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Big Tex 01-12-2011 06:46 PM

CAT 5 or CAT 6 for HDMI?
I understand that some installers are running CAT5 or CAT6 in place of HDMI, especially for long runs. I have roughly a 50' run and want it to be 1.4a. Is anyone familiar with this, and is a double run required? Also, how is it terminated? This would probably be fairly expensive, and I can get a good quality 50' 22 guage 1.4a HDMI cable for under $150. I would appreciate comments and suggestions.

rbinck 01-13-2011 06:37 AM

Re: CAT 5 or CAT 6 for HDMI?
Yes the baluns require 2 cat5e or cat6 runs. The cost will be more than $150 for quality baluns. Key Digital makes quality baluns for this application. Check for termination details.

If you are going to install this yourself the cable route would be better at that length, imo.

Big Tex 01-13-2011 06:54 AM

Re: CAT 5 or CAT 6 for HDMI?
I am not sure what a balun is. I guess it is a termination for the CAT cable? You said I would be better to go the cable route if doing it myself. Do you mean the pre-made HDMI cable? I am leaning in that direction. I understand that 5' is about the max to still retain peformance, is that correct?

rbinck 01-13-2011 11:15 AM

Re: CAT 5 or CAT 6 for HDMI?
Baluns are sort of like transformers. I was talking about a pre-made HDMI cable that you mentioned. 5' is not the limit, I think somebody dropped a zero. 50' is about the limit for HDMI. For greater distances the cat5e route is recommended. Here is the specific link for the baluns:

The new ones use a single cat5e/6/7.

AudAdv 01-25-2011 03:29 PM

Re: CAT 5 or CAT 6 for HDMI?
A "balun" is an old term for a transformer used to "balance" an analog audio or video signal. Unfortunately people still use it to describe media converters that convert digital signals from one format to another (usually to Cat5/6 or fiber). It's kind of like calling a sham-wow a paper towel.

Anyway, we haven't had very good luck with KeyDigital (or Gefen). The Lumagen and Ethereal products have been pretty reliable, but they aren't cheap.

I'd be very suspicious of a 1.4-rated 50' HDMI cable that was under $150. I've seen some that cost 3-5x as much that didn't function properly and none under $250 that produced a usable picture at all. More power to you if it works, especially if it lasts for more than a couple of months.

RAMISki 02-05-2011 02:47 PM

Re: CAT 5 or CAT 6 for HDMI?
HDMI 50 foot run? Forget passive. You will need to go with an active HDMI run if you wish to avoid TWO cables for CAT5 or CAT6.

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