AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the best way to run a video signal 50ft or more? What type of cable/connection is most resilient to degradation/interference at long distances?


S-Video

Component

VGA

DVI

Video over CAT-5


I currently run video from my VHS and DVD to my projector thru the attic on a 50ft S-Video and a 50ft component cable. Seems ok but I'm curious if there's a better way to do this.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,219 Posts
The only better way would be an optical dvi cable at that distance, regular dvi can't go that distance. It would cost a lot though for such a cable, 8 or 9 bills. But you'd have a cable that would not be susceptible to EM field distortion or RFI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For a video run of 50ft, is video over CAT-5 better than just using s-video and component cables?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
I'm wondering the same thing. I'm planning on keeping my X-Box in some sort of platform or riser in the front of my HT, with my equipment rack in a separate room behind the back wall of my HT. I'm currently using the component video and optical digital audio connection, and I'll need to extend both of those once I move it from its current location to the new basement HT (framing starts tomorrow so I'll need to pre-wire soon). I've seen baluns that let you run video over CAT-5, although I've actually only seen composite and S-Video and I did see one that did audio as well but I don't believe it was a digital connection. Has anyone seen such a device that does component video and digital audio? Is there significant signal loss/degradation? For what the component and audio cables would cost me, I could probably tolerate some loss. I'm looking at probably 50-70'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Jeff, I put my X-Box back in the equipment room and bought extension cables for the controllers, they where 6 feet and added to the existing 12 feet so gives me the ability to sit just about anywhere... wonder if that would work for you rather than going to the trouble of trying to extend your audio and video?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
523 Posts
I am running SVideo over CAT5 for a 30ft run with no discernable signal interference. I am not using any baluns, just connected SVideo connectors to either side of a CAT5 cable. Be sure to use a pair for the chroma signal and a pair for the luminance signal.


If you're not handy with a soldering iron, Smarthome carrys these SVideo connectors with 110 punch blocks for only 9.99.


They claim using CAT5e that an SVideo signal can be run up to 500'!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
b-Florida, I've thought of that option as well, and am still considering it. However, I'd still need about 50' of extension cables per controller, do you know if there are any problems with doing something like that? Whichever cables I extend, I need to run through the walls and ceiling. Do yours run like that - how are they connected? I was also thinking it would be more convenient changing games to have the console nearer to where it would be played, but I've re-thought where I plan to keep my equipment, and it would be a little easier to get to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I'm sorry Jeff, I don not know what the max distance is on the extension cables, I do believe they can be daisy chained together though. I got mine at Electronics Boutique.


My rack is an in-wall unit that is located just behind the second row of theater seats so when I use the X-Box I just plug them in and run the cable on the floor down the side of the seats. I unplug them when not in use.


Nothing like playing Ghost Recon Live on a 98" screen! Look me up when you get everything going... gamertag Domino.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
I came across this component video balun, and some other similar ones, so I think I'll end up better off trying to run the audio and video than the controller extensions. Plus I'll also be able to switch between consoles or upgrade more easily. Now I just need to find a similar product for the digital audio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I'd consider using coax. A single coax cable consists of one signal wire (a solid core copper center, usually) and a sheild (in the form of braided metal).


One pair of coax wires equates to an S-Video cable, which has two conductors: one for color (chromanace) and one for brightness (luminance) with a shield for each. This is essentially how high quality S-Video cables are constructed, except that the signal cables are stranded wire vs solid to keep it flexible.


Anyway, coax has excellent bandwidth over long distances. This is why cable TV companies used so much of it before fiber became cheap.


If you have RG6 or RG6/U Quad Shield on hand, that will do to make a cable that can be run free-from-worry over great distances. If size (thickness) is a concern, then there's specialty comapnies that will make 'hydra' bundle cables out of thin coax at any length and with any connector. I prefer BNC ends; it's a positive lock.


Check these guys out for specialty coax:

http://www.covid.com/


I'm using their Cactus Cable at several places in my HT. I just bought a hydra with a lot of strands, and I can pick and choose as to which are used for composite, s-video, component, RGB or whatever. They also sound just fine as an audio interconnect, but that's for zone 2 stuff, not for critical listening.


These guys have BNC to S-Video adapters:

http://www.a2zcables.com/


-Ford


BTW- If you get confused in their listing of plenum vs non-plenum, then know this: the plenum cables are for commercial use, where in-ceiling use puts them essentially inside the HVAC system. Should they burn, plenum cables don't give off deadly fumes, where non-plenum cables would. Non-plenum cables are cheaper and perfectly fine for residential use. If the catch fire, you've got bigger problems than fumes off the cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Ok Bryan... yeah my rack will be past the back of the room, past the bottom of the stairs, through a door into the unfinished area. Not quite suitable for running cables across the floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Starford... thanks... so could I do the following:


Connect my component cables from my X-Box (with RCA jacks, so I'd need female connections) to three coaxial cables, use the coax cables for the vast majority of the run, then use some sort of adapters for RCA connections to my receiver? Do you think I could do the same thing with the toslink digital audio connection? I saw some optical to coaxial digital audio adapters in those web sites you linked to, maybe I'd need those in there somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
In a word, yes.


The adapters (RCA to BNC) are easily acquired. Look here, for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=14959


That's the RCA adapters you'll need. The cables will come w/BNC male, likely, some some barrel connectors will be needed:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=7285


These two auctions (they pop up all the time) will give you enough to terminate five coax lines on both ends. Don't worry about all the adapters in the signal line... the part they play electrically is very small. You could, of course, get the cables term. RCA and skip this step.


Now, for that digital interconnect... if optical is your only avenue, then you've got two choices: 1. keep it optical and put it on fiber or 2. convert it to electrical, and adapt on both ends.


The optical (toslink) interface on most gear is actually closer to an LED than a laser, so any quality fiber optic cable type will do. Most toslink cables are actually clear plastic cores with a sheath. The A2Zcables.com site has some nice long cables for you.


If you've got more than one optical long run need today, or plan on it, I'd check out a duplex piece of multimode fiber. These will likely be terminated SC or ST, not correct for audio, but adaptable.


I turns out that SPDIF (Sony Philips Digital InterFace) specifies a 75 ohm coax cable type... just the same as your video coax. If you want to convert optical to electrical, you could use one strand of the coax hydra for that transmission.


Here's a good resource:

http://www.minidisc.org/part_CoaxOpt...onversion.html


Good luck!

-Ford
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Besides cost, is there any other advantage to using coax or CAT-5 for long video signal runs? I've already purchased and run my cables (VGA, component, s-video) and I've already installed the wall jacks. The cables are 50ft long. Since I've already done all this, it's too late to save money with video over CAT-5 or coax.


So the only reason I'd want to do this is if it improves signal quality.


Does it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Starford - thanks for all the info and links. Sounds like keeping it optical is the way to go - those cables are pretty reasonable on the A2ZCables site, and I believe I can keep the run within 50', beyond which it says degradation can occur. Tha is the only long run I need, as the rest of my components will be together in the equipment rack. Although I might run a coaxial digital along with that just in case the next generation or another console uses that. My video cable runs from my rack to my projector won't be quite as long (under 25'), and I was already prepared to shell out some bucks for those cables, it was running 50' of cable for a video game that prompted me to look into cheaper alternatives.


As far as the BNC connections go - is it worth the trouble since I'll have RCA connections in the lines anyway?


Mbaxter - not sure that I can answer your question fully, but the reason I'm looking at this alternative is cost. The first cable I looked at was on bettercables.com, their 50' standard component cable is $380. However, after looking at that A2Zcables site, their 50' component cable is only $140. I'm not sure how they compare in quality... bettercables had another one, their reference line, that was over $600 for 50'. (Not that price is necessarily an indicator of quality).


It's my educated guess that if there's any difference in signal quality, you're better off with the cables you already have. The only other consideration I know of would be that with the coax, you could get the kind that is rated for in-wall use, for fire resistance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey Jeff, I don't think you need to spend so much on cabling. For your component video, just go to pccables.com and look for part # 02435. It's a 50ft cable with five BNC/RCA plugs on both ends. It looks like the picture below, except the BNC ends have RCA adapters on them, which are removable. You just use the R, G, and B lines, and leave the yellow and black lines unconnected. This cable is $65.

http://www.pccables.com/images/00682.jpg


Another perfectly doable option is to use part # 02414, which is a single RCA/BNC cable. You could buy three of these for $30.


Either of these are video shielded and should work fine at 50ft. I used these same type of cables for my setup.


Last night I did some testing where I compared DVD scenes on 6ft and 50ft cable lengths, and hard as I tried I could not see any difference. It was a pain in the ass to hook everything up for these tests but I'm glad I did it. It has reassured me that I'm not suffering any signal loss with my existing 50ft cable runs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by starford
In a word, yes.


The adapters (RCA to BNC) are easily acquired. Look here, for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=14959


That's the RCA adapters you'll need. The cables will come w/BNC male, likely, some some barrel connectors will be needed:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=7285


These two auctions (they pop up all the time) will give you enough to terminate five coax lines on both ends. Don't worry about all the adapters in the signal line... the part they play electrically is very small. You could, of course, get the cables term. RCA and skip this step.
Why not just create the cables yourself with some good RG-6 quad shielded coax and these..

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...ID=15422&DID=7


Seems to me to be a lot better than having a bunch of adapters on your line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
mbaxter - thanks, maybe I can do this for less than what I thought.


tpatt - Is it really as easy as they say to get those connectors on? Would I need "their" tools that they mention?


I mentioned above that I was going to stick with an optical/toslink digital audio cable, but since I'd like to use a wall jack and haven't found one for a toslink connectoin, I may actually use a powered converter/repeater (since I am pushing the distance limit anyway) and then run a coaxial digital cable with RCA jacks through the wall/ceiling to my equipment rack.


Another question, just slightly off the topic of the thread, but I think close enough... as of now I'm planning on running composite, S, and component video cables from my equipment rack (to connect from my receiver) to my projector location. I'm not too familiar with the "more advanced" video cables such as DVI, VGA, IEEE-1394 (well, at least not with their HT applications). What other cables might I want to run when I do my pre-wiring?
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top