Larry asked: “We’re building a house and I’d like to know the best way to get TV now. You hear a lot about getting TV on the Internet. Wiring the house, I’m wondering if I need to run Coax, Fiber, do I need to go wireless? If I go Wireless, what’s the best bet for that?”
Well Larry, coax for cable, satellite, and OTA antennas is still alive and well, so you probably still want that around in your new house.
Besides that, TV over the internet obviously needs access to it, so for your smart devices you may want to plan on some ethernet plugs. They’re not 100% necessary, wireless access has gotten very good and dependable, especially with WiFi mesh systems, but if you have a solid wired network you won’t have to worry about the signal causing any buffering issues and, at least right now, most streaming devices (including SmartTVs) tend to come with ports for wired access.
As far as wireless access goes, you’d benefit from an 802.11AC gigabit WiFi router or access point. Gigabit WiFi will give you more than enough bandwidth to stream shows even in 4K and you’ll be about as future-proofed as you can be at the moment.
If you want to lower expenses, you probably want at least coax if you plan to have cable, you can get by with wireless internet in most homes these days, wired internet to streaming devices is mostly insurance against WiFi interference and range issues.
You won’t need coax for watching IPTV — television delivered via internet. And wireless mesh systems are great for existing homes, but since you’re building your home from scratch, you have a chance to do this right and future proof your home with a mixture of wired and wireless.
Run category 6A twisted pair cable from a centralized location like a basement or closet where you can store your internet provider’s access equipment to equidistant spots in your house — no more than 300 feet away from the location. Try to make a starfish or asterisk configuration. At the other end of these cables, install wireless access points like those offered by TP-Link, Linksys, or Ubiquiti. These gizmos will connect to your ISP’s router and spread wireless internet evenly throughout your entire new home, allowing you to place a streaming wireless device like a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon FireTV anywhere you want to watch television. Each of those boxes support the leading internet television services (Sling, Playstation VUE, and DirecTV Now).
When new wireless technology is released, just replace those access points Joe mentioned. Your wired network will be able to handle up to 10 gigabits per second (theoretically). That’s over 200 times the bandwidth internet service providers can give you, so you’re going to be set for many years to come.
And congratulations on the new home! Don’t forget to send us housewarming party invitations!