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How to Extend Video Signals Over Long Distances with an HDMI Extender

The problem with connections using HDMI is anything over 50 feet is considered the maximum reliable length of video, audio and data before the loss of a signal.
  • <strong>Key Digital HDMI Extender</strong>
  • <strong>How to EXTEND Video Signals</strong>
  • <strong>Basic Extender Installation Diagram</strong>

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An HDMI to HDBaseT extender can extend up to 100 meters delivering uncompressed high definition video, audio, Ethernet, control, and power via a single category cable using the standard RJ45 connector

    FREMONT, CA, March 17, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Many custom installs require displays to be at a location away from the video source. The distance creates several difficulties including signal degradation to standard cable management issues. The problem with connections using HDMI is anything over 50 feet is considered the maximum reliable length of video, audio and data before the loss of a signal. Digital signage and residential applications such as home theater often require more distance than the standard technology can offer. So, how do you extend a video signal long distances without spending a fortune?

The answer is baluns, otherwise known as extenders. A balun is a class of transformer: it's used to convert a balanced signal to an unbalanced one or vice versa. Hence the name Balun; bal (balanced) un(unbalanced). Baluns allow the user to extend video signals far beyond that of regular HDMI cables using standard Ethernet networking cables such as Cat 5e/6. Baluns for HDMI signals that use Cat 5e/6 are known in the AV world as HDMI extenders over Cat 5/6 or HDMI over HDBaseT extenders. HDBaseT as a technology is a chip and is the most recent category cable standard which bundles audio, video, Ethernet, control, and power into one cable simplifying installations and reducing overall cost. In a sense, the HDMI balun has evolved into an HDBaseT extender to address the shortcomings of a standard balun like ground loop interference and increased distance up to 100 meters.

The Problem with Long HDMI Cables

The problem with using long HDMI cables is maintaining a signal, not maintaining image quality. Long HDMI cables can cause instability when it comes to an HDCP handshake and also a blinking screen due to a poor signal. Also, take caution of HDMI cables that are 40 feet or longer for they must match the Compliance Test Standards introduced by the HDMI Licensing, LLC. In any case, it's best to test the entire system before integrating.

Why not use Wireless Extenders instead?

While there are some innovative wireless systems in the market today, they may not be the proper answer for people who need excellent video and sound quality. With wireless HDMI extenders, there's still a chance of lost connections, bandwidth limitations, and interference issues. Wired audio, video, and Ethernet provide a sound signal path and protection from outside influence. Speaking of wiring, Cat5e/6 cables in the wall is much more future-proof than an HDMI cable. Why? Well, category cables can be useful for a myriad of other purposes such as Ethernet, phone, analog/digital, audio, etc.

Benefits of an HDMI to HDBaseT Extender and Cat 5e/6 Cabling

An HDMI over HDBaseT extender kit is made up of a transmitter and receiver. Some sell as kits, but others are sold individually so be sure you're getting a transmitter and its compatible receiver. In many typical applications, installers and systems integrators always face the challenge of cable length. An HDMI to HDBaseT extender can extend up to 100 meters delivering uncompressed high definition video, audio, Ethernet, control, and power via a single category cable using the standard RJ45 connector. The use of a Cat 5e/6 cable makes completing a job in the field much smoother, speedier and less costly concerning both time and materials. Currently, many new homes and buildings currently have Cat5e/6 installed in the infrastructure and in-wall connectors, further simplifying systems integration. Professional installers and integrators advocate Cat 6 as the preferred cable for home and building infrastructures because they offer more than double the bandwidth, better safety margins, compatible with Cat 5 cables, and also future proofs your business or home. You'll want to prepare for the progressive changes in technology, and the Cat 6 cable is what you'll want installed to support bandwidth.

The most common and affordable way to extend video signals long distances is with an HDMI to HDBaseT Extender. Although we've covered the basics about standard baluns and HDMI over HDBaseT extenders, we still advise contacting a professional installer, systems integrator or one of our AV experts at 888-660-2962. There are many types of extenders with added functionalities to cater to specific applications. BZB Express carries a variety of extenders from leading audio visual companies including Key Digital, Atlona, AJA, Hall Research, tvONE, Gefen and many more.

BZB Express is the professionals source for audio visual equipment located in the outskirts of the Silicon Valley. We provide service to our clients nationwide and internationally since 2005. The strong relationships we have forged with leading AV brands allow us to offer affordable pricing to our resellers, dealers, commercial integrators and end-users.


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Florante Ancheta
BZB Express

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