HDMI or cat6 cable? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys
I'm a newbie on on this audio video stuff. We're building a new house so want to get a multi room a/v setup. Still in the early stages so have chatted to a a/v installer and he recommend to go HDMI rather than cat6. The longest stretch will be about 70m from the media room to the main bedroom. But I've read that most systems use cat6 cables. So is he correct? I know there could be HDMI handshake issues with a lot of components too.

So what is the best route to take?
Thanks!
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post #2 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 02:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hydrobum View Post

Hi guys
I'm a newbie on on this audio video stuff. We're building a new house so want to get a multi room a/v setup. Still in the early stages so have chatted to a a/v installer and he recommend to go HDMI rather than cat6. The longest stretch will be about 70m from the media room to the main bedroom. But I've read that most systems use cat6 cables. So is he correct? I know there could be HDMI handshake issues with a lot of components too.
So what is the best route to take?
Thanks!

Ask your installer what they are going to use for the ~210 foot run. If they recommend regular HDMI cable, find another installer. You need cat 5e/6 conversion, HDBaseT conversion, an active HDMI cable or fiber optic. Also check out the brand of cable they are using. If it starts with Monster, then run for the door and don't look back.

Also keep in mind that HDMI switchers are (or should be) the expensive part of the setup, if you want anything that is marginally complicated. An 8x8 matrix switcher will be in the thousands. Also most of these expensive switchers have conversion to cat6 built-in.

Good luck.. Don't be afraid to do exactly like you are doing and question what they say. It is your money, after all.

Finally, don't forget conduit. It can save you in the future when you have to add or replace a cable.
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post #3 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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You could look at HDMI over Ethernet. You would have one transceiver per managed switch, then multiple hdmi sets, with the receivers. Bad thing is, huge out of pocket cost with this. You may want to rethink what you are going to do and how. Even though it sounds good on paper, the idea does not always work for most, unless you have a large amount of money to do it.
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post #4 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 05:07 PM
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I think there may be a disconnect somewhere. I cannot imagine a professional installer that would think that a passive HDMI cable would do for 70m. FWIW the best passive HDMI cables can only deliver full bandwidth a lengths up to about 8m. They might work well enough to deliver 1080p60 reiably up to about 20m. The longest verifiable claim for 1080p60 I have seen is about 40m, but that was a specific configuration of hardware, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to achieve that. So, anything over these lengths and you will likely have to go with an active cable or an extender as Andy mentioned.

IMHO the best bet will be to go with HDBaseT which uses a single Cat 6 cable for long runs. It is capable of 100m at full bandwidth at a hop, and capable of supporting serveral hops.

And, as Andy suggested, the smart thing to do while the walls are open is to add empty conduit for future upgrades.
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post #5 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

...HDMI over Ethernet...
No such thing. HDMI is an uncompressed signal, and the HD over Ethernet solutions use compression. That said, the best HD (not HDMI) over Ethernet solutions offer "visually lossless" results and are something to consider.
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post #6 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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May want to look it up. Been around for about five years now. Here, I will help you, since you doubt the truth. http://audio-video-supply.markertek.com/search?w=hdmi+over+ethernet&IMAGE.x=0&IMAGE.y=0 Oh, look. The terminology is loosely used, since it means either using just Cat5e or Cat-6, or using a switch to do the handling out to multiple units. Oh look, http://us.yhs4.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=hdmi+over+ethernet&hspart=att&hsimp=yhs-att_001&type=att_my_portal_home&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8&fr=att-portal guess you should change what your thinking is colm. I should know about this stuff, since we just wired a whole church with 14 hdsets using the technology, from one master server unit.
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post #7 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

May want to look it up.
Nope, I am familiar with the products.
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The terminology is loosely used...
Well, by you anyway...
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...it means either using just Cat5e or Cat-6, or using a switch to do the handling out to multiple units
No, it means outputting the exact same thing as was input, using Ethernet as a transport
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...guess you should change what your thinking is...
It is undestandable that you think that way. Maybe you should learn a bit about compression. You might change your view.
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I should know about this stuff...
If you say so. Unfortunately, it seems you don't.
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post #8 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 06:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

May want to look it up. Been around for about five years now. Here, I will help you, since you doubt the truth. http://audio-video-supply.markertek.com/search?w=hdmi+over+ethernet&IMAGE.x=0&IMAGE.y=0 Oh, look. The terminology is loosely used, since it means either using just Cat5e or Cat-6, or using a switch to do the handling out to multiple units. Oh look, http://us.yhs4.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=hdmi+over+ethernet&hspart=att&hsimp=yhs-att_001&type=att_my_portal_home&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8&fr=att-portal guess you should change what your thinking is colm. I should know about this stuff, since we just wired a whole church with 14 hdsets using the technology, from one master server unit.

First thanks for the link. But looking at the HDMI over LAN (the correct terminology), I have some questions. Also please note that your yahoo link generates "HDMI over Cat 6" results which is not the same as "HDMI over Ethernet or over LAN". No one is questioning whether an HDMI signal can be sent over Cat 6 cabling. It's over a LAN that I have some questions.

1) Ethernet protocols on LAN use collisions as the way of resolving conflicts. The collision occurs and the source, after a random timeout, resends. Now if I have an uncompressed HDMI signal and I put anything else on the LAN, I'm going to get collisions. If I put more things on the LAN, I'm going to get even more collisions. So, does this LAN implementation require that nothing else be on the LAN? Or is the buffer so large that it can wait for the real time signal but then the latency is very large (the ballgame is over before the start of the game is actually being shown)?

2) If an uncompressed HDMI signal is 10.2 gbps and the maximum (without overhead) for a gigabit LAN is (well) 1 gbps, how does that work? Is the signal that comes out of the LAN the same HDMI signal that went into it? If it isn't, it isn't HDMI.

3) Does the quality of the ethernet switch affect the latency of this signal, so you end up needing to upgrade all switches in the house as well?

Just trying to understand this since, from my engineering background, it would seem impossible to reliably send a true HDMI signal over a LAN. Obviously sending HDMI over Cat 6 is "easy" since the cable is dedicated and you're not using LAN protocols. I guess I just don't understand how using LAN protocols could possibly work with a true HDMI signal.
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post #9 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

2) If an uncompressed HDMI signal is 1.2 gbps...
Andy, is that what you wanted to say? 720p60 and 1080i30 require about 2.23 Gbps, 1080p60 about 4.45 Gbps. Maximum HDMI bandwidth is currently 10.2 Gbps.
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post #10 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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The problem is, you are over thinking it. There are no collisions, because you run the equipment on a switch separate from your LAN. BTW, it is actually called HDMI over IP if you really want to be more specific. Look at the info on this http://www.markertek.com/Home-Theater/HDMI-Over-IP-Routing/Just-Add-Power/VBS-HDMI-308A.xhtml?VBS-HDMI-308A It is a Closed loop system. That means that it will never touch a LAN or Intranet, because it would be on its own. Guess the engineer in you just never saw that, nor decided to look at the markertek link.
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post #11 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

... HDMI over Ethernet.
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BTW, it is actually called HDMI over IP
There you go again. Make up your mind. Ethernet, IP, it still ain't HDMI.
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post #12 of 29 Old 06-24-2012, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

...it will never touch a LAN...would be on its own.
Seems you don't know what a local area network (LAN) is. What you seem to be saying is that the solution you are recommending requires a dedicated LAN. The fact that it is dedicated does not take away from the fact that it is a LAN. But you did answer one of Andy's questions.

With that first generation Just Add Power device you linked to in your response to Andy, the output will definitely not be exactly what was input. It compresses the input down to 50-60 Mbps, transmits it over a 100 Mbps link, and uncompresses it. For a 1080p60 signal that is about 80:1 compression. The second generation devices that run on a 1Gbps network work much better, but still cannot guarantee that you get out exactly what you put in, hence not HDMI over Ethernet/IP.

BTW we can nip this discussion in the bud real quick if you want. HDMI is a registered trade mark. Just Add Power no longer labels their producs HDMI over IP, but rather HD over IP. This change was made at the request of the owners of the trademark. So, legally, it ain't HDMI over IP. The picture on that Markertek page is out of date.
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post #13 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 05:40 AM
 
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Excuse me. I know more about LAN"s than what you tend to blow around in this thread. And yes, the technology is there for HDMI over IP, and it has been for over five years. Then again I b knot az smart az u.
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post #14 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 06:03 AM
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Then again I b knot az smart az u.

Finally, this is your first step in learning! Admitting that you know nothing is a big step wink.gif
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Guess the engineer in you just never saw that, nor decided to look at the markertek link.

No, the engineer understands what is going on, you, the wide eyed consumer, doesn't...hence your posts.
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post #15 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 11:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Andy, is that what you wanted to say? 720p60 and 1080i30 require about 2.23 Gbps, 1080p60 about 4.45 Gbps. Maximum HDMI bandwidth is currently 10.2 Gbps.

Colm, thanks. Looks like I dropped a 0 while typing. Brain-to-finger SEU.

I'll correct.
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post #16 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

The problem is, you are over thinking it. There are no collisions, because you run the equipment on a switch separate from your LAN. BTW, it is actually called HDMI over IP if you really want to be more specific. Look at the info on this http://www.markertek.com/Home-Theater/HDMI-Over-IP-Routing/Just-Add-Power/VBS-HDMI-308A.xhtml?VBS-HDMI-308A It is a Closed loop system. That means that it will never touch a LAN or Intranet, because it would be on its own. Guess the engineer in you just never saw that, nor decided to look at the markertek link.

Thanks for the last sentence in your response. It says to me that you are very defensive and really don't know what you are babbling about, if that is the best you can do.

BTW, if I have to use a separate switch, why would this be any better than just using the cat 6/5e cable for true HDMI? It wouldn't be - just more complex. And, the best a lossless compression scheme can do is about 60% with video data on a good day. 60% of 10.2 gbps would be about 6 gbps, which is 6x the best a gigabit connection can do (being kind). That would seem to imply that what goes into the HDMI over IP is not the same as what comes out.

I have seen a Sony HDMI over IP used in a stadium. Some of it worked great. Some didn't - lots of blocking and frozen picture. Either way, it doesn't make sense for the home compared to other HDMI options that are available.

How about we get back to the OP's question?
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post #17 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Just that I am south of everyone here....as in South Africa so we don't have the luxury of a/v geeks like you guys up north. Will have to find the right installer for this as its going to be way over my head. One thing I will be having is a separate LAN from the a/v network if going the cat6 route as am planning to have speakers though out the house.. Can't have enough conduits as you guys say biggrin.gif

The installer did say will need a HDMI extender which is pricey. Going fibre would be out of the question as is not a common thing here yet so would need to win the lottery to install this. I recall my days in the Virginia when a friend of mine had wired his place up with multiple cables-dual cat, coaxial, fibre. Jus wondering which would be cost effective? Oh wait...everything here a almost double the price mad.gif
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post #18 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 03:23 PM
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Jus wondering which would be cost effective? Oh wait...everything here a almost double the price mad.gif
IMHO HDBaseT is the most cost effective route to achieving reliable, full bandwidth HDMI performance for long runs. A transmitter receiver pair can be had for about $200 in the USA and Cat 6 cable is cheap. The technology is available in the outputs of some switches and matrixes, too. It is available from many manufacturers and they are all interoperable. Fiber is good too, but costs more. Downside is that hardware is generally not interoperable with other manufacturers' competing offerings. You can use passive high speed HDMI cables for shorter runs. But I would avoid HDMI cables with "extenders" which are just generic equalizers/repeaters. They don't seem to pan out well often.
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post #19 of 29 Old 06-26-2012, 06:36 AM
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hydrobum – HDMI is simply too ‘distance limited’ in its ability to reliably send signals over long cable runs to consider it for 70m runs.

We use 15m as our ‘rule of thumb’ in terms of the longest cable run we would want to be responsible for when using a standard ‘passive’ HDMI cable – everything over 15m we run on x1 or x2 CAT6 cables with (where possible) no Patchbay or Faceplate terminations in the CAT6 cable runs!

Active HDMI cables can attain longer runs than Passive - though you have two potential problems - A. they have to ‘steal’ power from your Source device and B. in time the ‘active’ electronics may become a point of obsolescence and the cable will need replaced.

As Andy (alk3397) says Conduit is a great option as it can make in life changes/updates/repairs much simpler!

Fibre is pretty costly – no matter where you are in the world!

There are plenty of systems where folk mix HDMI and CAT6 to different Zones – though where you have a centralised system the CAT6 option usually adds in a ‘free’ IR pathway back to your central AV rack from each Zone providing you with basic control of the Matrix and Source kit.

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post #20 of 29 Old 06-28-2012, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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PS There are a few AV Geeks in your part of the world – they get everywhere biggrin.gif

Thanks Joe.

Yes there are av geeks in this part of the world, but would have to sell a kidney to pay for their services rolleyes.gif
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post #21 of 29 Old 05-27-2014, 07:46 AM
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Hi gregzoll

It seems you are right about the Matrix to send HDMI over cat6 cable.

But my question is that there is lot of Cat6 type cables out there, and all have considerable differences in price, what seems to be for the same cable.

I'm no expert and my Son in Law is in the process of rebuilding the house, with all the ceilings down.

He want to have a control room with all the Sky etc in one place and send the signal to the main TV area as well as all the rooms, but using Cat6 cable then a adapter at each end to get it back to HDMI.

 

The Question is: is there specific type of cat6 cable that I should be looking for and what would you recommend it to have

i.e

Supports MHz/Gbps per channel not sure what size these should be.

Supports bit's per channel.

we are looking for the best quality at the TV etc.

 

Just wondered if you help here.

Many thanks

Harry

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post #22 of 29 Old 05-29-2014, 07:19 PM
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No body on these forums have mentioned how to convert the cat6 to an end that plugs into the hdmi port in the TV. Could someone from above please comment on this maybe provide a link or pictures. I run all my cat6 tomorrow.
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post #23 of 29 Old 05-29-2014, 09:00 PM
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You haven't looked hard enough. HDBase-T is one solution.
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post #24 of 29 Old 05-30-2014, 06:28 AM
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With HD Base-t... So is that theory, one base needs to sit at each TV, and then use a HDMI patch cable to the base? Just trying to figure what is at the source (media closet), and what is near the TV. If i have 2 Cat6 lines with a coaxial line, that should be enough pre-wire, correct, or do I need 3 runs of cat6. The coaxial is free to run.
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post #25 of 29 Old 05-30-2014, 07:39 AM
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HDBT is a converter that takes a standard HDMI connection and allows the audio and video signal to travel over cat-5e/6 wire up to 100m. The HDBT converters are not inexpensive, they are rather expensive, so if you intend to centralize your equipment, then you will need to include the cost of those extenders in your decision making. As well, you need to figure out what your sources will be, how you will distribute them, and how you plan to handle audio.

There are people that make a living designing A/V systems to work properly, so if you haven't done this before and have no experience, then you may want to call someone in who is knowledgable to help ensure you get it all right.

IMO, if your runs are 50' or less, you should run a 22AWG HDMI cable to the head end (centralized equipment location) because they work, and are far less expensive than HDBT solutions.

I would possibly skip the coax to the TV locations, but probably not... So, 1-coax, 2 or 3 cat-6 cables, and a HDMI cable for any runs under 50'. Put power at all TV locations, figure out if I want any 'local sources' in any of the rooms available and wire accordingly, and then plan out the rest including my intended source, my remote control plan, the speaker plan, how to deal with stereo and surround sound, how to deal with people bringing their own sources, etc.

Choosing to put all the gear in a media closet is not always straightforward, but can clean up a installation a great deal, which may work just fine for your setup, but you will want to plan it carefully, ask questions, and spend some serious time on determining your goal and developing a plan to achieve it.

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post #26 of 29 Old 05-30-2014, 12:17 PM
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Conduit! Conduit! Conduit! is the mantra.
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post #27 of 29 Old 05-30-2014, 04:26 PM
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Blimey an old thread (June 2012) resurrected then a slightly bizarre question or two smile.gif

'No body on these forums have mentioned how to convert the cat6 to an end that plugs into the hdmi port in the TV.'
- you don't smile.gif

HDBaseT and other 'extender' solutions utilise a CAT cable (terminated at both ends with an RJ45 connector) to transport HDMI over cable run lengths conventional HDMI cables will not achieve.

HDBaseT Extenders have a Transmitter plus a Receiver - the Transmitter has an HDMI Input plus an RJ45 Output - the Receiver has an RJ45 Input plus an HDMI Output.

You plug your Source (via HDMI) to an HDBaseT Matrix or Distribution Amp, then run a CAT cable out to each Display where you plug in the HDBaseT Receiver and that in turn plugs to the HDMI Input on the TV.

A Matrix allows you to have Multiple Sources to Multiple Displays the Distribution Amp is a single Source to multiple Displays.

http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI_Matrix_HDbaseT_HD4xSTPMX_over%20CAT6.html

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post #28 of 29 Old 06-02-2014, 12:02 PM
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This is really good stuff guys, much appreciated. For a newb to these boards, I searched and replied to a thread that had the most relative, and most recent contribution. I find those that have already chimed in get the note that an update was made and provide help or tips quicker.

Time, thought, and consult a pro all in the mix on this end. Here you get logic; with pros they sometimes just push what they are moving or have in stock.

The local A/V shop has directed me to run HDMI cables... ICE high speed, only 24 AWG though, so i am a tad worried about that. They are saying they are the real deal up to the 75ft mark, and guarantee they work... Pricey, in the range of $200 for the 50 fters... From there also run 2 Cat6, coax, and a pull wire in a conduit.

The main problem I am learning is that the 75ft run for 3d or bluray, could be a stretch. So, I'm strugglingwith this media closet concept, if it's not going to work anyway. Is there not a way to boost signal, that is tried and tested? I want a 4x4 matrix switch that can guarantee 75ft HDMI transfer of 3d bluray signal. Or a combination of devices that aren't going to be an expensive paperweight.
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post #29 of 29 Old 06-02-2014, 01:01 PM
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Those HDMI cables sound like a rip to me. As has been stated before, high speed hdmi is currently only certified for up to 25'. You can run hdmi cables with a thicker gauge wire but even at 75' for what you want to do, you'd be pushing it. CAT-6 to HDBT is probably going to be your best, and most stable way to go. And, as standards change, CAT-6 should be able to handle that as well.
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