Allright, I have searched and read all over the net but I have not found an exact answer just yet. Here's my scenario. I have a centrally located closet where I will have 3 Comcast STB's. I need the video/audio from those boxes to travel to 3 different HDTVs that are 50-75 feet away. Being that Comcast outputs in 1080i/720p I thought that maybe just straight HDMI runs would suffice but I am hesitant of that, plus one of the TV's is going on a masonary wall with a very, very narrow access path behind it, so Cat6 would be much easier to run. Also, if I decide to upgrade sources one day, say add a Bluray player I'd like to make sure the signal would get passed without hiccups and not have to open up wall again to run new/different wiring. So, I think Cat6 is the right choice for wire, now I need to decide on the converters/extenders.
I am looking for advice on single HDMI/Cat6 extenders costing no more than $150 each. Or, a 3 or 4 unit matrix type of extender that costs no more than $500-600. I need either of these to have IR inputs and outputs so each room can control it's own STB. I've come across a few choices, but with no online reviews on the specific products and so many varied reviews in general on HDMI/Cat6 extenders makes it really difficult to make a decision and spend the bucks. Here are links to the products I am considering... http://www.smarthome.com/79047/Calra...der-Kit/p.aspx
I've run across some of those as I searched, but I can't afford those prices. I need at least 3, maybe 4, that's around $1000 for extenders, unless someone knows of more affordable 10baset options that are reliable.
EDIT: Darn. I just noticed you require IR. Yeah, that doesn't look to be cheap.
EDIT 2: It might be cheaper to just run a second Cat6 for IR. Or grab some of these: http://www.amazon.com/Sewell-InjectI.../dp/B0052YWM3W
There are even cheaper options than the Sewell as well.
The units the GP links are dual Cat5e/Cat6 ones. Monoprice is the cheapest for HDBase-T and they are over $150. The one that includes IR is $223.
A couple options:
1. Have you thought about doing component over cat6 instead? You'll get just as good PQ from your set-top boxes. Then in the future you can upgrade to HDBase-T if you add a Bluray.
2. If you really want HDMI, you could always use a cheaper proprietary 2x cable solution. I use a monoprice set for $43 + shipping each and it works fine with 1080p res (source > AVR > Extender > 50' Cat5e > Extender > TV). Doesn't include IR though but there are lots that do.
3. If you do go with the cheaper unit for HDMI, you could add a third Cat5e/Cat6 run for IR using the Hot Link XL. Its $84 on amazon shipped. Total cost is $127 per display + 3 cable runs if combined with the extender from 2.