In case you haven’t been reading the news, HDMI is hot, hot, hot. As
this next generation technology takes hold and becomes more mainstream
the question of how to boost HDMI signal will become more important.
Luckily, we have solutions for every budget.
Active HDMI Repeater
The first product that comes to my mind is the HDMI
Active Repeater with a max distance of 150 feet and a low price of
48.95 it is the cheapest, simplest and smallest active HDMI repeater on
the market. Much like the Accell
Ultrarun cables the active repeater takes the power available on
unused wires in HDMI cables and harnesses it into digitally reproducing
Active repeaters shouldn’t be confused with repeaters extension
which just pumps more power into a signal. Digtal reproduction is
superior because when it reproduces the signal without any noise.
Because passive repeaters just boost the power of everything in the
signal noise is amplified along side the source signal. Because of this
passive repeaters can’t reach the same distance that active ones can,
nor can they maintain the same amount of quality.
Repeater - $98.95 / Gefen HDMI Repeater - $225.95
In the mid range we have two contenders. The first by Digi Media and
the second by Gefen. Both these
repeaters use Cat 5/6x to achieve their conversions. There are three
differences between these two repeaters. The first is distance, the
Gefen maxes out at 200 ft while the Digimedia comes in at 162 ft. The
second is the name Gefen is a larger, more respected company than Digit
Media, but not nessesarly better. Finally, the third difference is
price which should be apparent to anyone. All I can say is that usually
you get what you pay for, hence the advtange of a trusted name.
Anyway, to the technology. The repeaters convert the HDMI signal
into commonly used Cat 5/6x ethernet and use that to cover the
distance. The advantage of this is that you save a lot of money on long
HDMI cables. You only need two short HDMI cables to make connect
afterwards. the other difference is that you can use shielded Cat 5/6
that helps get rid of interference if that is a problem. And a lot of
homes and buisnesses are already wired for ethernet so in a lot of
situtations you don’t even need to worry about cable installs.
Purelink HDX HDMI
Fiber Repeater - $1649.95
On the highest end of the spectrum for HDMI repeaters is the Purelink
HDX HDMI fiber repeater. This is the ultimate in HDMI extension.
The Purelink HDX splits up video and audio signals and uses fiber optic
cabling to transport it up to 495 feet (special order) Of course this
is a powered adapter and requires a 5 V power input.
Obviously you’re going to pay more for this repeater but it has more
benifits than just distance. Because the cable uses fiber to cover the
majority of distance it isn’t susecptible to EMI or RFI. Drop ceilings
are natrorious for being interference zones that mess up digital
signals. This could translate to noise and even complete signal loss in
copper based cables. Fiber, doens’t have that problem.