Extending HDMI: Active HDMI Cable or Extender over Ethernet?

HDMI extender over ethernet or HDMI active cable

Looking for a solution to extend your HDMI cable? You may have heard about active HDMI cables or HDMI extenders over Ethernet. There are many more solutions to extend HDMI, but we will be discussing these two in particular as they are the most popular and suitable for most use scenarios.

Active HDMI Cable

An active HDMI cable is called “active” because it includes electronics and it helps boost the signal over longer distances during the transmission. This is in contrast to a passive HDMI cable, which simply passes the signal without any additional processing.

Active HDMI cables use electronics to actively amplify the signal, which allows the signal to travel further without degrading. An active HDMI cable typically goes up to 50 feet/15 meters. A fiber optic HDMI active cord may extend beyond this limit up to 300 feet/90 meters. Well, the latter would be more expensive than an ordinary active cable.

They are available in various HDMI versions, including HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and HDMI 2.1, and can support resolutions up to 4K or even 8K, depending on the cable.

You may be interested: 8K HDMI 2.1 Fiber Optic HDMI Cable

HDMI Extender over Ethernet

An HDMI extender over Ethernet is a solution for extending an HDMI signal over long distances using an Ethernet cable. This type of HDMI extender typically consists of two main components: a transmitter and a receiver.

The transmitter is connected to the source device, such as a Blu-ray player or gaming console, and converts the HDMI signal to a format that can be transmitted over an Ethernet cable. The receiver is connected to the display device, such as a TV or projector, and converts the signal back to HDMI format. The Ethernet cable is used to transmit the signal between the two components.

The main advantage of an HDMI extender over Ethernet is that it can transmit HDMI signals over much longer distances than a standard HDMI cable. For example, an HDMI HDBaseT extender can transmit signals up to 330 feet (HDBaseT 3.0).

hdmi extender over ethernet
Check out more about HDMI extender

Which Is Better?

Both active HDMI cables and HDMI extenders over Ethernet can help extend HDMI signals over long distances. This would be convenient to set up home theaters, and a video distribution system in restaurants, stores, bars, and other business sites.

Better use HDMI extenders over Ethernet

An extender kit over ethernet is more versatile than a single HDMI cable. An HDMI extender could support a lot more features. 

For example, an HDMI USB extender (or HDMI KVM extender) would support not only HDMI extension, but also USB transmission over long distances; some HDMI extenders are built with IR remote control, and RS232 connection, or they support the feature of ARC/eARC to send TV sound back to the AVR system.

An HDMI extender over Ethernet could extend HDMI signals up to 330 feet/ 100 meters with better stability and reliability than an active cable. 

Overall, HDMI extenders over Ethernet would be a better pick if you want a more stable and versatile setup.

Better use HDMI active cables

Compared to HDMI extenders over Ethernet, there are some advantages to using an active HDMI cable. If you wanna extend the PS5 picture to a room nearby, an active HDMI cable would support up to 8K and your HDMI 2.1 standard setup won’t be downgraded to a lower quality.

This is the most reason people use an active HDMI cable other than an HDMI extender. However, you shall make sure that the transmission distance would not exceed 50 feet. If it does, a fiber optic active cable will bring the cost up a lot.

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