Location, Location, Location - Where to Install Your Structured Media Center

Where to Install your Structured Media Center

With HDTV, Gigabit networking, VoIP, IPTV, Wi-Fi, and broadband Internet becoming essential components in the home, it’s important to consider strategies for organizing your devices. A centralized distribution point provides a straightforward solution for managing the needed connectivity and hardware. Leviton Structured Media enclosures are ideal for housing all equipment that controls the signals that come from outside the house and then get distributed throughout the home. 

Selecting the right location for your Structured Media enclosure is important, as it will ensure easy installation and maintenance, and maximum network performance. Ideally, the Structured Media enclosure should be installed in an accessible central location within the home, such as a hall/bedroom closet or laundry room. This provides easy access for maintenance and equipment resets, keeps cable runs shorter to limit the potential for signal interference, and supports better Wi-Fi throughout the home.

A common oversight is to install the Structured Media enclosure outside main living areas, like the garage. While this seems like a convenient location it can present a host of problems. Building codes prohibit a Structured Media enclosure from being installed on a firewall, like the wall connecting the home and garage. Therefore, enclosures installed in the garage end up being positioned on a wall further from the ideal centralized location. This can incur additional expenses due to longer cable runs and limit the reach of Wi-Fi signals. Plus, installing network devices in an environment that is not temperature controlled can have additional adverse effects.

Once the location is selected, determining the exact positioning of the enclosure is equally as important. As a best practice, avoid installing the Structured Media enclosure in the same stud bay as electrical wiring. Structured cabling installed too close to electrical wiring can create added noise and cause signal interference. For ease of access and to avoid electrical wiring during installation, place the Structured Media enclosure at eye level. Finally, install the enclosure near a power outlet to make it easier to run power to network devices.

Choosing an accessible, central location for the Structured Media enclosure is important to maximizing home network optimization. Not only will it ensure greater performance at a lower cost, but it will also provide easier access for installation and future maintenance and upgrades.

For information about Leviton Structured Media enclosures, visit: leviton.com/smc