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Thread: Cat7 / HDMI ?

  1. #1
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    Default Cat7 / HDMI ?

    Rightly or wrongly, the house I am having refurbished has been wired with a fair amount of CAT7 cable (from each room back to the AV cupboard). There are 4 runs of CAT7 to each TV point plus an additional 2 to each room. I am hoping to be able to distribute SKY HD, Freesat HD, DVD HD etc to the various TV points.

    I still have time to put HDMI cable in the floor/walls from the AV cupboard to the two main TV watching rooms (and the distances are less than 15m).

    The question is : Should I bother?

    I keep being told that usng baluns enable HD signals to go down CAT7 cable is expensive but so are HDMI cables of that length. It thus seems to me to be a question of quality / reliability. Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Going the CAT7 to HDMI route would give more flexibility.
    Also talking to a TV engineer he say the only difference between the cheap HDMI cables and the more expensive ones is the build quality of the connector, he uses the cheap ones. The TV picture quality etc is the same and is more dependant on the make of TV.
    I agree CAT5 to HDMI baluns are expensive I've seen them for about 65 pounds and you will need 2 plus this ones supplies the HD as three seprate components so you then have to add a component to HDMI adapter to that price. There maybe cheaper ones. try asking Keith on the Kat5 forum
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    Apologies, I don't follow your reply, which probably means my original post wasn't clear.

    I can do one of two things to get video signals to my two main televisions:

    a. Use the CAT7 cable that's been laid. As I understand it, this will require me to take the HDMI signal out the back of the Sky box, DVD player (or actually a video matrix) into a balun. That balun will be connected to the CAT7 cable which will take the signal to the back of the TV, where there will another balun to convert the signal back to HDMI and thus into the back of the TV. This is what was planned by our original installer.

    b. Ignore the CAT7 cable that has been laid. Instead, lay an HDMI cable from the AV cupboard direct to behind the TV. Thus the TV can be plugged directly into my video matrix.

    Both solutions seem to involve some expense - (a) requires the expensive baluns, (b) requires buying and laying the HDMI cable. I therefore conclude I just want the most reliable and/or highest quality solution.

    I just have no idea how good the CAT7 plus baluns solution is compared with 15m of HDMI cable. Perhaps there is no difference. I care more about reliability than having the absolute best quality picture.

    I don't understand what you meant by "and you will need 2 plus this ones supplies the HD as three seprate components so you then have to add a component to HDMI adapter to that price." Would you mind clarifying?

    Thanks again

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    I would go for solution a.

    "and you will need 2 plus this ones supplies the HD as three seprate components so you then have to add a component to HDMI adapter to that price." this means you will need 2 adapters one for each end. One to convert the HD to CAT5 or in your case CAT7 and another to then convert the CAT7 to HD. Then if its a Component HD adapter box you will then need adapters to convert this to an HDMI connector.
    Component HD is where you have 3 RCA phono sockets labelled Y-Pr-Pb sometime coloured red, blue and green. Using this method means that you can just use one cable for the HD, Y-Pr-Pb go on three of the pairs and your digital audio is carried on the fourth pair.
    The HDMI cable carries the HD signal and the audio, plus the new HDMI standard is talking about carrying networking capabilities too.
    Some links for you
    http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/09/13/hdmi-vs-component/
    http://www.ramelectronics.net/howto-av.ep

    Reading elsewhere on the net there seems to be problems when running long lengths of HDMI cable. I can't verify this myself as I don't know how they where installed, as this can play a major part, but generally there seems to be a consensus that anything over 15m to 20m may cause problems. And that cheaper cables have faired slightly better on longer runs than more expensive cables.

    I have successfully run for a client an HD component to CAT5 system that is probably at least 25m in length without any problems.
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    Excellent. Thanks

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    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha123 View Post

    I still have time to put HDMI cable in the floor/walls from the AV cupboard to the two main TV watching rooms (and the distances are less than 15m).

    The question is : Should I bother?

    I keep being told that usng baluns enable HD signals to go down CAT7 cable is expensive but so are HDMI cables of that length. It thus seems to me to be a question of quality / reliability. Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

    Thanks in advance.
    If you still have time, I would put the HDMI cables in as it gives you greater flexibility in the future, and they're not that expensive. I would also leave the Cat7 cables there for future / other services.
    I've gone this route and have multiple Cat5 cables to behind the TV plus two (10 or 15m) HDMI cables.

    Analogue signals over Cat5 is mature technology and the KAT5 units are highly rated.
    HDMI over 'category' cable is still developing and a lot of the cheaper units have caused problems for some people. Sure, the top-end stuff works but this does still command a premium price, probably significantly more than a couple of long HDMI leads.

    Long HDMI runs work better if it is a single cable end to end, rather than joining lots of short cables together, so 1x 10m would be better than 2x 5m etc.

    HTH,

    Tim.

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