HDBaseT transmitter/receiver failures -- anyone else experiencing? - AVS Forum

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tcason's Avatar tcason
06:21 PM Liked: 10
post #1 of 5
01-14-2013 | Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2009
First of all, I apologize if this should go in the sticky CAT5 thread but this seems a little different from the general problems and that thread is not getting as much traffic these days.

I'm experiencing a strange problem with my CAT5e HDMI extender setup. To make a long story short, I’ve installed a number of different extenders in my system with initial success. However, all of them have ultimately died after anywhere from a few days to several months of operation. By “died,” I mean no picture comes out at the display. If I then connect the “dead” transmitter/ receiver pair by a short factory-terminated CAT5e wire, removing my installed CAT5e from the equation and minimizing the distance traveled, I still can’t get any picture, which suggests to me one or both of the transmitter and the receiver have completely failed. Usually, the failure is foreshadowed by increasingly frequent picture drops in the days before the failure occurs and the extender pair will eventually stop functioning altogether. For some of the products, I’ve subsequently had RMA replacements of the original die as well.

Here are the products I’ve had fail on me:
- SANOXY single cable (HDBaseT [?]) HDMI Extender [x 2]: http://*******.com/a5b9a7v
- Monoprice 2x1 HDBaseT splitter/extender [x3]: http://*******.com/7reh6gv
- Cable Matters: http://*******.com/baa96kh

My questions:
1. Is anyone else having extremely bad luck with reliability on CAT5e extenders?

2. No matter how temperamental these devices are at this point in the development of the technology, my results seem pretty extreme. I think it’s hard to ignore that something idiosyncratic in my setup is causing or at least contributing to the problem. Can anyone think of possible causes for so many failures? I know that’s a very broad question especially given what little debugging data I’ve provided, but I’m not sure what problems are even possible with these devices.

For example, could any of these be the source of my problem:
- Could my source AVR (a Denon 3808 with half a decade of use) be outputting too powerful of a signal either b/c of poor design or because of a malfunction?
- Could the electric outlet I’m using for the extenders be burning them out either b/c of poor extender design or a problem with the outlet (the transmitters have all been plugged into the same Belkin surge protector, while the receivers were all installed behind my TV and plugged directly into an outlet behind the TV)?
- The CAT5e run has multiple connections in the link (i.e., a short CAT5e jumper between two lengths of behind-the-wall CAT5e) b/c the home builder didn’t think the layout through before wiring. Could this be causing undue strain on the extenders that results in failure?
- I often turn off the TV/display only, without turning off the source (an HD DirecTV tuner). the AVR which sits between the source and the extender, or the extender pair itself. Could always receiving input / being turned on cut the lifespan of the extenders this drastically?

3. Anybody have ideas on what other steps I could take to debug the problem?

This is driving me crazy and I’m at a loss. If the products hadn’t all worked correctly to start, I’d just write this off to the flakiness of HDMI or to HDBaseT technology not being fully developed. Instead, I've wasted a lot of time and money chasing after a solution that I still can't depend on.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
tadr's Avatar tadr
11:25 AM Liked: 12
post #2 of 5
01-15-2013 | Posts: 83
Joined: Nov 2006
Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for you. Have you done any testing to confirm that it wasn't the power supply that died? I have had several of the monoprice power supplies die on me. I didn't realize it was the power supply until quite some time later - I thought the whole unit had died. Might be worth checking.
N3W813's Avatar N3W813
03:46 PM Liked: 36
post #3 of 5
01-16-2013 | Posts: 1,140
Joined: Feb 2003
I've learned the hard way also with cheap HDMI extenders. Dropouts, artifacts. Want less headaches? Pay more for more reliable HDMI extenders, such as Atlona, Gefen, etc. I've changed all 3 of my HDMI extenders to Atlona. Running without any issues for over 15 months. 1080p60, 3D, HD audio all at 100ft.
markrubin's Avatar markrubin
03:56 PM Liked: 583
post #4 of 5
01-16-2013 | Posts: 23,269
Joined: May 2001
my experience with HDBaseT gear (as opposed to cheaper conventional CAT extenders) is they are reliable:and most are quite similar in design and construction: to the extent you can take an HD Base T transmitter of one brand and a receiver of another brand and they will work (but I don't recommend this)

none of the possible reasons you cited appear to be a possible cause of the problem

please tell us more about the connected equipment: I bet that is where the problem is
markrubin's Avatar markrubin
04:09 PM Liked: 583
post #5 of 5
01-16-2013 | Posts: 23,269
Joined: May 2001
one thing I notice about these is they have to be mounted to perform properly:

if you handle or move an HDBaseT box while it is operating: the picture will drop out
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