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Components of a Home Wiring System

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 is necessary to ensure that your family can be connected to today's services and prepared for new technologies. An advanced home wiring system is usually comprised of three main components:

  • The service center. This 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.
  • High-performance cables. 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 5 or better twisted-pair cable for telephone and data. Coaxial cable provides maximum protection from interference with your TV picture. Category 5 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 technology.
  • Outlets. 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.
Structural 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 5 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.

The Investment

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. In most cases, prices for structured wiring solutions range from approximately $1,000.00 to $9,000, installed. 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.

Resale Value

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.

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