How many HDMI cables needed from TV to components? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Im in the process of remodeling my family room and going to have behind the wall wiring put in for TV and surround sound. The contractor has recommended I put in two behind wall HDMI cables - Best Buy told me only one was needed - TV to receiver, with everything else going into receiver, likely with shorter front of wall HDMI cables.

Im a home theater novice, so how many HDMI cables do I need from TV to components? Only to receiver? The 16" cables are expensive so if only one is necessary (all other components - bluray, receiver - are new with HDMI outlets.) I'd like to save the cost of a second 16" cable.

Any advice is appreciated!
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 09:06 AM
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You only need one to the TV and all else should connect to the receiver. However, I recommend (from personal experience) that you have the contractor install 2 anyway because the cables are cheap enough and the labor cost (and delay) in replacing a failed in-wall is substantial. Why are you saying the cables are expensive? They need not be.

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post #3 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 09:20 AM
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Better yet, have a piece of raceway installed in the wall, that way as technology changes, you can pull whatever cable you need.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I was told there is better video transmission with a better quality cable, Audioquest (and a couple others I cant remember) was recommended. The 16" 'chocolate' are $280 @ Best Buy. Was told by contractor and best buy HT people that quality of HDMI cable makes a big difference.

I was considering using the more expensive one and maybe get a cheaper one as the backup in case there is some sort of malfunction. Even if the main cable didnt work, using front of wall cable would not be the end of the world, though I would hope that wouldnt happen.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 09:36 AM
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You can get plenty of great quality HDMI cables for WAY under $280.00. you can find plenty decent 15-20ft HDMI cables for less than $25.00
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs33 View Post

I was told there is better video transmission with a better quality cable, Audioquest (and a couple others I cant remember) was recommended. The 16" 'chocolate' are $280 @ Best Buy. Was told by contractor and best buy HT people that quality of HDMI cable makes a big difference.

I was considering using the more expensive one and maybe get a cheaper one as the backup in case there is some sort of malfunction. Even if the main cable didnt work, using front of wall cable would not be the end of the world, though I would hope that wouldnt happen.

By now I think you've seen unanomous concensus that you don't need $280 HDMI cables and that a conduit would be a better choice than a second cable. Let me explain why.

HDMI is a digital transmission medium. From a cable standpoint, that means 1s and 0s go into one end and 1s and 0s come out the other. If the same 1s and 0s enter the cable and go out the cable, then your cable is doing its job.

In the case of HDMI, the 1s and 0s are encrypted and they are traveling a pretty high speeds (gigabits not megabits per second). So if you get an error, you'll see it on the screen as very obvious items such as a fully blank screen, a screen of a single flat color throughout, sparkles, lines, etc. In other words it won't be subtle things like slightly redder colors or sharpness loss. The colors and sharpness and all those things people used to worry about with cables are not affected in HDMI because the cable is just sending bits. Screw-up the bits and you see big problems not subtle ones.

Now every so often us engineers feel a need to change the world of audio/video. Then the lawyers get involved (such as on HDMI) and a new A/V interface is born. This new A/V interface usually involves new components and new cables. So the ability to add a new cable to your house at a later date might turn out to be very important. Also, I think everyone of us has damaged a cable connector at some time. If you use a conduit, you can slip out the damaged cable and put a new one in. If you just have an HDMI in-wall then it's likely anchored in place and is not removable and HDMI connectors are not replacable by mortals.

What you need for your in-wall HDMI cable is one that is rated CL2 (that rating allows the cable to be used for in-wall). You'll also want to make sure your HDMI cable is listed as a "High Speed" cable - it must say "High Speed" and you probably should look for the "High Speed" certificate as well.

And, that brings me to my most important point - There are only two types of HDMI cables - High Speed and Standard Speed. There are a number of options with each, but all you have to choose from are two types of cables. More is explained here (HDMI Org owns the HDMI specs, copyrights, first borns, patents, etc).

http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx#49

Reading the entire FAQ should provide you plenty of HDMI information and a good chance to nap.

So, get a high speed CL2 cable and you might want to make sure it has an Ethernet capability (even though no components yet use that feature). After that, you have everything you need to run in-wall. Then you'll need an out-of-wall HDMI cable for each component-to-receiver connection.

If you pay more than $30 for a 16-foot high speed CL2 HDMI cable, then you're paying way more than you should.

Finally please remember just because those Best Buy guys and gals wear those nifty blue shirts doesn't mean they have a clue what they are talking about or are looking-out for your best interests. There is a tremendous amount of mark-up on cables and the salesmen know this. Next time you're in Best Buy ask them how an HDMI cable works and how a cable could "improve" on the 1s and 0s.

I'd also be concerned about any contractor that wanted that much money for a cable unless that came with installation/warranty included.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 01:24 PM
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^^^ +1 1000%
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs33 View Post

I was told there is better video transmission with a better quality cable, Audioquest (and a couple others I cant remember) was recommended. The 16" 'chocolate' are $280 @ Best Buy. Was told by contractor and best buy HT people that quality of HDMI cable makes a big difference.

I was considering using the more expensive one and maybe get a cheaper one as the backup in case there is some sort of malfunction. Even if the main cable didnt work, using front of wall cable would not be the end of the world, though I would hope that wouldnt happen.

Good idea. I used an older model of AQ HDMI and the cable connector did, indeed, fail but I do a lot more plugging and unplugging than the average user so I am not blaming AQ. Still, it was good that I had a back-up cable (also AQ) in place.

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post #9 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Good idea. I used an older model of AQ HDMI and the cable connector did, indeed, fail but I do a lot more plugging and unplugging than the average user so I am not blaming AQ. Still, it was good that I had a back-up cable (also AQ) in place.

Of course the big problem then is how many layers of redundancy do you want? If you break the first one, what keeps you from breaking the second one other than the knowledge to be more careful. It's a great idea to have the backup but even better if you can just replace the first cable after failure.
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

Of course the big problem then is how many layers of redundancy do you want? If you break the first one, what keeps you from breaking the second one other than the knowledge to be more careful. It's a great idea to have the backup but even better if you can just replace the first cable after failure.

Good point but cables are cheap and labor is expensive.

In my first system, I has him install all the cables that the display would handle including a duplicate HDMI run. Turns out that (1) I only use one HDMI (and VGA occasionally) and (2) the first HDMI connector failed. Because of the duplicate, I did not have to hire a tech to do a new run through my crawl space.

In my second system, I had them put in 2 HDMI, 1 RGB and 1 ethernet. So far, so good.

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post #11 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs33 View Post

Was told by contractor and best buy HT people that quality of HDMI cable makes a big difference.

So I don't get this, you are contemplating purchasing a $280 cable and yet you are operating with a budget.

In practical terms, anyone who's buying a $280 cable should not have a budget.

And I didn't even have to get into the expensive cable makes/not difference argument.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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