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Send HR34 signal over Cat 5

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by E91, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Mar 8, 2013 #1 of 11

    E91 Godfather

    Oct 7, 2008
    Please don't kill me if this has been asked a bazillion times before. I did do a search, and didn't find what I need.

    I have moved into a new house and the owner ran Cat 5 lines all over the house so that he could distribute broadband signal with an ethernet switch. I have one line that is not being used which goes from my "man cave" room (where my HR34 and media setup lives) to the living room.

    I have an extra TV and thought about putting it in the living room. I really don't want to pay D* for yet another signal when I will only be watching one TV at a time. So, I was hoping to use an HDMI splitter of some kind, and then distribute the signal over the Cat 5 cables.

    I have seen gizmos like that advertised all over the net, I was just wondering if anybody had tried this with an HR34 and whether there was specific recommendations as to what I should buy.

    Thanks! (and, I apologize again if this is a retread issue).
  2. Mar 8, 2013 #2 of 11

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    I'd be interested to hear from members if Cat 5 is enough, in their anecdotal experiences. It is certainly enough for shorter runs, but I am not sure it would suffice for longer ones. You probably need Cat 6e, and a decent crimp tool alone for that is in the $300 range. My first thought is that I'd think about wifi -N and forget about Cat 5. But then I am still waiting to be schooled by the local gurus on that.

    The one thing I am sure of? Building a house today I would not even put in Cat 8 (just out, good for 40 Gb/s), I would put in conduit, and then later could easily upgrade.
  3. Mar 8, 2013 #3 of 11

    E91 Godfather

    Oct 7, 2008
    It is a short run for me, maybe 20 feet.

    How exactly do I determine whether the cable runs are Cat 5, Cat 5e, or Cat 6? From what I can see, the old owner simply got under the crawl space and ran cable all round the house.

    EDIT: Never mind. Its definitely Cat 5.

    I do have a superfast Wifi router in the house, so I suppose that is another option.
  4. Mar 9, 2013 #4 of 11

    CurtP AllStar

    Jan 8, 2008
    Start searching for HDBaseT. There are several distribution systems out there, but it isn't cheap. In fact, it downright expensive. The Atlona 8x8 HDBaseT matrix is $6k (model number AT-PRO2HD88M). Gefen is using the technology too.
  5. Mar 9, 2013 #5 of 11

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    It has been discussed several times, but I know its difficult to find if you don't know what words to search for. Here is a post of mine from a prior thread. I have my HR34 Genie set up this way, so I can use all the same features in the remote room, including PIP. I used cat6, cat5e is what is recommended as the minimum. Of course on a shorter run, cat5 might work.

  6. E91

    E91 Godfather

    Oct 7, 2008
    Thanks for the help! Seems like some good info in those threads.

    Sadly, there is Cat 5 throughout the house. It was all installed by the previous owner, and I'm not the type to crawl under the house and replace it. So, I'll have to go with that, or try something else.

    My plan was to try this:

  7. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

    Jan 10, 2008
    That gizmo requires two ethernet lines and you said originally that you only have one available
  8. tigerwillow1

    tigerwillow1 Legend

    Jan 26, 2009
    I tried an HDMI over 2x cat cables gizmo and it flat out didn't work for me. The furthest I could get any picture at all was with about 6 feet of cable, and it was intermittent. I have a feeling that it's dependent on your TV as well as the extender gadget. The ones that use 2 cables I assume are just splitting the HDMI signals over the 2 cables, and re-combining them at the other end. Others I believe have active circuitry to rebuild a clean signal at the receiving end. If your TV is tolerant of noise, amplitude loss, and/or skew a low end product might work. My Sony Bravia is not tolerant. I ended up sending component video and digital audio over a single cat6 using baluns, using home runs to a patch panel, about 100 feet total between the two ends. There is some loss of picture sharpness but it otherwise works fine.
  9. jaguar325

    jaguar325 Legend

    Jan 2, 2006
    For splitting, the Gefen splitters are pricey but work flawlessly. I tried some others but they didn't support certain audio formats and/or were flaky with HDMI handshaking... not saying nobody else's stuff will work, just that the premium you pay for Gefen translates into knowing it will work as advertised. I've had two splitters of theirs for several years sharing signal between great room and bedroom - no problems ever.

    If you want to split and distribute on Cat5, that's where things get interesting - the "all-in-one" boxes are really expensive as the other poster already mentioned. One way around this (if you have room in your A/V cabinet) is to split first, then distribute with another box. This is what I intend to do by adding a Gefen extender to the signal coming out of my existing splitter. I talked to tech support at Gefen and they assure me this device (link below) has been tested to work on a single Cat 5A up to 60m. I have Cat6 so will get a bit more range.


    These are available on the web at just under $300... one of the benefits of this new one is that no power is needed on the receiving end and the receiver is really small. I am sure you thought of this already but my comment on this is that it's tough to justify the cost of these devices by avoiding one more dvr/receiver rental. For me, the real benefit is that you don't have to accommodate a dvr/receiver near the TV -and- you can have the same show running on more than one TV at once. In my application, this means if you are watching something in the great room, the same show can be running on the porch so as you move in/out of these two rooms, never have to restart the show on another D* box.

    Good luck!
  10. drogot

    drogot Mentor

    Aug 29, 2006
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    The problem with the OP's scenario is that a single cable is not enough for HD. Most of the solutions recommend two dedicated CAT5e STP cables.

    I've got my bedroom TV hooked up to two 60' runs of CAT5 STP between a pair of monoprice HDMI wall plates and it works well. My AVR has a secondary HDMI output so everything is wonderful as long as the bedroom TV is either on or the HDMI cable is disconnected.

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