How Long Can HDMI Cables Run? (What’s the Standard?)

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How Long Can HDMI Cables Run?

HDMI is one of the most widely used connection types that people use these days in their home theaters and to hook up their TVs. From laptops to Blu-Ray players, video game consoles, and home theater audio/visual equipment, you are likely to find HDMI cables in all these devices.

Because it is so versatile, there is a lot of variation out there when it comes to what’s standard in HDMI cables. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of HDMI cable and how long they can run.

The two basic types of HDMI you’re likely to find are HDMI cables with Ethernet and HDMI cables without Ethernet.

“What’s the difference?” you may be wondering now.

Standard HDMI Cable Lengths

The current HDMI standard (version 1.4) was released in 2009 and the HDMI association has published a chart with the maximum length of an active HDMI cable to work as specified. There are a few reasons for this. In practical terms, you may run into an issue when you’re trying to use an HDMI cable over its rated length. For example, you can’t expect your 1080p cable to easily pass a 4K signal. In addition, there's also the potential for signal degradation when you use a cable past its rated distance. Finally, there's also the issue of connectors breaking over time.

Although the problem of broken connectors may not affect you at least for short cable runs, you do need to consider the signal degradation issue or the problems may arise when you're trying to pass high-resolution content through your long HDMI cables.

So, how long can an HDMI cable run? What’s the maximum cable length? Although there's no single answer to this question, the HDMI association has published a guideline based on its own certification tests that may help you decide how long you can use a cable at the maximum resolution.

Does the Length of HDMI Cable Affect Quality?

The answer to this question depends on your application and the quality of the HDMI cable that you are using.

It is quite important to make sure you have the proper length of HDMI cables for your application, as unlike other cables, longer HDMI cables can cause signal loss and degradation.

There are several factors that affect the minimum length of an HDMI cable. These include:

Resolution and format of input video signal: Some higher resolution formats, such as 2160p requires longer Ethernet cables for video signals to facilitate clean and clear signals. If you are playing video inputs of lower resolution, for example 1080p, you can get away with using HDMI cables of shorter length.

Some higher resolution formats, such as 2160p requires longer Ethernet cables for video signals to facilitate clean and clear signals. If you are playing video inputs of lower resolution, for example 1080p, you can get away with using HDMI cables of shorter length. Amount of data the cable is required to carry: The more data to be carried, the longer the HDMI cable needs to be. For example, if you use a lower speed Ethernet or Cat 5e or Cat 6, you will be able to use HDMI cables with smaller length.

Use Cat6 Cable to lengthen an HDMI Signal

Although the maximum length of an HDMI signal is about 25 feet, there are ways to extend the run. One way is to use different-rated cabling materials. The other way is to boost up the HDMI signal using a repeater. However, the HDMI cable is considered an “unexpensive commodity”, and in many cases, the best cable choice is not the most expensive one.

The length of an HDMI cable is dictated by the transmission speed, so an HDMI cable of one length is not necessarily identical to another cable length because the rated transmission speed of each cable is different.

Consider an HDMI signal of 1080p/60Hz/4.5Gbps/2.25Gbps. The signal transmission speed is 10.2Gbps. A lower-grade HDMI cable rated at 10.2Gbps OFC (Oxygen-free copper) has a transmission speed of 5.94GHz, while the rating of an OFC HDMI cable is 10.2Gbps.

With a digital signal, the cable used to send the signal is limited by the speed rating of the cable. The cable, in this case, is no different than the speed limit on the road. If cable speed rating is the maximum speed of the road, then the length of the cable should be limited to the speed rating of the cable.

Do Long HDMI Cables Cause Lag?

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables carry a steady stream of digital data from your device to your TV. With that being said, the quality of the picture really depends on the quality of the signal. If you start to notice reduced sound or a frozen picture, it may be a poor quality HDMI cable.

As a rule of thumb, HDMI cables should not exceed 25-30 feet at 1080P and around 15-20 feet at 4K. So, how long can HDMI cables run?

The current HDMI standard that you'll most likely use is HDMI 2.0, also known as HDMI Alt4k. As it name suggests, HDMI 2.0 supports resolutions of 4K (UHD), also known as Ultra-High Definition.

What is 4K?

4K refers to the resolution of ultra-high definition (UHD) televisions and devices. It's comparable to the resolution of higher-end digital movies at 4,096 x 2,160 pixels. This is a big difference from HD, which has a resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Does Cable Length Affect Sound Quality?

There is a myth going around that the longer the HDMI cable the worse the picture quality will be. When it comes to the length of the HDMI cable, there is no standard.

So should you get a longer, shorter (or standard) cable? The answer is short and sweet – it’s up to you.

HDMI cables are generally used with high definition devices that transfer 720p video or 1080p video. Given that the length and connector types of HDMI cables are not standardized, the length of the HDMI cable does not affect the picture quality in any noticeable way.

The quality of the length of your HDMI cable depends only on your HD devices and your cable. If your HD devices or devices you connect to your HDTV support 1080i or 1080p, you can connect your devices with any length of HDMI cable.

How Do I Extend My HDMI Cable?

To understand HDMI cable length, you must first be familiar with EDID. EDID stands for Extended Display Identification Data. It is an additional chip that is connected to the display device and is used to identify it and its capabilities.

Every display device must comply with this rule for communication. Even when the signal is sent over long distances, the EDID makes sure that the device and the source (the HDMI extender) are compatible. EDID is also used as a method of preventing communication failure when the signal is being transmitted at longer distances.

Since not every HDMI extender is built with EDID compatibility, it is important to know when you are extending the signal that is over 50 feet long. Get an HDMI extender with EDID compatibility if not one with its own EDID.

If the signal is being transmitted over fewer than 50 feet, this rule isn’t necessary. In such cases, a cable may have its own EDID or carry EDIDs from other devices connected on the line. When the signal is being sent over around 50 feet, the communication may get distorted due to the higher resolution and the higher frequencies. By using an HDMI device with EDID, you can extend the HDMI cable beyond an extended distance.

You can extend the HDMI cable by using a HDMI Extender Box. This box contains its own EDID or you can manually program the EDID.

Is There an Adapter to Extend 2 HDMI Cables?

The maximum length of HDMI is limited to 10 feet in order to keep losses in HDMI signal below a tolerable level. Although this is the truth, HDMI can go far beyond this limit when used in higher quality cables. Nevertheless, manufacturers strive to provide consumers with reliable HDMI cables that support the highest resolutions and refresh rates.

However, due to HDMI cable quality and the devices used, the 10 feet assertion was not always the case. When HDTVs were first introduced to the consumer market, several people had trouble overcoming the limitations imposed by HDMI length. This led to a stir in the market and the release of long distance HDMI cables. These cables were capable of delivering resolutions of 1080i and 1080p @ 60Hz which became the standard of most newly released HDTVs. Consequently, the manufacturers caught up and began producing lower cost, high quality HDMI cables exceeding the previously established length limitation.

Today, you can find high quality and high bandwidth HDMI cables with lengths of up to 50 feet.

Do Expensive HDMI Cables Make a Difference?

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is the convenient digital connection that is used to connect all your high definition and ultra high definition home theater devices. If you connected your video source to your television via analog connections, you would not be getting digital signals. When you connect HDMI cables, you make the transition to digital, thus avoiding generation loss, and ensuring high definition video quality.

So, what’s the maximum distance to which you can run a HDMI cable without losing its quality? How long is the longest HDMI cable? You could have read that some very long cables have been made, but how long can you actually get an HDMI cable to run without compromising its video quality? HDMI cables come in different lengths so you will need to know what’s the maximum length that an HDMI cable can run before you buy one.

In this post, I will talk about how you can determine the maximum distance for HDMI cables so that you can get the best results for your television and video recordings.

Do Gold HDMI Cables Make a Difference?

If you've been shopping around for HDTV and home theater cables, you've probably noticed a lot of options on the market. You may have read or heard claims that gold-plated HDMI cables offer improved video and audio quality compared to regular, cheaper HDMI cables.

Are these claims true? Our experts tested and compared cables to find out how much (or, really, how little) gold-plated HDMI is going to improve your home theater experience.

HDMI stands for "high definition multimedia interface," and it's a common cable that's used to connect HDTVs to Blu-Ray, cable TV, and Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 game consoles. So what exactly are gold-plated HDMI cables, and why would you spend extra cash on one?

"Gold-plated" is actually a bit of a misnomer, since pure gold is too soft and malleable for use in wire. These cables have a copper core with a thin layer of gold covering both the connectors and the copper core. Are they worth the price tag?

Many companies claim that gold-plated cables make a huge difference when it comes to transferring high definition video from your devices to your HDTV. There are plenty of ads calling out the copper or aluminum coatings on "cheap" HDMI cables, implying these inferior coatings filter or otherwise lessen the picture and sound quality.

How long Can HDMI Cable Be For 4K?

Last Christmas, my family got a new TV which has been hooked up to various gaming consoles since then. It was great to play Assassin's Creed on a big screen without hogging the TV, but the only problem was the cable.

It was too short and I had to sit kind of close to the TV. This had never been an issue in the past since cable length has never been a priority. But this time, because I was sitting close, I was noticing the lag on my screen…

My first instinct was to blame the cable. I’m not sure what my cable problem started. Then my brother claimed that those cables were good enough to stream movies in 4K, with no lag.

Previously, I was assuming that I would never have to buy a new cable and that there was no way to tell how long I could get away with a cable. But with this new information, I started to wonder how long I could get away with a cable for my 4K content.

Summation

Let’s take a quick look at the main points of this article so that you can easily remember them .

HDMI is an audio/video interface that allows your video, audio, and control signals to be sent over a single cable … which is much more convenient for the end-user.

The original HDMI standard (version 1.0) was ratified in October 2002. This standard enables up to 1080p video at 24fps at a maximum of 10.2Gbps (Gigabits per second). To support these high-speed data rates, HDMI cables consist of 19 pins. In order to view content at a higher resolution, an audio/video receiver or display needs to have HDMI 1.3 or higher.

Version 1.4 of the HDMI standard was ratified in September, 2009. This new version of the standard allows a maximum throughput of 40.2Gbps. In addition, it supports video up to 4k resolution (3840 x 2160 at 24Hz) and 1080p video up to 120 fps (frames per second).

Version 2.0 of the HDMI standard was ratified in September, 2013. This new standard, also referred to as HDMI 2.0a, allows a maximum throughput of 48Gbps.

Version 2.0b was ratified in September, 2014, which adds support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video.

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I’m sure you’ve already bought your HDTV and most likely, it has an HDMI connection. So you’re thinking that all you need are HDMI cables to connect your device to your TV.

But do you actually need a 10-foot HDMI cable to get you the picture you want? Or is there a range of HDMI cables that you need to consider? It’s not always easy to figure out what the “best” HDMI cables for your HDTV are.

The simple answer is there’s no one-size-fits-all HDMI cable that will work for all uses. Most other peripherals, such as printers and scanners, use USB 2.0 or 3.0 connections. But the connection that you need for your HDTV can vary depending on the equipment you have. You also need to consider the distance between the HDTV and the device that the HDMI cable will connect to.