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Hardware You'll Need to Network Your Smart Home

Part of the Smart Homes For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you're getting ready to network your home to turn it into a smart home, you might be surprised at how many cables, cords, connectors, jacks, controllers, panels, and other gadgets it takes. The following tables break down the basic hardware you'll need to network your home.

Video Distribution Network
Stuff You Need Quantity You Need
RG-6 coaxial cable with F connectors For a two-way network, two runs from each viewing room to the central distribution point
Wall outlets One per remote viewing room housing two female connectors
Video distribution panel One, located in the central wiring closet
Cable set-top box/satellite receiver One per TV location is typical
Audio Distribution Network (Single Amplifier)
Stuff You Need Quantity You Need
Single-zone or multizone integrated amplifier or receiver One (multizone systems contain one stereo amplifier per zone)
Impedance-matching system One
Speakers Two per room (can be in-wall or free-standing speakers)
In-wall speaker cable (16 AWG minimum) One run between the media room and each remote location
RCA audio patch cords (Usually) one set per audio component
In-wall speaker wire outlets Two per remote area (if in-wall speakers aren't being used)
IR control network (with multizone IR zone distribution block for one multizone system) One
Remote Control Network for A/V Equipment
Stuff You Need Quantity You Need
CAT-5e/6 cabling One run from each remote location to the media room
Wall-mounted IR sensors or remote keypads One sensor or keypad per remote location
CAT-5e/6 A/V control system One installed in wiring closet or media room
IR emitters One per audio source device being controlled in media room
Telephone Network
Stuff You Need Quantity You Need
4-pair CAT-5e UTP cabling One run from wiring closet to each outlet
Modular wall outlets with female RJ-45 jacks One per telephone extension
Telephone patch cords with male RJ-45 plugs One per telephone extension
Telephone patch panel mounted in wiring closet One
CAT-5e UTP cable to connect patch panel     One run per incoming line to incoming lines from telephone company NID
Key Service Unit (KSU) (optional) One
Computer LAN
Stuff You Need Quantity You Need
4-pair CAT-5e/6 UTP cabling One run from wiring closet to each outlet (put extra runs in the home office and home theater/media room)
Modular wall outlets with female RJ-45 jacks One jack per computer or networked device, and one extra for your broadband modem
CAT-5e/6 UTP patch cords with male RJ-45 plugs One patch cord per computer or network printer
CAT-5e/6 rated patch panel mounted in wiring closet One (can be the same one that works with the phone network)
Home router/Ethernet switch Minimum of one router/switch in your wiring closet (additional hubs can be installed at remote outlets to allow connection of several computers to a single outlet)
Wireless LAN access point (optional) One or more in larger homes
Cable modem or DSL modem (optional) One
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Smart Homes For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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