If you are planning out a new HDTV setup and want to hide the satellite, DVD, and receiver equipment you may be asking yourself, how far can I run an HDMI cable?
HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI carries both video and audio signal in a digital format along a cable. It is the connection between a DVD (or HD satellite receiver) and a high definition television. Think of it as a bunch of “1’s” and “0’s” getting run through a cable and then decoded into a high quality picture and excellent sound. Since it is digital you many assume that the cable can be run over long distances without signal loss. The question is how far can I run HDMI cable before I get signal disruption?
While there is no official maximum cable length determined by HDMI standards, the largest single HDMI cable that you can buy on the market is around 65 feet. Most companies offer cables between 5 feet and 50 feet and I recommend 50 feet as the maximum. So the next question is, what if I need to run an HDMI cable more than 50 feet? The answer is you will need an HDMI repeater. It is important to understand the difference between an HDMI extender and an HDMI repeater. An extender allows two HDMI cables to connect together, but will still have signal loss once you approach distances greater than 50 feet. An HDMI repeater actually repeats the signal. Consider it like refueling the HDMI signal which allows you to transmit further distances. In summary, to run distances up to 50 feet, one HDMI cable should be sufficient and provide excellent picture and sound quality. To run further than 65 feet, you will need to buy two HDMI cables and an HDMI repeater which significantly increases the cost.
So when designing a new home theater system in the basement or living room, make sure you keep the HDMI cable distance requirement less than 50 feet. It makes things simpler and is much less expensive than buying two HDMI cables and an HDMI repeater.