Best Cable Coax or s-video/Cat5

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
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Postby Paulbb1 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:05 am

OK, I have a recommendation from a salesman that for the distance I should go with Cat5 and Baluns. It seems to be the straight forward way of doing it. I have coaxial cable so I plan on running it with it. I have the room and it will be a backup.

Now to choose a Balun model and source. Any experience with these out there?

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Postby davidgil-p40 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:14 am

PaulBB1 wrote:
Now to choose a Balun model and source. Any experience with these out there?

I'm looking at using the Muxlab 500016. If I get it, I'll let you know how it works.

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Postby Paulbb1 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:02 pm

I ordered two last night. Pulled the cat5e and wired the connectors yesterday. Now waiting for camera and the baluns to arrive.

Hope the baluns work well.

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S-Video Via Cat5 and Baluns Results are in

Postby Paulbb1 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:14 pm

We broadcasted Stk Conf via S-Video over Cat5 cable with baluns on both ends. Worked great. Great image.


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Postby stanstrad » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:31 am

We use Cat5e with baluns in two of our buildings, with only positive results.

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Postby michaelfish » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:22 pm

I’ve done audio/video reinforcement for a couple of decades and I have never had a problem with cable runs up to 200’ using simple RG-6U cable (years ago it was the thinner RG-59U). RG-6U cable is used extensively in satellite and cable installations and the price and quality of cable now available is much better than in years past.

I prefer to use compression RCA male connectors on each end but “F” to RCA adapters work just fine if the coax has the standard “F” screw-on connector on the ends. If you choose to use adapters, crimp the "F" connectors on the ends – avoid twist connectors. They will last much longer. Also, use solid copper, not copper clad wire (copper clad wire can be identified because it is very stiff).

Some coax cable is bonded - meaning the foam insulation sticks to the center copper conductor. If you run into this kind of cable, scrape the copper with a knife to ensure it is free from any insulation before you crimp. Also, make sure the outside braid does not touch the center copper conductor. Sometimes, removing insualtion by twisting may wrap the braided shielding around the center copper and 'short' your connection.

Make sure you route wire away from power lines, fluorescent fixtures, electric motors or anything that generates RFI (radio frequency interference). If you must go by power lines, cross the cable if possible rather than parallel power lines.

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Postby rubantin » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:06 pm

I realize this is an old thread. I just purchased two Sony EVI-D70 cameras for our church. I built a nice computer with Vidblaster and Broadcam software to both stream and record our church services. Two years ago some wiring was being done at our church, and they installed CAT5 and coax along both sides of our church for future camera installation.

I am trying to figure out what the best configuration would be for the cameras. I intended initially to use the S-video out along with the RS - 422 for control. I was simply going to use the pinouts to wire directly from the camera to the capture card and serial ports via the CAT5. However, that would require nine conductors and the CAT5 only has 8.

So, with your experience, do you think I would be better off running the composite out through the coax and using the CAT5 for the controller?

I am looking for optimal video quality. Is there anyway to pair one of the grounds from the VISCA and the S-Video to only need 8 conductors?

Could I use the coax for the ground (9th conductor)?

I really don't want to have to spend more time and money in running another cable if possible.

Any help or advice on this would be appreciated..


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Pointer to duplicate question.

Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:28 pm

A question has been asked in this thread:

about running RS-422 control signals and S-video signals over COAX and CAT5. Please refer to that thread for any discussion of that question.

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Postby michaelfish » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:31 pm

We are getting ready to setup up our system and I have a couple of questions. How do you transmit video over CAT 5/6? What converters do you use?
Video can be sent hundreds of feet through CAT5 cable with the use of a baluns (balanced transformers) on each end. Several different types of baluns could be used such as these for Composite, Component and S-Video.
S-Video Balun.jpg
S-Video Balun.jpg (7.67 KiB) Viewed 1073 times
component balun.png
component balun.png (71.18 KiB) Viewed 1073 times
composite balun.jpg
composite balun.jpg (11.22 KiB) Viewed 1073 times

This first example requires stripping the ends of the CAT5 cable and screwing down the terminals. They only cost about $1.00 (eBay) but a BNC to RCA adapter may be required. Although these are really cheap (inferior) I have had some success, so I recommend getting extras and test them to weed out defectives. Also, I would only use them in a permanent installation as the solid CAT5 wires break easily.

The second and third examples (component and S-Video baluns) will cost anywhere from $15 (used) to $30+ (new). They employ an RJ45 jack on one end so simply plug in a CAT5 cable (with RJ45 ends) and connect the camera/mixer. The component (2nd) adapter will allow 4 video signals down the same wire. Remember to use the same type of balun on each end. Muxlab is a trusted manufacturer for these.

What length can you effectively run RCA cable without boosting? Our camera might be ~200 feet from our video mixer
The maximum length of cable for composite video signal (RCA) varies and depends on what kind of cable is used and other factors.

For years, coax cable (shielded RG-59 or RG-6U) has been used to run composite video more than one hundred feet without significant loss. If possible, use only one length of cable and terminate the ends with the proper connector, since every adapter increases the chance of a failure. Always avoid running cables next to power lines or close to floresent lights since they induce radio frequency interference (RFI) or artifacts in the video (for example, a shaded bar moving from bottom to top of the picture).

If CAT5 cable and baluns are used, the maximum length increases significantly (500' is typical). CAT5 cable is commonly used but CAT6 is even better (heavier gauge and more twists per foot). Crimping RJ-45 connectors on the ends is not difficult but I'd recommend purchasing a CAT5 cable tester ($20 eBay) and check your work if you plan to make your own connections. Another advantage of using CAT5 cable and baluns is that by simply replacing the baluns with a different type, the same wire can be used to send S-Video, Component YPbPr, RGB, HD 720p, 1080i, 1080p, RS-242, RS-422, Infrared Remote signals, low voltage power, etc. Even HDMI can be run (but requires 2 CAT5 cables).

We would like to split the output of our video mixer to send to 6 different locations.
- 2 monitors at the front of the chapel
- 2 projectors at the corners of the gym
- 1 to the web cast
- 1 to the building video for projection in the R.S. room and other locations.

Do you have any recommendations on splitting?
To run composite video to all of these places would require a 6-port (or more) video distribution amplifier (D/A) and a home run (one cable run from the D/A to each device). Are you sure you are going to have projector in the R.S. room and other locations? That's a lot of projectors. I would recommend running composite video to the webcast, the building TV distribution system (in the satellite rack) and the projectors in the cultural hall. This will ensure the highest quality for broadcasting and projection. However, since RF (a television channel) quality is fine for small TV's, and is typically already installed in buildings, I would use TV's at the front of the chapel (I'm assuming on the stand), the R.S. room and other locations. Most Stake Centers already have RF for TV distribution set up in the Relief Society room, Primary room, Multi-Purpose room and sometimes even in the High Counsel room.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:50 am

michaelfish wrote:For years, coax cable (shielded RG-58, RG-59 or RG-6U) has been used to run composite video ...

I think RG-58 is the wrong impedance for that.
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