We have recently completed our first full house High Definition video distribution system installation. This was our first opportunity to implement a High Definition Video Distribution system, which is all controlled via Crestron.

Due to the complexity of this type of installation, we installed all the required equipment into a Systems Rack.
This rack was built in the new workshop in the Experience Centre.
The style of installation that we follow is to cable the installation simultaneously to building the systems rack in the workshop. This means that as soon as both are complete we can marry them to one another instead of waiting for the rack build to be completed on site. This cuts down implementation time from when our clients appoint us, to completed installation.

The equipment needed in this equipment rack were as follows:
  • Draytek Router
  • Apple MacMini Server
  • 24 Port POE (Power over Ethernet) Switch
  • 48 Port Gigabit Network Switch
  • Power Distribution Unit with Ethernet Controll
  • Crestron CP3 Controller
  • CYP HDBaseT Video Matrix (switching 8 inputs to 7 outputs)
  • 2 Explora High Definition PVR Decoders
  • 2 Apple TV’s
  • XBMC Media Players connected to 16TB Drobo Media Storage.
  • Standard View One Record Two DSTV High Definition Decoder
  • Ethernet Controlled Power Distribution Units by Lindy
  • Paravision CCTV Digital Video Recorder
  • 2 DSTV Satellite Multiswitches
The process starts with fitting all components into the rack,
planning carefully where they should all be located:

This racks layout works from the initial incoming services (Telephone/Data) at the top of the rack.
All the way down to the most local service (CCTV DVR) at the bottom of the rack.

Equipment Rack with Equipment Laid out.

Equipment Rack with Equipment Laid out.

The first stage of cabling is to lay in cable from the rear patch panel to the network switches and video matrix. All internal cabling is CAT6.
This maintains a standard for all cabling used on the installation.
  • Grey CAT6 is for network to the house.
  • Yellow CAT6 is HDBaseT from CYP Video Matrix to each television in the house.

A closer look at the Grey and Yellow CAT6 Cable:

Neatly installed CAT6 Cable. Cables not too tight to avoid damaging the cable.

Neatly installed CAT6 Cable. Cable ties not too tight to avoid damaging the cable.

The next set of cables that are laid into the rack are from the switches to the devices in the rack.
  • Green CAT6 cables are used to provide data for source devices.
    These link to the switches.
  • Red CAT6 cables are for Critical devices.
    (Apple MacMini, CCTV DVR, Drobo NAS Storage)
  • Blue CAT6 is used for Control devices.
    Crestron CP3, Lindy Power Distribution Units and CYP video matrix.
Laying in CAT6 Data cables to Source Device

Laying in CAT6 Data cables to Source Device

Once the cable lengths have been confirmed and terminated the cables are pulled back to test all patches and terminations are correct.
A close up picture of the internal wiring in the rack
Close up photo of internal rack wiring

Close up photo of internal rack wiring

Once all the CAT6 cables have been installed, the power cables can be connected and plugged into the PDU’s
(Power Distribution Units).

We use PDU’s so that we can remotely reboot devices in the rack.

Power cables plugged into PDU's

Power cables plugged into PDU’s

Now that all devices have power cables installed, we get our first opportunity to power up the entire rack.
Testing can now start to check that all devices in the rack are working.
Powering up the rack for the first time. Everything powers up with no errors.

Powering up the rack for the first time. Everything powers up with no errors.

We are now ready to deliver the rack to site.

The CAT6 cables for Data and HDBaseT are the first to be patched into the back of the rack.
The Telkom ADSL line is connected directly into the Draytek router at the top of the rack.
Separate CAT6 cables for Wireless Access Points are patched directly into the POE switch at the top of the rack.

The CCTV cables are connected directly to DVR as they are installed by another contractor.

Patching in CAT6 Data and HDBaseT Cables

Patching in CAT6 Data and HDBaseT Cables

Next the DSTV IF feeds are connected to the decoders.
We have installed two DSTV switches and daisy chained them
DSTV Satellite Switch

DSTV Satellite Switch

Time to power up the Drobo NAS drive and start loading our clients media content.
Drobo NAS drive inside the Rack

Drobo NAS drive inside the Rack

 The systems rack is now completely setup and tested.
Systems rack completely setup

Systems rack completely setup

We are now able to complete final details on the rack. These include:

  • Tidying up cabling in Rack
  • Ensuring all cabling is labelled correctly
  • Sticking down all IR emitters with non-interfering Aluminium tape
  • Installing ninety degree kettle plugs to reduce their protrusion from the rack
  • Installing front and back perspex rack inserts

The completed product:

A rack that is patched in correctly to all services in the house.
Distributing high definition video to every television in the house.
Gigabit wired network internally.
Five wireless access points.

Finished installation. All Cables patched in!

Finished installation. All Cables patched in!

Total rack build times were as follows:

2 Hours: Rack Planning
5 Hours: Equipment Installation & Rack Dressing
6 Hours: CAT6 Cable Installation
8 Hours: CAT6 Terminations
1 Hour: HDMI Cable Installation
4 Hours: Satellite & IR Cable Installation
3 Hours: Kettle Plug Connections
2 Hours: Rack Power Supply configuration
4 Hours: Termination Testing
Onsite equipment installation and rack patching: 5 hours

Total: 40 Hours

If you need a rack built for your home, or would like any more information about this rack, please get in Contact with us.