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Ethernet HDMI extender recommendations

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by Doug Lowthian, Nov 14, 2017 at 11:27 AM.

  1. Doug Lowthian

    Doug Lowthian Member

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    I'd like to use an ethernet HDMI extender to allow me to feed content and control of a back stage projector for rear projection on stage from a control booth at rear of house. Cable run will be about 300 feet.

    Projector is not permanently installed; i would terminate the cable run at/ near the ceiling or up stage lighting batten then plug in and drop down from there.

    Rear of house is not a permanent booth either; likely terminate in a wall jack for easy plugining in during showtime.

    Recommended products? Brands? I see a lot on the market with a wide range of prces. Want to avoid one designed for the home market and stay professional.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Lextech

    Lextech Active Member

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    At that length i would consider fiber. We have Magenta extenders that run on fiber and they include audio and serial if needed.
     
  3. rphilip

    rphilip Member

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    Just making sure are you looking for a true Ethernet product or would something that just used Cat5/e/6/a cable like HD-Base-T work?
     
  4. Brad.O

    Brad.O Member

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    Assuming you are looking for a Category Cable Tx/Rx solution and not a true network transport solution.

    Based on the above - stick to only HDBaseT chipset units - the other proprietary units tend to have glitches and compatibility issues that make them problematic. Overall in hundreds of installs, I never had an issue with a HDBaseT unit that wasn't a manufacturing defect.

    At 300' you are out at the limit, but you can daisy chain if you have to for longer distance.

    Brad
     
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  5. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Do you need to run HDMI? I ask as that also means that everything inline must be able to handle HDCP and do so well. If you are able to work with DVI, it is the same transport, you don't need to worry about audio anyway, the connections are positive locking, and doesn't generally require HDCP compatibility (some equipment will force it anyhow). If you are using a projector that is natively a broadcast resolution (1920x1080 for example), and you have the ability, you might want to go with HDSDI. Co-ax cable might save you considerably and that distance is within specifications without any amplification.

    If you really want a balun, I can probably suggest a couple brands. What kind of budget are you looking at?
     
  6. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I have used Kramer products a few times, and they have worked well. Just pay attention to the specs for resolution, distance, and cable types. Some units require shielded Cat cable.

    I don't mean to nitpic, but a "balun" implies a passive, impedance matching device. That works for analog video, such as VGA. Devices for HDMI/DVI are active converters.
     
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  7. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Fair enough. I guess since I started in the business when it was only analog signals, I continue to use that name for video extenders of the same type (like using a brand name to describe all products of the same type). Truly a balun is for matching BALanced and UNbalanced signals. There are passive video extenders that pass HDMI/DVI over category cable, though not truly a balun.
     
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  8. Doug Lowthian

    Doug Lowthian Member

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    Good info all. Learning all the time from this helpful respectful group.

    My idea is to be able to control a rear projection form the back of the house. The current projector under the balcony has a VGA cable running through the walls to the tech position. A new projects for rear projection could be VGA, HDMI or what ever works best. I actually tested a wireless HDMI system and it worked...but not reliably enough for the show. in the atached image you can see the house; cable run will be from back of house up to the attic space above the third floor, across the ceiling then down onto the stage.
     

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  9. rsmentele

    rsmentele Active Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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  10. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    RE: Hybrid HDMI Cables
    These have a high tendency to get roached either during the install or after. Usually after someone has pulled the cable the wrong way not realizing it's a unidirectional cable and then they try to pull it out and repull it. Also, in my experience with the HDMI hybrid cables they don't always perform at the distances and resolutions they're advertised to and have a lot of out-of-the-box quality control issues. That aside -- once you pull that cable you're beholden to it. You will never get anything across that cable other than whatever resolution it is rated for. It will also not pass control.

    RE: Pull Length
    I've pulled cable in a lot of theaters and 300' for a room that size seems generous even if you have to go up to the third floor and back. Probably worth measuring it out with a disto or pulling some mule tape through to measure out the total path. Assuming you have enough length at either end to patch out to your devices without hitting 300' or the length limitation for your specific extenders, I'll bet you can probably do that with copper.

    RE: Installer / Copper or Fiber
    My recommendation is to contact your local AV shop and get a quote for them to do this work. Or work out an agreement that you'll do the wire pull if they come and terminate/test it. With shielded CAT6A you're looking $100+ just for a termination kit and before you put it to use you'll want to certify it -- not just wire map it. Certifiers are $$$$. You can try to go without certification but if you encounter any problems at all, most manufacturers (AMX, SVSI, Crestrion, Extron, etc.) will not provide you technical support if your product doesn't work and you are using it on uncertified cable.

    If you get a shop to do this, you'll only pay for the wire they pull. If you do it yourself, you'll probably buy a 1000' spool -- I usually recommend West Penn 4246F or 4246AF. Rugged, performs well at 300', and it comes in black. I would burn up the entire spool. If you're going to pull one cable you might as well pull 3 or 4 and have some others available for future whatever.

    If you do in fact need fiber, I would take your measurements of how long the run is, add 35' or so on either end, and order a custom length of tactical fiber from Whirlwind or the like. Tactical so it can take a better beating before it breaks, plus WW pre-certifies it and sends you the test report. So long as you don't roach the fiber during the wire pull or don't dirty up the connectors, you won't need to terminate anything. I would only take the fiber to a wall plate though. WW can also cook you up a wall plate with an Opticalcon connnector on it so you can use off-the-shelf tactical fiber to get out to your projector.

    I expect budget is limited in which case you may want to look at something like the TechLogix TL-FO2-HDC that'll pass HDMI 4K30, IR, and RS232 up to 984'.

    Other options:
    Crestron HD-EXT3-C copper extender, IR, RS232, 4K (List price $1000, but nobody ever pays list)
    Crestron HD-MD-400-C-E copper extender, IR, RS232, scaler, 3x1 auto switcher, 1080 (List price $1300, but nobody ever pays list)

    Other usual suspects I would trust are Extron, Magenta Research, Hall Research, Key Digital.

    RE: Coax
    If you go with 3G-SDI over coax as suggested by @ruinexplorer, the cable is cheaper as are the transmitters/receivers. AJA has some inexpensive converters that will do this available both for 1080 and for 4K. Black Magic Designs has some even cheaper units but my experience is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan than AJA. Understand you'll never be able to display HDCP-protected content over this link, which may or may not be an issue for you. If you do pull coax, I would try to get a couple unshielded CAT6 cables in as well if you can do it under 300'. They will be infinitely useful for one reason or another.
     
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  11. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Please note that the HD-MD-400-C-E is only rated for 230' (70m) rather than the 330' (100m) of the HD-EXT3-C.
    For the technical observer, this is due to it utilising HDBaseT Lite rather than full HDBaseT...
     
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