I will be building a new home in Chicago and plan on having it prewired for Comcast. I presume RG6 is the proper cable, but should it be Quad shielded? What brand/ specs does Comcast use in this area for cable, connectors, and splitters. Also should I do a single splitter at the DMARC with direct runs to each unit (8) or would down line splitters for each floor be a better move. Finally do you have a recommendation for a high quality modem/router? Your assistance and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Comcast installers use Commscope F677TSVV RG6 tri-shield in many area's, available here. Quad is overkill unless there are very strong transmitters in the area. Quad is also harder to put on the fittings. An equivelent Belden product is 7915A available here.
Comcast uses PPC EX6 and EX6XL fittings in many area's for tri-shield RG6, the difference the XL is slightly longer that uses a standard compression tool, the shorter ones use a modified compression tool set for the shorter fittings.
All coax should be home run, never spread splitters around the home on each floor or attic. Run a separate line for the cable modem If it's done right the modem can be located in the structured wiring cabinet in the basement where the router, network switch and phone termination would be located.
Comcast uses 5-1000mhz splitters from Antronix, Regal, Commscope, Extreme Broadband Engineering and Holland. For a home your size, normally a 2-way splitter would be first off the ground block, one leg feeding the cable modem. The other leg would feed a 8-way drop amp so enough signal is supplied to the 8 TV outlets.
Run both Cat 5E or Cat 6 networking cable with each TV outlet's RG6 run. 2 cat 5E or cat 6 cables will serve as one for phone and one for networking, or two for networking to each outlet. Run extra networking jacks to other places in the home that phones, computers and printers would go. Remember it's easier to put in while the home is going up. Many home technology installers run 2 runs of RG6 and 2 runs of Cat 5E or 6 to each and every jack being put in. If you switch to U-Verse, either the ethernet cables or coax can be used for U-Verse equipment.
The best thing on new construction is to run flexible conduit to each TV / networking low voltage jack location an example is here and here. This is so cables can be added and replaced as technology changes. Install these to future locations even if you don't wire them up yet.
For modems, without Comcast phone service is the Zoom 5341J. Routers, your choice would be Apple Airport Extreme, Linksys / Cisco EA series and Netgear. Keep the modem and router separate, stay away from combo devices.
If your using Comcast digital voice, then a eMTA telephony modem would be installed by Comcast. One model, Arris TM722G, is available for purchase at select Best Buy's in the Chicago area that have Comcast connection centers in them.