AV quality: 25-ft HDMI cable vs. passive HDMI over 25-ft CAT6 - AVS Forum
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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AV quality: 25-ft HDMI cable vs. passive HDMI over 25-ft CAT6

Video/signal quality question:

Suppose I had a 1080p or 4K AV signal with 5.1 audio:

If I were to send this signal over:

A) 25-feet HDMI cabling

and

B) 25-feet CAT6 cabling with passive HDMI baluns at both ends


Would there be any difference in AV quality between these two wiring solutions?

Background: I currently have a house under construction and the sheetrock/drywall has not been put up yet. Right now, I have 3 CAT6 cabling going from future location of entertainment center to future location of TV display (the run distance is about 25 feet). The answer to this question will determine whether I would have to buy a 25-ft HDMI cable and install it between the two locations or whether I can go with the currently installed CAT6 cabling with passive HDMI baluns. Thank you.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:54 PM
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I would go with a Redmere active HDMI cable for that run. I don't trust passive baluns, and I'm not sure that they can do 4K under any circumstances.

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:03 PM
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Passive HDMI baluns are hit or miss. Some work okay, some work very well, some don't work at all. With higher resolutions, most don't work very well. So, no guarantees on 1080p or higher resolutions with passive baluns. HDBaseT WILL work, and you will pay for it.

At 25' with drywall open I would do the following.

1. RUN ONE INCH CONDUIT! Seriously! WTF are you thinking? If you have open walls, then put in the only true future-proof option! Put a piece of 1" conduit (or larger) between your equipment and the display so WHEN technology changes, you have a way to add wiring as you need it.

2. RUN PASSIVE HDMI - Do not use Redmere behind drywall. It's an active product with electronics which can fail. A number of reported reviews of cable failure are out there. Instead use this cable:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

That's a 25' high speed rated HDMI cable. It's 30 bucks and by HDMI standards should handle all the HDMI 2.0 formats at 18+ GBs data rates, so you should be good for years to come.

Why buy $30 balun that likely won't work, or a $200 balun that will work, when you can buy a $30 cable which WILL work, and is good for years to come without active electronics in the mix to mess everything up? Keep it simple.

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Old 07-13-2014, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your responses. I found out that I need a 30-ft cable rather than a 25-ft cable so I will go ahead and purchase the passive Monoprice 22AWG 30-ft professional HDMI cable and try to install it. A 1" conduit was supposed to be installed but the installer told me that the way the walls were was configured with the studs did not allow for a 1" conduit to be installed. So I will see if I can snake the 30-ft cable through the existing holes already there.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:33 AM
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Riser Guard 1" flexible conduit should be able to be run through most walls without issue. Up to a ceiling, then across through ceiling joists. I have never run into a wall where this wasn't feasible. If you post some photos, even if there are several studs, you should be able to get conduit in place.

If you can't get conduit in place, run NO LESS than 3 pieces of cat-6 cabling between the equipment and the projector. It may, or may not, prove to be overkill in the long run, but better safe than sorry.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
Riser Guard 1" flexible conduit should be able to be run through most walls without issue. Up to a ceiling, then across through ceiling joists. I have never run into a wall where this wasn't feasible. If you post some photos, even if there are several studs, you should be able to get conduit in place.

If you can't get conduit in place, run NO LESS than 3 pieces of cat-6 cabling between the equipment and the projector. It may, or may not, prove to be overkill in the long run, but better safe than sorry.

It's absolutely not overkill. Cat-6 can be converted to carry virtually any A/V signal, or any of a number of other things ie a 12v trigger wire.


It's very cheap compared to the labor, and I have had cat go bad shortly after the walls were all closed up, so spares are a must.


If you're doing homeruns over 30', I'd recommend solid Cat6 instead of stranded. Less loss over distance. Shielded is even better. Even if you don't use the shielding, it adds another level of durability to the cable. Terminate to jacks, not plugs, so you don't risk damaging the in-wall wire.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:27 PM
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All in-wall or otherwise permanent runs should be solid, not stranded. Stranded is only for patch cables where the flexibility is desirable. Stranded cannot be punched down reliably.

Shielded cables should ONLY be used if you have the equipment and skill to properly terminate and deal with the shielding. Otherwise, the end result can be worse than unshielded wires, and for almost all residential AV / networking usage, UTP is more than sufficient.

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Old 07-17-2014, 10:30 AM
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HDMI rev 2.0 has a published max bandwidth of almost 18Gbps, It is highly unlikely that any of today HDMi cables will support that. If you truly want to further proof yourself, I would really push hard to get a piece of raceway installed
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

Here is an update:

I finally put in a 1" conduit along with a 35-feet HDMI cable (22awg monoprice). The run length was only 20 feet because I could not snake the conduit through all the walls. Please see the attached file for a simple drawing of the wall layout.

(C1) and (C2) denotes the ends of the conduit, with C1 being the display end and C2 being the source end, to be connected to the AV electronics. So you can see where the conduit run was installed.

Prior to the conduit being installed, the 3 CAT6 and one coaxial wiring was run from the location denoted by C1 all the way to the location denoted A/V CAB. I could not run the conduit from location C1 all the way to the A/V cabinet; instead, the conduit terminated in location C2. The reason for this was because of the corner shown as:

**
**

This corner is nearly 12 inches of hardwood and with a lot of studs in place interfering with the clearance for proper drilling, it is almost impossible for me (or probably any professional) to drill a 1.5" diameter hole through this hardwood to accommodate the 1" conduit (exterior diameter is about 1.4"). I was amazed to find that the electricians were even able to drill a 3/4" hole through the corner for the CAT6 and coaxial cabling. A 1.5" hole would have been too much through that much wood.

In any case, I have a good solution now. I can simply run a short HDMI cable from the A/V CAB location to the C2 location and connect the HDMI cable to the HDMI cable running through the conduit which is then hooked to the display. Or I could simply extend the conduit HDMI cable all the way to the AV CAB location, after the drywall is put up.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:17 PM
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My home is almost finished. I have flex conduit runs in all rooms that will have a flat panel. My HT set-up has a 25 ft run from my projector to the A/V room. I'm worried about the long HdmI run signal as well. The drywall is up now. I have a friend who is a electrical engineer that say those High Price HDMI Cables are a scam. Any feed back would be helpful.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...1&d=1406685947

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...1&d=1406686769
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icebergslim3200 View Post
My home is almost finished. I have flex conduit runs in all rooms that will have a flat panel. My HT set-up has a 25 ft run from my projector to the A/V room. I'm worried about the long HdmI run signal as well. The drywall is up now. I have a friend who is a electrical engineer that say those High Price HDMI Cables are a scam.
He's a good friend, then...

25' shouldn't be too much of an issue. If you're going to pull the cable, use one of the Redmere cables from Monoprice and you won't have any issue at 25'...

Jeff

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Old 07-30-2014, 06:38 AM
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Prior to the conduit being installed, the 3 CAT6 and one coaxial wiring was run from the location denoted by C1 all the way to the location denoted A/V CAB. I could not run the conduit from location C1 all the way to the A/V cabinet; instead, the conduit terminated in location C2. The reason for this was because of the corner shown as:

Why are you only using 1 RG-6 cable?

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