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Coax (RG6) vs UTP (CAT5e) for Video Signal

Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:42 pm
by rogerscr
I am going to be wiring our camera in coming weeks and am curious about what you have found to be best for transmitting video signal, Coax or UTP? Many tech forums indicate RG6 Quad is poor for NTSC video because it is not designed for the frequency of the signal. They recommend RG59 but that is hard to find anymore since the cable and dish companies have all gone to RG6 (that and I have a spool of RG6 Quad in my garage from another project). Many of the baluns use UTP for video transmission. I noticed that Home Depot now has Leviton RCA keystones with a 110 UTP connector on the back as well.

I am curious if anyone has run into image quality issues for runs around 100ft with RG6?

I am also curious if anyone has experience with using UTP with simple RCA connectors to run the video signals?

I figure if this works well I can save my RG6 Quad for other uses and run the video and RS232/422 over a single cable.

Re: Coax (RG6) vs UTP (CAT5e) for Video Signal

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:36 am
by Mikerowaved
Because of the copper-clad steel center conductor on most RG6 cables, it's not recommended for baseband (composite) video. The problem is at RF frequencies, the signal travels mostly on the "skin" of the center conductor, so the thin layer of copper accommodates this quite well. The very low baseband video frequencies travel deeper in the center conductor and steel is a rather poor conductor of electricity, so the results over long runs could get quite lossy and severely impact your video quality. For that, RG59 is recommended, as it has a solid copper center conductor.

I haven't used video over CAT5e, but I understand that if you go this route, you will need to use good quality baluns on either end to change the signal from unbalanced to balanced and back again. They also help with the slight impedance differences between the 75 ohm coax and 100 ohm CAT5e.

Whichever way you decide to go, the coax and/or CAT5e cables MUST be properly rated for the type of installation you will be doing. It's recommended you have a licensed building installer help with the various code requirements.

Re: Coax (RG6) vs UTP (CAT5e) for Video Signal

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 2:26 pm
by rogerscr
Lucily the CCS center conductor is most common in overhead installations where tensile strength is needed. The RG6 Quad I have is solid core.

I found the Specs for the Leviton product they sell at Home Depot. Unfortunately it only calls for 10-40 ft runs. Might work for some of you but not for me.

I am thinking I will go with the RG6 Quad I have and hope for the best. If I run into issues, at least I know the cause.