Low-voltage wire and cable has ample technology behind its manufacturing and creation. And the ability to choose the right wire or cable for any job requires you to understand that technology. For starters, low-voltage, high quality cable can include, video or coaxial cable, alarm wire, speaker cable, specialty cables, structured wiring, and control cables.
One of the first things you should look for when examining wires and cables is appropriate foot markers. In case you don't know, a foot marker basically shows you how much you've used and how much is left to use. This is crucial for jobs that will require ample cable in order to complete or so you're not caught unaware during the middle of a new project. But it's more than just whether the cable has foot markers; it is also about how often it has those markings. It should be printed at least every two feet along the length of the cord.
The next few things to consider are the standards, requirements, and specifications of the cable. You may find that most cable manufacturers meet and follow the RoHS standards, or at least they should. Consider purchasing and using a RG-59 cord with a copper center conductor. And while the quality of the cable is essential, so is the packaging of that cable. With this in mind, you have two basic options when considering proper packaging of the cable you need for whatever project you have in store. Some manufacturers and distributors will lay and wrap the cable so tight that it causes twists and kinks, which can affect performance. The second choice you have is a Big Mouth Payout, also called a BMP. This is when the cable or wire is coiled inside of a box-type package. This means that there are fewer twists and you can get the cord out quickly and conveniently. But cord that comes in BMP boxes is not just simply wrapped around itself. It is actually wrapped in a figure-8 movement, making it even easier to pull it out of the box by one long strand.
When searching for cable, make sure it has a Direct Burial rating. This helps you understand whether or not that particular cable can be used both outside and inside. What this means is that you only have to buy one type of cable, saving you money and storage space. And while there is much more to the technology and manufacturing of wire and cable, the above is a great starting point.