Why an HDMI Extender is the Most Cost-Efficient Way to Extend Video Signals Over Long Distances

Typical custom AV installations usually require the displays or HDTVs to be at different zones from the central location of the audio & video source. The length formulates numerous challenges such as signal degradation, snowy screen, instability with an HDCP handshake or blinking screen due to a poor signal. The quandary with connectivity utilizing HDMI cables is the loss of signal after a 40 feet run. Standard household applications such as home entertainment systems usually demand more distance than the standard HDMI technology can provide.

So, what is the most cost-effective way to extend a video signal over long distances without breaking the bank?

The solution is extenders aka baluns. Baluns enable the user to extend video signals considerably beyond that of conventional HDMI cables using regular 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. HDMI extenders in the current market are distinguished as HDMI over Cat 5/6 or HDMI over HDBaseT extenders.

This video will help  explain how to easily install an HDMI extender.



What is HDBaseT?

HDBaseT technology bundles audio, video, Ethernet, control, and power into one LAN cable simplifying installations and reducing overall cost. It is worth mentioning that the latest specification of HDBaseT also enables the transmission of audio & video, LAN, USB & controls over fiber optic, for even much longer distances. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be talking about HDBaseT via LAN cable.


The Issue with HDMI Cables over 40 feet

The chief concern with utilizing HDMI cables that are 40 feet or longer is maintaining a signal, not maintaining image quality. Long HDMI cables create instability during an HDCP handshake and can also cause a blinking screen due to a very weak signal. Keep an eye our for HDMI cables that are 40 feet or longer and make sure to read the package ensuring that it complies with the Compliance Test Standards introduced by the HDMI Licensing, LLC.


hdmi cable long distance


How about Wireless Extenders?

There are many innovative wireless solutions in the market, but they may not be the proper answer for people who are looking for superior video and audio quality. There’s still a chance of lost connections, bandwidth limitations, and interference issues with wireless HDMI extenders. When it comes to wired video, audio, and Ethernet, a reliable signal path and protection from outside influence is provided. Speaking of wiring, Category/LAN cables in the wall will better prepare your home for the future. Cat5/6 cables can be beneficial for a multiple of other purposes such as Ethernet, phone, analog/digital, audio, etc.


Advantages of an HDMI to HDBaseT Extender & Cat 5e/6 Cabling

An HDMI over HDBaseT extender kit is made up of two pieces, a transmitter, and a receiver. There are situations when only a transmitter or just a receiver is needed, so make sure you’re purchasing a transmitter and its compatible receiver because it’s common that they are on sale individually. System integrators & installers continually face the hurdle of cable length. HDMI to HDBaseT extenders allows extension of up to 100 meters (330 ft.) carrying uncompressed HD audio/video, Ethernet, control, and power via a single Cat5e/6 cable using the conventional RJ45 connector.

The use of category cable simplifies completing a job in smoother, speedier and cost-effective fashion. Presently, a lot of new homes and buildings currently have Cat5e/6 placed in the infrastructure with built-in in-wall connectors. System Integrators & professional installers promote Cat 6 as the preferred cable for home and building infrastructures for its ability to offer twice the bandwidth of a cat5 cable, greater safety margins and compatibility with Cat5/5e cables while future-proofing your home or place of business. Bottom line, it’s best to be prepared for the progressive changes in technology.

HDMI Extender


The most obvious and cost-efficient way to extend video signals long distances is with an HDMI Extender. Though we have gone over the basics regarding standard baluns and HDMI over HDBaseT extenders, we furthermore encourage contacting a systems integrator, professional installer or talking on one of our AV specialists at 888-660-2962. BZB Express offers a multitude of HDMI extenders from top-tier manufacturers including Key Digital, Hall Research, tvONE, Atlona, AJA and Gefen to name a few.