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Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5


Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5

The wiring done in our recently purchased house is causing a lot of signal issues and I want to clean it up. However if I am going to be in the walls I want this done right. I plan to leave coax in the walls but can easily drop a cat5 line to the boxes from the RG if necessary. What is considered superior for the u verse system?

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Message 1 of 8

Re: Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5

Both will work with U-verse, but If you have a choice, use cat5.  Coax works great, if properly installed, but cat5 may be less susceptible to issues down the road.

Message 2 of 8

Re: Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5

"Coax" may not be good enough, depending on the type. U-verse standard is triple-shield RG6 (or better).


Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) that is Category 5e rated (or better) is the standard and preferred media for U-verse installations.Coax (RG6 Triple shield) is an acceptable alternative. Many new installs are also using wireless.


UTP tends to be more versatile, meaning that you can buy "adapters" to run a variety of signals through the same cabling (not concurrently);  you can use it to connect to secondary audio zones, video feeds, serial, data, voice/POTs, etc.


That is the whole concept of "structured cabling" - install one cable plant and to be able to use it for nearly any communication type (properly adapted).


When you pull in the new cabling, pull (at least) two runs to each plate/location. If you're up to it, pull two UTP and two Coax from each location to the central closet; terminate it to a "multi-media" panel (has the capability to accept jacks for a variety of media types, i.e. coax and UTP on the same panel), make sure you have sufficient power in the closet, as well as good ventilation and moderate temperatures.


Good Luck


Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 3 of 8

Re: Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5

Leave coax for your remote set top units, but if you have the option, Cat 5e drops for any hard wired devices would be the way to go.

Message 4 of 8

Re: Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5

Sorry to jump on your thread but i have a similar issue/question. I am having trouble with one set top box. it seems to be unable view DVR shows ( freezes or jumps around). I have had the box replaced with no fix. Uverse Tech just used left over DirectV coax to wire house. It seems like a wiring issue that wasnt installed right but AT&T is going to charge me to come look at it. I have planned to do it myself to make sure it is right. Questions:


1) From outside NID. Should i run CAT5 into house to gateway or use coax that is already there.

2) Coax or CAT5 to set top boxs?


I am also installing an alarm system at the same time. Any thoughts on that?

Message 5 of 8

Re: Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5

IF you wish to use coax from the NID to the RG (called the "home run" by many / most techs), AND you wish to ALSO use coax between the Residential Gateway and the Set-top box (or DVR), then you MUST use a "diplexor" to properly separate the signals. There is only one coax connector on the back of the RG, and it has to handle the Gozinta as well as the Gozoutta signals. It isn't the same diplexor used for satellite (or anyone / anything else in the USA), it must be a U-verse diplexor.


Properly terminated Cat5e is the media-of-choice between the RG and the STB/DVR. Properly terminated coax is an acceptable alternative, but any splitters used should be the HPNA-compatible type (Made by Holland), and not have too many splits (as determined by cable lengths, signal quality & strength).  has the Holland splitters, and possibly the diplexor.



Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
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Message 6 of 8

Re: Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5

I'm also interested in what is the "Optimal" cabling structure to get the best speed and quality for not only the TV service, but also the computer network side of things.  I came from Comcast and had 5 STB and 1 cable card on the TV side and a Gigabit wired/Wireless N network on the computer side.  Everything worked flawlessly before the U-Verse install. 


U-Verse newbie here and I'm having some services issues/problems with losing the internet service, wireless STB connectivity and other STB connectivity to the picture freezing during playback or just dropping the ON Demand channel and going back to the menu.   The problems come and go and I'm trying to decide if the entire system was marginally installed.  When the tech came out to do the install we had to make some concessions as to how the equipment was laid out based on my existing wiring or lack thereof. 



U-Verse layout as it is now.  Copper lines from the street to COAX (RG6 not Quad Shielf) at the NID (I guess that's what it is called) on the outside of the house.  The COAX runs to the RG on the second story of the home...the RG feeds the STB/DVR over Ethernet with HDMI output to the TV in that room.  There is also a U-Verse Wireless Access Point pluged into the RG Ethernet that supplies two wireless STB in adjacent rooms also on the second story.  The install tech run a new  AT&T supplied RG6 from the NID 100 feet to an AT&T splitter that feeds 3 more STBs (1st floor) over my existing coax.  I'm assuming he also installed the "Diplexor" in the NID to feed the new run of COAX to the 3 downstairs STBs.


Since it was installed this way, how does that compare to an optimal solution? I'm willing to do some new RG6 Quad wiring to all areas that the STBs reside in to a "Home" run location to put the RG and DVR/STB.  Would this be better?  I'm guess I'm trying to get all the STBs serviced over the RG6 network to free up traffic on the Ethernet side...I guess this is basically the same way as my Comcast install.  Right now any of the STBs accessing the DVR are tying up Ethernet traffic on the non-Gigabit switch in the RG.  That hardly seems optimal. From reading the above posts, it seems as though running all the STBs off of Ethernet is the way to go. 


Right now for the internet side of things, I have turned off the wireless in the RG and connected my DIR655 Gigabit Router (DHCP off) LAN to LAN on the RG  and letting the RG do the DHCP and routing.  All my wired Ethernet (pre-existing) is wired to the DIR655 and getting IP addresses through the RG. 


With the setup I have now, both TV and computer network, I'm having these issues come and go.  Soliciting all opinions here on which way to go.  If things are already optimal then I guess the alternative is to just go back to Comcast.


Thanks ahead for your input and replies.



Message 7 of 8

Re: Best home wiring solution, coax vs cat5

On new home construction we use something similar.

It makes the wiring safer and more sanitary while giving you the ability to wire as needed

per room.

Message 8 of 8
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