home automation,Electrician - Structured Media Panels
Written by Larry Cook

Structured Media Components for Your Smart Home

As home builders now offer wiring packages, structured media panels are a standard feature in new or remodeling projects. Fitted between wall studs, in-wall panels are portals for structured wiring. As the cost of installation and wiring is reasonably low, licensed electricians expert in structured wiring recommend in-wall panels if the homeowner plans to eventually implement smart-home technology.

Ethernet and Future Proofing

Even though smart-home and Internet of Things (IoT) devices feature wireless networking, many devices still need a wired connection. A good example is an internet router, which requires a wired Ethernet connection to the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) equipment. Future proofing a smart home will be enabled by structured media enclosures and structured wiring.

Ethernet-connected devices are generally more secure than those using Wi-Fi. Moreover, the emergence of 4K video, as exemplified by Ultra HD (UHD) big screens, and the future 8K video standard will demand Ethernet connections as they may overwhelm the bandwidth of a home Wi-Fi network.

Wiring for Structured Media Panels

The typical entry-level wiring package is a 14” x 14” structured media panel, containing wiring, ports, connectors, and an Ethernet switch or hub. Wires contained are CAT5e or CAT6 networking cable, coaxial Cable TV (CATV) cable, security wiring, etc. Should the installation of a cable modem, upgraded internet router, or Gigabit Ethernet switch be required, more space will be needed, and the heat generated will need to be addressed.

For future proofing, a homeowner will need flexibility from the beginning to install future additional components where needed and not be locked into the locations where wall jacks are located.

Structured Media Center (SMC)

Highly recommended is the Leviton 28” Structured Media Enclosure. According to the manufacturer, it is designed to serve as the “command central for communications, education, entertainment, and business needs” for a single family home. Capable of easily accommodating “DSL and cable Internet modems, networking, cable and satellite video,” the 28″ SMC can also service “VoIP, IPTV, fax, multiple telephone lines, video monitoring cameras, intercom, and distributed audio.” In addition, electronic devices can stay cool with passive air flow venting. The Leviton SMC can also be installed in several locations of a home to meet the specific requirements of each area.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.