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What is an HDMI Extender?

Eugene Makarenko • July 19, 2019

HDMI Extender’s assist in the extension of Audio and Video Signals from Media Sources (Cable Box, Roku, Etc.) via CAT5, CAT6 or CAT7 cabling to remotely located a TV Display or Projector. HDMI Extenders are utilized in a variety of commercial and residential environments and applications.They exists due to the limitations of the standard High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables. HDMI cables will typically drop an AV signal if the distance run is over 40-50ft in length. 

HDMI Extenders use a specific type of technology referred to as HDBaseT. This involves using Category cabling for the purpose of simplifying signal extensions. This Global Standard of data transmission sends uncompressed information for Video, Audio, Ethernet, USB, and some control signals. 

An important element to take into consideration is the majority of HDMI Extenders extension ranges max out at 270ft@4K or 328ft@1080P, however these specifications vary depending on brand and model. A major factor to consider is the type of category cable being installed as this will play a key role when it comes to distance restrictions per manufacturer's specs. Currently, CAT6 is the most widely recommended category cable due to eliminating Crosstalk (Electrical Interference) transmitting data at distances than CAT5e while still relatively inexpensive and simple to install when compared to the stiffer and pricier CAT7 cable.  

There are a few considerations to analyze when determining which HDMI Extenders are the most suitable choice for your application. First and most importantly what resolution do you require, 4K, HDR10 or is 1080P sufficient? How about Audio capabilities? HDMI extenders will optionally offer a range of Audio Formats, Inputs and Outputs for TV’s, Audio Receivers and or Home Audio Amplifiers. Next, what about control? Do you require IR (Infra-Red), RS232 or IP control? So although HDMI Extenders are fairly simple as far as concept goes, they are very diversable in available options and features which is why we recommend consulting a Sales or Installation Professional prior to purchasing a system.  

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