Originally Posted by Garet Jax
Very good information. In your experience when the termination needs to be replaced, does it always cause problems or is it more temperamental? In other words, is it black and white - it either works or it doesn't or are there many shades of gray?
Have you found certain feeds or sources to be more likely to cause problems?
Short of a good fluke, how do you recommend testing the HBaseT extender and what criteria do you use to "mark" the testing as successful?
Thanks a lot.
As it is, the company I work for owns a Fluke, which we purchased after several years of fighting different installations. We now certify all the jobs as part of the punchout process.
But, for my residential work, I pretty much just test and reterminate as necessary. I never use EZ-RJ45 connectors, and I personally don't use STP cat-6 cable as I've been fine with cat-5e in my work. So, I've had as much luck as anything else with things and good success with the Monoprice units. Video has been varying but includes PCs as well as traditional video sources like cable TV and Blu-ray Disc players.
For the commercial work I take part in we use West Penn cable, which (from what I just heard) may be relabeled Berk-Tek cat-6STP wire. We use Leviton if taking it to a wall jack, but typically terminate it directly with cat-6STP ends.
From there, it's more a matter of the guys just plugging it in and doing a video check. They have been terminating these cables for a few years now in this manner and are very comfortable with all of it. So, they have a 98%+ pass rate on the first try. But, when we have issues, we do bring in the Fluke, and we are doing this more and more across all the installations to ensure quality of service.
Still, it's all about the terminations is what we keep seeing time and time again. If the end points work (through testing) then it's the terminations which mess everything up. Every now and then we find that cable has been pulled over fluorescent lighting or exists in a very electronic dirty environment, and we have to move cabling around.
Oh, and how issues are presented: Most often it is just 'no signal', but at times it is a signal that drops. We only test at 1080p/60 so if the signal doesn't pass, it's a failing grade and we figure out why. There is no point where it is relevant for us to test 720p or 1024x768 as a signal, because those aren't really testing the full system. So, we start with 1080p/60 and then see what happens. I have seen bad product from Crestron (and others) which has been replaced, and we find that out when we switch out product with other product. Sometimes a bad transmitter, sometimes a bad receiver. We will see blanking, or I won't see it properly show up in a device list, or show incorrect signal coming in/out of the unit. But, beyond that, it's visual. A signal that is good for 10 seconds, then drops for 3 seconds. Then repeats at intermittent rates. Or a signal that works once, then doesn't work the next time. We always use quality HDMI cables so I have not seen sparkling or other effects which can be introduced over a HDMI cable when using HDBT. It's always been a signal is there, or it isn't, situation.