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What to do if your HDMI Cable is too short

by Stuart Berry May 28, 2020

How often have you found that the HDMI cable is too short to connect one of your, perhaps many, HDMI devices. And if you google the HDMI Cable or buy one piece at Amazon, you will find these cables are, in most cases, two or three metres in length. Very few manufacturers provide longer HDMI Cable. So what do you do when you need longer HDMI cable?

Actually, there are a few solutions, but some have their drawbacks. Let's run through a few..

Active Copper Cable

You can use an active copper HDMI cable. There is a chip built in the cable to extend the 4K HDMI signal to between 10 and 20 metres, and ultimately, the longest length on the market can reach 23m. Unfortunately, the copper HDMI is too heavy and unstable for a long diatance.

20 metre cable

4K Repeater

Another alternative is to apply a HDMI 2.0 4K Repeater. A repeater can connect two copper HDMI cables, and extend the HDMI cable to 10m or 20m. Still, there's a limit to the length.

4K Repeater

HDBaseT Extender

Another option is using a HDBaseT HDMI Extender. This solution needs CAT 5/6 cables to connect instead of HDMI cables. It is a good solution to solve the problem as well. One drawback here is that it can only be extended to between 30m and 70m. The other issue is that you have to find a best quality CAT5 or CAT6 cable, otherwise the signal will be lost easily. Plus the fact that you will need two power adaptors on either end, which may cause inconvenience in some situations.

HDBaseT Extender

Fibre Extender

By iusing a HDMI fiber optical extender, you can send a 4K@60Hz signal to between 10m and 300m, and maybe even longer than this, if it's in a stable state. This Fiber optical extender also needs two power adaptors on either end to provide power to this device. However, the main snag with the fiber optical extender option is the price, The cost puts this option out of reach for most consumers.

Fibre Extender

HDMI Active Optical Cable (AOC)

One solution that is becoming increasingly attractive is the use of HDMI AOC. HDMI Active Optical Cable (AOC) is also a type of HDMI cable. It follows the HDMI standards and has the same requirements on the signal transmission system.

AOC Solution

The AOC option is now being widely adopted, and for good reason. With its advanced optical engine, this new type of HDMI cable can provide full 4K and 8K HDMI signal integrity without signal loss, delivering crystal clear digital images instantly. It provides extension up to a maximum Length of 100 metres, and has no need for an external power supply. Basically, plug and play. It is already being used in applications in TV broadcast stations, conference room video equipment, airplane on/board video system, security systems, home theatre, and many more.

Diagram AOC

Smartavlink are a pioneer in AOC development. They started with HDMI AOC development over seven years ago, and have extensive experience in designing HDMI AOC. Smartavlink HDMI AOC is amongst the most competitive long reach HDMI interconnection solutions on the market. With a wide range of products, Smartavlink provide OEM/ODM solutions worldwide, such as for USB AOC, DP AOC, DVI AOC and USB Type C AOC.

Please check out our Smartavlink Page and the Smartavlink product range.

For further information contact our Technical Sales Team here at ITM.

Stuart Berry
Stuart Berry


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