Should You Wire Your House For Ethernet?

We watched BIRDMAN on our AppleTV last week. The movie was great. The experience was awful.

In fact our AppleTV has been doing a terrible job with streaming movies for a while.

Maybe wiring the entire house for ethernet will help?

First off, the AppleTV. What gives?

The problem used to be with Netflix.

We simply could not get videos to start. They'd work on all of our other iDevices, but they couldn't even be mirrored to the AppleTV.

We first fixed the problem by running an "ethernet" connection to a nearby Airport Express. Eventually, even that failed, but a hard restore helped. So far, so good.

Now, we are having a problem with "judder" on the video for movies we pay for through iTunes. The audio is fine, but the video skips and freezes. It makes watching a movie almost impossible.

Usually, the problem resolves itself by the time we're halfway through the movie or so. I assume that is because the movie is done downloading at that point, and the AppleTV can wholly concentrate on playback.

Looking around online, this seems to be a somewhat common problem.

I'm not sure what the cause is  - maybe an issue with our brand-new Airport Extreme trying to talk to the Wireless-N Airport Express which is providing the AppleTV's ethernet connection? - but I will not be renting or purchasing movies on iTunes unless I can be sure it's fixed.

(DirecTV rentals cost about the same, anyway.)

But in the meantime, I don't want to be so reliant upon my home wi-fi when streaming movies.

We're going to be finishing the basement this year, so it makes sense to run some CAT-6 wire through the basement and up into various locations on the main floor.

This could lead to some strange configurations - our primary ethernet switch will be in the basement with the Synology NAS, but it makes no sense to stick a wi-fi router down there.

So my Airport Extreme will likely remain in the office - and the cable modem will be directly below it in the basement.

We're going to have to do some additional drilling - ideally, I can get a switchplate inside our new home theater cabinets, with 6 or 8 ethernet plug-ins available, but I'm not about to damage our new cabinets to accomplish that.

This is going to take some planning. But the basement was ALWAYS going to be a big project.

In the meantime, what ethernet switch equipment
should I be buying? Time to hit Amazon and Fry's.


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