Newbie question re: prewiring for distributed video - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-21-2011, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi folks,

Sorry if this question has been well covered elsewhere. My questions are fairly simple but I've been searching/reading many threads over the last few days and haven't found any definitive answers.

We're currently doing a remodeling job with a contractor, and we're thinking about prewiring the house for distributed video capabilities at some point. Specifically, our issue is that we have some very long cable runs - I haven't gone over the plans with an electrician yet, but I suspect some of the runs may stretch to the 150-200ft range. One of the home automation guys I've been talking to (from Savant) claims that their matrix switcher/module can push the digital signal 150ft over normal HDMI cable with no problems. I'm a little skeptical, given some of the stuff I've been reading here.

So my question is - what kind of wires should I run? HDMI with repeaters? (What's the effective range for 1080p? Would the repeaters fit into a conduit easily?) HDMI-over-dual-cat6? (I hear a lot of people have a hard time getting this to work? What's the range? Why do gefen baluns cost so much more than monoprice? Do they make wall-plates that act as baluns too?)

The other thing I want to keep in mind too is futureproofing my house. I'll be running conduits so that should help, but still - I don't want to waste a lot of HDMI cable in the walls if I'm going to be able to run cat6's and replace the wall-plate with HDbaseT stuff in another year or two. Frankly, maybe I shouldn't even bother wiring at all? Although I suspect wireless probably won't be ready for prime-time anytime soon?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-21-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honestpleasure View Post

Hi folks,

Sorry if this question has been well covered elsewhere. My questions are fairly simple but I've been searching/reading many threads over the last few days and haven't found any definitive answers.

We're currently doing a remodeling job with a contractor, and we're thinking about prewiring the house for distributed video capabilities at some point. Specifically, our issue is that we have some very long cable runs - I haven't gone over the plans with an electrician yet, but I suspect some of the runs may stretch to the 150-200ft range. One of the home automation guys I've been talking to (from Savant) claims that their matrix switcher/module can push the digital signal 150ft over normal HDMI cable with no problems. I'm a little skeptical, given some of the stuff I've been reading here.

So my question is - what kind of wires should I run? HDMI with repeaters? (What's the effective range for 1080p? Would the repeaters fit into a conduit easily?) HDMI-over-dual-cat6? (I hear a lot of people have a hard time getting this to work? What's the range? Why do gefen baluns cost so much more than monoprice? Do they make wall-plates that act as baluns too?)

The other thing I want to keep in mind too is futureproofing my house. I'll be running conduits so that should help, but still - I don't want to waste a lot of HDMI cable in the walls if I'm going to be able to run cat6's and replace the wall-plate with HDbaseT stuff in another year or two. Frankly, maybe I shouldn't even bother wiring at all? Although I suspect wireless probably won't be ready for prime-time anytime soon?

Thanks!

My first thought is component video cables - no issue with those distances with a good distribution amp.

However, if you must do HDMI (3D is a requirement for instance) then certainly a standard HDMI cable will not work for 3D (or 1080p/60) and will very liikely not work for 1080i or 720p.

I'd run Cat6 or fiber to distribute HDMI over those distances - even then you'll have to check carefully to see the Cat6 capability. You're still going to have to work out how to handle the EDIDs from the distributed TVs, if all of the TVs are not the same (or at least the same capabilities).

The conduit is a great idea. I just added another room to our distribution system almost two years after the walls had been closed off by using conduit. We used only vertical conduits. All of the horizontal movement is done in the attic between the conduits.

If your home automation group says their system can push HDMI over 150 feet with standard HDMI cable, please ask for a demo. If they really can do that, I'd like to know how and also the resolutions they claim they can push. We all might learn something new.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-21-2011, 12:44 PM
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What you are going to be able to achieve is going to depend on the cables, all the electronics in your system, the environment and the bit rate. Blue Jeans Cable claims to have done 1080P60 at 125' with their Series 1 HDMI cable. Your mileage may vary.

For long runs over copper, I think a HDBastT solution is the best approach. There are a few available now. Gefen has one. An alternative would be fiber.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-22-2011, 03:46 AM
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HDMI is such a minefield that any claims' about long run HDMI cables will always carry some form of disclaimer.

HDMI over Dual or Single Twisted pair is the way to go at the run lengths indicated - plus you can take advantage of Routed IR with many systems with a central Matrix plus In-room Receivers.

HDBaseT is very stable - though as yet costly (point to point) and very costly once you get into Matrix territory.

Joe

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