Why Be Wired?
Tucked into the framing of your new home is wiring that connects everything. It turns on the lights, runs the computer, monitors the security system, brings in the television signal and provides your family with the things that make life safe, convenient and enjoyable.
Today, the demands placed on wiring are greater than ever before as lifestyle and home designs evolve. More people want to network computers, access the Internet, watch satellite TV, automate their home, protect it with a security multifunctional outlet and enable multiple capabilities conveniently.
• Plug in your laptop computer and access the Internet with high-speed telecommunications and cable lines from any room in the house.
• Network all your home computers and peripherals by plugging into a home Ethernet.
• Watch a video playing from the VCR on any television in the house.
• Distribute satellite televisions and cable signals throughout the house without degradation or fading.
• Enhance the capability of your security system with distributed video.
• Tune into "baby cam" to check in on the kids from any television.
• Place furniture where you want it, not where the lone cable or telephone outlet dictates it must go.
• Access home automation technologies with industry-standard wiring network.
The wiring infrastructure in most homes has not changed in 50 years and is unable to fully support the technologies that are available to consumers today. However, today's wiring systems are created to handle today's technologies and provide the electronic foundation for a "connected home." This advanced infrastructure called structured wiring is necessary to ensure that your family can be connected to today's services and prepared for new technologies.
Structured wiring vs. conventional wiring
Think of wiring as a pipeline for information. Conventional wiring has the data capacity of a squirt gun. By comparison, structured wiring, using Category 5e cables, has the capacity of a fire hose. Structured wiring can transmit more information, faster.
Conventional wiring, which is found in most homes, consists of one or two twisted pairs of wires, and is adequate for basic voice, fax or data communications.
Structured wiring is more advanced wiring. Not only can it handle traditional telephone, fax and data communications, but also sophisticated video and data signals from computers.
Components of a home wiring system
An advanced home wiring system is usually comprised of three main components:
The Service Center
The service center is the part where all outside services enter the home, including cable TV, telephone, DSS satellite, internet, etc. This central hub distributes these services to locations throughout the house in a way similar to how the electrical breaker panel controls electricity flow.
Certain services like digital satellite, high-speed Internet, and digital TV require high performance cables to allow full access throughout the home.
Most systems include RG-6 coaxial cable for TV and video, and Category 5e or better twisted-pair cable for telephone and data. Coaxial cable provides maximum protection from interference with your TV picture. Category 5e or better cable provides high-speed access to multiple phone lines without cross-talk. These cables deliver all the performance you need today, while providing the capacity to handle tomorrow's technologies.
The outlets in each room determine which services are available in that room. Each outlet can be customized to a consumer's specific needs based on which services are desired in each room (cable, internet access, telephone, etc.). Without the proper outlets, the high-performance wiring behind the wall is of little value.
Regardless of size, location or cost of a home, incorporating minimum wiring standards can add value to the home at resale and effectively ensure optimum access to all developing home communication, entertainment, security and control technologies. A "connected home" can be achieved today with minimal investment and is not limited to custom construction. The initial investment varies depending on the scope of an installation, with a range of upgrade and home control options available to consumers who want maximum control.
Homes built today without an upgraded wiring system will not be able to accommodate the demands of new technologies. As such, they will not retain value as strongly as those built with a solid technological infrastructure and, in fact, may not even be considered by a large percentage of future homebuyers. With the rapid growth of new technologies for the home, the ever-changing working environment (telecommuting, home business, etc.), and the revolution in home education and entertainment opportunities, it is predicted that installing structured wiring will potentially increase the resale value of a home.