Home Office, Home Computer Networking, Home Entertainment, Home Security via security cameras.
The very definition of "home" is evolving. Homeowners' expectations are evolving as well as new products and technology transforms their homes and their lives.
The "wired home", once considered a luxury, is now considered a necessity in the digital age. The challenge to building the wired home that can handle the task of distribution of voice, data, and video, lies in an infrastructure of category-rated cabling and components that meet today's needs while laying the groundwork for the "Whole House" media systems of the future.
So what does all this mean? Read on and find out!
WHAT IS A STRUCTURED MEDIA SYSTEM?
Structured media takes the concept of structured cabling, as practiced in demanding commercial applications, and combines it with multimedia. This blending accomodates the convergence of telephone communications, computer and internet services, audio/video applications, and much more. An inovative series of modules in a centralized media center can manage and distribute voice, data, audio and video in flexible configurations that best suit each homeowner's individual requirements. These requirements can range from something as simple as telephone and TV cable distribution to several rooms, to a local area network, or LAN, for a small office or a home-based business.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Three component groups comprise the Structured Media systems: Modules, Media Centers, and Multiport wall plates. These groups, along with an "open architecture" allow the Structured Media System to adapt and grow to keep up with the user's changing needs. Each component group has a specific purpose within the system.
Modules range from video distribution that can support both digital TV services and digitalsatellite systems (DSS), whole house audio, security video monitoring, telephone line distribution Ethernet hubs for high speed computer networking, and more. The modules are housed in a Structured Media Center, or main panel, where all central cabling and distribution modules come together. These panels come in different sizes to accommodate any system configuration. The multiport wall plates form the business end of the system. With different connector types and designer color options, the multiport wall plates offer many possible voice, data, and video media combinations at any location to support any connectivity need and can be adapted easily when changes become necessary.
The backbone of the system is, of course, the Category rated cabling. "Home Automation Cable", which consists of 2 Category 5 UTP cables and 2 RG-6 Quad Shield coax cables, enclosed in one sheathing. This cable provides versatility and flexibility at any location in the home.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A STRUCTURED WIRING SYSTEM FOR YOUR HOME?
Developed for existing as well as emerging technologies, the Structured Wiring System not only connects your home to the future, but also helps ensure it's long term value.
Industry analysts report that home buyers should budget 1% of the cost of the home for low voltage infrastructure. What may seem excessive or even unnecessary in a structured cabling package will probably become the standard of tomorrow. With technology growing in leaps and bounds, wise forthought becomes necessary to keep up with future needs.
* "Home automation isn't just for the rich and famous anymore. Structured wiring systems are an investment that can add to the value of your home as well as the quality of your life.", reports "Electronic House" magazine in their August, 2001, edition. "With the advent of state-of-the-art home offices, computer networking, and high speed internet access, homebuyers have become increasingly electronics-savvy, and you'll add substantial value to your house by incorporation future-ready wiring and electronics systems to it."
* Kirk McElwain, Technical Director of the Continental Automated Buildings Association, says it's realistic to expect a smart wiring package to add between 5% and 10% value to a $200,000 home. This percentage is quite impressive when you consider that adding a moderate structured wiring system can cost less than $2,000 (or 1% of the cost of the home).
* Deborah L. O'Mara is the President of DLO Communications in Chicago and is a contributing editor for Electrical Contractor magazine In an article in the Julu, 2001, edition oof EC magazine she states: "For today's homeowner, especially in new construction, it's foolish not to prewire for the future. There are video systems, telephone systems, home controls, security, and more to consider. Installing for these capabilities as they exist today and preparing for how they will exist in the next several years is what structured wiring systems are all about"