So, what is the HDMI cable’s max length? Do you need a longer HDMI cable, given that your Blu-ray player is direct across the room from your TV? Or is it merely going to result in a signal that is of poor quality?
Although High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables are pretty standard these days, not many people are familiar with the many types or lengths available. So you have arrived at the correct spot if you are one of those people who have absolutely no concept of what HDMI cables are.
This article will tell you all you need to know about the lengths of HDMI cables or whether it makes any difference to audio or video quality. Keep on reading.
Does Length of HDMI Cable Matter?
Yes, the audio and video quality are impacted by the HDMI cable length used. However, it is mainly due to the fluctuating signals that occur during the transmission of sound and video across the HDMI connection.
HDMI cables may be too long or short, but there is no standard length for determining if a cable is too long or too short. Various manufacturers and websites provide varying recommendations on the appropriate size of an HDMI cable. It isn’t easy to understand for the average person. However, you shouldn’t worry about it since, as you continue reading, you’ll have a good notion of how long the HDMI cable should be for the best results.
Are Shorter HDMI Cables Better?
Yes! Investing in a cable with a short length is the most effective step to improve the visual quality of your television or computer display. Additionally, the price of the shorter HDMI cables will be lower than that of the longer ones.
In most cases, shorter HDMI cables provide superior image and audio quality compared to their longer counterparts. Therefore, when shopping for an HDMI cable, one must consider more than just the cable’s length since the quality is also affected by several other elements.
What Is the Maximum Length of an HDMI Cable?
It is essential to note that HDMI connections have no bandwidth restrictions. Manufacturers can design a cable to be longer than fifty feet if someone needs to link a player and TV in a different homeroom. However, who would want to have that? That has got to be one of the most pointless wires available today.
On the other hand, most manufacturers agree that you must use a maximum length of 20 feet for an HDMI cable if you want to keep the same quality in both the audio and the video signals. However, if you continue for much longer than this, you run the risk of spoiling the watching and listening experience for yourself.
Why twenty feet? Isn’t it going on a bit too long? If you have a limited amount of space, you could find that it’s a little too lengthy. You don’t need a long cable to connect your gadgets.
But on the other hand, the maximum length for “manageable” signal transmission is 20 feet. So if you do not need a cable that is this length, we recommend that you use shorter HDMI cables instead. The general rule is that the shorter your HDMI cable is, the better the sound and video quality.
There is a maximum length for each kind of HDMI cable. There are two kinds of HDMI cables. They are:
- Active HDMI Cables: Longer distances need the use of active HDMI cables. You need to link both ends of the connections to their respective destinations; you will have the display on the one hand and the source on the other. The central processing unit amplifies the signal’s power, allowing it to travel farther. These cables come in lengths that range from 10 to 30 meters (near to 100 feet), depending on your specific needs.
- Passive HDMI Cables: The most common kind of HDMI cable is called a passive HDMI cable. There is seldom any discernible difference between active and passive at distances of less than 10 feet. If you have interest in purchasing a passive HDMI cable, then the distance that you may expect to achieve is around 25 feet.
Most modern copper HDMI cables have between 15 and 25 feet (5 to 7.5 m) in length. HDMI cables that have optical fiber cables may extend their reach far further. Optical Fiber optic HDMI cables have an effective range of between 50 and 200 feet on average (15 to 60 m). It also depends on your brand and the cable quality. However, a fiber optic cable does not come cheap, and you can extend it by using a =n active optical cable.
How Long Can 4K HDMI Cable Be Run?
4K, also known as Ultra High Definition, is on track to become the new standard for recording and viewing video. 4K transmits visual output with a resolution of 3,840 on 2,160 pixels, poised to become the new standard.
It enables it to provide high-definition results with remarkable clarity, resulting in a viewing experience that is better, more crisply rendered, and more immersive.
On the other hand, this indicates that your screen is producing at least 8 million pixels on its display, which requires a significant amount of electricity.
When viewing content at this quality, we strongly advise that you use cables that do not extend beyond the 10-foot (3-meter) threshold. The reason is that the signal may degrade beyond this point. After you have played the video for that time, the quality will already deteriorate noticeably.
How to Extend HDMI Cable?
Use HDMI Repeaters
By connecting two HDMI cables, an HDMI repeater can extend the connection for shorter distances while simultaneously amplifying the signals for improved transmission. Furthermore, the sort of HDMI repeater and the kind of HDMI cable determine the longest length when utilizing a repeater; however, we’ll list the normal ranges below. Finally, remember that HDMI repeaters are directional; thus, ensure you use the device’s input and output sides.
Switch Between HDMI and SDI and Back
You can extend the signal efficiently up to 130 meters if it is first converted from HDMI into SDI at the source location and then back into HDMI at the destination location. Once again, this approach used the whole 100-meter HDMI cable for transmission before converting back to SDI and utilizing the entire length of the HDMI cable again. This technique calls for an SDI cable of a high grade in addition to two active converters; as a result, it is not the most desirable option.
Switch Between HDBaseT and Back
When converting an HDMI signal to HDBaseT and back, you can attain extended cable lengths via a highly cost-effective cable. It is possible because HDBaseT is a more efficient protocol.
Although the actual maximum length varies depending on the technology you use, achieving lengths of 50 meters or more is often not an issue. HDBaseT also can send power to your device, eliminating the requirement for local power on one side. This one, again, is dependent on the hardware that you use.
Use Active HDMI Cables
Active HDMI cables include a built-in converter from regular copper to an optical fiber. Additionally, high-definition televisions and video game consoles use these kinds of cables. In this manner, the actual cable consists of a thin optical fiber with rubber insulation.
There are several advantages to using this kind of cable in a permanent location, such as an office building.
You cannot bend the delicate wire more than a particular radius; thus, it must not be walked on or driven over by a cart. This specific sort of extension is entirely trustworthy despite its prohibitive cost.
Because the device in question does not always produce the necessary voltage for the converters, there are occasions when one of the cable ends does not get electricity. Therefore, these solutions are effective up to a distance of one hundred meters.
Use Active HDMI Extenders
Active HDMI extenders are an excellent method to expand the signal cost-effectively and conveniently. Moreover, with each extension, you can extend the maximum length by 15 meters. Again remember that HDMI extenders have ranges that can go up to 300 feet and compress the HDMI signal so that an Ethernet cable carries it instead of the longer wire.
These extenders are not particularly costly, and their usage is not very difficult. To elucidate, if you require cables of a medium length in a fixed installation or a cable running over a ceiling to a projector, this will be the option that we recommend for you to use. However, these extenders can only run off power supplied locally or from a battery, making them less suitable for deployments that need mobility.
Does a Long HDMI Cable Reduce Quality?
Since a high-definition multimedia interface, or HDMI, is a digital signal, the HDMI signals cannot be of worse quality than any other connection when using a long cable.
When delivering high bandwidth signals across a cable that is either too lengthy or not rated for the particular HDMI standard, the only thing that occurs is a drop-off in the signal’s strength. In other words, the signal will either work or won’t; it will not affect signal quality in any way.
Final Words on HDMI Cable Max Length
As can be seen, determining the appropriate length for an HDMI cable is not as simple as one would think. Utilizing a cable that has been tested and graded specifically for your requirements should be your priority. For instance, if you want a 4K signal, select a cable supporting that resolution.
In addition, you shouldn’t use a daisy chain to connect your connections if you need to go a significant distance. Instead, you should make use of an HDMI signal amplifier, as well as an Ethernet or SDI extender.
Also, if you are a cable enthusiast and want to learn about other cables viz. audio cables and coaxial cables, check out our guides!