Is CAT 5 OK for 4K camera system?

Discussion in 'Camera Installation Questions' started by nbstl68, May 17, 2019 at 10:34 AM.

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  1. nbstl68

    nbstl68 Getting comfortable

    Dec 15, 2015
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    A friend of mine has gotten a quote to install a security system at his lake house. I believe some of the cameras are to be 4K and some 4Mps cameras. I do not have all the details yet but part of the quote says "install Outdoor cat5 cable" (not sure if outdoor rated is needed either...this should mostly be run through attic and eves.)
    Will 4k cameras work OK on CAT 5 or would they really need CAT6 or better?

    Also, the NVR is shown only as: "NVR-P 8ch 80 mbps 8xpoe 4k/1080 audio supported".

    Is 80 mbps anywhere near enough to handle a couple of 4K cameras? I assume that spec is per channel but again, not sure just yet.
  2. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

    Jan 17, 2017
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    Hi @nbstl68

    NO DO NOT USE CAT5... that is a very old standard... go CAT5e or better CAT6 with good copper wires of AWG 23 or 24
  3. Nick70068

    Nick70068 n3wb

    Mar 11, 2019
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    Fairhope, Al
    If it is a new installation then I would go with CAT6 or 5e.

    CAT5 100Mbps with max bandwidth of 100Mhz
    CAT5e 1Gbps with max bandwidth of 100Mhz
    CAT6 1Gbps with max bandwidth of 250Mhz

    But if you have a box of CAT laying around it will suffice, as you can see a 4K camera uses only 16% of the cable capacity.
    A 1080P camera take needs about 5 Mbps when recording at 30 FPS.
    A 4MP camera take needs about 6 Mbps when recording at 20 FPS.
    A 4K camera take needs about 16 Mbps when recording at 24 FPS
    mat200 and nbstl68 like this.
  4. IAmATeaf

    IAmATeaf Pulling my weight

    Jan 13, 2019
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    United Kingdom
    Although not ideal if the cable runs are only to connect cams then it shouldn’t be a problem as current cams are all 100mbs. Reason people advise 5e or 6 is for future proofing.

    My house has cat5e, my cctv fitter is going to run cat5e for the cams and I personally don’t have any issues with that.
    mat200 likes this.
  5. bp2008

    bp2008 Staff Member

    Mar 10, 2014
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    The chance they're actually planning to use "cat5" is very small (but, if true, would be a huge red flag). Cat5e and cat6 are much more common. Chances are they just used "cat5" a as a generic term for network cable. So based on this you really have no idea what cable they use. I could be some copper-clad aluminum (CCA) garbage they bought because it was cheap. Or it could be quality cat5e/cat6 with pure copper wire.
    JNDATHP, mat200 and alastairstevenson like this.