A strong structured wiring system – the foundation of your smart home!
How to get the most out of your structured wiring system
With more and more of the devices within your home connecting to the internet, having a strong and comprehensive wiring infrastructure is more important than ever. Because of this increased dependency, more and more new home builders are choosing to include strong structured wiring packages for their clients in the new homes they’re building today. For those of us in existing homes, does that mean we’re out of luck? Thankfully, no; retrofitting wiring to connect devices is something that is commonly done today.
WHAT IS STRUCTURED WIRING?
So, what is structured wiring? The term refers to any wiring that is used to carry signal from one point to another. Much like the electrical wiring in your home carries the voltage needed to power your electronics, structured wiring provides the TV, internet, and phone signal from a centralized point to all of the rooms within your home. Structured wiring isn’t a new thing. Many of us have phone jacks, TV jacks or even Ethernet jacks in one or a few rooms within our homes today. Infinite Home Theater and our builder team standardize a minimum of one TV and one phone/data jack in each room within the house. By not wiring some of the rooms within your home, it impairs your ability to connect your devices and it also has an impact on resale value. If you’re building – make sure your builder is including all rooms on your structured wiring plan!
WHY IS STRUCTURED WIRING IMPORTANT?
It’s important to note that not all structured wiring infrastructure is created equally. From the quality of the wire being used, to the physical connection itself, the overall system’s effectiveness is largely dependent on the team installing it. At Infinite Home Theater, our team has over 40-years of combined experience installing wire in new and existing homes. Our team prides itself on the quality of work produced, not taking shortcuts, and with the high quality products used – very rarely encountering any sort of product failure.
Another critical aspect of a quality structured wiring installation is the cleanliness and organization of the install itself. You’ve most likely encountered a rat’s nest of wires on the side of a house, in an existing low-voltage enclosure, or behind an audio/video cabinet. Our team adheres to a strict quality standard with cleanly run lines that are zip-tied or Velcroed together and are all clearly labeled. Additionally, all lines are tested for full functionality to make sure that all your connected devices can get online without issue. Lastly, in most structured wiring systems, your home’s hub will be a low-voltage enclosure where all of your wires intersect. This eliminates the need to have ugly wires strung on the outside of your home, or hanging dangerously in the attic or crawlspace.
With an increase in WiFi-enabled devices, it’s alluring to think that every device in your home will connect to the internet via wireless. While technically possible, having a hard-wired connection is always the better solution. As an example of this, if your wireless antenna is on one side of the house, but you’re attempting to stream on your Apple TV or Roku on the other side of the house, you could be losing as much as 80% of your signal. This isn’t strictly a function of the distance between the two devices, it can be a result of WiFi traffic congestion and/or the fact that your Roku and Apple TV aren’t necessarily designed with the best WiFi antennae. With more 4k content coming our way, having the strongest possible connections to our connected devices will be paramount. In any scenario, having a physical wired connection is the best possible solution.
HOW DOES STRUCTURED WIRING IMPACT MY INTERNET SPEEDS?
The last item to note is with regards to your overall internet speed. It is important to understand that while 20, 40 or even 100Mbps connections are readily available today, faster speeds are either on the horizon, or might even be available to you without your knowledge. Gigabit service (10 times faster than 100Mbps) is being rolled out all over the valley. The most commonly installed cable type (Category 5e or Cat5e for short) is most likely what’s in your home today. While it’ll technically support gigabit speeds, this is effectively the maximum throughput that it will provide to you. Category 6 cable is the next logical upgrade. It’s able to handle 10 gigabit speeds – 10x the current max speed available today. As an added benefit, if you’re choosing between Cat5e and Cat6 cable, the upgrade cost is minimal and affords you forward-compatibility and peace of mind.
Contact Infinite Home Theater today to see how we can help you upgrade your existing structured wiring system, or to help you maximize what you’re placing in your new home build!
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