Clarify networking for me

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by speekez, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. speekez macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Hi friends.

    Can someone help clarify my understanding of networking please. We moved into a new construction home I believe to be wired for networking. In most rooms there are jacks that are labeled Cat 5e. That's for networking right?

    For the most part in our home we just use wireless for internet access and transferring files between computers. But my wireless router is upstairs, and our Samsung TV (UNc9000 i think) is downstairs where the signal is weaker, which is a problem when trying to stream movies on the TV via wireless from Netflix and other Samsung apps.

    Is there any way for me to use the Cat5e to get a wired connection to the TV? Would that allow me to share the internet directly to it?

    My other option would be I guess to buy another modem, hook it up to the internet jack behind TV and wire that into the TV.

    Any clarifications on what a Cat5 network is used for would help. :)
  2. Gillespie81 macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2011
    CAT5 is an Ethernet network cable. It supports Fast Ethernet speeds (up to 100 Mbps). A newer specification for CAT5 cable - CAT5 enhanced ("CAT5e" or "CAT 5e") - supports networking at Gigabit Ethernet[ speeds (up to 1000 Mbps) over short distances and it is backward-compatible with ordinary CAT5.

    if you can run the cat5 directly into the tv then do that and run wireless with everything else or if you can get another router or modem just for the tv.

    i have cat5 directly into my playstation another into a modem and router. the router i only use for the comps and printers phones and wii. since I'm on playstation the most i have that hardline for best connection
  3. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Awesome, thanks for taking the time to explain this. From your description, the cate5 would carry the internet connection to the TV so I will see if the TV can accept an internet connection
  4. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Asking this for more clarity....

    I've been using the wireless capabilities of my Samsung TV to access things like Netflix streaming, but the signal just isn't strong enough (despite attempts to extend it) so I want to move to a wired connection.

    The TV has an ethernet port, so it is capable of such a wired connection.

    Our home was wired for Cat5e, but (sadly) I have not tried using it yet since wireless connections have always sufficed for our laptops.

    There is a Cat5e port in the wall by the TV, but aside from connecting the TV to the port with a Cat5e cable, I'm not sure how to go about using the connection. I can set up the TV easy enough I'm sure once I make the connection, I just have questions on how to go about making the connection.

    Upstairs, in our office is where my cable modem lives, along with my Apple Airport Basestation. In the wall, is another Cat5e port (just like the port downstairs next to the TV). Do I simply buy a Cat5e cable and plug one end into the modem and the other end into the Cat5e port to make the system live and start pumping internet throughout the house? Is there any other rigging I need to do (as I mentioned, the house was pre-wired). There's a Sun Network box in one of the closets, but not sure if I have to go in and fiddle with any of that hardware.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to help ;)
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    the outlets on the wall will all run to one central location (i'm guessing the box in your closet).
    in that location, there will probably be a row of outlets, the other end of the cables that run to the outlets around your home, those must be connected to something, you'll need a network switch, another box with a bunch of network ports on it, chances are that's what the sun box is. there should be several short ethernet patch cables running from the row of outlets to the box, if that's the case, then you're good to go, just run an ethernet cable from a LAN port on your router* to the outlet in the wall, and another from an outlet to the TV.

    *hopefully the airport base station you mention is an airport extreme, not an express. if it is, tell us, and we can provide some options since there's no place to plug in another ethernet cable
  6. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Hi there. Thanks. This is helping me understanding things, and it could be I'm a simple step away from doing what you described: ethernet cable from TV to wall & ethernet cable from airport station to wall. And yes, it is an Airport Extreme with two open ethernet ports to spare.

    The Sun Network box is in the closet. I took the cover off and it looks wired as you described, so it may be good to go? I'll attach some pics. (sorry they are upside down)

    Before I buy a length of wire from the TV, I *should* be able to connect a laptop to one of these ports and get an internet signal, correct? So long as I run an ethernet cable from a LAN port on your router to the outlet in the wall? thanks

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpeg
      File size:
      585.3 KB
    • 4.jpeg
      File size:
      489.6 KB
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    is this it?

    unfortunatly, i dont think that box is going to work for you, looks like it's more designed for telecom, so IP phones and the like. (and apparently the time warner guy didn't like it either.)

    it will take a little work, should be less than an hour or 2 (depending on your handiness) (or cost you a 6 pack to a friend who is handy), but you should get something useable while spending less than $50-$75.

    you'll need ..

    that will give you a row of ethernet jacks that pair up to the jack in each room.

    from there, you'll need a network switch.
    the link is to monoprice, which is where the other stuff is from, seems to be off brand, it should be ok, or you can get a name brand switch (belkin, d-link, etc...) for a bit more from any electronics or office supply, just included it here in case you're doing an order with them anyway.
    you will need a power outlet in this box, or close to it, since this device needs to be plugged in.

    you'll also need ...
    a few short patch cables (one for each line that goes out to the house)
    link is for the 6 inch, the foot would work also.
    you'll then run one of these from each outlet in the strip, to an outlet on the switch.

    here's a drawing of what it all looks like put together

    that's the proper way to do it that will also future proof your house, and make expanding the system easier.

    you could get 2 of the jacks in option 1, put one on the cable that goes to the panel by the tv, one on the cable that goes to the panel by the airport, and get a short patch cable to connect the 2. it's really not the right way to do things, but it should work. but you would be limited to that one outlet being connected, doing it the other way would let all rooms be on at the same time.
  8. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    An epic post my friend! Thanks so much. There's a 6 pack in someone's future, maybe yours? ;)

    To answer a couple of your questions:

    Yup, the On-Q box you linked to is what I have. Funny, yeah the Time Warner dude seemed frustrated by it, but he seemed frustrated with his choice of employment in general. I take it he did a hack job? :)

    I would probably go with option 1B (the patch pay), and then I would get the switch hub & patch cables you linked to. I do have a power outlet in the control panel, so that's good.

    My last question before I attempt this would be... I think I understand how the patch cables connect the switch hub to the patch bay... but what cables from my home go into the patch bay? I am disconnecting the appropriate room cables currently wired into the box and plugging them into the patch bay? (see my illustration)

    Also, I can buy all these as Cat6 and it is backward compatible to Cat5e, correct? Thanks a bunch!

    (P.S. I have no land lines, so no worries about disrupting any phone connectivity)

    Attached Files:

  9. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    yes, you would pull the ethernet cables out of the existing panel, and punch the lines into the back of the new panel. there are punchdowns on the back of the new panel that look like what's on the old. there are some different pics on the monoprice site that show the back of the new panel.

    you could probably scrap the old panel then too, not sure it would be of much use.
  10. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Thanks. All makes sense. I'll give it a go and report back!
  11. Tiki35 macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2009
    Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada
  12. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Yes, indeed the feedback has been great. To extract the wires from the existing panel, can the punch down tool be used for this? I imagine I shouldn't just pull on them with force?

    Probably a good idea for me to purchase that tester, as I am not sure which labels correspond to which room (bedroom 1, 2, 3, 4). I assume the tester might help me figure out which wire goes where.
  13. Tiki35 macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2009
    Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada
    You'll need wire cutters to remove the existing cables and yes the cable tester will be perfect in that case.
  14. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    you'll need to cut the ends of the wires that are in the old block off anyway, so just cut them out. the cables get a bit chewed up when getting punched down.
  15. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Hi gang

    Well, an update. I bought all the necessary goodies recommended in this thread, and started the project today, but running into some issues. Attached is an image of what I have wired:

    1. Ran a Cat5e from my Apple base station to Cate5e jack on wall. I've confirmed this cable is functional by first plugging it directly into a laptop to test signal.

    2. In room with SunNetwork panel, I took the Cat5e cable coming from the office and punched it into the monoprice patch panel with the punch down tool included in their kit. Their punch down tool only punches down the cable, doesn't cut off the excess, so I trimmed the excess sticking out with sharp scissors. Also, I punched it based on the A standard because I opened up a couple of the wall ports and saw it was wired using the A standard.

    3. I then connected the patch panel to the Monoprice switcher with a patch cable. Plugged in the switcher and confirm it is receiving power. But I get no lights on the switched confirming it is receiving signal.

    Attached are some pics of my progress. I also patched in the line from the family room with the TV, but that shouldn't affect my success so far.

    Looking at the pics and my description, anything I might be doing wrong? I bought the modular plug tester recommended in this thread:

    .... but not sure how I can use it to test the quality of the line coming from the office because it says do not use on cables plugged into live circuits. So all I can really test with it is the new patch cables I bought?

    Since this house has a few bedrooms, I want to make sure the lines are not mislabled. I might move my modem to a known room and patch that one in. I'll do that now, but if you have other suggestions I'd love to hear :)

    The line coming from the office should be the one feeding the signal into the patch bay/switcher right?

    Did I follow the color coding from T568A correctly? I went by the label. The paint colors on the teeth themselves though seem marked for T568B, yes?

    As always appreciate the insight :)

    Attached Files:

  16. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Ok small update. I'm figured out now how to properly use the tester and I've confirmed a good connection from the family room with TV to patch bay I punched. For the office room, I get no read out on the tester

    So it's either:
    1. Rooms are labeled wrong and I need to patch in the other rooms to find the room my modem is really in
    2. I found the right room, but the in-wall wiring is bad
    3. I found the right room, but I did not punch it into the panel correctly.

    I'll start with one, go from there
  17. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    remember that unless there's something connected in the room the switch will not light up, something like works wonders for finding wires like your case, you plug it in to the room then go to the switch and see which wire makes your wand sing :)

    but yeah cheaper to just patch them all and hope they work hehe
  18. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    The builder labeled the cat5e cables wrong. Doh! I worked it out and they are now all punched and line tested. Just need to plug into TVS now:)
  19. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Hi all. Thanks again for input. I think I have it working. All my patched ports seem to be working and I am now running the TV via the LAN line.

    Only one thing I'm noticing. The switcher uses Green or Orange LEDs to let you know if you it is transmitting data packets at 1000Mbps or 10/100. The data coming in from the office modem registers green, as does one of the other patched rooms when I plug in a laptop. The patch to the TV, however, registers orange (10/100) -- using Netflix app, CinemaNow and such. Not sure why it would be 10/100 unless the tv (Samsung UN46C8000) has that limitation. Any ideas why that might be?

    PS> My cable modem is a Surfboard SB4200 which actually might be 10/100.... may need to update this., but why would one patch register green?
  20. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    Samsung doesn't indicate on their site, but my guess is that the Samsung is in fact 10/100.

    The modem doesn't have anything to do with it, but it is pretty old. I would recommend moving to a DOCSIS 3 modem.
  21. Tiki35 macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2009
    Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada
    I would agree about the Samsung.

    If your internet service is over broadband 50 like mine is, you will need a Docsis 3.0 modem, but make sure they set it up in Bridge mode so that it is not a modem/router combination. Your Airport Extreme is an extremely good router.
  22. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Hello. Yes, I suspect you are right about the Samsung having a 10/100 port. This morning, I hooked up another Samsung in another room and it is also registering 10/100. Still fine and no more lags in movies.

    I do believe I'll update my modem. It is old. I am considering the Motorola SB6121 as a replacement.

    Thanks again for all the help. It felt good wrapping this project successfully and would never had done it had it not been for the clear input here.
  23. chuffman15 macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    Martinsburg, WV
    i have to commend you for tackling this. 99% of people wouldnt have done this.
    congrats on the install
  24. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    Thanks, chuff!

    Actually, I have one follow up. Ok, so now I am going to add some speakers & receiver to the TV. The Yamaha receiver can connect to things like Pandora etc. via a wired connection. Right now I have that wired connection coming from the wall jack and going to the Samsung TV. Is there a way to split/share the connection between the TV and receiver -- is there an adaptor I can buy to split the single ethernet wall jack into two jacks?
  25. chuffman15 macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    Martinsburg, WV
    i dont believe you can split the ethernet signal. your options are:
    1. buy a 4 port switch and install it behind your reciever with the input coming from your wall plate and then the outputs to your reciever and your other ethernet devices
    2. run another cat5e cable from your main box to wall plate and buy a different wall plate that accomadates 2 rj45 jacks

Share This Page