Online Test Banks
Score higher
See Online Test Banks
eLearning
Learning anything is easy
Browse Online Courses
Mobile Apps
Learning on the go
Explore Mobile Apps
Dummies Store
Shop for books and more
Start Shopping

Using CAT-5e/CAT-6 Long-Run Cabling Systems

Category 5e (CAT-5e) or Category 6 (CAT-6) is the cable used to carry audio and video signals for computer networks and a whole-home theater network. CAT-5e or CAT-6 cables are often generically called Ethernet cables.

Here are some details on CAT-5e and CAT-6 cabling systems:

  • CAT-6 is the current top-of-the-line UTP cabling, suitable for very fast computer networks, but CAT-5e cable is the most common for home use and is more than adequate for your home’s wiring.

  • CAT-5e is a type of UTP (unshielded twisted pair) copper cabling and can be used for phones, computer networks, home automation networks, and audio/video distribution systems.

  • CAT-5e cables typically consist of four pairs of wire (eight total conductors) wrapped in a single jacket. The ends of CAT-5e cables are terminated in connectors known as RJ-45 jacks, which look exactly like the common RJ-11 phone jack, only wider.

  • CAT-5e cabling can be used to connect your home theater to your computer LAN and through this LAN to the Internet. For example, CAT-5e connectors are commonly found on MP3 servers, PVRs, and increasingly on audio source devices that are designed to play back Internet radio stations or MP3 files located on a computer in your house.

    CAT-5e cabling may also be used to connect the A/V source components in your home theater to other rooms in the house.

Each piece of a CAT-5e system (the cables themselves, the RJ-45 jacks, and so on) is subject to the CAT-5e rating system. If you use CAT-5e, make sure all the pieces and parts are rated CAT-5e. The “weakest link in the chain” rule applies here. Any piece that’s rated below CAT-5e brings the whole system down to that lower rating. Many A/V-over-UTP systems require CAT-5e and don’t work well on identical-looking but lower-rated cables. All CAT-5e cables and connectors will be clearly marked with a label of some sort, so just read the fine print (on the cable itself) to be sure.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com

Dummies.com Sweepstakes

Win $500. Easy.