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How do HDMI Extenders Work?

You may have wondered whether there is an option to strengthen an HDMI signal. HDMI signals and their relative cables are not always the strongest or the longest. An HDMI extender is your answer to enhance your HDMI signal and extend it to areas longer than the cables.

An HDMI extender strengthens the signal of the HDMI interface to go beyond its 40-50 feet limitation. An HDMI extender can be wired or wireless, and it passes the HDMI signal through the input to the output of a distance up to 300 feet if wired and 600 feet wireless.

What Does an HDMI Extender Do?

J-Tech Digital HDMI Extender By Single Cat 5E/6
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The HDMI, High-Definition Media Interface, can create visual errors if it attempts to output audio and visual information beyond its signal limitation. 

An HDMI extender remedies extending the HDMI source signal to different devices such as a Blu-ray player to a high-definition television beyond 40 to 50 feet.

An HDMI extender breaks the limitation of its 40-50 feet signal between its input, such as your Blu-ray player, to its output, your high-definition television. Visual and audio errors will generally occur if you go beyond 40-50 feet.

Luckily, with the use of an HDMI extender, this limitation is no longer a problem.

How does an HDMI Extender Work?

A wired HDMI extender works similar to getting internet access from your router to your computer through an ethernet cable.

There are various types of HDMI extenders. The two commonly used wired ones are the HDMI Over Cat6 Extender and the HDMI Over Coax Extender.

The HDMI Over Cat6 Extender uses a small HDMI cable and a small device known as an HDMI balun. The HDMI balun uses a technology called HDBaseT to extend the HDMI signal through Cat6 ethernet cables from the output to the input, longer than 50-60 feet.

J-Tech Digital 4K Ultra HD HDBaseT HDMI Extender
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A Cat6 cable is a commonly used ethernet cable that can transfer a large amount of data, up to 1 gigabit per second, between its input and output, hence why we related it to a wired network connection.

You can essentially, with the combination of the HDMI balun, or series of them, and Cat6 cables create networks of HDMI inputs output to many different devices regardless of space. They can extend the range up to about 300 feet.

An HDMI Over Coax Extender is a type of HDMI Extender that uses a coax cable to extend your signal strength significantly.

HDMI Over Coax Extender
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The coax connector is connected between transmitter and receiver commonly used in cable television transmitters. 

An HDMI Over Coax Connector can increase your signal strength up to about 300 feet. This extender is connected between the input, such as a PlayStation 4 console, and its output, a high-definition television.

The HDMI Over Coax Connector is not as widely used as the HDMI Over Cat6 Extender as the Coax cables are expensive compared to the inexpensive Cat6 cables. Both wired HDMI Extenders also increase their signal strength up to 300 feet.

Are HDMI Extenders Reliable?

The most reliable of the two mentioned HDMI wired extenders, the HDMI Over Cat6 Extender and the HDMI Over Coax Extender, is the HDMI Over Cat6 Extender.

196ft/60m HDMI Extender Over Cat 5e/6
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The HDMI Over Coax Extender, as mentioned above, is not only expensive in its cabling but also lackluster in its cable quality. These cables are very bulky and inflexible, which means they can easily break.

The HDMI Over Cat6 Extender makes use of flexible Cat6 ethernet cables, which are not only inexpensive but can endure much flexibility. It also uses the HDBaseT technology, which does not have a picture or audio delay. 

The HDMI Over Cat6 Extender is more reliable than the HDMI Over Coax Extender. The Cat6 Ethernet cables are flexible and inexpensive, and the HDBaseT technology provides you with a strong signal, up to 300 feet, with no latency.

A Wireless HDMI Extender also exists. This extender’s reliability is mixed as it all depends on the strength Wireless HDMI Extender’s signal strength. The Wireless HDMI Extender is discussed in more detail below.

How Does A Wireless HDMI Extender Work?

As the name implies, a Wireless HDMI Extender essentially extends with an HDMI signal without wires. This type of HDMI Extender works very much like using WIFI to connect your computer to the internet wirelessly without the need for an ethernet cable.

Wireless HDMI Extender Kit
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Like the limitations of WIFI, such as the signal not being as necessary strong as a wired internet connection, so does the Wireless HDMI Extender also has limitations compared to its wired counterparts.

This HDMI extender works by setting a Wireless HDMI Extender transmitter by the input, such as a Blu-ray Player, and a Wireless HDMI Extender receiver at the output, such as the high-definition television.

This HDMI extender can extend its signal up to 600 feet, but the strength of that signal very much depends on the quality of the Wireless HDMI Extender.

Although having an HDMI extender without wires could be an advantage, like WIFI, it could also drop its connection from time to time. The reliability of a Wireless HDMI Extender depends on the quality of the extender you bought. 

How Do I Connect To My HDMI Extender?

The wired HDMI extenders, specifically the HDMI Over Cat6 Extender and the HDMI Over Coax Extender, are similar in how you connect each form in input and output.

The HDMI Over Cat6 Extender works by connecting an HDMI cable plugged into the input to the HDMI balun through the use of Cat6 ethernet cables to the output. The HDBaseT technology within the balun outputs a great video and audio quality to the output device.

The HDMI Over Coax Extender makes use of a transmitter where your input is connected and then extended with a coax cable to the receiver, where your output will receive the audio and video signal of the HDMI input.

A Wireless HDMI Extender works almost like a WIFI connection. The HDMI input is connected to the Wireless HDMI Extender’s transmitter and outputted to the Wireless HDMI Extender receiver.

The HDMI Extender, both wireless and wired, works very much like a respective wired and wireless network connection.


An HDMI Extender increases the signal strength of the HDMI connection, and it breaks the 40-50 feet limitation of a standard HDMI connection. A wired HDMI Extender can increase that signal strength up to 300 feet.

The most reliable wired HDMI Extender, between the HDMI Over Cat6 Extender and the HDMI Over Coax Extender, is the HDMI Over Cat6 Extender. It makes use of inexpensive Cat6 ethernet cables and, with the help of its HDBaseT technology, provides a perfect audio and video output with no latency.

Although a Wireless HDMI Extender has no wires and can extend its signal up to 600 feet, the quality of that connection is mixed. The connection can frequently be interrupted depending on the quality of the Wireless HDMI Extender.

An HDMI Extender quality and strength are akin to a wireless and wired network connection. The wired HDMI Extender is much more reliable and better in quality, while the Wireless HDMI Extender strength depends on the signal quality.

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