HDMI is no longer strange for us now; it is everywhere in your home, your HD TVs, HD media players, Set-Top Box, your HD displays, your HD cameras, your HD recorders and so on. We couldn’t ignore it in our daily life. Thus here comes the question, do you know what’s the maximum length you can run the HDMI cables? You might have no idea. Yes, most of us would never have thought about this question. However, there is the case that we need extend our HD devices to a longer distance, such as extend the HD signals of your HD media player from one room to another room, then do you know the max length you can go. So let’s check the case.
There are two categories of HDMI as defined by the HDMI organization, “standard HDMI cables” and “high speed HDMI cables”:
Standard (or “category 1″) HDMI cables have been tested to perform at speeds of 75Mhz or up to 2.25Gbps, which is the equivalent of a 720p/1080i signal.
High Speed (or “category 2″) HDMI cables have been tested to perform at speeds of 340Mhz or up to 10.2Gbps, which is the highest bandwidth currently available over an HDMI cable and can successfully handle 1080p signals including those at increased color depths and/or increased refresh rates from the Source. High-Speed cables are also able to accommodate higher resolution displays, such as WQXGA cinema monitors (resolution of 2560 x 1600).
The HDMI specification specifies required performance of a given cable, but does not govern the length as long as the cable meets the given requirements. So how far of an HDMI cable can you run from your video source to your television set? The professional technical support from VVdeals recommends 25 feet as a practical limit for their high speed cables to carry both a 1080p and 3D signal. After 25ft they are no longer certified for high speed. And with the longer distance increase, the quality for the videos would decrease.
Standard speed cables can carry 1080p but it depends on the device is why we only list them as 1080i/720p. Many newer devices though if all you want is 1080p can achieve that with standard speed cables, you only really need a standard speed cable if you are running both 3D and 1080p.
Then think of the “25 feet” as the magic barrier. So what to do if you need to go longer distances and insist on carrying a 1080p signal? All hope is not lost. You have a couple of options, including more HDMI cables and cat6 Ethernet cables. As HDMI cables are more expensive and the quality would decrease when the distance is longer. So Cat5e or cat6 network cables would be highly recommended. CAT6 ethernet cables which allow for runs up to a whopping 330 feet. You can use a HDMI network extender to transmit HD signals to a longer distance as long as you can. Of course, if you don’t like wires in a mess, a wireless HDMI extender would be an good option.
Anyway just make sure that your cable matches your application and that all specs are up to speed when you’re going for longer distance transmission.