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HDMI over a single cat5 or cat6

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know about a good product to distribute video from a pc, DVD player, security cameras, etc to all the devices in my house. I only have a single
Cat6 cable running behind the walls. Is there such a product?

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post #2 of 11
HDBaseT Matrix from a number of vendors is what you want to do that, albeit be aware of the caveats of such a system.
post #3 of 11
A HDbaseT Video Matrix is what you are looking for.
The matrix will allow you to distribute/switch any 4 video sources to 8 Displays over 1 CAT6 cable

This is how you would connect it :
post #4 of 11
You can also use HD-Base-T baluns at each end and use standard HDMI matrix switchers to the size you need.

Keep in mind, you will not be using the Cat-6 into a Ethernet switch anymore and the Cat-6 must be run directly to where the matrix is located. This is not a 'networked' solution, but there are HD-Base-T products which will allow you to send Ethernet along with the HDMI video to any location.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skicrave View Post

HDBaseT Matrix from a number of vendors is what you want to do that, albeit be aware of the caveats of such a system.
What caveats are these? I have been checking these HDBaseT Matrix and seem over my budget ($1500+). I know HDMI is the normal nowadays but are there other systems of getting good quality video (720p would be enough for me) without using HDMI? Maybe component video, DVI or even VGI?
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

You can also use HD-Base-T baluns at each end and use standard HDMI matrix switchers to the size you need.

Keep in mind, you will not be using the Cat-6 into a Ethernet switch anymore and the Cat-6 must be run directly to where the matrix is located. This is not a 'networked' solution, but there are HD-Base-T products which will allow you to send Ethernet along with the HDMI video to any location.
Do you mean I have to run the cat6 cables straight to the matrix? All my cat6 cables end in a Leviton structure wire box (by the way rated cat5e) in my closet. Can I use patch cables to connect to the matrix?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubics View Post

What caveats are these? I have been checking these HDBaseT Matrix and seem over my budget ($1500+). I know HDMI is the normal nowadays but are there other systems of getting good quality video (720p would be enough for me) without using HDMI? Maybe component video, DVI or even VGI?

If your sources have component video outputs, there is little downside to component vs. HDMI when it comes to matrix switch "real world" performance. The issues with HDMI matrix products is really the fault of HDMI, not the matrix. Since the source and the display (TV) talk to each other to determine compatibility, the source will downgrade its output to meet the common denominator capabilities of all attached displays. Which likely means that audio will be limited to 2-channel PCM stereo.

Component video and either digital audio OR analog stereo can be sent over a single cat5e/cat6 using a number of balun products. Component matrix switches are cheap (and available used readily as folks "upgrade" to HDMI).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubics View Post

Do you mean I have to run the cat6 cables straight to the matrix? All my cat6 cables end in a Leviton structure wire box (by the way rated cat5e) in my closet. Can I use patch cables to connect to the matrix?

Yes, you can use patch cables. His point was that the wiring is used in a completely different manner than Ethernet networking - the two have nothing in common except they use the same type of wire. You'll need to locate your sources and the matrix switch near your Leviton box, most likely...

Jeff
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubics View Post

Do you mean I have to run the cat6 cables straight to the matrix? All my cat6 cables end in a Leviton structure wire box (by the way rated cat5e) in my closet. Can I use patch cables to connect to the matrix?
As stated, you may use patch cables to take them to your matrix as necessary. These are no longer going to be Ethernet cables at all, but will be used exclusively, and solely as HD-Base-T cables.

Your other options are to use component video baluns and take audio/video over the cat cables to various rooms and pick up a component video matrix switch. The component video 8x8 matrix can be had for under $300 on eBay and represents a remarkable value for your money, but will limit you in many ways in terms of quality and since it will be analog, it will be far more susceptible to noise and interference.

Search on eBay for "Extron Crosspoint" to find some solid analog A/V matrix switchers.

Yes, HD-Base-T is expensive right now, and likely will remain expensive for years to come as the technology continues to progress and change.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
post #10 of 11
There is as much chance of it working as it not working!

HDMI can be a complex beast to tame – especially when you start distributing multiple Sources to multiple Zones!

How many Source devices?

How many Zones?

How do you plan to control your kit from the various Zones?

Most modern AV devices are constantly being updated with online or over-the-air Firmware updates – if your HDMI gear lacks the ability to also be updated via USB or LAN you can quickly find your HDMI ‘Hub’ running into compatibility issues!

Your budget is very tight for a fully ‘integrated’ single CAT solution with all of the useful features a decent quality HDMI Matrix will include – one of which is invariably a decent level of online and telephone Tech support from your supplier!

Joe
post #11 of 11
I'm just going to agree with Joe on this one. I've used the Monoprice 4x4 HDMI Matrix and it was terrible. The displays all blank during switching, and many times it would not properly show sources. It was a complete headache and I pulled it out in favor of going with a component video matrix switcher which has been unstoppably reliable.

I'm not sure what 'cheaper' product is out there which does non-blanking HDMI switching. I generally refer to the Gefen Toolbox 8x8 HDMI matrix which is a bit under $2,000, then pair it with Monoprice HD-Base-T extenders at about $190 per unit.

Not exactly inexpensive, but I would expect a far higher level of reliability out of these types of products than I have personally seen from my Monoprice 4x4 HDMI matrix.

In the next few weeks I'm getting a demo 8x8 Gefen unit in so I can do some testing and I will let others know how well it works (or not).
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