A bit of confusion regarding Cat5E, Cat6/Cat6A and HDMI cables - AVS Forum

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Home A/V Distribution

zijincheng's Avatar zijincheng
11:35 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 4
06-04-2013 | Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2012
Hi, I'm extremely new to home theater setups, and my dad wants to loop 50 feet of either HDMI/Cat5/Cat6 cable through the walls before he puts drywall up in the basement.

So here's my confusion, 1080p24 runs at 2.98Gbps (I'm guessing its 25x1920x1080x60), while 1080p60 runs at 7.46Gbps. I've read enough to know people have used Cat5E/Cat6 cables and just put HDMI adapters on the end. How is that possible, seeing as Cat5E has a max rate of 100Mbps while Cat6 has a max rate of 1Gbps? I guess Cat6A would be fine though.

My dad wants to wire a Cat5E cable through the walls and put passive HDMI wall sockets at both ends, will this work?
jautor's Avatar jautor
01:05 PM Liked: 417
post #2 of 4
06-04-2013 | Posts: 8,497
Joined: Jun 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by zijincheng View Post

So here's my confusion, 1080p24 runs at 2.98Gbps (I'm guessing its 25x1920x1080x60), while 1080p60 runs at 7.46Gbps. I've read enough to know people have used Cat5E/Cat6 cables and just put HDMI adapters on the end. How is that possible, seeing as Cat5E has a max rate of 100Mbps while Cat6 has a max rate of 1Gbps? I guess Cat6A would be fine though.

Cat5e will run gigabit Ethernet (and is specified to do so) to 100m... The HDMI baluns run higher data rates (this is NOT Ethernet, remember) over shorter runs (like <100 feet), and in one direction.

HDBaseT borrows the technology from 1Gb/10Gb to do HDMI to 100m.
Quote:
My dad wants to wire a Cat5E cable through the walls and put passive HDMI wall sockets at both ends, will this work?

The passive HDMI-over-category wall plates have mixed results, mostly depending on distances (if it's <50' probably ok), and avoiding 3D. The "active" / powered baluns works better, and the less-expensive ones require two cables (cat5e or cat6).

If you want something that will definitely work, use a single-cable HDBaseT solution.

I would run multiple cat5e/cat6 runs, plus a flex conduit to any critical AV location. A Redmere HDMI cable would be a good "today" solution as well, but isn't futureproof the way the category + conduit will be...

Jeff
Colm's Avatar Colm
03:48 PM Liked: 90
post #3 of 4
06-04-2013 | Posts: 4,652
Joined: Aug 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by zijincheng View Post

1080p24 runs at 2.98Gbps
No, 1.78 Gbps for 24 bit color depth.
Quote:
1080p60 runs at 7.46Gbps
No, 4.46 Gbps for 24 bit color depth.
Quote:
Cat5E has a max rate of 100Mbps while Cat6 has a max rate of 1Gbps
No, it is not as simple as that. Gigabit ethernet (1000Base-T) was designed to work with Cat 5 cable. And the maximum bit rate depends on a lot of things, including the length of the cable and the encoding scheme.
Quote:
My dad wants to wire a Cat5E cable through the walls and put passive HDMI wall sockets at both ends, will this work?
"Passive" HDMI extenders are a crap shoot. They have a miserable record. May work. May not. You will never know until you try.

Redmere cables overcome some of the limitations of "passive" extenders, but seem to have mixed results.

A HDBaseT-based extender is the best way to go if your budget allows. Category 5E cable is probaby just fine at 50'. Category 6 doesn't cost much more if you want the performance margin. Category 6a is totally unnecessary.
AV_Integrated's Avatar AV_Integrated
04:05 PM Liked: 393
post #4 of 4
06-04-2013 | Posts: 3,591
Joined: Jun 2005
Your Dad is definitely thinking ahead but he needs to focus on this just a bit more...

If he is doing the work himself or has access to do this wiring and the expertise, then he really needs to think about every little thing he wants in place, and where he wants it before drywall goes up.

Why is he running a HDMI/cat-x wire behind the wall? Is this for a TV? A projector? Something else? Where is the equipment located? Why is it remote located?

My general rule is that from a head end location where all the equipment will be, including networking, phones, and A/V, you should run no less than 2 pieces of cat-6 cable and 1 decent quality HDMI cable if the run is 50' or less. Better, is to run a piece of 1.25" or larger conduit to any primary video locations.

You should also be looking to run speaker wires, and anything else you may want right now since the walls are open. It takes some time, but it is VERY easy to do right now, and very difficult to do later on.
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