How far HDMI signals can be transmitted?



 

HDMI cables are vital parts of our everyday entertainment systems, and it's likely that most of us haven’t put too much thought into how and why they are useful. But we’re willing to bet that you've experienced the crippling frustration of having a HDMI cable that is just that little bit too short to connect your TV to your games console.

Although HDMI cables come in a pretty standard length, they can be extended to a degree. At DEXON, we know how important it is that your technical systems work for you, so that’s why we’re going to take you through all things HDMI cables so you know what will work best for your system.

In this article, we discuss what HDMI is, what they’re used for, how long HDMI cables can be extended to, and how to choose the right HDMI cable.

Ready? Let’s go!

What does HDMI mean?

HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI cables enable users to create high quality visual and audio displays with a simple cable. HDMI cables are used to transmit video and audio data to a compatible display like a TV or monitor.

HDMI cables transport this media data from things like set top boxes, laptops or media players so you can enjoy your movies or video games on a larger surface. In a nutshell: we use HDMI cables to transport one data from one box to another. Pretty cool, right?

HDMI LogoWhat are long HDMI cables used for?

You may wish to use long HDMI cables to ensure that your computer or games console can easily display high-quality media without having to be right next to the monitor or TV. This is especially useful for those of us who want to use our computer at the same time as streaming content onto a TV.

Noise reduction

Are you someone that is really bothered by the sound of noisy fans from various technologies? We know how annoying that monotone rushing sound can be, especially when you’re trying to transform your living room into a home theater. Well, this is where an extra-long HDMI cable can be super useful. You can now place your controlling device like your media player or games console in another room, allowing you to just enjoy your movie night.

Sign up to our newsletter

Projectors

Invested in a projector recently? Well, you might find a long HDMI cable super useful. Regardless of where your projector wall is, your projection box ideally should be as far back as it can go in order to preserve the image quality.

If you’re projecting something from your laptop, for example, you may still want to control your laptop during the projection, so using a long HDMI cable might be useful for preserving image quality whilst giving you full use of your controlling device!

Splitting

For those of you who have invested in a smart TV, you can skip this. But for those who like the old school methods, you may benefit from using a long HDMI cable with a splitter to stream the same image on two different screens.

The benefit here is that you split to screens in different rooms, so if you want to watch the same movie or play a game with someone in your house but don’t want to use the same monitor, then this is the device for you!

HDMI - Control room

Is there a standard HDMI cable length?

Standard HDMI cables differ from just a few feet to up to 25 meters in length. This length allows for high-quality video and sound that doesn’t lag in sound or compromise visuals, so it’s pretty good for simple to moderately sophisticated AV projects. Standard HDMI cables can come in the following lengths:

  • 3ft: 3ft cables are the typical standard for anyone with a simple AV set-up. This allows most users to connect a nearby controlling device to their display.
  • 6ft: 6ft offers more autonomy but still offers a high-quality display as the signal doesn't have to travel too far.
  • 10ft: 10ft cables are probably best for those who want to use projectors or splitters to offer full autonomy, but still with all your kit in the same room.
  • 25ft: Potentially the ultimate autonomous experience. If you want to display content in different rooms of your house or office space, this is probably your best option!

What is the maximum length of passive HDMI cables?

The maximum length of a passive HDMI cable is around 25ft. This is an important length because anything above this number on a passive HDMI runs the risk of compromising the quality or degrading the latency of the display.

What is the maximum length of active optical HDMI cables?

Active fibre optic HDMI cables can potentially carry a signal a lot further than your standard old HDMI cable. This is because the sophisticated technology used stops the signal from degrading or slowing down on its journey. 

These cables are way more flexible too, so users might find it easier to install these than a relatively cheap HDMI cable.

It’s unclear as to how far an active fibre optic HDMI cable can carry as some retailers may offer cables up to 200 ft or more. As the technology prevents signals from degrading after long distances, users could potentially have a fibre optic HDMI cable running for miles, although it’s unlikely you’ll use one of these in your home, because who has miles and miles worth of home?!

200 ft lenth HDMI cable

Extra-long HDMI cables: Can you extend the original length?

If you’re feeling like your HDMI isn’t long enough, but you don’t know where to start with getting a bigger length, the good news is that you can extend the length to fit your needs.

The best way to do this is by using a HDMI extender kit, also known as HDMI Balun Kit. Balun kits typically consist of a base station and a receiver.

The great thing about this kit is that you can place them pretty much anywhere, so if you need to extend your HDMI cable through walls and different rooms, you can!

A Balun kit works by plugging your HDMI source into your base station which then transfers to a signal that can be carried by an ethernet cable and then right back to a HDMI cable.

If you don’t want to get another cable involved in your set-up or the thought of wire mess makes you shiver, you can go completely wireless with a HDMI wireless transmitter and receiver so your set-up is pretty limitless.

The good news about both of these options is that they both offer a high-quality experience that can be tailored to your individual needs.

HDMI extender

Long HDMI cable problems: How to know if there is an issue and how to fix it?

As with all good things, there are some very minor drawbacks that may compromise your video experience.

The most significant drawback is the longer the cable, the higher the chance of poor quality, picture or sound lag, poor graphics, bad refresh rate and low brightness. Although these sound like a huge inconvenience, they’re completely understandable.

If signals have to travel long distances, it may only transmit the signals it physically can. If it can’t handle the signal, it just won’t send to its destination.

The general rule is if the signal has to travel longer, the signal gets weaker.

The other potential issue with long cables and using them across different rooms is that any kinks or bends in the wire can significantly impact your quality. In fact, any substantial interruptions may result in an entirely blank screen, no sound, low quality or severe lag. To tackle this, ensure that your cables are organized well and there are few interruptions.

The good thing is that these problems are pretty easy to spot, so if they do crop up, you’ll know when it's time to start fixing them. 

So how do you start?

To help improve your quality, you can consider using a repeater (signal booster). Essentially, these repeaters boost the power to the cable, making all the digital signals a lot stronger and improving sound and picture quality. Ensure that you plug a HDMI where the signal is still strong to optimize your user experience.

Sign up to our newsletter

How to choose the right HDMI cable? What to think of before buying one?

Choosing the right HDMI cables requires you to keep your primary uses in mind. For example, if you’re only going to use a HDMI cable to connect your games console to your TV, you’re probably not going to need a 50 ft HDMI cable. Keeping your primary uses in mind could optimize your experience and produce better quality displays.

You should also consider the distance requirements for your devices. This will inform whether you need a repeater, a Balun kit or a more sophisticated cable like an active fibre optic cable.

Your installation is an important part of your HDMI experience. This means that you should consider whether your system requires intricate wall installation, as this can have an impact on the quality of signal output.

And there you have it! Now you’re equipped to start your AV adventure and use HDMI cables for all your display needs!

Newsletter Signup

Contact

DEXON Systems

+36 23 422 804
+36 23 445 199




Latest News