By BUILDER Magazine Staff. The typical structured wiring system consists of Category-5 or -5e twisted pair wiring for data and phone networking, along with RJ6 coaxial cable for video. But future networks may dispense with coax. One company had already done so. The DiLan system, made by ITT Industries, uses Category-5e wiring and an RJ45 telephone-type jack to deliver data, voice, and video to each room.
DiLan has been available in the United Kingdom for a year. One builder who has used it is Ray Rice, managing director of London-area Rice Homes, which builds 50 spec homes per year. Rice is wiring every home with 30 to 40 data outlets, all of which have home-run wiring running back to a central utility room.
Any outlet can be used for any function, so homeowners can have 10 to 15 audio points, if that's what they want. "Because you have a patch panel in the control box you can direct any function to any outlet in a manner of seconds," says Rice. Changing the function of an outlet from data to video or telephone is a matter of taking a patch cord, plugging one end into the jack that serves the outlet and the other into a module.
Coax uses metal shielding to keep the video signal from interfering with other signals. However, according to ITT's Jonathan Chauvin-Blitt, the method of twisting Category 5 cuts down interference. Rice says he has gotten no complaints from customers. "We're getting very good feedback," he notes.
Chauvin-Blitt expects DiLan's U.S. price to be comparable to current systems but hopes to sell the product on convenience. "It helps make the house more attractive to a purchaser," he adds.