40' HDMI Run: Redmere v. 22 AWG "Professional" Cable? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quick summary: I basically want to clone two TVs--one in our master bedroom, and one in the master bathroom ~15' away. I'll have two or three different HDMI inputs I'll switch between, and an HDMI splitter so I can feed the same signal to both TVs. I ran an Aurum 40' RG6 and a Aurum 40' HDMI cable inside the walls and through the attic. It worked fine in testing before the run. After the run, only the RG6 cable is working properly. The HDMI signal to the second TV is intermittent.

HD Setup:
Source: Old Sharp Blu-ray Player + eventually a DirecTV Genie Client (C31 or C41) and maybe a streaming (Roku or similar) box
Switch: 3x1: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015YWKYY/
Splitter: J-Tech Digital 1x2 Powered: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002WP2QGM/
TVs: Qty = 2 of Coby 720p 32" LED HDTV: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008H2FQSE/
Cable: Aurum Ultra Series High-Speed 40': www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007VQEIBS/
Wall plates: Sterren HDMI pigtail: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003E2Z060/
(Yes, I got some Amazon gift cards for Christmas... The two TVs were a Black Friday Lightning Deal.)

Currently, I'm feeding both TVs via the analog TV2 output from a Dish Network 722k HDDVR in the living room. I'm using good quality RG6 cabling, and a standard RF splitter. That part is working fine.

I tried out the full HDMI signal path before running the 40' HDMI cable in the walls and across a few feet of attic space. It worked fine coiled up on the dresser. I had the blu-ray of How To Train Your Dragon running for hours, with no dropouts on both TVs. Both TVs were sitting side-by-side, and they looked identical. No sparkles, no drop-outs. It looked great!

However, after I ran the cable through the wall, I started having problems with HDMI on the second TV. When it works, it looks perfect. No sparkles. However, the drop-outs are very frequent. In fact, the TV spends more time displaying: "No signal." than anything else. Sometimes it displays "720p 60 Hz" with no A/V. (I have the blu-ray player set to 720p, since that is what the native resolution of the TVs.) Sometime, usually for a few seconds (and sometimes for minutes), it shows perfect video and sound. (No sparkles.) There is some Romex in the attic running power to some lights and what-not, so I figured the long HDMI cable was probably picking up some interference. I pulled everything out of the signal chain except for the blu-ray player, the 40' HDMI cable, and the second TV, and it's the same story. I added a couple of chokes to the long HDMI cable, but I didn't really help.

So, I'm thinking I need a beefier cable. I was thinking about the 22 AWG professional cable from Monoprice: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024002&p_id=4034
But then I found out about Redmere cables, and I started to wonder if that would be a better choice? http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1025501&p_id=9171

They don't cost *that* much more, and they are rated for higher speed (not that I need it for the 720p TVs I have now...) But, are they better at negotiating the HDMI handshake in a potentially hostile EMI environment? I don't really need an extra flexible or slim cable, as I have the HDMI pigtails, so that's not really an issue.

I've seen the powered baluns, wireless HDMI transmitter/receivers, HDMI distribution amps, etc. But, I don't think those are called for here? (If they are, I may just get an extra C31/C41 client wired up when I switch back to DirecTV and call it good!)

Any advice? Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 10:44 AM
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Redmere technology does not tolerate breaks in the chain. If you go from your bd player directly to the projector you will be fine with Redmere. You may want to look at the Cable Mart version as it appears to be of larger awg and may have better shielding. You will need a bd player with 2 hdmi outs though.

If you are using an avr or an hdmi switcher for more sources, better to go Series 2 Belden HDMI from Blue Jeans. Another option would be the Celerity optical hdmi cable (though as of yet I have not tried it). The opticals are impervious to rfi/emi and can be run at very long lengths with no worry about drop outs.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 11:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by G-Rex View Post

Redmere technology does not tolerate breaks in the chain....


Where did you read this? As far as I know you can go from AVR to TV using Redmere without any problems.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 12:32 PM
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I called CableMart tech support and was told this directly. They said it "may" work but the results would be unpredictable. This was not what I wanted to hear, so I sent the cable back.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 01:26 PM
 
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They gave you an incorrect answer then. We have people here using the Redmere cables reliably from an AVR to a TV. If you think about it, there is no reason a modern AVR connected to a modern TV would be any different electrically on an HDMI cable would be different than a source to a TV.

It was probably only unpredictable because they hadn't tried it.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 01:27 PM
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You might also get cable problems if the cable has been forced to have a sharp bend where it pssses over cross-beams in the attic. That'd cause a signficant crimp in some wire pairs while stretching other wires in the cable. While on the table, the bends would all have a relatively large radius of curvature. Bending a thick cable into a small radius of curvature is often problematic.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 01:44 PM
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Th
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

They gave you an incorrect answer then. We have people here using the Redmere cables reliably from an AVR to a TV. If you think about it, there is no reason a modern AVR connected to a modern TV would be any different electrically on an HDMI cable would be different than a source to a TV.

It was probably only unpredictable because they hadn't tried it.

That's interesting...good to know. Strange though, they said if I went through my processor they advised me to send it back.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

You might also get cable problems if the cable has been forced to have a sharp bend where it pssses over cross-beams in the attic. That'd cause a signficant crimp in some wire pairs while stretching other wires in the cable. While on the table, the bends would all have a relatively large radius of curvature. Bending a thick cable into a small radius of curvature is often problematic.

Thanks, it had actually occurred to me that I might have somehow damaged the cable while pulling it. But I don't think so--it appears to be a well-made cable that feels pretty tough. There's actually a loop of cable in the attic. (A 35' cable might have been long enough, actually.) No sharp bends or stresses were required for the run. I guess I could pull it out again and try it coiled on the dresser like I did before. It's not like it is doing any good in the wall right now...
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 02:04 PM
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Another possibility is that one of the connectors has a loose connection inside it.

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post #10 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by G-Rex View Post

Th
That's interesting...good to know. Strange though, they said if I went through my processor they advised me to send it back.

I've read elsewhere in the description for Redmere cables that:
"... Also note that these cables are fully compatible with switches, splitters, matrix devices, etc. They can be used in any application in which a normal HDMI cable can be used and many applications where HDMI extenders would otherwise be required!"

I'd wager that the tech you spoke to wasn't sure so they hedged.


But I'm still left wondering:
Am I better off with a smaller gauge "active" cable, or a larger gauge "passive" cable? I think my main problem is that my current run is having trouble maintaining the HDMI handshake, for whatever reason. Once that is negotiated, the video signal looks perfect, for as long as it can maintain.

The optical HDMI you mentioned looks really cool, but apparently those start around $250--I'd rather not spend that much for a 40' run if I can avoid it.
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheltrk View Post

I've read elsewhere in the description for Redmere cables that:
"... Also note that these cables are fully compatible with switches, splitters, matrix devices, etc. They can be used in any application in which a normal HDMI cable can be used and many applications where HDMI extenders would otherwise be required!"

I'd wager that the tech you spoke to wasn't sure so they hedged.


But I'm still left wondering:
Am I better off with a smaller gauge "active" cable, or a larger gauge "passive" cable? I think my main problem is that my current run is having trouble maintaining the HDMI handshake, for whatever reason. Once that is negotiated, the video signal looks perfect, for as long as it can maintain.


The optical HDMI you mentioned looks really cool, but apparently those start around $250--I'd rather not spend that much for a 40' run if I can avoid it.

I have 4 of the 15ft ultra slim redmere HDMI cables from Monoprice.com. They work perfectly and are only 36 AWG, which is barely anything in terms of thickness. The 30' and longer ones are 28 AWG.
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 03:04 PM
 
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Getting back to your original question (sorry we detoured)...I have concerns about your 40' cable. If you notice the Amazon ad is very explicit in stating it is a High Speed HDMI cable. That has special meaning. If you check the archives of this forum you'll see High Speed cables are limited due to manufacturing and physics to just over 25'. So that can't be a High Speed cable.

Many times the companies certify a cable for High Speed at a shorter length and then someone decides if the shorter length is High Speed then a greater length must also be High Speed. This isn't true. If you have doubt ask the manufacturer for their High Speed certification and check the length of cable that was tested (it has to be on the certificate).

But, that isn't what is bothering me. You are using the 40' cable at 720p. 720p and 1080i are both Standard Speed resolutions. So, that cable should be working without any problems at 720p.

I saw that your Blu-Ray player direct to the TV didn't work either. Is there any chance that the resolution on the Blu-Ray player ended up at 1080p during the test?

From what you told me so far, this could easily be a handshaking problem as much as it could be bit errors from a defective cable. So, buying a "beefier cable" may not fix this problem. Really more investigation is needed since the cable you have *should* work at 720p.

Also check your connection in the wall to the pigtail. Until this is solved you might want to unscrew the wall plate so you can verify the pigtail is connected properly or even try without the pigtail.
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

Getting back to your original question (sorry we detoured)...I have concerns about your 40' cable. If you notice the Amazon ad is very explicit in stating it is a High Speed HDMI cable. That has special meaning. If you check the archives of this forum you'll see High Speed cables are limited due to manufacturing and physics to just over 25'. So that can't be a High Speed cable.

Many times the companies certify a cable for High Speed at a shorter length and then someone decides if the shorter length is High Speed then a greater length must also be High Speed. This isn't true. If you have doubt ask the manufacturer for their High Speed certification and check the length of cable that was tested (it has to be on the certificate).

Agreed. The "High Speed" claim on this 40' Aurum cable is bogus.
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Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

But, that isn't what is bothering me. You are using the 40' cable at 720p. 720p and 1080i are both Standard Speed resolutions. So, that cable should be working without any problems at 720p.

I saw that your Blu-Ray player direct to the TV didn't work either. Is there any chance that the resolution on the Blu-Ray player ended up at 1080p during the test?

From what you told me so far, this could easily be a handshaking problem as much as it could be bit errors from a defective cable. So, buying a "beefier cable" may not fix this problem. Really more investigation is needed since the cable you have *should* work at 720p.

Also check your connection in the wall to the pigtail. Until this is solved you might want to unscrew the wall plate so you can verify the pigtail is connected properly or even try without the pigtail.

Thanks for your thoughts. To recap, for clarity: The Aurum cable (and my entire HDMI signal chain) worked fine at 720p before I pulled it through the wall. After the pull, I first tried it going through the pigtails, the spiltter, and the switch--everything. That didn't work. I kept getting intermittent signal as I described earlier. So I removed the switch, the splitter, and the pigtails from the signal path. Simplified it to: BDP > 40' Aurum cable (in-wall) > HDTV. Same result: intermittent HDMI signal.

I am 100% certain my BDP is set to 720p:
1. I've checked its setup menu many times.
2. I occasionally see my second TV display: "720p 60 Hz" as it is trying to negotiate with the BDP.
3. The TV's twin (also a Coby 720p 32" LED TV) is sitting right next to the BDP. When I plug it in via a 3' HDMI cable, I verify that the BDP is sending a 720p signal.

I've tried the various HDMI inputs on the TV (HDMI1, HDMI2, HDMI3) in case one went bad, but I get the same result on all three of them.

Based on what I've read so far, I think the two most likely explanations for my problem are:
1. I damaged the 40' Aurum cable during the pull, or
2. I am picking up interference in my through-the-wall-and-attic run.

Next I plan to pull the 40' HDMI cable out of the wall, coil it up on the dresser and try it again outside the walls. That should tell me if I damaged the cable or if I am picking up interference along the run.
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 04:28 PM
 
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It's good that you have the ability to pull it out of the wall. Conduit?

The only other step I could see that would be productive is to try to move everything together and use the short cables with the switch, splitter and the 2 TVs. I know that is a lot of work to move things together but usually it is easier than pulling a cable out of the wall. If you have an easy method for the cable pull, then disregard.

Also remember that tight bends can cause HDMI cables to generate bit errors. Those would appear to go away when the cable is loosly coiled again. So that might send you down the interference path when it wasn't.
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-28-2013, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post


Also remember that tight bends can cause HDMI cables to generate bit errors. Those would appear to go away when the cable is loosly coiled again. So that might send you down the interference path when it wasn't.

that is one potential area for issues... I had audio and video dropouts in my HT setup (PS3/Cable STB/X360 to AVR to TV, four HDMI connections total) when using 24 AWG cables. Switching to less thick ones solved the issues quickly (I got 36 AWG redmere ones, but even the typical 28 AWG cable works fine).

So, thicker cables are not always better, especially in tight spaces and with sharp bends.
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