HDMI over fibre optics lead

long HDMI runs, over fibre optics cable

HDMI cable has come a long way from the early days where they were first HDMI logointroduced. Originally HDMI cables only supported video and required a second cable to carry the audio, and then not to mention the limitations on distance. Though with addition equipment, that all be overcome, but some good news is on the horizon. A manufacturer has developed a hybrid HDMI cable and although there are other versions available from different manufacturers, what sets this one apart from the rest is it has been certified to transmit 18Gbps (in line with current quality HDMI leads), it has been developed and is currently for sale. HDMI over fibre optics is a relatively new technology, and as all HDMI cables currently use copper conductors to transmit the video and audio (with 19 conductors/wires in each lead), there is a lot of information that needs to be transmitted. However, with the advent of HDMI over fibre optics, distance limitations are virtually eliminated, there is only a single lead which also makes the lead much thinner as well.HDMI over fibre optics lead

How HDMI over fibre optics work is that there is a microchip in the head of the connector on each end that transforms the electrical signals into light and back again on the other end. Light is used to transmit the information as opposed to copper conductors, this is why distance is eliminated, copper wires can induce interference and the longer the cable, the more the signal degrades as well. So most cables will be designed to be directional and will be marked, the physical size of the microchip of a fibre optics HDMI lead is also no bigger than then size of a standard sized plug so really the only way to know if it’s a fibre optics HDMI lead will be either the lead is over 20 meters long, or the cable itself will be thinner than usual.

HDMI over data cableThere are other systems on the market currently that extends HDMI signals over 20 meters, but they use external transmitters and receivers which in some cases is unrealistic to use and not to mention bulky as well. The head of the new HDMI leads is still about the same size with the microprocessor built-in, it still looks like a conventional lead but comes in various lengths.

At the time of writing this blog, the only downside with this new type of lead is the price; a 12-meter lead can set you back $450, a 30 meter is about $890, then for those really long runs, a 305 meter lead is $2,800.


This type of lead is a very good idea if you need a high definition picture to a TV outside from your home theatre system or in another room where conventional HDMI lead is unable to reach, it will simplify the installation with a single lead without worrying about any other converters or boosters.


HDMI to Cat6 Tx

How to send a Foxtel box into another room via HDMI, TV antenna or Data cabling part 2

Disadvantages are;

  • There is no built in option to change Foxtel channels from the second room without purchasing addition equipment.
  • HDMI modulator will cost more then an AV digital modulator, AV digital modulator use the yellow/red/white leads, there is a very noticeable picture quality difference between the two standard definition and high definition digital modulates.

Addition equipment to think about; if you would like the ability to change the Foxtel channel from the second, third, fourth ect room, there are devices available to connect to the TV antenna cabling to transmit the remote control back to the Foxtel box.

HDMI over cat6 data cable for multiple Foxtel boxes and longer runs

This option can solve all of the problems listed above, Single HDMI extension kitthere are also a few different options we have available by converting the HDMI into data cable.

The first advantage is, if you have a need to only transmit the Foxtel to one room, we can mix the HDMI signal from the Foxtel box on to a single data cable and then run the data cable up to 70 meters to any TV your home or outside into the man cave. This option is ideal for long runs and only to a single TV.

The second option is, locating all your Foxtel boxes in a single room/cupboard/comms cabinet so they are all out of sight and then mixing them all into a matrix bHDMI to Cat6 matixox. This type of system is too complex to explain in this blog but it can be expanded for example up to 8 inputs and 8 outputs, all 8 TVs have the ability to see all 8 inputs/devices connected, so in simple terms you could input up to 8 Foxtel boxes and HDMI to Cat6 matrix plantransmit to 8 TVs OR input 4 Foxtel, 2 Blu-ray players and a PS4 (as the PS4 uses Bluetooth for the controllers, you would have to be in the next room for this to work) and leave the last one spare for future use. This option gives you the ability to also change channels as well from all the rooms.


There is only one disadvantage, if you have an old TV connected and it is only a standard definition, the matrix will down scale the image to suit the oldest TV (to eliminate and conflicts in the picture), this means if you have a new HD TV or UHD TV, you will see the image in standard definition, this is only because if the old TV, once all the old TVs are updated, only then will the matrix transmit in full HD.


Depending on your requirements will depend on the equipment need, there is no reason why you can not do any of this yourself, but you need to understand that the more complex the system you go the more critical it is to correctly install the equipment, if not done correctly damage can occur to the equipment or the equipment connected. we always recommend something like this be install be a repeatable home theatre installation company.

HD digital modulator

Send a Foxtel box to another room via HDMI, TV antenna or Data cabling part 1

Setting up Foxtel in another room is all legal so you don’t have to worry, setting up a second, third or more room without a second set top box has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is a great way for you to save money in the long term with a little bit of outlay upfront, there are a few different ways to achieve and this and it will all depend on your overall requirements. From running a single HDMI cable to another TV in another room, to mixing it in with the TV antenna system to using a 3rd party device specially designed for long cable runs and distribution.

HDMI cabling

The simplest and cheapest way is to run a HDMI lead from the Foxtel box to the second TV, but there are limits involved and some extra equipment is needed as well. If cheap and easy is all you want with high quality audio and video, then this option is all you will need, though on the back of the Foxtel box there is only one HDMI output, so how do we split the signal? Easy, we use a HDMI splitter. So to sum up this process we take a HDMI cable out of the Foxtel box and into a HDMI splitter, then one lead will go back into the original TV or amplifier and the second output lead will go into the new TV in the other room.

The advantages are;4 way HDMI splitter

  • High quality video and audio to both TVs.
  • Cheapest solution with without compromising the video and audio.

The disadvantages are;

  • All TVs will see the same channel.
  • HDMI has a limit of 20 meters, the longer the HDMI cable is, the more the will signal degraded, so the second, third or fourth TV would need to be in either in the next room or so for this fix to work.
  • There is no built in option to change Foxtel channels from the second room without addition equipment.

Addition equipment to think about; if you would like the ability to change the Foxtel channel from the second room, there are devices available to transmit the remote control back to the Foxtel box.

Mixing it with the TV antenna

Mixing the Foxtel in with the TV antenna eliminates some of the problems from the first solution. Once the HDMI signal form the Foxtel box (or RCA signal, the yellow/red/white lead) is mixed in with the TV antenna through a digital modulator, only then will every TV HD digital modulatorantenna point be able watch Foxtel on a digital channel, and because we used HDMI to mix into the TV antenna, we will see the Foxtel on all the other TVs in a high definition channel (unless we used the yellow/red/white lead, we will then only see it in standard definition).

Advantages are;

  • We are not limited to distance as much.
  • We can send the signal to all the TVs in the house.

See the Disadvantages on part 2 of this blog.

HDMI lead

HDMI cable, don’t be mislead with expensive cables

For many years, consumers would walk into a retail store to buy a new TV, or a home theatre system, even a Blu-ray player and for many years the sales person would always try to sell the customer the most expensive HDMI cable they can, due to the sales persons ignorance or greed and unfortunately most defiantly due to the customers ignorance, an expensive HDMI cable is only a waste of money. Here we will tell you why.HDMI cable

Let’s start with the fundamentals. Back in the analogue days, cable quality was important as analogue signals were more susceptible to interference from different sources, so a quality cable with good shielding was required and this applies to RCA (yellow, red and white leads) leads as they are analogue. But now everything is going to HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface), so only a single cable is needed.

How HDMI works is that it is a digital signal and not an analogue signal, so straight away the signal is a little more resilient and why is this so… Digital is sent in “bits” of data, in “1” and “0” for example “1110010100011010101” ect ect and not a frequency where interference can be introduced into it, so what this means is that regardless of whether it’s a $20 or a $250 lead, you WILL NOT notice a difference in picture quality, the signal will either be there or not. Only cable over a really long length for example over 15 meters, HDMI cableor a cable that is damaged / faulty is when problems can occur with the signal, this is known as the “Bit Error Ratio”. In terms of errors, an acceptable level is 1 error per 1 billion bits of data per second and there is roughly 1.2 billion bits of data sent per second from Blu-ray discs, and there is usually 24 frames per second of picture, and what this means is there a HDMI certified cable should only send an incorrect bit for a single pixel of a single frame of video every second. This is the maximum BER allowed so you will most likely receive less.

HDMIA picture at 1920 x 1080 will be pretty much impossible to detect. BER get worse as the length increase and sharply increase at 15m, after that errors at 23m can be counted at tens of thousands per second, but there is a way around longer HDMI Cable runs also 99% of use will never use a cable longer than 5 meters so we all have nothing to worry about. Errors are also known as sparkles and can be seen in this article from C-Net at Another easy way to think of this is watching a digital TV station, when the signal is poor you get square boxes on the screen and the sound may stop, if it’s bad enough you will get a “no signal” on the screen, this is a high BER level, again the signal is either there or its not, there is no in-between like an analogue signal was.

There are different cable out on the market and as long as the packaging has “High Speed with Ethernet” written on it or in its advertising, that HDMI lead WILL do HD 1080i, 3D and the new 4K TVs format without any picture loss. There is talk about  HDMI 2.0, currently we are at HDMI 1.4 and sounds like a big leap… Don’t waste your money on this, HDMI 1.4 will still be around for a very long time and only SOME of the very high end TV’s have HDMI 2.0 ports. With HDMI cables, the only difference between all the Chinese made cables (as they all are today) is the quality of the cable construction itself and this is best explained in a C-Net part 2 article under the heading “Is it true all HDMI cables are the same?” from

So as a conclusion, if the sales person says you have to buy that expensive cable, don’t shop with them again, walk away, you’ve been lied to and then what else have they lied to you about as well… All the pictures above are screen shots of verious Australian retail outlets.

HDMI cable

To the left are HDMI cables we retail, as per the specifications, these cables will perform as well as any expensive cable from any retail outlet.

Sources for this blog was found at the following websites.

PCWorld, Technologys biggest myth

CNET, HDMI cable buying guide

CNET, why all HDMI cables are the same

CNET, why all HDMI cables are the same part 2