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In the digital age, the installation of a VDI - voice-data-image communication cabinet - is the best solution for managing telephony, computer and television networks throughout the home.

Comparative of 8 VDI boxes

During a construction or a major renovation, it is considered from the outset the integration of a VDI box (voice, data, images). The latter includes brewing modules allowing manage all network connections low current in a single panel and distribute them in most rooms of the habitat via RJ45 sockets.

Eligibility of the line

Internet access offers vary from one geographic area to another. To know which services can be accessed, all you need to do is perform an eligibility test online on the sites of the operators (Orange, SFR, Free...) or a specialized site like degrouptest.com. All you have to do is enter the landline number and its postal code to find out which services can be accessed.

VDI or Wi-Fi box?

The benefits of a VDI communication cabinet, also called a communication board, are numerous. In addition to the ability to take full advantage of the rate of box operators through a wired network, their patch module can send the telephone signal, Internet, or TV in the rooms of his choice. The device also represents a excellent alternative to using Wi-Fi that some scientists consider harmful to health because of the electromagnetic waves it produces.
Another advantage, it allows to create a home computer network for example, to exchange data between different computers, to share a printer, a multimedia hard disk, or to network with the children.
Since 2010, the standard NF C 15-100 requires the installation of a VDI box in all new housing with the presence of a RJ45 plug at least by main room (living room, bedroom...) or two taken if is a studio. It must be placed in the GTL (Housing Technical Sheath) alongside the electrical panel.

Successfully installing a VDI cabinet

At the heart of the device is a DTI housing approved by France Telecom (Orange), responsible for receiving the data provided by the ISPs. The cabinet also incorporates patching modules to manage the network infrastructure and possibly a coaxial TV splitter for DTT / Satellite TV reception.
Some models have a slot and power outlet to position and plug the box inside the cabinet. In the vast majority of cases, the latter is in a living room and its signal is sent back to the VDI communication box to be redistributed in different rooms via RJ45 sockets.

Data dispatcher

Each VDI communication cabinet has a DTI box and ADSL filter. The DTI box receives information from the analogue telephone line (France Télécom), while the ADSL filter is responsible for transmitting digital signals (Internet, TV, VOIP telephony) on the home network.

Four types of VDI boxes

Before choosing a communication box, it is important to determine your needs depending on the sources available in the habitat (ADSL, FTTH, TV IP / TNT / Satellite, analog telephony / IP) and the number of RJ45 plugs to provide. There are four different types of cabinets that are distinguished by a classification system: four grades of 1 to 3 + S.
Manufacturers finally offer three types of brewing: manual, semi-manual, and automatic. As the name implies, the first one requires manually distributing the sources on the patch modules using cords. Semi-manuals include a mini-selector to choose the source to assign to this or that plug without having to manipulate the cords. Finally, the automatic models can be installed without any technical skills.
These pre-wired boxes detect what is connected to the circuit and automatically determine the signal to be sent. An ideal solution, but that pays a high price. In any case, it is better to plan a so-called evolutionary communication cabinet which is able to receive a switch to be able to develop the computer network if necessary by adding RJ45 sockets and eventually receiving the optical fiber (FTTH).

VDI box to install

Modular, the voice, data and images network makes it possible to connect all communication and multimedia devices with the possibility of making them interact with each other. The ideal is to install it near the electrical panel.

The different types of grades

The rank defines the capabilities of an installation. The important thing is to know the speed to be expected (100 Mbit with ADSL boxes, 1 Gbit for FTTH), as well as the types of signals to pass on the circuit.

  • Grade 1: phone + Internet 100 Mbit + TV ADSL. This grade is suitable for the majority of habitats of less than 100 m2. It can be completed by a coaxial module for TV TNT and Satellite.
  • Grade 2: phone + broadband internet (up to 1 Gbit) + ADSL TV. This architecture can evolve towards the optical fiber (FTTH). It can also be supplemented by a coaxial network to receive TV TNT / Sat.
  • Grade 3: phone + broadband internet (up to 1 Gbit) + ADSL / TNT TV. Very simple to implement, it makes it possible to create an RJ45 network infrastructure for all the resources, including the TNT TV.
  • Grade 3 + S: phone + broadband internet (up to 1 Gbit) + ADSL / TNT + Sat TV Identical to Grade 3, it also allows you to connect the Satellite TV to the RJ45 sockets. These models have a brewing mode and automatic resource detection.

Grade 1

Diagram of a VDI cabinet

The VDI box centralizes weak currents and directs the signals emitted by the operators (TV, Internet, telephony) to the parts of its choice via RJ45, TV...

Install a wireless network with or without a vdi box

CPL

During a simple renovation, it is usually too complicated and too expensive (bled in the walls, crossing the load-bearing wall, ceiling or floor...) to make a complete multimedia installation with a VDI cabinet.
The solution is then to exploit the Wi-Fi connection of the digital box. It is possible to connect for example nomadic equipment in Wi-Fi, and use kits CPL (Current Carrier Online) to connect all other devices (TV, computers, printer...) to the Internet through outlets. Electric power.
A CPL kit consists of two adapters: the first must be connected to a power outlet and the box via an RJ45 cable, while the second can be placed in the same way to the socket and the device of choice. Some allow you to act as a network switch and connect multiple devices to a single adapter (ideal for the living room), or to serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot to extend the wireless network.

Changes to be planned

Thearticle R111-14 of the code of the construction which will henceforth frame the residential communication networks and whose decree is imminent will bring some important modifications: the Grade 1 will disappear and will not be able to be proposed by the manufacturers, just like the distribution of the coaxial in the housing.
Grade 3 TV (10 Gb) communication cabinets for the distribution of high-speed optical fiber will finally make their appearance.

Comparison of eight VDI boxes to create a multimedia network

Comparison of communication cabinets (VDI) offered by ABB (Gale'0 VDI GR3 8RJ45 TV + SAT), Casanova (Optimo 605), Elesys (Grade 3 GA020), Gewiss (GW 40,506), Hager (TN433), Great (Optimum Auto Gigabit Drivia 13 modules), Michaud (Select Triple PlayQ189), and Schneider Electric (LexCom Home Essential VDIR390003)

8 VDI cases reviews

8 VDI cases reviews

Click on images to enlarge them

ABB

ABB VDI box

Manufacturer: ABB
Model: Gale'0 VDI GR3 8RJ45 TV + SAT

  • Box: Grade 3 + S
  • Brewing: Semi-manual (brewing on the front)
  • RJ45 ports: 8
  • Fiber Optic Compatible: Yes *
  • TV Distribution: IP / TNT / Satellite
  • ADSL Box: Remote
  • Telephone splitter: 1 analog output 4 ADSL outputs
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 25 x 51 x 11 cm
Indicative price: € 649
The strong points:
The possible reception of the satellite TV on coaxial socket.

Casanova

Casanova VDI Casket

Manufacturer: Casanova
Model: Optimo 605

  • Box: Grade 2
  • Brewing: Semi-manual (brewing on the front)
  • RJ45 ports: 8
  • Fiber Optic Compatible: Yes (Integrated DTIO)
  • Distribution: IP TV (TNT requires the addition of a TNT TV distributor)
  • ADSL Box: Integrated
  • Telephone splitter: 1 analog output 4 ADSL outputs
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 23 x 60 x 8 cm
Approximate price 490 €

Elesys

VDI Elesys box

Manufacturer: Elesys
Model: Grade 3 GA020

  • Box: Grade 3
  • Brewing: Semi-manual (brewing on the front)
  • RJ45 ports: 8
  • Fiber Optic Compatible: Yes *
  • Distribution: TV IP + TNT / Satellite (with multipair cable Grade 3 + S)
  • ADSL Box: Remote
  • Telephone splitter: 2 analogue outputs 1 ADSL output
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 23 x 25 x 10 cm
Indicative price: € 297
The strong points
Automatic telephone distribution on all outlets

Gewiss

VDI Gewiss box

Manufacturer: Gewiss
Model: GW 40 506

  • Box: Grade 1
  • Brewing: Manual
  • RJ45 ports: 4
  • Fiber Optic Compatible: Yes *
  • TV distribution TNT
  • ADSL Box: Remote
  • Telephone splitter: 1 analog output 4 ADSL outputs
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 23 x 25 x 11 cm
Indicative price: € 119

Hager

VDI Hager box

Manufacturer: Hager
Model: TN433

  • Box: Grade 3
  • Brewing: Semi-manual
  • RJ45 ports: 12
  • Fiber Optic Compatible: Yes *
  • Distribution: TV IP / TNT / Satellite
  • ADSL Box: Integrated
  • Telephone distributor: 1 analogue output 1 ADSL ISDN (2 x 4 RJ45 outputs)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 36 x 63 x 10 cm
Indicative price: € 679

Great

VDI Legrand box

Manufacturer: Legrand
Model: Optimum Auto Gigabit Drivia 13 modules

  • Box: Grade: 3
  • Brewing: Automatic
  • RJ45 ports: 12
  • Fiber Optic Compatible: Yes (Integrated DTIO)
  • Distribution: TV IP / TNT / Satellite (up to 2 Sat. decoders)
  • ADSL Box: Integrated
  • Telephone splitter: 3 analog outputs
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 25 x 50 x 10 cm
Indicative price: € 2,180
The strong points
Automatic recognition of the media connected to the socket

Michaud

VDI Michaud box

Manufacturer: Michaud
Model: Select Triple Play Q189

  • Box: Grade 1
  • Brewing: Automatic
  • RJ45 ports: 8
  • Fiber Optic Compatible: Yes *
  • Distribution: TV IP / TNT
  • ADSL Box: Remote
  • Telephone splitter: 4 analog or IP outputs
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 25 x 25 x 13 cm
Indicative price: € 549
The strong points:
Allows the installation of a box on any RJ45 socket of the housing.

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric VDI ​​enclosure

Manufacturer: Schneider Electric
Model: LexCom Home Essential VDIR390003

  • Box: Grade 1
  • Brewing: Manual
  • RJ45 ports: 4
  • Fiber Optic Compatible: Yes *
  • TV distribution TNT
  • ADSL Box: Integrated
  • Telephone splitter: 4 analog outputs 1 ADSL output
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 25 x 23 x 13 cm
Indicative price: € 341
The strong points
Good value for money


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