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Long HDMI cables



  • Anyone used HDMI cables of 15m or more? Am considering switching to HDMI for quality reasons, have been using VGA but having serious colour crosstalk. Using a Mac Mini Core i5 with HDMI out. Have read that lower spec HDMI cables can cause flickering etc, so am looking into finding the right spec cables... seems pretty obvious, but if anyone has tips on long HDMI cables would be appreciated. Am hoping to hear "It's just damn better, and they only cost a few cents!!"



  • Convert that HDMI to DVI with the adapter that comes with the Mac Mini and then you can run that up to 50'. Anything longer than that starts to become problematic but I have run 50' of DVI off a Mac Mini without problems in the past.



  • @MatthewH, are you saying DVI is more stable than HDMI?



  • Neither standard really specifies a maximum cable length and in both cases cable lengths can go as high as 50' but signal stability depends on cable quality at lengths like that I have found that it is typically easier and cheaper to find suitable 50' DVI cables than it is to find suitable 50' HDMI cables given their disparate primary markets. The fact that DVI cables tend to come with a sturdier jacket and offer a locking connector are both great bonuses for our applications. I have a bunch of the 50' High-Quality 24AWG CL2 Dual Link DVI-D cables from Monoprice and they have served me quite well given their reasonable price.



  • I have been using DVI cables as well. I also have a DVI to CAT 5 long range extender that allows me to to extend up to 330 feet. My DVI to Cat 5 extneder is made by Gefen. I have had no problems, ever, with that set up.



  • Thanks for the above.

    Interestingly, I am finding that in my part of the world (South Africa) 15m HDMI and DVI cables are equally available, and equally priced. The thick jacket on the DVI is great, but it is of course a lot heavier. I also find the Mac Mini adaptors quite flimsy, and always have to tape down the heavy DVI or VGA cable head so it doesn't twist the thin mac adaptor cable segment.

    In any case, my mind is not quite made up yet... are there any other known issues except ruggedness that might make either HDMI or DVI more versatile or reliable?


  • ps @djprovost the DVI/HDMI over CAT5/6 extenders do seem to be the way to go, eventually... some units priced at under $150, although the Gefen ones are more pricy. And CAT5/6 75ft costs about as much as a good pair of socks...



  • i have a 20m HDMI cable that i can send HD video down, but it works best with a little signal booster. it's not without its problems though; sometimes the signal is a little noisy, sometimes it's unusable - i think it depends on a number of factors and i never managed to pin down one reason for it not to work. for longer distances i use a hdmi to twin cat6 conversion kit that will send down 40m of cat6. but only the heavier, thicker (more expensive) cat6 - which is a b*tch to coil, so this only gets used in emergencies. if its for a permanent installation, then this is probably the best way - at the moment - to send a signal this far.

    i think in relation to DVI or HDMI - i would go with DVI and maybe get a couple of short HDMI converter cables. thicker and heavier cable usually seems to be more reliable, and HDMI cables have to be taped anyway because they don't lock like DVI.
    i just finished a tour where we were using Qlab on a MBP for playback to various projectors in various settings. ended up using VGA for most of the venues where the projector was in the grid, then sending a 720i version of the video, and it was fine.


  • Cool, considering all of the above I think the answer for now will be DVI cable, until I have the cash to look at more interesting alternatives. Thanks everyone!



  • I had very good experience so far with a 2Om HDMI cable, never any problems and I did not need a signal booster (the cable was not so cheap though). I wish it was heavy flex rubberised cable though, it is not so nice to roll up after a show. I generally come out of a blackmagic mixer though, not just the mac output. I have started experimenting using the HDMI mixer also to route audio and this is not possible with DVI.

    I also had good results with a cat5 extender, but once in a show when we used old gas lights, it would spit static when we turned off the gas lights during the show (we were even on a totally different power grid???)
    @ [dbini](http://troikatronix.com/troikatronixforum/profile/274/dbini) I have found some great but not cheap, high quality flex cat5 and 6 cables from markertek here is one example but there are others-
    http://www.markertek.com/Cables/Bulk-Wire-Cable/Bulk-Category-5-5e-6-Cable/Gepco/CT504HD.xhtml?CT504HD-1000
    I want to add one more thing re HDMI, if you are interfacing with video equipment (pro gear) you must stick to traditional video standards, so 1280x1024 will not work, just the standard (well PAL anyway) 576i/p 720p 1080i/p. These are the only real video resolutions. Some computers will not give you these proper video resolutions if you connect with a DVI cable, only if you use an HDMI cable. If you are connecting to a pro HDMI capture or HDMI video mixer you will have to stick with these standards. I have changed my setup to HDMI and now as I work most often with live video I keep my resolutions full and constant at the appropriate video standard (so capture size, stage size and beamer resolution are all the same). HDMI, even at SD mas made my capture and output qualtiy much much better. 
    I did notice now there are some more pro HDMI options available
    http://www.markertek.com/Cables/Video-Cables/HDMI-Cables/Gefen-Inc/CAB-HDMI-30MM.xhtml?GEF-HDMI-30MM
    and this one uses optical fibre and converts it in cable (however the design looks a little difficult as the cable tip needs a huge clearance.
    http://www.markertek.com/Cables/Video-Cables/HDMI-Cables/Gefen-Inc/CAB-HDMIX1-3-50MM.xhtml?CAB-HDMIX13-300
    Fred

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