As one of the most outstanding and popular digital connection technologies, HDMI has already become a big part of our daily lives. HDMI supports some of the highest video resolutions and the most common audio formats available today at a relatively low cost. Therefore, most audio/video devices around us have something to do with HDMI, like HDTVs, smartphones, laptops, blue-ray players and projectors.
When it comes to HDMI extension and transmission, HDMI extenders are more and more common in home and business applications. They can help you extend your video source up to about 300m/1000ft. However, there are some key aspects you need to consider before buying an HDMI extender. Let’s check them out below.
Distance and Length
This is the first factor you need to consider, as distance determines the required cable length for your application. From there, you can narrow down the available extension choices. For distances of 10m/30ft or less, a high-quality HDMI cable that you can buy from your nearest big box store will do just fine. For applications requiring transmission lengths from 30 to 330 feet (10 to 100 meters), an HDMI extender, such as HDMI over CAT5 or above extension, can be employed.
Finally, for lengths greater than 100m/330ft, an HDMI extender based on optical fiber extension can be used. Overall, the extension solution you end up choosing will change depending on your application and required features.
Required Video Resolution
There are a lot of HDMI extenders on the market that support different maximum video solutions, like 4K, 1080P. 4K refers to the video resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, while 1080P refers to 1920 x 1080 pixels. The former resolution is 4 times that of the latter, and the visual effect it brings is naturally more delicate and clearer. The difference is clearly visible to the naked eye.
When purchasing an HDMI extender, 1080P can basically meet your demand, while 4K can bring a qualitative leap on picture quality. However, you need to know that the higher resolution usually means higher price.
Your Application’s Unique Needs
Every application and scenario require the support of different functions. For example, if you want to use your keyboard, mouse and monitor to control a PC in another room, what you can choose is a KVM extender for both video and USB extension, rather than an ordinary HDMI extender.
An HDMI extender is usually composed of a transmitter and a receiver. Sometimes you may find it difficult to supply power to one of them as there is no power outlet nearby. In this case, you can choose an HDMI extender with bi-directional PoE function, as only one power adapted is needed at either transmitter or receiver side. And what if you want to control your HDMI source like a set-top box at the display device side 100m/330ft away? You can choose those HDMI extenders with IR extension function so that you can use an IR remote to control both HDMI source and display device in a more convenient way.
What’s more, there are other functions HDMI extender can support, like audio return channel, RS232 pass-through, HDCP management, etc. Depending on your own application needs, you can choose from various HDMI extenders with different functions and prices.
These are the three aspects you need to consider before you buy an HDMI extender. Knowing your transmission distance, required video resolution, application scenario and other unique needs can help you save money in the long run because you’ll know exactly what you need and won’t end up buying unnecessary equipment. We hope this article will be helpful to you on choosing the right HDMI extender.
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