The purpose of HDMI Extenders is to simply extend an HDMI video, audio and control signals very long distances. A typical HDMI cable will only take you about 50 feet before experiencing degradation. When working on an application such as a restaurant, large facilities, schools or meeting rooms and a cable run of more than 50 feet is necessary; an HDMI extender or extenders are your most highly regarded asset.
Depending on the environment, HDMI extenders extend HDMI signals via UTP/category cables (HDBaseT Technology), fiber cables, coaxial cables or wirelessly. HDBaseT has gained popularity over the years for its ability to extend an HDMI signal up to 330 feet (100 meters). Besides video and audio, HDBaseT also allows transmission of control, power and Ethernet making it a great solution for integrators and end users. For shorter distances, a coxial extender for HDMI will cover about 100 feet making them a great solution for homes with pre-wired coaxial cables. In contrast to short distance extension is extremely long distance. In this scenario, your best bet is to go with a fiber optic extender. Fiber optic extenders can cover distances of 30 km (18.75 miles) over fiber cabling, making large facilities, stadiums and even airports a doable application.
HDMI extenders can also carry over audio, IR, bi-directional IR, RS-232, Ethernet and support 3D. Manufacturers have been developing a variety of HDMI extenders to fit the needs of particular applications. These extenders may be as simple as HDMI only or HDMI with bi-directional IR and RS-232 for simplified control for each zone. Ethernet is also another addition that supplements IR and RS-232. These types of extenders are using HDBaseT technology allowing the user to transmit HDMI signals including, control, audio and power (POE).
Since HDMI extenders may come with added features like IR, RS-232 and Ethernet; they also come in different forms. The norm was just a plain box with an HDMI input and output, but extenders are made as wall plates that can easily be mounted on walls. Some extenders have transmitters with multiple outputs for amplifiying and splitting a signal while receivers may at times include loops outs to assist with daisy chaining a signal. Industry leaders including Atlona, Kramer, Avenview, Gefen, Shinybow, TVOne, Hall Research and many more have added these extenders to their catalog. If you have any questions about your application, please call one of our knowledgeable representatives to answer any questions you still may have regarding your project.