Help Troubleshooting Cat6 Audio/Video Extender - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-04-2020, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Help Troubleshooting Cat6 Audio/Video Extender

Hey Everyone,

I have a home theater room that myself and a friend put together. I did this about a year ago and had been running everything with a long HDMI cable going through my attic and down the wall to a plate that connected to my receiver. It worked fine, but I wasn't ever getting true 4k quality and none of my devices would work in 4k, which was a waste of what my 4k projector was capable of. I recently decided to install a CableMatters audio/video extender balun via Cat6 to take the place of the long HDMI cable.

Ever since I made this switch I have had problems with picture dropouts. I still hear audio, but at random times throughout my viewing, my projector will say there is no signal for about 5-10 seconds, and then reconnect to the signal. I have done all sorts of troubleshooting. I have used different Cat6/cat5 cables, I have changed the HDMI Cables, I have run the cat 6 cable in the attic along the top so that it is not laying on the ground next to potential electric cables. I have tried using ground lifts for the plugs, I have changed the location of the extender receiver and transmitter, all have been dead ends and I still get the drop outs. Here is what I have found so far:

- When bypassing the receiver and plugging my firestick directly into the extender transmitter, I am yet to get a picture dropout. Made me think it might be the AV receiver, however...
- When I run a long HDMI cable from the projector to the AV receiver, I do not get dropouts, which leads me to believe it is NOT indeed the AV receiver. Which made me believe that it is the extenders. It's kind of a circle that leads me back to each problem. I have yet to discover the wrinkle.

Has anyone dealt with this problem or known of anyone else who has been able to solve this? It's a first world pain, but it has been frustrating and short of hiring an AV company, I'm not sure how to fix. Any help would be fantastic.
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post #2 of 2 Old 05-26-2020, 03:59 PM
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this reply below is from another thread not long ago, but what it tells me is a direct HDMI cable line with no other connections/JOINS is the best solution, even if using a powered CAT5E/6 splitter for pass thru HDMI. Their are cheap Splitters out their & their are exy ones of these, i'll be updating my system to 4K shortly, from 2K & if the el cheapo one is no good ill be returning it and going for the higher spec'd/quality version. Obviously the handshaking for HDMI has to be in the correct order also.

Solid copper core CAT-6 or 6a (non-CCS/CCA and not pre-terminated CAT-6 ethernet) cable would be your best choice for 4k HDR. With solid core you can either terminate with a punch down keystone jack to extend an ethernet connection (to hard wire your HTS for example) or you can terminate with HDBT to extend your HDMI connection. 4k HDR can be very finicky with its connections so the most reliable connection is to use a single cable, source to sink, with no wall plates, adapters, extenders, etc in-between. This can become even more critical as the cable distance becomes longer between source and sink (>25'). You also want to avoid sharp, 90 degree bends (bend radius) as well. If the original cable run was installed in a conduit then that makes the whole process easier because it may take a couple of attempts to get the optimal connection setup. If the cabling was not installed in a conduit, then you have way to know how well it was installed. Was the cable tacked down to facilitate bending around something, is it close to HV wiring, HVAC, etc.

HDBT over solid core CAT-6a would be a good idea but it can be expensive and you still get compressed video, at least until the new Valens chipsets are available. Hybrid fiber would be your best bet for an HDMI cable but that requires a new cable pull, and without conduit, the chances of damaging the cable are pretty high.

I would try to test the existing cable installation first if you can before you get everything setup. If it doesn't work like you want, then you've got some decision making to do. Running conduit between floors can be difficult but you don't have to run a conduit the entire length of your run. You just want to make it so that a cable pull (with the installed pull string ) can safely and easily pull the cable through. With a solid core cable, the ends aren't terminated to that process is easier. With an HDMI cable, that can be tricky.

The whole idea is to "future proof" your cable installation as best as you can, and the ONLY way to do that is to use a conduit. Video technology will always outpace connection technology so you need to have a plan in place to safely and easily upgrade your cabling when the time comes. And it will, probably sooner than later.

Joe t
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