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Interested in building a home network...

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TransformedBG

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
I am getting ready to build a home network and im looking forward to getting started on it. Im just in the middle of deciding what all i need.


Let me start by listing what i have and where i want to go

Connections:
1. Living room : (PoE 6 or 8 port router) TV, Blueray player, X-box, Satellite, 1 HDMI (over Ethernet)
2. Master bed room: 2 Ethernet connections, 1 HDMI (over Ethernet)
3. Daughters room : 2 Ethernet connections. 1 HDMI (over Ethernet)
4. Office : 2 Ethernet connections, 1 HDMI (over Ethernet)
5. Garage : 2 Ethernet
6: Nas or server (not sure which route to go)
7: Network Printer
8: Room for expansions (possible Home automation)
9: Wireless access point

The idea of the HDMI over Ethernet is to allow me to set my blue-ray or another device to the hdmi port and being able to watch from any room using something like:

http://www.pimfg.com/Product-Detail/HDMI-CAT5-WPL


But then I am debating between cat5e and cat6. I know the major difference in the cable is that cat 6 is a little thicker and runs aht ah higher freq that will allow for a better gigabit experience. Ideally i would like to be able to share files across the network as quickly as possible. I also want to be able to use PoE to control different switches and access points in the house. (I also know there is about a 4 dollar difference in a 500ft roll)

now based on that i can decide which switch/switches i want to use. Im thinking i should just have the HDMI on its own switch and then a switch for everything else. But looking at other peoples networks online i see things like packet switches, nat switches, firewalls etc... I dont really know if i need these or not.

as far as the nas or server would go, would primarily be to rip my entire dvd collection and do away with physical disk that just take up room. Looking to go raid 6.

I was just wondering if there is anyone out there whos networked up a house and what they have done. any insight would be appreciated.
 
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kyij

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Location
Near Toledo, OH
I have not messed with HDMI over network like what your planning on doing, but pretty much done everything else that you have.

If your deciding on cat5e/6, I would get cat6. Yes there is not much of a difference, but it supports faster speeds, unlikely you will ever hit that 10GBps, but you never know as how technology is - you would hate to wire an entire house and in a few years for it to be old tech, for only a few dollars saved, imo.

I am unsure of the size of your dvd collection. Or the size of rips. Really movies look fine from a 700MB to 2GB rip (depending res, sound, etc) but I know people that want full 50GB rips of their bluerays.. it is everyone's preference. But it will matter on how you do your server.

I am just now finishing my ZFS system (33TB raw storage). Although it total I only have 23.5TB as other is for redundancy. It is easy to setup for a windows enviroment, and gives great speeds when set up. In total, I have around $2,000 into it, but have server grade hardware with a quad core xeon.. ZFS will easily let you use mirror, "raid5 aka Raidz1", "raid6 aka Raidz2", or "Raidz3" for three redundant disks. Much better then actual raid, and more reliable. Let me know if you want to know more about this :)

Also I think Xilisoft is a good program to rip, if you have yet to find a program.

You can pick up 8port unmanaged gig switches for $20.
 

pcgamer4life

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you!

I'm slowly gathering components to wire my home, as well.. probably waiting until spring until it's bearable in the attic to pull the cable. I went with cat6 only because I got a ridiculous deal on it (it was surplus from a commercial job nearby). I also picked up a couple 8 port gigabit switches, and a patch panel. Still waiting on a pair of access points and a 16 port switch (used, from the same commercial job, they're upgrading).

Honestly, I'd probably skip the HDMI over ethernet. I don't know much about it, how reliable it is, etc, but pretty much every device on the market now and in the future is going to be internet enabled, and if you've got a gigabit network behind it, streaming should be fine.

A patch panel isn't a necessity, but I think it makes things look a bit cleaner, and gives you a little bit of flexability, simplifies maintenance, etc.
 

funsoul

Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2004
Location
NJ, USA
Great planning start! +1 for cat6. Good that you're planning to run extra lines to each room. You don't want to re-run cabling so better to build in some extra capacity.

Haven't used the hdmi over ethernet but that's a great add to your setup. You'll certainly add a switch or 2...I'm using a 24port gigabit from d-link (and prefer it over my 2 prior netgear 24port ones).

Skip nas, build a server, no comparison imho. I'm running whs2011 with stablebit drivepool. Tons of options for a server os but I like whs because it integrates with all the client pcs so frickin' easily. Automated backups are great. You'll also want to grab a decent collection management app and decide what front-end(s) you want to use for accessing the video collection. I like mymovies (but there are a number of others) and the clients all use mediacenter as the front-end. Other potential adds would be, for example, a cablecard tuner (i use an hdhomerun prime) or cheap/nice OTA antenna and something like an hdhomerun (not the prime).

For the network printer, just set it to 'share' on the pc to which the printer's connected. All other clients will be able to add and use it as a network printer.

Good luck! You're gonna love it!
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Imo cat 6 is a waste unless you're running 10gb connecetions. I have over 200ft runs of cca cat5e running gigabit just fine amd wireless netowrk printers are nice just make sure your ap has wps
 

cullam3n

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Location
San Antonio, TX
Cat6 is also more difficult to crimp, personally I used Cat5e because I got it at a good price along with a patch panel. Also make sure you use solid core instead of stranded for in-wall wiring. Most bulk Cat5e/6 are solid though. If you wire with Cat6, you have to use Cat6 cabling all the way through to get Cat6 speeds. If anything is Cat5e along the way (patch panel, patch cable, cable from switch to PC), you'll effectively be running Cat5e. Not that will make a difference though.

Get a good crimper; cheap ones will frustrate you.

I use Monoprice for all my keystones and wall jacks. Super cheap and decent quality.

LABEL EVERYTHING. Cannot stress this enough.

You will want to test all the runs you make; they make testers specifically for that, but if you have patience a laptop and a cheap switch will work.
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
+1 on the labeling i have 12 runs in one room i didn't label two.. i had a bad day.
like i said i ran the el cheapo copper clad aluminum cat5e which was like 40 bucks for 1000ft and i was able to make well over 100-200ft runs just fine carrying gigabit.

one thing to be sure with gigabit you can just have both sides the same, you have to make sure the pairs are right there are markings on the sides if they arent right you will be stuck with 100mb till you correct the issue, i had to learn this the hard way.

and i second monoprice and good crimpers :)


as for hdmi over ethernet id personally go for the units that have ir repeaters and everything the hdbaseT kits so you have full control

sorry for the second post i was on my phone lastnight lol i dont have internet at home at the moment.
 
OP
TransformedBG

TransformedBG

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
I'm taking in the feed back. I think I will go with the cat 6 only Because it future proofs the home. I was planning on labeling though. I guess the real problem I'm having is deciding is the kind of switch to get lol.
 

kyij

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Location
Near Toledo, OH
I'm taking in the feed back. I think I will go with the cat 6 only Because it future proofs the home. I was planning on labeling though. I guess the real problem I'm having is deciding is the kind of switch to get lol.

Sadly, there a dime a dozon. A lot of people make sure they get metal ones, but I got two plastic housed ones, and they do not get much above ambiant, even when my server is pooling data around, just as fyi - you can get pretty cheap ones, given they work. These are a lot easier to switch out than wire is at least.
 

Wathnix

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
+1 for WHS2011 with drivepool, thats what I have. Also +1 for CAT6, future proofing. Not sure why you want Power over Ethernet (PoE) in your home, it's my understanding that is mostly for VOIP phones.
 
OP
TransformedBG

TransformedBG

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Basically the idea of poe is to have the ability to control things. Ie if I don't want to manually reset my routers or something I could use the poe to power cycle them through simple scripts. Or if I wanted to automate the house.
 

cullam3n

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Location
San Antonio, TX
Basically the idea of poe is to have the ability to control things. Ie if I don't want to manually reset my routers or something I could use the poe to power cycle them through simple scripts. Or if I wanted to automate the house.

PoE isn't used that way. It is used to power devices less than 50w, including

-wireless access points (eg, UniFi)
-VOIP phones
-IP cameras
-Wall clocks

so you can provide network connection and power through one cable.

Keep in mind that PoE routers and switches will use a lot more power than conventional ones. Figure about 25-30w per port.
 
OP
TransformedBG

TransformedBG

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
PoE isn't used that way. It is used to power devices less than 50w, including

-wireless access points (eg, UniFi)
-VOIP phones
-IP cameras
-Wall clocks

so you can provide network connection and power through one cable.

Keep in mind that PoE routers and switches will use a lot more power than conventional ones. Figure about 25-30w per port.


it can be if you actually know what your doing...

let me give you an example:
surfboard db6141 :

Power 9W (nominal)
Input Power
North America 105 to 125 VAC, 60 Hz -> 12VDC @ 750mA


you can then splice a cable like so:
images


to do things like this:
PoE_Access_Point_v2.jpg


and i could even power my modem to power cycle it.
 
OP
TransformedBG

TransformedBG

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
So im working on the server now. I discovered my old 680LT SLI is capable of raid 5, which should be good enough for a home network. It has 6 sata II ports so i was looking into just getting a cheap case (with decent air flow) and something like a 4 bay backplane. Has anyone ever use a backplane to run a server? I could just mount the drives internally but i just figured if in the even i need to swap one out i could hot swap and keep the server up.
 

cullam3n

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Location
San Antonio, TX
I have 2 5x3.5 cages with backplanes. Nothing wrong with them, just beware that some of them only support SATA II (not that any spinning disk will be largely affected).
 

funsoul

Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2004
Location
NJ, USA
I just have all the drives loaded into cages...no backplane. That startech you linked does look pretty nice...would certainly make swapping out drives a bit easier (not that you'll have to do that very often...hopefully).

If you use whs2011 (or newer) and stablebit drivepool you don't need raid at all...drivepool deals with everything (but, afaik, does not support hotswapping).
 
OP
TransformedBG

TransformedBG

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
I just have all the drives loaded into cages...no backplane. That startech you linked does look pretty nice...would certainly make swapping out drives a bit easier (not that you'll have to do that very often...hopefully).

If you use whs2011 (or newer) and stablebit drivepool you don't need raid at all...drivepool deals with everything (but, afaik, does not support hotswapping).


never delt with drive pools. i just like the idea of having hot swappable drives. If i ever wanted to upgrade my arrays i would have room to as well.
 

I.M.O.G.

Glorious Leader
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Location
Rootstown, OH
Have you considered a streaming approach using plex? HDMI over Ethernet is one way, but a media center setup seems like it makes more sense/is more flexible. With being fully wired, you can directly stream without transcoding in full 1080P. 4K would be possible once there is media and devices to support it.

Further, while wired is cool because it basically eliminates bandwidth concerns and issues with wireless spectrum congestion, wireless is a real good option these days. With 802.11ac you have 5GHz frequency and 500mbps bandwidth, which can handle any high definition media without transcoding...

Basically, in 2014 while wiring a house is cool, its really superfluous. I might consider it perhaps in a new build where you can put it in before the sheetrock goes up, but even then it seems like wireless obsoletes it really.

Don't mean to discourage your project, but I wanted to put this out there so you didn't overlook the legitimacy of this option.

I've been streaming 1080p over wireless n for a couple years. I have to transcode due to signal quality so it isn't full quality but I can do full quality 720p without issue and transcoded 1080p also. If I just upgraded my router and got some ac adapters I'd be doing full quality HD media in every room already.

For storage, I have 12TB, 4 of it internal in my HTPC that is the heart of it all, 8TB in an external 4 drive USB3 enclosure - no raid or pools, they've just been setup like this for a couple years. In all about $600 in hard drives when I bought them, and the USB3 enclosure was $150. Cheap and worth the money - with the price of fancier storage solutions, I could rebuild the whole storage array twice.

Edit: htpc specs - 12TB storage, 3770k, gtx 760, 32GB ram, Asus mvg, in nmedia case that fits nice and looks like a stereo system in my TV console. Runs xbmc, plex, sabnzbd, couchpotato, sickbeard, hulu plus, Netflix, and prime video. Wife and I haven't had TV service since we started dating maybe 4 years ago, just internet and this gets us everything in a mostly automatic fashion.
 
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