Today's new homes are much more technologically advanced than in the past. One of the largest advances carefully is the use of "structured wiring" in homes. Structured wiring consists of installing a bundled wire package that typically contains two RG6 and two Cat5e or Cat6 cables. The cables are bundled together into one larger plastic sheath to make it much easier to install as one unit. Some of the new structured wire bundles even include fiber optic cables as well.
Each room of the house will have a home run structure wire group run to a central location (basement, utility room, closet, etc.) The beauty of this system is you can run almost any technology over this system. The new wiring becomes the backbone of your electronic components. Some homeowners may not use all of the wires in the beginning, however as new products and technology develop the structured wiring will allow simple upgrades in the future.
In my new house we are currently using the structured wiring in the following way. Each room has a outlet with 4 ports, two RG6, one telephone and one Cat5e. In this configuration we run two telephone lines to each room, one cable TV line and one Cat5e line that has Internet and network signals. The second RG6 cable is active for the time being. In the utility room in the basement the Internet service is over the cable service. A cable modem is installed next to the structured wiring panel and then it is connected to a simple network router. The network router is then connected back to the structured wiring panel and distributed to each room.
The structured wiring method will allow us to add many features in the future as we need them. We could add video cameras, who house audio, play DVDs in one room and watch them in another or create a simple home network. The possibilities are endless and as more electronic components are created with IP addresses and ports it will become much easier to integrate all of our favorite electronics into a smart home feature.
If you're interested in this new technology ask your electrician for more information.