HDMI offers home entertainment enthusiasts unparalleled digital audio and picture quality and is practically the de facto standard connection type across the globe as more and more manufactures are now replacing outdated connections with HDMI; however, there are some limitations to the platform. HDMI cables were never designed to perform over long distances, so this article will look at how you can boost the signal strength when using long runs of cable.
As with practically any other type of cable, the further the signal has to travel, the weaker is gets. Therefore the majority of HDMI cables offer the highest levels of performance over relatively short runs of about 15 feet or so. Once you start using longer runs the signal starts to become noticeably degraded, and if you run your HDMI cable over 40 or 50 feet then you will undoubtedly run into problems.
If HDMI Is So Good, Why Can’t It Handle Long Distances?
HDMI cables are made using twisted pairs of copper wires, and over long distances the signal can actually start being reflected along the cable, which in turn can cause interference resulting in poor quality output. The maximum run length that a cable is effective over is different for each cable and is dependent on the quality of the raw materials used in the manufacturing process, and the standard to which the cable was made. Generally speaking, higher quality cables use thicker copper wire in the twisted pairs and while this increases the cost to the consumer, it does mean that the signal is able to be effective over a longer run.
Even the best quality HDMI cables struggle to transfer HDMI Cable in Australia strong signals over distances of 50 feet; so if you need your HDMI cable to be effective over long distances then you will have to invest in some additional devices to help boost the signal.
What Are The Options?
Fortunately there are many different devices out there to help your HDMI signal travel long distances; the most common include signal boosters and restorers, extenders and even fibre optic cables. Choosing the right option for you can be hard, as the cost and effectiveness of the solution can vary widely, so here is a brief overview of each one.
Signal Boosters – as the name suggests, these devices boost the strength of the signal so that it remains strong even after traveling long distances. Signal boosters also allow you to ‘daisy chain’ shorter cables together, which may be a cheaper option than buying one long run of cable.
Signal Restorers – these are small devices that re-synchronize a weak signal back up to full HDMI quality. The device is placed at the end of the HDMI cable, and can help to extend the distance the signal can travel by over 100 feet.
Signal Extenders – are very similar to signal boosters and allow you to daisy chain multiple HDMI cables together in order to extend the effective distance the signal can travel.
Fibre Optic Cable – is the most expensive option and is used when the HDMI signal needs to cover very long distances. By using fibre optic cable it is possible for a HDMI signal to travel over 1,500 feet.
As you can see there are several different methods you can use in order to extend the distance that your HDMI signal can travel without degradation. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so take some time to research each option in order to choose the solution that is most suited to your personal needs.