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Comparing HDMI Extenders vs HDMI Repeaters Specs & Differences

Comparing HDMI Extenders vs HDMI Repeaters

If you are looking to compare HDMI Extenders vs HDMI Repeaters then this article might help you.

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If you intend to transmit a video signal from a source to some display across a long distance, there will be signal attenuation issues. It degrades the overall quality of video signals. Active HDMI cables could reach a far distance.

Also Read: List of Monitor Cable Types – HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI VGA

However, the most acceptable way to connect a maximum of two or more very far located devices for video transmission is to use an HDMI extender.

Related: Best HDMI 2.1 Monitors

Occasionally referred to as HDMI splitters, HDMI extenders transform the HDMI connection into Ethernet. Subsequently, it again converts at the other end. This allows you to run a link to one or multiple displays, although located hundreds of feet away. Note that this will depend on frame rate and resolution.

Let’s go through the functioning of HDMI extenders:

Working on HDMI Extenders:

An HDMI extender accepts the HDMI connection from a single source in one end and then converts it into an Ethernet connection through a balun or balanced to the unbalanced transformer.

Subsequently, you can run single or multiple Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cables across a more considerable distance and then connect them to receivers present on the other end. Finally, the receivers convert the signal again into an HDMI connection to connect the display(s).

It is possible to directly connect these HDMI extenders through Ethernet cables or connect via a simple unmanaged network switch. Moreover, they could be extended with extra splitters and extenders to reach additional displays.

You can also find some HDMI extenders which can directly output to four different displays from one splitter.

HDMI extenders own the ability to provide you instant control of the video source image. They incorporate infrared cables that effectively transmit IR remote signals into the video source.

Consequently, it allows you to use the displays to directly connect the source content to them through a standard HDMI connection.

The standard limit for HDMI is 50 feet. Those HDMI cables with lengths exceeding 25 feet can be costly and difficult to find.

HDMI extenders transform the HDMI signal to content which can elevate the high bandwidth needed for high-quality video across a longer distance. One of the most straightforward transmission techniques is serial communication across Cat 5e or 6 Ethernet cables.

A transmitter and a receiver are present in an HDMI Extender. Furthermore, you can extend other signals like USB, IR remote control commands, and RS-232. It is also possible to use an HDMI splitter extender for watching a single HDMI source on different televisions.

How can HDMI signal extenders help?

The responsibility of an HDMI extender is to resolve issues created by signal limitations such as long distances. Therefore, you can make the most of your entertainment devices. Moreover, it assists the information passing among multiple devices irrespective of your location.

The same is specifically beneficial for a home automation experience. Most people don’t want to have plenty of cables and boxes in front of them when attempting to enjoy TV. Nobody likes to look at plenty of cards surrounding their entertainment area.

Benefits of using HDMI extenders:

The most significant advantage is that it allows you to extend the distance between devices. If you intend to watch a movie on a Blu-Ray player on TV in another room, you could use HDMI extenders equipped with Cat6 cables.

It is possible to use a splitter extender to watch the HDMI source on different TVs simultaneously—no need to switch devices.

Different types of HDMI signal extenders:

Based on the ability to transmit maximum video resolution, HDMI extender can be primarily categorized into 3types:

  • 720P HDMI Extender
  • 1080P HDMI Extender
  • 4K HDMI Extender

HDMI extenders are divided into the following five types based on mediums of transmission:

  • HDMI over HDBaseT Extender
  • HDMI over Fiber Extender
  • HDMI over Cat5/6
  • HDMI over wireless
  • HDMI over IP Extender

Various types of HDMI extenders are available. The kind you require relies on your home’s requirements and personal preferences. Let’s go through the details of some of the essential types:

HDMI over HDBaseT extenders:

They are identical to HDMI over Cat 5 because both use Ethernet cables, Cat 5 and Cat 6. The working of these extenders is such that they place the HDMI signal and usually power into a single LAN cable (like Cat 5,6,7, or 8). These extenders come with a transmission range of up to 100 m/330 ft.

The latest specification of HDBaseT also allows the transmission of video, audio, USB, LAN, and controls over fiber optic across long distances. These extenders are famous for their excellent flexibility.

HDMI over fiber extenders:

Coax cable is commonly used as a feeder for the RF signals in these extenders. However, it can also be utilized to pass HDMI data. Two units are needed to offer the transition between the coax and the HDMI cable.

They boost your signal by up to 300 feet. The transmitter box connects to the HDMI source through an HDMI cable. Similarly, the HDMI source links to the HDTV display up to 300 feet.

Because coax cables are usually dense and inflexible, this extender is not extensively used in domestic applications. These extenders come with a transmission range of up to 300 m/1000 ft.

HDMI over Cat5/6 extenders:

They connect a video source to a balun, i.e., balanced to the unbalanced transformer. With the help of the balun, the signal pass across the twisted pair cables in the Cat 5/Cat 6 cables, which are usually used for Ethernet connections. At the other end of the Cat5/Cat6 cable, a unit accepts the signal, and then it passes across a balun and across the HDMI cable. These extenders come with a transmission range of up to 250 m/820 ft.

They function by connecting a small device and a video source through a short HDMI cable. The same pass the HDMI signal across to single or multiple Cat5 or Cat6 cables. An identical box receives the signal and again sends it over an HDMI cable that connects to your display.

HDMI over wireless extenders:

Wireless HDMI extenders are valuable in those cases where wires are inconvenient or impossible to utilize. A quality wireless connection is required for the system to work; else, there will be signal dropouts or limitations in bandwidth.

You place a receiver on the TV and a transmitter close to the video source. This technology enables wireless HDMI extenders to deliver an HD signal with full 1080p resolution across 600 feet. The benefit is that there are no wires exposed in all the places.

HDMI Extender vs. Active HDMI Cable:

The majority of HDMI cables used to connect TVs to games consoles, Blu-ray players, or laptops would be passive cables. Such wires can expanse a few feet without jeopardy of signal degradation.

However, if you intend to expand that connection by 10 feet or more, specifically with a newer-generation standard such as HDMI 2.1, you will require an active HDMI cable.

Active HDMI cables utilize signal boosters to intensify the HDMI signal across its length. This allows it to travel across longer cables without any hassles. Although the size of HDMI 2.0 cables can be approx.100 ft, whereas the length of an active HDMI 2.1 cable is restricted to 25 ft.

On the other hand, HDMI extenders can manage ultra-high-definition 4K video at more than 100 ft and a standard 1080p video transmission at more than 300 ft. For that, there are no worries about the signal quality.

Furthermore, they support Dolby True HD Audio and DTS-HD Master lossless audio over those distances without requiring extra audio cables.

HDMI extenders can also split that signal among multiple displays. Therefore, they are not just helpful in transmitting content o TVs from a source located at a long distance. Still, they are also beneficial in duplicating that content over multiple displays.

This can be valuable for classrooms, digital signage, boardrooms, and showcasing gaming footage across a bigger communal screen. Also, it can be used in a bar for mirroring sports footage.

Suppose you plan to expand an HDMI extender connection to more displays in the future. In that case, the majority of splitters also own the capability to add more displays with additional receivers.

Note that the more the number of displays and the larger the distance and conversions among the display and the source, the higher are odds of signal attenuation.

The maximum length of HDMI extenders:

Your connection’s maximum range depends on which HDMI extender is being used, the frame rate and the resolution you need, the number of displays you want to connect, and the category of Ethernet cable that you use to establish the connection.

Certain HDMI extenders provide (like 1×2 2-Port 4K HDMI Extender Splitter) 4K 30 Hz connections up to approx. 130 ft. distance, and 1080p links at a maximum length of 230 ft.

On the other hand, some other HDMI extenders (like HDMI over Cat6 Extender) can provide connectivity up to 330 ft. for a single 1080p display.

It would be best to use the best possible cabling to assure a powerful signal even across far distances. This is possible with the Cat 6 cables that provide the best connection with most commercial HDMI extenders.

Also, it is vital to buy cables that are properly shielded and foil-wrapped. If you want to run the cable across the wall, you must choose those cables rated for such routing; else, there is high jeopardy of fire.

What is an HDMI repeater or booster?

HDMI repeaters (HDMI boosters) expand the distances across which HDMI data can be consistently transmitted. They fall in the general category of HDMI extenders. Often, they are placed about halfway across the run using two cables.

Subsequently, it boosts the signal to balance the losses which can take place over longer runs. Hence, the signal integrity and picture quality are maintained.

Here is a brief of two significant types of HDMI repeaters:

i. Passive HDMI repeaters:   Known as the simplest form of repeaters, they usually comprise a transformer that boosts the voltage on the line.

ii. Active HDMI repeaters:   They use active electronic components which restore the HDMI signal and allow it to transmit across the rest of the cable length.

What is the need for HDMI extenders?

As the length of an HDMI cable increases, issues like loss of information arise. Gradually, as the signal strength diminishes, they stop working suddenly. HDMI can transmit signals up to 15 meters.

If long cables are used, the signal quality can degrade. The poor transmission of the HDMI data results in issues like glitches, noise, delayed audio, and drop-outs. To ensure reliable transmission of HDMI data without signal degradation, HDMI repeaters are used. Long leads are usually not suitable, so HDMI extenders are required.

Instead of HDMI cable, HDMI extenders use standard network cable (Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat7) or coaxial cable. HDMI signal extenders can often resolve the issues caused by long HDMI leads enabling the best to be made of any audiovisual system using HDMI.

Most HDMI extenders need two devices, one at either end, to convert the signal to a diverse format to run across a mixed medium. Subsequently, it converts back to the HDMI format with the necessary connectors.

Certain HDMI extenders might need power. Hence, this must be considered when choosing and using one.

Several offerings for wireless HDMI extenders are available. A small detail is usually given about the precise wireless protocols being used. Frequently, they would support links on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, bands. This implies that if Wi-Fi is being used, then interference will be minimal.

Buying Guide for HDMI extenders:

i. Types:

Firstly, you need to go through various HDMI extenders based on their pros and cons, as discussed above. You need to check the required type before purchasing.

ii. Distance:

Though HDMI extenders will increase the distance being supported, guarantee that it is adequate. If the transmission distance is 50 feet or less and you are OK with seeing the cables, you can go for an HDMI cable. Except for that, an HDMI extender may be helpful.

You can check reviews to know what distance is supported.

iii. HDMI version supported:

It is vital to guarantee that it would support all the HDMI capabilities required. Most HDMI extenders operate successfully on HDMI 1.4. But if some more advanced features are needed, this is not sufficient.

iv. Power requirements:

Certain HDMI extenders might require to be powered. You must look at power requirements because access is needed to the power source. The power source can be the line input, mains, or a lower DC voltage.

v. Other consideration:

When purchasing long leads, make sure the HDMI extenders conform to the Compliance Test Standards introduced by the HDMI Licensing, LLC.

HDMI Extenders vs HDMI Repeaters:

HDMI Extenders

HDMI Repeaters

HDMI extenders are point-to-point devices that extend an HDMI signal from a source (like a game console or cable box) to the display. For extending an HDMI signal, they use CAT cables or category cables.HDMI Repeaters enable the transmission of reliable HDMI data (video, audio, etc.) over longer distances while still maintaining picture quality.
The working is such that an HDMI extender receives the HDMI connection from one source in one end and converts it into an Ethernet connection via a balun or balanced to an unbalanced transformer. Next, you can run single or multiple Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cables across a more considerable distance and then connect them to receivers existing on the other end. Lastly, the receivers convert the signal again into an HDMI connection to connect the display(s).HDMI repeaters work by restoring, amplifying, and equalizing the incoming HDMI signal. Consequently, it leads to a greater transmission distance compared to the case of HDMI extenders.
Over a long distance, the image/sound quality is affected.Even at long distances, there is no loss in the quality of image/sound.
Types of HDMI extenders:

  • Standard or Conventional
  • HDbaseT HDMI Extenders
  • Wireless HDMI Extenders
Types of HDMI Repeaters:

  • Passive HDMI repeaters
  • Active HDMI repeaters

Some of the best HDMI extenders on Amazon:

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