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Written by Larry Cook

Wireless & Wired Home Networking Basics – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, streaming video from entertainment services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon will consume up to 80% of the wireless bandwidth of a typical home network. Used together, wireless and wired home networking can meet the rapidly growing future demand of home users. Part 2 will discuss 4K, Power over Ethernet, and Future Proofing.

Arrival of 4K

Featuring four times the resolution of HD 1080p screens, 4K or Ultra HD will require using a wired network at home as a wireless network will not be able to distribute the signal throughout a home consistently. CAT5e cable is capable of transmitting the 12 -20 mbps which is necessary for 4K. CAT5e or 6 cable can also be used with HDMI, which can handle HD video and audio as well as HDBaseT, a connectivity standard for uncompressed high-definition video (HD) transmission. 

Power over Ethernet

CAT5e and CAT6 cables can support PoE (Power over Ethernet), which is growing in use for powering devices, including LED lights, which are then capable of being utilized as network nodes for controlling lighting levels and transmitting data.

Future Proofing

CAT5e and 6 cables are capable of handling 4K, but eventually there will be an introduction to 8K cables. If you want to future proof your home as you put in new structured wiring, CAT8 cabling may be for you.  It has a 1.6 GHz minimum rate of transmission, the ideal standard for supporting a cable satellite’s 1200 MHz rate, in addition to several streams of video/data. CAT8 cabling is designed to achieve the speed standard of 40 gbps, which is remarkably 400 times the performance of CAT5e cabling. However, at about $1/foot, CAT8 cabling is about five times the cost of CAT6 cabling.


There will ultimately be a convergence of data, video, and voice. Operators like Verizon and Comcast are providing VoIP telephone services. Phone companies like AT&T are delivering video services via IP streaming. Netflix and other VoD providers are transmitting over Ethernet.

Cabling Locations

A homeowner or homebuilder can ask an electrical contractor to install CAT6 and RG6 cabling in the chief places for video in the home, such as the living room, family room, master bedroom, and kitchen to ensure reliable wired and wireless home networking.

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. We will be very glad to help you.