How Long Can An HDMI Cable Be (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 50 Feet

The integrated HD video and audio transmission standard HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is presently the most widely utilized cable interface for residential, home theatre, and commercial AV systems. An HDMI cable is most typically used to link an HD Source such as a BluRay player to an adjacent TV set, and a standard 3 meter HDMI lead distance would easily traverse that brief stretch on the Projection screen between one gadget and the other.

However, as we see more and more TVs and screens mounted on walls, as well as digital signs and video walls, becoming more universal, the distance between source and display can soon expand to significant lengths. When traversing a cable from a source to a display screen via a roof of a building, for example, the length of the cable run can easily surpass large distances of 15-20 meters, exceeding the suggested HDMI transmission capabilities.

How Long Can An HDMI Cable Be

How Long Can An HDMI Cable Be?

Type of HDMI Cable Length
Standard HDMI Cable15 meters
High-Speed HDMI Cable20 meters
Premium HDMI Cable10 meters
Active HDMI Cable20 meters
HDMI over Cat Cable40 meters

The standard HDMI cables can easily reach lengths of up to 5 meters minimum and, under ideal conditions, may reach distances of up to 20 meters.

But remember to test your system before spreading any longer wire paths through walls or ceilings, etc. One should confirm that the setup works by using the accurately attached devices like display screen and source device including any other devices such as video switches, splitters, and so on) before installing it.

A superior quality Category 2 (or High Speed) cable is suggested for signals that need to go longer than 5 – 10 meters, and will effectively accomplish a signal distance of up to 15-20 meters.

HDMI cables are also designed to transmit higher quality signals, which may be in the form of premium or active HDMI cables. These, in turn, have a range of around 10 to 20 meters. There may be even longer lengths of 40 meters as in HDMI cat cable.

Owing to the excessive range of elements that might impact signal transmission, it’s impossible to specify accurate capabilities for any cable type. Signal capabilities are influenced by the quality of cable and construction, as well as the sharpness of the signal you’re delivering. Signal interference and the transmission distance can both be influenced by environmental conditions.

Why Can HDMI Cables Be So Long?

The length of an HDMI cable is determined by its construction and the resolution of your material. The longer an HDMI cable is, the more signal it loses due to attenuation, which is why it must be manufactured with a thicker gauge, which is technically known as its AWG rating i.e. American Wire Gauge.

The lower the AWG rating of a cable, the thicker the gauge, and the more suited it is to transmit a high-resolution signal across greater distances. A thinner cable, for instance, will not be able to transmit a 4K signal for the same amount of time as a 1080p transmission.

If you’re merely searching for a passive HDMI cable, the best you can hope for is a distance of roughly 25 feet. Cable Matters has a wide range of products in this area. Slender, premium, cables with headers of axis 90 degrees and even extendable HDMI cables are all available to ensure that you only let out as much wire as you want to.

Regardless of which option you choose, 25 feet is about the maximum length you can use before the signal quality degrades due to attenuation. Although passive HDMI cables can theoretically support distances of more than twice that, the environment would have to be near-perfect to avoid severe signal degradation from such a long cable without active power to counteract the signal degradation.

You’ll be needing something more durable for longer cables.

Conclusion

Because HDMI cables suffer from signal loss, there is a limit to how long they may be. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, and it relies on the type of HDMI cable you use, as well as a few other criteria including the required resolution.

Also, severe bends in the wire might cause the signal to deteriorate even more. In other words, if you plan to stretch an HDMI cable throughout your home, you can wind up with a completely blank screen or a low-quality display.

Generally, the shorter the HDMI cable, the preferable. This is to avoid signal deterioration, which usually occurs about 50 feet.

References

  1. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA151702831&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=01490370&p=AONE&sw=w
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5075580/
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