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HDMI Q&A - The One Connector World > HDMI and wallplates
Matthew McDonald 11:46 AM 07-22-2014
Guys - am about to run HDMI in a wall and attic space from a receiver to a tv, with wall plates at either end - total run about 25ft. My current max. transmission is a 1080i picture, but, as I only want to do this once, I figure i'll install a HDMI capable of doing more then a I need, and should I go 4k, or 3d, or need the Ethernet channel down the road, then I won't need to run new cable. Given the run distance of 25ft, I know I'd need 22awg HDMI, but given that I need some flex in the cable to turn it into the wall plates, I either need to use port savers, or redmere. I've read a little on the redmere, and think that might be the way to go for me.

My question is this - both ends of my cable are going to be terminated inside the wall, at the wallplates. Does it matter what HDMI cable I use from the wallplates to the tv/receiver? Can I just use standard 28awg HDMI, or do I need to maintain the redmere tech., for the short 2feet runs?

Appreciate any help!

Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 12:46 PM 07-22-2014
Don't worry about ethernet. There aren't any current consumer devices that support it. It's sort of one of those HDMI protocols that got overlooked by the mfrs. I would run at least a CAT-6 or two cable in a 1" conduit, along with a pull string. One of the CAT-6 could be used for an ethernet extension to a router for example (which is what I do for streaming) and the other could be used to extend HDMI if you use HDBT at both ends. The pull string would be for future cables. The conduit will make it SO much easier to replace/repair a cable if need be. The use of CAT-6 will sort of fool proof your wiring in that it will have the bandwidth to support what ever you want for quite some time. When increased bandwidth is needed that exceeds what CAT-6 can do, just pull the cable thru the conduit and add what ever the new spec is.

Redmere cables are cool ( I use them) but keep in mind they are active cables in that they have a little chip in the sink end that draws some power. However, they need to draw power from the sinked device (tv) for them to work, and they are unidirectional meaning that you can only install them one way. They won't damage anything if you install them backwards they just won't work at all. You can't terminate them at the wall and then proceed with a passive cable. Like any electronic device it's possible that they could fail over time. If your Redmere cable is in a conduit......... however, with the use of CAT-6, that would never be an issue. HDBT is a bit more expensive but not outrageously so.
Matthew McDonald 01:31 PM 07-22-2014
thanks for the advice! I think I will go ahead and do the CAT-6 runs. I have a few hundred feet of CAT-5e, but looking at the monoprice cost of the CAT-6, given I don't need much, I think i'll go ahead at get the CAT-6. Is CAT-6a worth getting?

In terms of my HDMI situation, I'm pretty much totally eliminating the possibility of running the 22awg HDMI, as aside from the wallplate/port saver requirement, I'd have a couple of fairly sharp turns in the attic, and I don't think the 22awg will accommodate those.

If I understand what you're saying on the redmere, I'd need a 2-3ft redmere from the receiver to the wallplate, my 25ft redmere thru walls & attic to my tv wall plate, and then a 2-3ft redmere from the wall plate to the tv, to make the whole thing work - do I have that correct?

I'm interested in learning more about the HDBT. I am comfortable running and terminating Ethernet cable, and if I'm gonna get some CAT-6 anyway, it might be worth it. Do you have any low cost HDBT adapters you recommend? Obviously I'm way on the lower end of what's needed run length, around 30ft total.

thanks again,
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 02:32 PM 07-22-2014
I think CAT-6 is worth getting but the solid core that I used is fairly rigid so if you've got sharp bends, which you seem to be indicating, than you want to make sure that those bends are as gentle as possible. No sharp 90 degree turns. If you're going to run conduit, which I HIGHLY recommend, you could run the cable in the attic space without conduit but as soon as you go down the wall, that's where you want to use the conduit, so you could put an elbow connection at the top of the conduit tube (think PVC pipe or something similar) to smooth out the bend.

I don't think you can daisy-chain Redmere cables without some sort of powered adapter. The end that connects to the tv or device is designed to draw power from that connection. I think most people who run Redmere will run one continuous cable from source to sink. That's what I do.

HDBase-T (HDBT) is a way to terminate CAT-6 cable at one end and then continue on the other end with HDMI. I've not used HDBT so hopefully one of the other regulars who have will jump in with the particulars.
Matthew McDonald 02:48 PM 07-22-2014
ahh I see - so what is the solution for using redmere in coordination with wallplates, or is there not one?
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 05:17 PM 07-22-2014
I don't think you can use Redmere with wall plates because of the power requirement from a direct connection with the sink (tv). I know quite a few people who've used 20', 30' Redmere cables for an uninterrupted connection between source and tv with no issues at all. Maybe someone has another solution, or has actually daisy chained Redmere cables together via a connector. I really think your best bet would be to go CAT-6 in conduit to HDBT.
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated 07:51 PM 07-22-2014
There are no good solutions which involve wall plates unless you buy HDBT wall plates. They aren't inexpensive unfortunately, but do look nice.

The issue is that wall plates introduce severe signal loss, and at long lengths it all becomes really fidgety with HDMI. I have some 40' 22AWG runs which did not work at all with HDMI couplers. I tried multiple cables, and multiple couplers, and no luck at all. I ended up using the Monoprice HDBT solution and it works fairly well, but I'm replacing them all with Crestron HDBT solutions which should be flawless.

I have NOT tried the long Redmere cables because those would typically go behind walls and there is no way at all I'm risking a cable failing behind a wall that I can't replace. Still, I use scoop plates on the wall and just pass the HDMI cable right through the wall to the display. Nobody sees it and it works very well. At your distance, that's what I, and most professional installers, would do and recommend for highest rate of successful performance.

HDBT is a great, but more costly, option. Two really skinny HDMI cables, and a Tx/Rx set, and the cat cable between.
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 08:23 PM 07-22-2014
+1. A better and more technical explanation than what I said but essentially the same. If you want to go in-wall, then use conduit and either a CAT-6-HDBT setup or drop your cable into a scoop plate, which is a great idea! Wish I thought of that
Matthew McDonald 09:19 AM 07-23-2014
ahh yes, a scoop plate - just give myself a foot or two extra at each end for service space, and that should work well. You're right - while i'll admit I've occasionally pulled out my entertainment center to 'show off' the neat keystoned wall plates behind, and i'll lose that, in practical terms it sounds like the best solution for me - if I'm to keep costs low.

Appreciate the help guys!!
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated 09:29 AM 07-23-2014
I used keystone plates at my last home, and I basically determined that it just isn't the best way to go unless you need to regularly service gear. You can use a nice scoop plate and if you want to dress all the cabling up, use some snake skin around the cables to make a really clean loop from the wall to the equipment location. My big complaint about the keystones were that the cables were pushed several inches into the room before I could get them going the direction I wanted to. With a scoop plate, I could pull all the cables as a group into the equipment rack, then branch them out nicely where I wanted them to go. It made the path between rack and wall much better looking.
Matthew McDonald 09:50 AM 07-23-2014
I used this at my last house: http://www.cableorganizer.com/arling...FUYA7AodbRkAWw

It's an easy install, gives you tons of room to work with while you get your cabling sorted, and the outside panel is paintable. It worked well, and as it was recessed I could direct all my cables nicely into the back of my entertainment center and still have it flush to the wall. But I had much shorter runs, so could get away with much thinner HDMI cable. I'm planning on using it again in my current house - but I'll just replace one of the plates with the scoop plate for the HDMI and anything else that's particularly difficult to hook to the keystones, and use other plates for keystones that are easy/less sensitive.
Matthew McDonald 11:21 AM 07-24-2014
on the subject of 'future proofing' - I intend to run a single empty conduit with pull string. At this stage, my guess would be I shouldn't ever need to pull anything thicker then a HDMI cable through it. What size conduit should I plan for to pull a HDMI? Is 1" enough?
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 12:58 PM 07-24-2014
I would say at least a 1" conduit. HDMI cable may be difficult to pull thru because the connector ends may bet stuck on a bend. Besides, HDMI may not be the cable of choice in the future if you're going to "future proof" you cabling. Broken record here but CAT-6, 6a, or even 7 is a better option.
Matthew McDonald 01:13 PM 07-24-2014
Right - you're probably correct - I'm covering the 'worst case' scenario, I'd hate to put in a small conduit to future proof, only to find out the future cable I'm installing won't fit down it. Of course, there's no guarantee of that happening even if I installed a conduit capable of housing HDMI, but the odds are better.

Speaking of this...I'll be drilling a hole through the top plate in my wall (load bearing) - anyone know what the rules are on drilling holes for cables on a top plate? I think I'd plan on 3x 3/4" holes for various other low voltage wiring I'm installing (not in conduit), and then I guess a 1 - 1 1/4" hole for a 1" conduit for future proofing - does that sound ok?
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated 02:27 PM 07-24-2014
Future proof means conduit.

1" conduit is acceptable.

HDMI specifications call for the head of a HDMI cable to be 7/8", so it should fit in 1" conduit.

Future cabling is more likely to use something that will fit, and there is always cat cabling or even fiber, which may be used in the future, so conduit is ALWAYS the best solution for 'future proofing', and should always be installed if possible.
Tags: hdmi , redmere , wallplates