides the same functionality and allows DIY?

3) Should I be concerned about overheating due to putting all this equipment in a closet? The builder said putting in an air return is not possible due to the location. Puting a vent from the HVAC seems like a bad idea if I forget to close it in the winter, the heat from the furnace would do more harm. What about installing some kind of blower to vent the air out? (the closet is located on an outside wall) or am I just paranoid and it should be fine? :)

Dan T.

08-06-2007, 08:17 AM
I forgot to mention that we are only pulling the cable for the video distribution system. I won't actually be installing it now.

So the complete install will be:

Audio: 9 zones (6 complete + 3 roughed in)
Video: 5 zones (0 complete + 5 roughted in)

Dan T.

Mark M
08-06-2007, 09:22 AM
As a person that does this work. I will tell you to pull more cables than not. Once the walls are enclosed the ability to pull more cables is limited unless you want to do drywall repair.

As for under the stairs. I have had the electrician install a bath fan that vents to the unfinished basement to pull the warm air out. This works very well and can be wired to turn on and run when the equipment is on.

I have only seen netstreams, have never used it. It looks like a decent product.