For a variety of reasons, we have a long distance between our receiver and the TV in our super awesome, overkill den. The wiring distance is about 40ft give or take which is just below the 35ft limit for HDMI. Here are the options we discussed and the final list of data lines we ran between the TV and the receiver.
Normally HDMI only runs about 35 ft max but there are ways to extend the range. One option is to run HDMI over a pair of ethernet (cat-6) wires. Click the pictures for links to purchase from Monoprice.com, the source for inexpensive cables. Added Bonus: they are located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA where I lived during my high school years.
This option requires that the cat-6 cables are exactly the same length. The reviews say the system can be finicky but this is a great option for long distances – 75-100 ft. There are also powered HDMI over Cat-6 options that can go as far as several hundred feet. We are at 40 feet so this was a little over-kill for us. We did go ahead and run 3 equal-length Cat-6 wires so that this option is available to us in the future.
The next option we looked into was the Redmere HDMI cable.
This option is basically a passive (no power cord) switched amplifier cord. There is some logic in the connectors that re-sharpens the 1s and 0s of the data as it goes through. This allows the hdmi signal to go just a bit further than standard HDMI cables. We went ahead and purchased and ran this cable.
The final and simplest option is this 24gauge (big wire), heavily shielded cable. This is a monster HDMI cable. It’s probably 3/4 inch in diameter and super duper heavy. Affixing it to the ceiling was an arm workout!
In addition to the 3 cat-6 cables, the redmere HDMI and the jumbo HDMI, we also ran speaker wire for the center channel. Since we are running all this data in one place, we figured we might as well spring for shielded speaker wire.
To round out the selection, we went ahead and ran regular coax cable-tv cable. Most receivers don’t have a tv tuner built-in so you can just use the TVs tuner and send the audio back to the receiver so you can use the big speakers. To carry the audio, we also ran a 40ft optical toslink audio cord.
So the final list:
- Coax cable-tv
- Shielded audio
- 3 cat-6 cables of equal length
- redmere HDMI from monoprice
- jumbo HDMI from monoprice
- toslink optical audio
That’s 8 cables from the reciever to the TV. Â Overkill, yes, but it is way easier to run cables now rather than later and we got all this cabling for less than $100. Â You can still spend that much on a single long HDMI cable at Best Buy!
If you’re wondering how we’re going to get all 40 ft of cable from one side of the room to the other, swing back later. Â I’ll also update this post with part 2: running all that HDMI.