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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of installing in wall HDMI wiring (along with cat6A and Coax). Due to relatively long runs 40-60ft I'm focused on cables with Redmere technology. Through my research I have found there are 3 Redmere chips. MEA 1689, PRE 1692 (10.2gbps) and PRA 1700 (18gbps). Considering I want to future proof and ensure the cables can handle full true 4k (18gbps) then the only Redmere solution would be a cable with the PRA 1700 chipset. Unfortunately I have not been able to find any cables that have this chip. All the available high speed Redmere cables advertise a high band with but have the chip only capable of 10.2GBPS. In this scenario the chip is the limiting factor not the cable. So if I'm unable to find a cable with the PRA 1700 chip would it be best to use high end non Redmere cables on the short runs(40ft - 60ft) to ensure full bandwidth? From my understanding, the only benefit of Redmere technology is a thinner cable (easier for installs) and ability to bridge a longer run. As mentioned Redmere makes the PRA 1700 (18gbps) chip however I cannot find it in any HDMI cable in the market (maybe someone can).
 

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If you're trying to "future proof" your wiring, don't install HDMI cables at all. Use something like CAT-6/6a with active termination like HDBT or equivalent. HDMI cable technology will probably change in the future (maybe even go away if DisplayPort ever catches on) and CAT-6 can certainly handle the bandwidth now and for quite sometime. The usual mantra around here is "conduit, conduit, conduit". 1" to 1.5" conduit. You can install multiple CAT-6 cables and a pull-string or two for future cable pulls as well. A run as long as you describe I imagine will be in-wall or the ceiling so conduit is your best bet. Once your cable pathway is established with solid core cables and pull-strings, you can easily upgrade/update your cabling needs as technology changes. Just make sure there aren't any sharp bends and you're good to go.

I use Redmere but the biggest drawback is the chipset. Like any other electronic device, they can go bad. If your cable is in a conduit for easy repair/replacement, no big deal. If not, you could be screwed big time.

Using conduit is the only true future proof method for cabling because you can pull whatever is the latest technology without too much difficulty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I appreciate the response, I will be running cat 6A as well however from my understanding HDbaseT in it's current/ latest iteration cannot support 4k 50/60p, 16 bit(although neither can any new 4k TV on the market they max at 4k 24/30P 8bit). From my understanding full 4k needs the total 18gps bandwidth. My thought is to run one fiber line from the AV closet to the main 70" TV so it's there if the current cabling cannot support any potential new protocol. Unfortunately conduit is not an option, so we will be running additional lines just in case. Regarding 40-60" runs, should a high quality cable handle this without Redmere?
 

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It's going to be quite a while yet before there are commercial devices running at 18Gbps but your plan for the future is a good one. It's unfortunate that you can't run conduit because that will make your life now, and in the future, so much easier. Pulling cable without conduit can be an absolute nightmare.The termination ends can be changed/upgraded at anytime so I wouldn't be too concerned about that right now. It's the behind-the-wall cable that's the issue. If you can run fiber along with additional CAT-6/6a cables that's great! Just make sure there are no sharp bends, only very gentle ones.

HDMI cable mfrs make all kinds of claims about their cables, and charge accordingly (Monster and AudioQuest come to mind just to name a couple). A well made High Speed HDMI cable from a reputable mfr/dealer that cost $25 will be just as good as a cable of the same length costing $100 or more. HDMI is certified for only up to 25' so you won't be able to go by a certification (which is like a guarantee that all HDMI specs are met) to insure that you can meet your current and future needs. A thicker gauge HDMI cable can be run at lengths longer than 25' with no issues but then you lose flexibility and there is more strain on the inputs because of the thickness of the cable and loss of flexibility. Oh, and there's no such thing as an HDMI 2.0 cable (or 1.4 for that matter). High Speed HDMI cable will work for just fine with the current specs (1.4/2.0).

If you want to go with a thick gauge HDMI cable, then I'd buy one and lay it out on the floor and test it before you put it behind the wall or in the ceiling. I really think some sort of CAT-6 cable system would be the best way to go. HDMI specs are going to change again and the current high speed hdmi cables may not meet the new specs (HDMI 3.0) but a solid core CAT-6 will and most certainly would fiber.
 

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As Otto has indicated the whole market is in a transition stage – and with no agreement on the final spec for UHD it’s a tricky time trying to ‘future proof’ an install.

Active cables – can and do work, though long term there is the risk the embedded electronics becomes a ‘stopper’ in your system.

Passive cables – 40’ is very doable with a decent gauge of cable, 60’ and you are into the it may/it may not work territory.

CAT6 – is by far the best ‘future proof’ option for most as whilst Fibre is a great option it is simply too costly when trying to use it as a conduit for HDMI and it’s not as ‘user friendly’ in terms of onsite termination (and or repair).

Everything .2 – is on the way so until HDMI 2.0, HDBT 2,HDCP 2.2 and UHD ‘align’ and become prevalent I’d go with Otto’s advice and install lots of spare CAT6.

And of course even with all of those .2’s in place will we ever see ‘UHD’ content traveling over HDMI or will instead your ‘next generation’ TV decode it from a networked stream!

Joe
 
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