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Why is our network expert friend suggesting HDMI cables to tv's


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From how far away?

 

I routed HDMI to behind the TV, but only down to a unit below the TV where any connected "boxes" are located.

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It's not a *bad* idea per se, depending on the distance from any TV to the source devices.  Although you can do HDMI over CAT5/6 etc., it's often more expensive and can sometimes come with issues of compatibility.

 

In my current house, every TV has one HDMI cable that runs back to a matrix HDMI switch where various source devices are connected, a coax that provides Digital TV and Satellite connections, and two CAT5 cables, one of which provides wired Internet to the TVs and the other allowing "expansion" with various devices. These CAT5 cables route back to the same location as the matrix HDMI switch. The HDMI matrix switch allows any TV to select from two BT HDTV boxes, a Wii, and a NAS.

 

 

If I ever get to self-build, each TV location will have an HDMI cable (possibly two), two coax, four CAT6 cables, and some single-mode fibre for future-proofing.

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We can do clever stuff like casting or mirroring (from various devices to displays) but HDMI offers simple local reliable connection.  Looks like you’ve several sources of stuff you might want to watch in your comms area so HDMI is a really obvious choice if it’s less than 10m (you can get further but it gets a bit device dependent).  
 

Of course once you’ve turned on your tv and selected HDMI as your source you’ve then got to select what feeds that HDMI cable….

 

We’ve a complex system with a digital recorder that can feed every tv in the house including the projector and is controlled by radio from anywhere in the house.   Pity we turned it all off a couple of years ago when we realised that all we needed was a streaming stick on our old tvs and a couple of 3D bluray players (one in the lounge and one in the kitchen).  The av in the new pad will be so simple it’s silly. 

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35 minutes ago, CalvinHobbes said:

Messenger_creation_1732b2d2-4750-43ce-8a32-5b0b24a878bd.jpeg

 

You've not mentioned distance, ie length of HDMI cable.

 

What are you hoping to gain from centrally served HDMI, but only going to a single TV? From what you've written on your comms cabinet, I can only see the DVR/NVR as a possibly source that may need it. Does your IPTV "player" need to be in the comms cabinet? With Smart TVs they can nearly all run an IPTV App locally or run it off a local, small, cheap box/fire stick.

 

If you centrally serve the source of the HDMI signal from your comms cabinet, then you also need to consider how you are going to remotely control it. 

 

I think these days, with Smart TVs and good value "set top boxes" that can render up to 8K and Atmos if you wish, I'd simplify the setup and have a few Cat 6 cables to each TV so that you are flexible for adding devises locally. There's great solutions like Plex for centrally managing your own libraries and you can add on a DVR for recording live TV and then stream it over IP straight to a an App on any of the TVs in the house.

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We have put two 4K (8K to the very local) HDMI and two CAT6 cables and a terrestrial Arial cable to each TV point and fed the HDMI, only cost £150 for the cables, back to the media panel - not really sure why but it seemed like belt and braces. We can stream the same image / sound to all the TVs in synch (nearly) via the HDMI.

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HDMI in duct for room to room runs, ie sky box in corner TV in the wall.

 

Cat6a for central house distribution.

 

HDMI is more fragile then most realise, and gets very patchy over several metre. It's also a bigger cable, with a thicker plug so harder to route and protect.

 

Just run lots of Cat6a everywhere, they less fragile and more flexible for use 5.

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7 hours ago, G and J said:

HDMI is a really obvious choice if it’s less than 10m (you can get further but it gets a bit device dependent).

If anyone needs to go further for any reason, best to look into HDMI repeaters rather than longer cables.

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I had multiple hdmi cables to our main tv points.  They all lead back to the AV cupboard under the stairs where all the set top boxes reside so there is no (or little) "clutter" under the televisions.  Wall hanging a modern flat screen tv raises the question where do you put any set top boxes, that previously would have gone on a shelf in the "tv unit"

 

It also means the same set top box can serve both tv's downstairs so a recorded program can be watched in either room, and only one firestick for all the on line stuff.  hdmi splitters and 10 metre long hdmi cables.  Install more cables than you need in case one fails or you want to add something new.

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I don’t see the need for set top boxes nowadays (maybe if you have sky) or running HDMI to every room. If you need to pause live TV or record something most recent TVs allow you to attach a HDD. It’s what I’ve done for years. I’ve ripped all our DVDs to the NAS. Everything else either uses the built Smart TV features or a Firestick. The only room I ran HDMI to was the cinema room but I kept the runs short. I also ran them in a duct to allow replacing them if ever needed. 

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I'd rather have one and not need it than need one and not have it!

 

Of course, it all depends on the economics and ease of doing something. If the route is particularly tricky or long or would require runs parallel to mains cables, then maybe I wouldn't bother. But if I had easy access, and bearing in mind HDMI cables are relatively cheap (unless you've been conned into the high-end super cables), then I'd do it just in case.

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HDMI over CAT6[A] is always a compromise vs having genuine cable installed; features like ARC, ethernet over HDMI, highest resolution/frame rates etc tend to be limited, not to mention adds extra hurdles for the HDCP copy protection to fall over on.On the flip side, my experience of putting a few HDMI cables in (again, back to the central AV/comms cupboard) was not good: not one of them actually worked when I came to use them 😞. My understanding is despite not exceeding (or, barely exceeding) the HDMI max length, the cables used are long enough x poor enough quality they interfere with HDCP anyway. (In most instances, 1080p would play, but not 4K, over these longer cables).

What I really wished was I'd put in a spare optical fibre or two, that could be used for HDMI extension, or for simple audio return path (my multi-room amplifier is in the central AV cupboard and having the "actual" sounds from the TV sent back there would be handy in a number of scenarios)

 

If you do install HDMI, make sure to buy the cables in plenty of time and test with the exact kit intended to be used with. Also, if at all possible run it through oversized ducts so they can be replaced in case of failure, or HDMI being superseded by something else in future... (ours was a retrofit project, so it wasn't possible to the main TV, alas)

 

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You can get HDbaseT ARC HDMI extenders. Long runs of HDMI cable is similarly problematic as you have found. 

Edited by Kelvin
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2 hours ago, joth said:

HDMI over CAT6[A] is always a compromise vs having genuine cable installed; features like ARC, ethernet over HDMI, highest resolution/frame rates etc tend to be limited, not to mention adds extra hurdles for the HDCP copy protection to fall over on.On the flip side, my experience of putting a few HDMI cables in (again, back to the central AV/comms cupboard) was not good: not one of them actually worked when I came to use them 😞. My understanding is despite not exceeding (or, barely exceeding) the HDMI max length, the cables used are long enough x poor enough quality they interfere with HDCP anyway. (In most instances, 1080p would play, but not 4K, over these longer cables).

What I really wished was I'd put in a spare optical fibre or two, that could be used for HDMI extension, or for simple audio return path (my multi-room amplifier is in the central AV cupboard and having the "actual" sounds from the TV sent back there would be handy in a number of scenarios)

 

If you do install HDMI, make sure to buy the cables in plenty of time and test with the exact kit intended to be used with. Also, if at all possible run it through oversized ducts so they can be replaced in case of failure, or HDMI being superseded by something else in future... (ours was a retrofit project, so it wasn't possible to the main TV, alas)

 

+1.

 

I've tried clever stuff with long cables and feeding multiple displays but 3D works best with the source close to the tv/projector with dedicated and short (and actually cheap) HDMI cables.   Sometimes I’m so busy being ‘clever’ I miss the bleedin obvious simple solution.

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9 minutes ago, G and J said:

Sometimes I’m so busy being ‘clever’ I miss the bleedin obvious simple solution.

Never happened to me... Nothing to see here... Move on... 😉 🤣

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The most annoying thing is, after hours of long deep thought, and intense web searching, the innocent question is tabled.   The one that starts…..  “why don’t we just….?”

 

I get over feeling stupid.  Eventually. 

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29 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

I only have radios in the house.

Have joined the 21st Century by getting DAB ones.

The pictures are better on radio.

You mean you don’t watch Kevin McC every night?  Scandalous!

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21 minutes ago, G and J said:

You mean you don’t watch Kevin McC every night?  Scandalous!

Do a bit of deep interweb searching and McClod made some remarks about me.  He is a man that knows nothing about thermodynamics.

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I didn't fit any HDMI, just 1xCAT6, 1xCoAx, 6xPower in two corners of the living room. 1xCat6, 1xCoAx, 2xPower in the Kitchen. 
3x IP Access Points in the house and 1x IP Access Point in the Garage. The kids only stream to mobile devices of various sorts.
The hardwired is all back to the server stack in the garage plant room. Everything else is WiFi anyway!

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On 10/07/2024 at 16:42, G and J said:

The most annoying thing is, after hours of long deep thought, and intense web searching, the innocent question is tabled.   The one that starts…..  “why don’t we just….?”

 

I get over feeling stupid.  Eventually. 

Exactly. After a lot of messing with long hdmi cable and a very expensive Blustream distribution matrix, I ripped it all out and just hung the Nvidia shield straight on the back of the main TV. With a bit of jiggery I send audio from the TV to the central amp.

 

Lesson learned, currently going through process of doing the same in the new camper van. Except new car stereos come with an HDMI input but no spdif/optical audio input. Can't appreciate why anyone wants hdmi on their car stereo but there we go.  

 

 

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On 09/07/2024 at 23:08, garrymartin said:

If I ever get to self-build, each TV location will have an HDMI cable (possibly two), two coax, four CAT6 cables, and some single-mode fibre for future-proofing.

Sorry for the sarcasm but haven't you forgotten the direct links to NASA and GCHQ?

Good luck with that if you have an expensive architectural block wall and need to run surface mounted conduit of some form (20mm metal conduit). So you'll need maybe 5 runs just for the signal cables and a couple more for power. Could you tell my why all these are needed?

 

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10 hours ago, joth said:

currently going through process of doing the same in the new camper van

I was in a traffic jam for 4 hours yesterday, there was a (expletive deleted) in a campervan that decided that we all needed to enjoy his music.

Even, at full volume, The Archers theme tune did not drown his racket out.

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