Need to do a 40' run. What's my best option? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-12-2012, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I've done a lot of reading and searching, but I'm having a terrible time tracking down a consistent answer.

I need to do a 40' in-wall run, from the wall behind my Denon 2313ci to the ceiling where I plan to mount new 1080p projector (Epson 8350, which I won via the Worst Install Mistake contest on this site!). Actually, the run is more like 32-35 feet; I've left some margin for error. My plan is to install wall jacks on both ends (the kind where you plug a male cable into the backside of the jack), and then run short (e.g. 18") cables from my receiver to one jack, and from the other jack to the PJ. My BD player and receiver are both 3D capable, and I want the cable run to support that in case I ever buy a 3D projector.

The only piece of information I feel like I've really pinned down is that I should pick a High Speed cable, since the run is more than ~10 feet. Since it's in-wall, I want to be as future-looking as possible, so choosing one "with ethernet" seems wise. Again because it's in-wall, I know I need something with a CL rating for that purpose.

I'm familiar with the nature of digital signals, so I'm fairly confident that I don't need to buy one of the $140 cables; I'm looking more at the ones in the $30-50 range on Amazon and Monoprice.

So, here are my questions:

1. What's up with Redmere? Thinner cables with smaller radii would be good for in-wall routing to make the 90-degree turn behind the jacks. Or should I just get a cable with 90-degree ends?

2. Some cables seem to be directional; can someone explain that? That seems inadvisable for an in-wall setup, although a wall-to-ceiling run like what I'm doing seems unlikely to need to send signals the other way.

3. Does my plan to daisy-chain three cables through the wall plates pose any complications?

4. Should I care about whether the cable I buy is 22, 24, 26, or 28 AWG? I understand the concept of wire gauge and its inherent effect on current capacity, but I know nothing at all about the current demands of an HDMI link. Again, for an in-wall setup, I am tempted to go with the largest (numerically lowest) wire gauge I can find that meets my other needs.

5. Should I care about ferrite cores? If so, should I try to find a cable with integral ferrite cores, or can I add them to whatever cable I choose?

6. Given the plan I've described, am I missing anything?

7. The only cable I can find that meets my needs is a Redmere from Monoprice. Amazon doesn't seem to have anything longer than 25', and all of the non-Redmere stuff from Monoprice is either too short or not High Speed. Am I missing something here?

Thanks in advance for any advice! smile.gif

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post #2 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by JakeRobb View Post

I need to do a 40' in-wall run, from the wall behind my Denon 2313ci to the ceiling where I plan to mount new 1080p projector (Epson 8350, which I won via the Worst Install Mistake contest on this site!). Actually, the run is more like 32-35 feet; I've left some margin for error. My plan is to install wall jacks on both ends (the kind where you plug a male cable into the backside of the jack), and then run short (e.g. 18") cables from my receiver to one jack, and from the other jack to the PJ. My BD player and receiver are both 3D capable, and I want the cable run to support that in case I ever buy a 3D projector.
The only piece of information I feel like I've really pinned down is that I should pick a High Speed cable, since the run is more than ~10 feet. Since it's in-wall, I want to be as future-looking as possible, so choosing one "with ethernet" seems wise. Again because it's in-wall, I know I need something with a CL rating for that purpose.
I'm familiar with the nature of digital signals, so I'm fairly confident that I don't need to buy one of the $140 cables; I'm looking more at the ones in the $30-50 range on Amazon and Monoprice.
So, here are my questions:

Some information to help you here:
A 40' high speed HDMI cable may or may not work here depending upon your sending device (AVR?) and the projector input capability. Some equipment, it seems, is more robust than others when dealing with HDMI signals. Additionally, you would need CL rated wire if the wire is run through the walls without some sort of conduit.
Quote:
1. What's up with Redmere? Thinner cables with smaller radii would be good for in-wall routing to make the 90-degree turn behind the jacks. Or should I just get a cable with 90-degree ends?
I am not familiar with Redmere...someone else may help here
Quote:
2. Some cables seem to be directional; can someone explain that? That seems inadvisable for an in-wall setup, although a wall-to-ceiling run like what I'm doing seems unlikely to need to send signals the other way.
The only cables that would be directional would be 'active' type cables. Standard cables are simply metallic conductors with no inherent directional capability. Active cables contain some sort of amplification/equalization system to compensate for long runs.
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3. Does my plan to daisy-chain three cables through the wall plates pose any complications?
I understand that running HDMI signals through multiple connectors can cause enough degradation of the signal so as to be problematic. I use a Laird HDMI Cat6 transmission system in my house....the instructions warn of using too many connectors between the transmitter and the reciever. While not exactly the same system, the issues are similar.
Quote:
4. Should I care about whether the cable I buy is 22, 24, 26, or 28 AWG? I understand the concept of wire gauge and its inherent effect on current capacity, but I know nothing at all about the current demands of an HDMI link. Again, for an in-wall setup, I am tempted to go with the largest (numerically lowest) wire gauge I can find that meets my other needs.
While the wire gauge may not matter due to the small signals on these cables, I always go for the larger gauge wires to ensure more robust cabling and connectors.
Quote:
5. Should I care about ferrite cores? If so, should I try to find a cable with integral ferrite cores, or can I add them to whatever cable I choose?
Ferrite cores are added to reduce noise in some manufactures cabling designs. If a design is rated for high speed at the specified cable length (with or without the ferrite core), it should operate properly .
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6. Given the plan I've described, am I missing anything?
I would find a high speed rated cable with a generous return policy in case the cable does not operate in your system.
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7. The only cable I can find that meets my needs is a Redmere from Monoprice. Amazon doesn't seem to have anything longer than 25', and all of the non-Redmere stuff from Monoprice is either too short or not High Speed. Am I missing something here?
Try bluejeans cable or others which can be found in this forum.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 08:27 AM
 
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OK, let's take this from the top.

There are two types of HDMI cables - standard speed (or cat 1) and high speed (or cat 2) with a number of options for both. More information is here on the HDMI Org's (owner of the HDMI patents, specs, first borns): http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx#49

Both high speed and standard speed cables have the same pin-outs. The only difference between a high speed HDMI cable and a standard speed is that the high speed has been certified for the maximum expected HDMI bandwidth. The standard speed will work with something less than the max bandwidth but is guaranteed to work with *at least* 1080i/720p. The high speed cable is actually tested in a way that is more intensive than you would probably ever see at home with a signal.

That being said, no one has been able to produce a high speed cable that is much greater than 25'. That is why you are not finding any greater than 25'. Some places advertise their cables as high speed with greater distances but if you ask for the certification certificate, they have none. Just because a cable can pass 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 3D, does not make it a high speed cable. High speed certification is well beyond that.

Redmere Technology is an active technology that applies the correct cable equalization to pass a high speed signal greater than 25'. But it is an active cable, not a passive cable. It is also why the Redmere Technology cables are directional whereas a normal passive HDMI cable is bidirectional.

Given all this, a 20' high speed HDMI cable connected to a 10' high speed HDMI cable does not make a 30' high speed HDMI cable. You still have loses due to the full length plus the connectors.

That's all the bad news. The good news is that if you are just sending 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 3D and you keep deep color off, then many a high gauge standard speed cable will work for what you want to do. I use a monoprice 50' 22 awg cable connected with a 10 foot high speed and a 6 foot high speed, with two wall plates, and it works fine for 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 3D. Now if I turn deep color on (for 36-bit color) then I see errors starting to occur with the handshaking. I have a 25' monoprice 22awg high speed cable, connected to a 10 foot high speed and a 6' high speed (with two wall plates) and they all work fine with deep color and anything else I've thrown at them, so far.

BTW, if you get errors, you'll know. They aren't subtle if they are in the video or audio signal. If it is a handshaking issue, you'll either not be able to connect or it will take a long time. BTW, ferrite cores have been said to improve signal quality and others say they degrade a signal. I personally stay away from them just because they seem to provide no useful HDMI benefit.

The most important thing is to test the cables *before* you put them in-wall. Try to be as realistic as you can with the test, including using the components that you will use once the cable is in-wall.

Hope that helps. There are plenty of other threads in this forum of people looking for cables. If you need more information just browse through the recent threads.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 08:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

...
Some information to help you here:
A 40' high speed HDMI cable may or may not work here depending upon your sending device (AVR?) and the projector input capability. Some equipment, it seems, is more robust than others when dealing with HDMI signals. Additionally, you would need CL rated wire if the wire is run through the walls without some sort of conduit.

...

Keep in mind that if an advertised high speed cable doesn't work with certain devices, then the cable is either defective or it really wasn't a high speed cable. There are no 40' certified passive high speed cables available. Those are mis-represented standard speed cables.

The CL advice is correct. CL2 or CL3 are needed for in-wall.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 08:43 AM
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Monoprice has some HDMI over ethernet cable wall plates. They get good reviews and you can run longer distances. They require 2 CAT6 cables .

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10425&cs_id=1042501&p_id=8201&seq=1&format=2

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

Keep in mind that if an advertised high speed cable doesn't work with certain devices, then the cable is either defective or it really wasn't a high speed cable. There are no 40' certified passive high speed cables available. Those are mis-represented standard speed cables.
The CL advice is correct. CL2 or CL3 are needed for in-wall.

From the Blue Jeans website:
BJC Belden Series-1 Bonded-Pair HDMI Cable: Best for Long Runs
Where performance over distance is required, our best cable is our original Belden Series-1, a 23.5 AWG HDMI cable. The Series-1 is quite thick and stiff, which is a drawback in terms of installation convenience, but performs better over distance than anything else we have seen--and this is borne out by its independent HDMI certifications. It is certified to the longest distances of any HDMI cable we know of--45 feet for Category 1 ("Standard" speed), 25 feet for Category 2 ("High speed". In actual usage, it ordinarily will work at distances far exceeding these--we have run 1080p video through a 125 foot Series-1 HDMI cable without any information loss, but results will vary depending on the capabilities of the sending and receiving circuits of the devices in use.

The bolded section above indicates that there are indeed cables which can provide for the length requirements and results are dependant upon the send and receive devices.

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

From the Blue Jeans website:
BJC Belden Series-1 Bonded-Pair HDMI Cable: Best for Long Runs
Where performance over distance is required, our best cable is our original Belden Series-1, a 23.5 AWG HDMI cable. The Series-1 is quite thick and stiff, which is a drawback in terms of installation convenience, but performs better over distance than anything else we have seen--and this is borne out by its independent HDMI certifications. It is certified to the longest distances of any HDMI cable we know of--45 feet for Category 1 ("Standard" speed), 25 feet for Category 2 ("High speed". In actual usage, it ordinarily will work at distances far exceeding these--we have run 1080p video through a 125 foot Series-1 HDMI cable without any information loss, but results will vary depending on the capabilities of the sending and receiving circuits of the devices in use.
The bolded section above indicates that there are indeed cables which can provide for the length requirements and results are dependant upon the send and receive devices.

Yes, but that doesn't mean it is a high speed cable. Read what you posted again. The maximum high speed certified length is 25'. Any length above that is at your own risk - which does not make it a high speed cable at those lengths.

High speed means you are guaranteed that the cable will provide full HDMI bandwidth *at that length*.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 09:40 AM
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The op just needs to know if a cable may be able to provide the required signals and work in his situation. He can try the cable to see if it works and return it if it does not. Accordingly, if a cable of category 1 or 2 works in this situation at a certain length, who cares if it is certified.

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post #9 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 09:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

The op just needs to know if a cable may be able to provide the required signals and work in his situation. He can try the cable to see if it works and return it if it does not. Accordingly, if a cable of category 1 or 2 works in this situation at a certain length, who cares if it is certified.

...which is exactly what I said earlier.
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The good news is that if you are just sending 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 3D and you keep deep color off, then many a high gauge standard speed cable will work for what you want to do. I use a monoprice 50' 22 awg cable connected with a 10 foot high speed and a 6 foot high speed, with two wall plates, and it works fine for 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 3D. Now if I turn deep color on (for 36-bit color) then I see errors starting to occur with the handshaking. I have a 25' monoprice 22awg high speed cable, connected to a 10 foot high speed and a 6' high speed (with two wall plates) and they all work fine with deep color and anything else I've thrown at them, so far.

And you might care if you are putting the cable in-wall and don't want to replace it for 4K. Kind of hard to return the cable if it is already in-wall.

We've answered this question before, you know (10 or 20 or 100 times).
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 09:44 AM
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These can work, but you usually need to plug in the wall wart at one or both ends to get proper operation. I personnally don't like having a wall wart at either end of the chain.

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post #11 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

...which is exactly what I said earlier.
And you might care if you are putting the cable in-wall and don't want to replace it for 4K. Kind of hard to return the cable if it is already in-wall.
.

Obviously by the time a 4k source is readily available to the general public, the cable will have been in service for some time, probably quite a few years, which makes this a moot point.
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We've answered this question before, you know (10 or 20 or 100 times)

No one indicated you had to answer again if you don't want to....

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post #12 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

Obviously by the time a 4k source is readily available to the general public, the cable will have been in service for some time, probably quite a few years, which makes this a moot point.
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We've answered this question before, you know (10 or 20 or 100 times)
No one indicated you had to answer again if you don't want to....

You know what? You win. You are the AV Geek of the world. Congratulations! You must be much smarter than me.

Now, why don't you try answering some of the other HDMI questions that people have? I'll take a break from this forum and you answer the questions. Thanks!
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-13-2012, 11:50 AM
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You have good advice so far, but I will add my two bits.
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Originally Posted by JakeRobb View Post

1. What's up with Redmere? Thinner cables with smaller radii would be good for in-wall routing to make the 90-degree turn behind the jacks. Or should I just get a cable with 90-degree ends?
You need to comply with the minimum bend radius of the cable, whatever it is. Ten times diameter is a good rule of thumb if the exact number is not available. Thicker cables are not a problem for in wall, just use a flexible cable saver or right angle adapter.
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2. Some cables seem to be directional; can someone explain that? That seems inadvisable for an in-wall setup, although a wall-to-ceiling run like what I'm doing seems unlikely to need to send signals the other way.
No passive HDMI cable is directional, despite some manufacturers' claims. Active cables, including those based on Redmere, are directional. I would not put an active cable in the wall unless I had a backup like conduit to put another cable in case the active cable fails.
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3. Does my plan to daisy-chain three cables through the wall plates pose any complications?
Any time you add connections you increase the chance of failure. But it shouldn't be a problem.
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4. Should I care about whether the cable I buy is 22, 24, 26, or 28 AWG? I understand the concept of wire gauge and its inherent effect on current capacity, but I know nothing at all about the current demands of an HDMI link. Again, for an in-wall setup, I am tempted to go with the largest (numerically lowest) wire gauge I can find that meets my other needs.
Has nothing to do with current capacity. Even 28 AWG is capable of handling far more current than required for HDMI. That said, the longer the run, the bigger the wire needs to be for the same bandwidth. But there are other factors that are even more important, such as skew and crosstalk.
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5. Should I care about ferrite cores? If so, should I try to find a cable with integral ferrite cores, or can I add them to whatever cable I choose?
At best, ferrites do nothing for your picture. They are a marketing ploy. Have you noticed that the better cables don't have them?
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6. Given the plan I've described, am I missing anything?
Almost certainly, but nothing that jumps out at me.
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7. The only cable I can find that meets my needs is a Redmere from Monoprice. Amazon doesn't seem to have anything longer than 25', and all of the non-Redmere stuff from Monoprice is either too short or not High Speed. Am I missing something here?
As already posted, you won't find a certified high speed passive HDMI cable over about 25'. That doesn't mean a longer one won't meet your needs. Lots of folks do 1080p60 at 24 bits per pixel at 50' or more. And that is good enough for 3D BD. If you need full bandwidth, you are looking at an active cable or an extender product. IMHO the best choice would be one based on HDBaseT.
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-15-2012, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, that's a ton of information everyone. Thanks!

Okay, so to sum up the answers to my questions:
1. Redmere is an active cable, which poses an extra risk of failure for an in-wall installation.
2. Directional = active
3. Probably not in practice, but in theory it does degrade the quality, making it all the more important that I choose appropriate cables.
4. Larger (numerically lower) gauge wire is better, especially over longer distances, to prevent signal degradation.
5. Ferrite cores do very little at best, and harm the signal at worst.
6. Yet to be seen.
7. Current technology is limited to 25' for certified high-speed cables.

The net takeaway, to me, sounds like I should go with a dual Cat6 run for the in-wall part, and then get that Monoprice product linked above or something similar. It's an active, directional solution, but all of the active stuff is at the outlets, not in the wall, so it minimizes the risk associated with an in-wall active solution. As an added bonus, I already have quite a bit of Cat6 laying around, plus ends and associated tools. smile.gif

Doogie, you mentioned a Laird HDMI+Cat6 setup. I'm having trouble finding such a product at Laird's website. Is it still made? Could you provide a model number or a link?

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post #15 of 15 Old 07-16-2012, 03:29 PM
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In the past I purchased from Markertek http://www.markertek.com/CATV-Headend-Interface/CAT-5-Transmission-Systems/HDMI-Over-CAT5-Systems/HD-EX0101T.xhtml?LTM-5HDT1

The units above use only one Cat 6 cable to transmit HDMI and do not require a 5VDC supply on the reciever end like most units.



Laird no longer makes the 1X4 HDMI matrix unit I use, but I have found another manufacturer which makes the same unit. http://www.networktechinc.com/hdmi-splitter.html

I use the above unit to deliver Satellite/DVR capability to four televisions in the house via HDMI...the units have been in service for over four years now.

Laird will deal with you if you ask for a better price than is published as well.

Good luck

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