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Thread: Kat5 RGBS Vs Gefen Component Video w/Audio

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Kat5 RGBS Vs Gefen Component Video w/Audio

    I'm looking to extend component video + SPDIF audio over Cat5e. The solution needs to be able to handle 1080p with no glitches.

    Both the Component Video version of the KAT5 RGB units and the Gefen Component Video w/Audio extender can do this.

    Has anyone done a side-by-side comparison of these two products, or have any views on their relative merits? Or can anyone recommend a 3rd product I should be looking at?

    The one obvious plus that the KAT5 unit has is the ability to extend IR - with the Gefen I'd need to use a second Cat5 cable and a separate IR extender - but I don't know whether the Gefen has any compensating benefits. The KAT5 unit can also daisy-chain, but I'm not sure I need that.

    Any help would be very useful - I'm looking to install 10 extenders (including one for a 1080p projector, 2 for 1080p LCDs and the rest for lower def LCDs/CRTs) so the cost is considerable and I don't want to make the wrong choice!

    Many thanks

  2. #2
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    I haven't used either of the products you've mentioned but have used the Intelix balun which works well with 1080P plus SPDIF. The passive baluns are sensitive to two things though: ground loops, and connector cable impedance. Don't try to use cheap cables between your source/display equipment, make sure they are true 75Ohm conductors.

    Tim

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info Tim. I'm now thinking about using Muxlab VideoEase 500050 Baluns for component video + SPDIF audio distribution and Muxlab VideoEase 500302 CATV Balun IIs for DTTV distribution. Will probably buy a pair of each and do some tests before commiting though.

    Anyone have experience of the Muxlab kit?

    Nigel

  4. #4
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    No, but I know a local installer who uses it. It appears to be similar to Intelix but not as nice to look at!

    Tim

  5. #5
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    Beware that you'll never get the best results with passive baluns - the KAT5 system uses powered electronics to help eliminate the noise/grounding issues mentioned already, and overcome loss in multi-drop installations due to clever termination etc.

  6. #6
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    Are the Gefen, Intelix and Muxlab products passive? I thought they were all active, like Kat5?

  7. #7
    Automated Home Jr Member nickgale's Avatar
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    According to KAT5 website the RGB versions don't pass audio

    "KAT5 Custom Modules

    Also available are the AVTX-RGB and AVRX-RGB units, which are suitable for carrying high quality RGBS signals to Plasma Screens and Projectors. These units have no audio capability. "

    Also RGBS is not component.

    The Muxlab units are passive, but we've used them before with no problem, you just need to be careful with cable routing. Ground loops shouldn't be a problem as there isn't an electrical link between the units, as ballancing transformers are used. Gefen is powered, not used them, but have used their HDMI over Cat5 which are excellent.

    With all of these you'll need a second cable for the IR, not sure if the RGBS versions of the KAT5 units pass IR or can do multidrop, I suspect not, but there's little info on their website about them.

    Our standard install for a TV is 4 Cat5 and a coax.

    HTH

    Nick
    Last edited by nickgale; 13th October 2007 at 01:10 PM.

  8. #8
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    The Kat5 info on their website is a bit confusing but, after email exchanges with them, I managed to confirm that the RGB version of KAT5 is available in a component video with SPDIF audio variant (confusingly still referred to as the "RGB model") with phono connectors.

    Uniquely (to my knowledge) it also has the capability to pass back IR by overlaying the IR signals on one of the component video pairs. As I understand it you can also daisy-chain units to give multi-drop - each with IR return (obviously not simultaneously) - although I believe this requires some non-standard wiring of the RJ45 connectors.

    This ability to deliver active component video plus digital audio and IR feedback over a single Cat5 cable is such a useful capability I'm amazed that Gefen, Muxlab and the rest haven't also brought it out.

    My only issue with Kat5 is that the supply chain seems a bit flakey. It comes over as a really excellent product but aimed primarily at the hobbyist rather than the professional, market and wholly dependent upon the gifted guy who developed it rather than a "corporate" capability (nothing wrong with that of course if that's what you want).

    Nigel

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nakbrooks View Post
    The Kat5 info on their website is a bit confusing but, after email exchanges with them, I managed to confirm that the RGB version of KAT5 is available in a component video with SPDIF audio variant (confusingly still referred to as the "RGB model") with phono connectors.
    It is the same unit.

    The RGB units contain 4 video circuits. These can be used for RGBS, 2 x S-video, 4 x composite video, or Component (3 video) + SPDIF

    Will update the page to make it a bit clearer.

    Regards

    Keith
    KAT5.tv - affordable high quality AV Distribution
    http://www.kat5.tv

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