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  • Component Video over CAT6

    A friend of mine is getting ready to move into his new house. A local installer contracted with the builder to do all his video/audio package at a really good price. One thing that concerns me is that the installer appears to be running component video over CAT6 to all rooms (all source devices will be installed in and distributed from a central equipment closet). It concerned me that they are not using HDMI over CAT6. There are issues with HDMI, but what are some other issues with installing component video over CAT6? I can think of a few like:

    1. Blu-Ray players limit the resolution over component video 1080i.
    2. Possible signal degradation due to DAC/ADC
    3. 3D (I don't think component video cable can output 2 streams of 1080p 3D, and also unsure if any device (Blu-Ray or STB will output 3D over their component output).
    4. Can premium movies from an STB be output through component video in 1080p (possible legal issues)?
    5. I'd hate to think about conversion to HDMI in the future (cost and difficulty).

    I have no idea what outputs will be used from all source devices.

    Any advice is appreciated.
    PhenomeNhan Audio Video

    Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
    [email protected]

  • #2
    Nhan, I am not a professional but I have installed some matrix systems over cat5e/cat6 and the only house I have hdmi installed over cat6 is my personal house. The reason is I care enough to want hdmi, but I would be insane to install if for someone else. IMO, it just isn't ready for prime time as it has way to many handshake issues, pictures sometimes just freeze and overall not nearly as reliable. I am so close to ditching my HDMI matrix system (which is admittedly a cheap, but well regarded monoprice unit) and going back to my trusted Key Digital component system. My theater all has HDMI so that is really what I care about for watching movies.

    There are plus and minuses to both, but from my perspective, unless your friend is big on solving never ending handshake issues among other things, I would stick with component. Rock solid, great picture and it just works. HDMI is the worst thing to ever happen to custom installers who need to do long runs or matrix installations. Maybe if I jumped up to a more expensive system I wouldn't have these problems, but in reality I am starting to see that there really isn't that much wrong with component.

    I am sure there are many who are having no problems with HDMI over cat6, and maybe my issues more are related to the matrix aspect, but I have been wrestling with this issue since I made the switch last December. I will give it through the summer and see if I make any more progress, but as of right now I wouldn't even think of installing HDMI over long distance or network cable for somebody else, unless I had a desire to spend a lot of time with that person. Bottom line is most "regular" people don't care about the improvements with HDMI, and I am starting to fall into that camp now.

    Now to answer your questions

    1. Yeah, true. I watch most of my movies in my theater with HDMI, but I am not sure the 1080i is that noticeable anyway. But I won't argue that point.
    2. I have had one install where when the weather gets really, really cold the signal loses some power, but I am guessing that is a wiring issue, and I wasn't involved with that, but video issues can happen. (Although with my matrix hdmi system I am getting a bunch of noise on two tvs.)
    3. Don't have any clue, don't care about 3D at all, but I can understand why a new house would be concerned.
    4. If they still sell HD Fury's a lot of these problems can be dealt with, not just for this point, but for all your points.
    5. difficult, but not that costly thanks to monoprice. I have no idea if costly would make it less difficult though.

    Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your response, Jed. I do agree that the HDMI's ever-changing scene is difficult to get right for every different configuration out there. I hope my buddy had at least 2 ethernet cables run to every TV. Right now, Monoprice does not have any ethernet extension kits requiring just 1 ethernet cable (not finding any with my search). They all require 2 ethernet cables. There are some on HDTVSupply.com have several that require just 1 CAT5/6 cable, as well as supporting HDBaseT and 3D, but they are on the expensive side. Even at Monoprice prices, replacing all the switches, plates, cables and such could be quite expensive (esp. to the normal peeps :) I don't think most of their HDMI switches/matrices have a glowing (95%+) rating. And with every source device being located in a closet on the 2nd floor, I doubt my buddy wants to run up to reboot a switch every time there is a glitch.
      PhenomeNhan Audio Video

      Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
      [email protected]

      Comment


      • #4
        Nhan,
        Not sure if this will help, but the CAT6a ethernet cables (SSTP style) are individually shielded pairs with an overall shield. These run up to 600MHz bandwidth.

        Not sure how they are using the four individual twisted pairs in the ethernet cable, but this helps lower the crosstalk.
        Better living through Audio Nirvana!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks, Rich. I already knew that. I'm just trying to understand the wonders of HDMI :)
          PhenomeNhan Audio Video

          Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
          [email protected]

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm with Jed on the HDMI handshaking issues. I was using an HDMI to Cat5/6 converter to get the signal to my plasma TV, and had frequent handshaking issues. The picutre and sound would just go out for a second or two. Sometimes it would go hours between blinks an dsometimes it would happene every couple minutes.

            I bought a flat HDMI cable from monoprice, and yesterday I finally ripped of my baseboard, chiselled a groove in the drywall, and ran fished the HDMI cable up through the wall. I should have done that project a long time ago.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the feedback, Kevin. I have a cheap Monoprice HDMI switcher used for my parents' HT system. I've experienced the 'handshaking' issues from time to time. I think a lot of it was due to the sequence of the devices being turned on. I would have to reboot the switcher to get the devices to synch up again.

              The other issue (not sure if it is HDMI-related) is the audio drop out on a certain channel (the switch comes with an optical out, which is one of the main reasons I got it).
              PhenomeNhan Audio Video

              Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
              [email protected]

              Comment


              • #8
                I know this is bringing up an old thread, but I thought I'd chime in here. There's a thread I started on AVS about this topic (hdmi over catxx having problems when large motors (AC, Washine machine, etc) turn on/off..

                Long story short- RG6 can carry much more bandwidth than its given credit for. Bandwidth-wise, it can beat the pants off HDMI. If you want truly effort- and error-free HDMI over long runs, get a 5xRG6 hdmi transcoder. They're pricy, but I don't believe anyone's had near the problems with them as those with 1x or 2x CATxx cables. And in the mean time, 5xRG6 gives you three for component (yes, only 1080i) plus two for stereo audio to the TV (for the times the AVR is not on or available in that room). And those RG6 runs can be many hundreds of feet long! :applause:

                If the HDbaseT stuff ever gets released, I am hopeful that it will finally give a solution to all the problems with HDMI...

                cheers,
                ..dane
                (The first to sport a signature on TCAforum..)
                "Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a great burden." - Philo of Alexandria
                "Love God and be nice to people." - Brooks Everett of CBC
                d&k's webpage

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the update, Dane. I sent the AVS thread to another friend who was having issues with his Atlona HDMI over CAT5/6 device. I've not read the thread, but it is surprising that CAT5/6 has trouble even with component video. I thought it was recommended that RG6 signal starts to fade around the 100ft mark?

                  Even though it may be trouble-free (for the most part), I'm not sure how many would want to run 5 RG6 cables to 4 or 5 areas of their house vs. running 2 much cheaper CAT5/6 cables.
                  PhenomeNhan Audio Video

                  Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
                  [email protected]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No problem..

                    5xRG6 per TV just for one source, I agree, is a lot of cable. But cost-wise, RG6 is pretty stinkin cheap. I've heard so many people complain about running cables and "just run a couple CatXX instead" only to find their options quite limited in actual hardware that works reliably. It's a really sad state of affairs these days. And with the looming analog sunset, pretty soon HDMI is all we'll have (on new equipment).

                    HDMI has a few fundamental flaws in its signalling, from the little bit that I understand about it. A few simple changes and it could have been much more robust than it is now. But HDMI was never intended to be a "long haul" cable in the first place- their first major mistake in making it "the new standard." How shortsighted of them to not consider those running distribution networks to multiple TVs located far apart from each other! Oh well, it is what it is, and I digress.

                    When we built our addition a few years back, I still had a CRT television. I ran all my audio cables, and a 1" conduit because I didn't know WHAT I would need video-wise. In the end I couldn't fit an HDMI cable connector through a 1" conduit (lesson learned!!!), so I ran 3 RG6 (composite/left/right), and six Cat5e. I've ended up using an extender over a single-Cat5e cable that works well for my configuration. Seems there's no "silver bullet" piece of hardware (yet) that works in all installations. Which is odd, but that's a whole other discussion.

                    Until there is an affordable, ultra-reliable HDMI extension technology out there, it's going to be the same story- "I ran several CatXX to save money, but I'm having trouble with ..."

                    As I mentioned, my single-CatXX extender works SO much better than the dual-CatXX extender that I was using. But the dual-cable extender was $30 while the single-cable extender is about 10x that. For some though the dual-extenders work great, which is fantastic for them! But unfortunately doesn't guarantee anything for the next guy.

                    cheers,
                    ..dane
                    (The first to sport a signature on TCAforum..)
                    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a great burden." - Philo of Alexandria
                    "Love God and be nice to people." - Brooks Everett of CBC
                    d&k's webpage

                    Comment

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