One cable to rule them all ?
February 16, 2011 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Cabling help please! All our video sources (and internet cables) are currently in the living room. Is it possible to run a single cable to the other rooms to share the video and data ?

We have satellite cable(s) coming to the living room, a cable tv cable in the living room and the internet modem/router are in the living room.

We would like to be able to run one wire to an outlet in the wall of two other rooms that somehow can transmit all of those sources. I read somewhere that cat5/6 network cable, coupled with a media streamer, could be the one cable we need.

In practice, how does this work? Is it going to be possible to use the remotes somehow, granted that with one sat receiver, for example, only one sat channel will be visible at a time in all rooms?

Internet access would be great too, so to be able to plug some WDTV lives and access media on the home network.

Thank you
posted by madeinitaly to Technology (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Something like a slingbox is about the only way to get a signal from the satellite box 'into' the network. And that would give you just the one channel currently being shown on the box itself.

If you want a truthful answer it's often better to just run extra wires. By the time you jump through all the flaming hoops of getting everything configured you still end up with a mess that's a pain in the ass to use on a regular basis. Versus just pulling extra wire and using another satellite set top box.

You generally cannot reuse a cable TV coax cable for satellite. Either ignore it or rip it out. Again, by the time you screw around trying to 'make' it work it'd have been easier to just pull new wire.

As for internet, cat 5 pulled to wherever you want network access. Or to a location well suited for placing a wireless network access point (which can be a cheapie wifi router configured as just an AP).
posted by wkearney99 at 10:51 AM on February 16, 2011

You may be able to do it. I'm thinking on the fly here...

If you wanted to just get a media streamer device, it would not be able to interact with your satellite box.

1. Run a coax cable to each room or use what's already in the walls.

2. Get some moca adapters. They allow you to do ethernet over coax. The signal should be able to coexist with your satellite signal.

3. Get some coax splitters / joiners so that you can connect both the coax output from your satellite box and the coax output from the moca adapter to your coax cables.

4. Get some IR to RF devices. These would allow you to use the remote in the far rooms and transmit the IR signal to the RF receiver in your living room and output the IR signal there.

5. Add some media streamers of your choice.

Alternatively, you could go with a server in your living room that media extenders / streamers could hook into. SageTV makes a HTPC / DVR software which is great and low cost. They also make a great extender box, the HD Theater. There are plugins for things like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon VOD, etc. The forum is a great place to ask more questions and get helpful answers. The community is really great. This would let you use ethernet or wifi to stream content to your locations. I would advise getting a hardware extender for your main TV as well, as codecs and stuff cause all sorts of problems.
posted by reddot at 11:03 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

You can video over cat 5 or 6, however, nothing else could then run over it.

I've always NTI's stuff like this HDMI over CATx extender

For the remote situation I've used one of these to turn the remote from an IR device to a radio device. Don't ask me how it works but it does! Remote then works anywhere in the house.

As wkeaerney mentions a Slingbox may be the answer you are looking for if you just want to run cat5.

At one point I split the coax out of my cable box and ran that to different rooms and used the remote extender.

If you want rooms to see different channels etc you need multiple boxes.
posted by patrad at 11:06 AM on February 16, 2011

If you are dealing with analog signals, you could get an RF Modulator which takes an analog audio/video signal and injects it onto a coax cable as a channel. From your other tvs, you would just change to the channel you set on the modulator.

To control the devices from remote locations, you could get IR Over Coax hardware which would let you have an IR receiver at each TV, and would send the signals over the coax back to source equipment.
posted by fief at 11:29 AM on February 16, 2011

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