Wired for Wireless
By Shane Hammond
CEO, Ideal Sound
Wireless communication is the transfer of information between two or more points that are not connected by an electrical conductor. With most technologies going the wireless route, people sometimes forget that wiring makes a wireless system possible. Here are a few tips on how to plan for a solid and complete wired and wireless system for your home.
Pre-wiring is the installation of “structured wiring” inside your home’s walls and floors that passes low-voltage electronic signals to devices such as TVs, audio systems, and security/home monitoring systems. Until recently, each of these device types required their own specific kinds of wire, like coaxial cables, HDMI cables, and twisted pair copper for telephones. While some applications still do require specific wiring, the latest structured wiring solutions are capable of running many of these signal types over Ethernet – a digital cable technology that’s fast, easy, and economical to install – especially if you are building a new home or remodeling.
It makes the most financial and technical sense to pre-wire your home when the walls are open. The specific types of cable to use will depend on the home systems you want to include and their locations. As a general rule, plan for more than you think you’ll need. The best pre-wiring plans will leave plenty of flexibility to make changes or additions in the future.
Why Not Use Only Wireless Technology?
At the present time, wireless signal transmission is not as robust or reliable as hard-wired connections. In the case of data-intensive signals like HDTV, most wireless systems are barely up to the task, even in a small space. In larger homes, they will disappoint – especially if your home has plaster walls, stone interior facades, or other common residential obstructions. If you are committed to whole-house technology, it makes sense to install the structured wiring to assure the best results.
Performance Issues People often wonder why they don’t get the internet speeds they were promised by the provider, why their TV cuts in and out, or why their modem needs to be reset so often. What they may not realize is that their system relies on multiple parts all working together to deliver the signals. The system will only be as strong as that weakest link. If one part of the system isn’t working correctly; it can impact the performance of the whole system.
Having a wiring system that has been installed and tested from the point service is key; one mis-wire can affect the performance of all components. Additionally, a good firewall, installed as a separate unit, will be the commander and chief of your network. And, make sure that you install surge protectors that recognize when your modem needs to be reset that turn the modem off… and then on again.
If you need help in designing a system for your home, it’s wise to use the services of an A/V integrator that specializes in residential technology. Ideal Sound specializes in the design, layout, and installation of home technology systems including lifestyle home theater, home automation, structured and network wiring, and hearing-impaired assistance technology. Professional and experienced, the Ideal Sound staff focuses on meeting the needs of each individual customer. Contact Ideal Sound via email, website, or the phone number below: