HDMI Cable Length

Questions about ATEM Switchers, Camera Converter and everything live!
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JeffLee

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HDMI Cable Length

PostTue Dec 09, 2014 1:38 am

Hi, I just purchased the ATEM Television Studio and plan to connect two cameras via HDMI cables for our elementary school's assemblies. I'm having a problem where I can only get a good signal from my cameras when I use a really short (6ft) HDMI cord, but all my longer cords flash in and out. Can anyone help me with a (hopefully cheap) solution where I can have my cameras 20-30 ft from the switcher and get a reliable signal using HDMI cords?

Thank you!
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Fred Rodrigues

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostTue Dec 09, 2014 6:03 pm

You will 'have to' get hdmi to SDI. You can try going through every brand of long cable you can, and maybe you will find something that works, but they are expensive, they are never good quality or flexible and you will have to replace them.

Instead put in some money now rather than again and again later invest in a couple of HDMI to SDI convertors and SDi cable. It will last a long time, has locking connectors, you wont destroy the HDMi output of your camera by stepping on a cable and the image will not flicker.

If you take a look through the forums you will see some people who get long HDMI cables working, but even if they do work, you still don't solve any of the other problems, like expense, damage to the port, the poor quality of the cables and no locking connector. At any rate in this forum there are hundreds of problems that all come down to bad or long HDMI cables.
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Tony Rivera

Blackmagic Design

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostTue Dec 09, 2014 7:51 pm

Fred is correct. HDMI cable runs longer than 10-15 ft can cause signal loss and we suggest that you stay around that range.
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TylerRiddle

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostTue Dec 09, 2014 11:24 pm

Fred is right. HD-SDI (Coaxial) is the way to go.

If you want to use Cat:
This works: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=1 ... 1&format=2

However, these adapters can be finicky on power-up but are solid once up.

If you need mini HDMI-HDMI cables:

Here: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=1 ... 1&format=2
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Thomas Seewald

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostWed Dec 10, 2014 8:32 am

I also bought some cheep HDMI to SDI converters, so I can use my existing coax-cables. There are more converters at the market than Blackmagic ;-)
thos-berlin - Thomas S e e w a l d
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Ray Larson

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostThu Dec 11, 2014 9:13 pm

Issue is longstanding-and it is not BM specific. It is the nature of HDMI and variable data structures. Please check this article - http://audioquest.com/resource_tools/do ... v_1_00.pdf

This provides a great overview of the issue and the complexity of the problems we all encounter. Best of luck!
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Andy Williams

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostFri Dec 12, 2014 2:13 am

http://www.monoprice.com/Search/Index?keyword=redmere

50 ft. HDMI cables we use 8 of them(six 50' and two 30') to extend computers->monitors from the engineering room to the control room. Four are running 1680x1050 and four are running 1920x1080. There are shorter versions too. I have been very pleased with the results, 10 months now running 24/7 with no issues. Not sure if they will work with a camera though, but I imagine they would be worth a try. They state that these cables can be used in place of any HDMI cable...

Cheers!
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TylerRiddle

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostSat Dec 13, 2014 4:26 am

Andy Williams wrote:http://www.monoprice.com/Search/Index?keyword=redmere

50 ft. HDMI cables we use 8 of them(six 50' and two 30') to extend computers->monitors from the engineering room to the control room. Four are running 1680x1050 and four are running 1920x1080. There are shorter versions too. I have been very pleased with the results, 10 months now running 24/7 with no issues. Not sure if they will work with a camera though, but I imagine they would be worth a try. They state that these cables can be used in place of any HDMI cable...

Cheers!



Andy, these will not work with the BMD system because they have an Active Chip in them and the Atem Switcher doesn't power them. I've tried Redmere Cables with no luck!
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Andy Williams

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostSun Dec 14, 2014 5:34 pm

TylerRiddle wrote:Andy, these will not work with the BMD system because they have an Active Chip in them and the Atem Switcher doesn't power them. I've tried Redmere Cables with no luck!


Unfortunately, thats not the case as i just hooked my Mac book to my ATEM 4K PS using a redmere 30ft cable. I used a monoprice TB->HDMI adapter straight into the cable then to the HDMI input on the ATEM. Worked the first time. In fact thats the monitor I'm using to write this post!!
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Fred Rodrigues

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostSun Dec 14, 2014 5:50 pm

@Andy Williams
It is great that you got it going, I have had some luck with long HDMI cables as well (at a push when I have no choice). There are other workarounds, HDMI amplifiers and powered splitters. In the end the most trouble you will get is using these long cables going IN to pro gear (BM or otherwise). Your post implies you are you are driving a monitor form this long cable, much more trouble is had going IN to progear with a long HDMI, not OUT as you are doing (and the OP). The forum is full of problems with doing this.

The cases where you can get this stuff to work are few, but satisfying for those who can live with all the other disadvantages of HDMI. In reference to the OP and getting a reliable and flexible setup (admittedly if you are using BM gear, at a sub to semi pro level), going with SDI is a real solution. For most of us, apart from the other disadvantages of putting a long HDMI into a camera and having it feed your mixer, generally doing things that are not supported by the manufacturers does not cut it in the field. This also leaves you with a limited use cable, where an SDI cable and convertor will also have a lot of other uses, at any rate in the medium to long term there is very little price advantage in going with the long HDMI cable. Have you ever changed an HDMI connector? An SDI connector can be changed for a few bucks in a matter of minutes, for most, a broken connector on HDMI is a new cable, the first time you replace your cable you just paid for an HDMI to SDI converter. What if you want to go longer than 30m? With SDI it is very little cost, in the worst case an SDI connector (locking and small) will give you an extra 30m easily.

I dont want to offend you but it is more productive to offer solid flexible solutions that will work across the board on a forum like this. Your story is interesting, but for many users will cause problems.

Cheers

Fred
http://www.fredrodrigues.net/
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Andy Williams

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostMon Dec 15, 2014 5:57 am

@Fred Rodrigues

Thanks and no worries, I try to read posts giving the benefit of the doubt to people. Written words can be easily misunderstood and taken in the wrong way, and unfortunately examples can easily be found everywhere. On that note, I have made a few observations of my own to share that hopefully won't come across offensive to you or others as well. Here we go:

Lets beak down what the OP said,
jefflee wrote:Hi, I just purchased the ATEM Television Studio and plan to connect two cameras via HDMI cables for our elementary school's assemblies.

To me this says that they have a simple setup that and they want a simple & economical solution for connecting the cameras to the switcher.
jefflee wrote:I'm having a problem where I can only get a good signal from my cameras when I use a really short (6ft) HDMI cord, but all my longer cords flash in and out.

This says to me that they have tried a few cords already that haven't worked reliably further than 6ft. Note that they have already gotten them to work via HDMI into the ATEM as well.
jefflee wrote:Can anyone help me with a (hopefully cheap) solution where I can have my cameras 20-30 ft from the switcher and get a reliable signal using HDMI cords?

The answer is yes there are cables that should work that I have had positive personal experience with that I believe would suit this application well. I answered because everyone was saying that SDI is the only way to go and I believe HDMI is another possible solution to consider also. Some thoughts that apply to both:

1) You are going to be dealing with said issues of HDMI ports & cables any way you go because of the camera, so complaints in this area are moot. If you don't want HDMI issues, get an SDI camera!

2) Properly secured and relieved cables should give decent service regardless of connection type.

3) BNC ports are just as easily trashed by abuse just like anything else, Ive seen my share of BNC's ripped from cameras & gear by someone not paying attention.

4) Many pieces of BMD gear are picky about signal regardless of connection type, I have dealt with this issue several times.

Some thoughts on the HDMI->SDI converter box transmission method mentioned by others:

If you plan on taking the cameras further than 50-60 ft. cable wise away from the switcher, then this is going to be the cheapest way to do it and will allow for good flexibility in the distance area and signal reliability hands down. There are some extras to know about that are necessary for doing it this way.

1) Flexibility can bring complexity, sometimes unnecessarily. In this case you have double the connections to be concerned with, double the gear, not to mention the weakest link of most electronics, another power supply. Not necessarily bad things, just need to be aware of them.

2) It needs to be powered from somewhere near the camera if you want to minimize HDMI cordage. Power options range from having an A/C cord with an extra outlet for the converter to powering it via camera battery or its own battery.

3) If you need to repair a BNC cable properly, you will need the proper end for the cable you are using(not all coax is the same!!), and the proper tools (stripper & crimper) & the know-how to install that end successfully in minutes (all cost extra $). There could be a "tool less" end out there, but I have not seen or looked for one yet. If you know of one, I might buy a few for using in a pinch until proper ends can be used later. A "tool less" end may make this point moot, but being "tool less" may compromise the ends ability to make a proper connection or be more limited in the scope of cables it would fit.

4) Coax cables are decently resilient to being run over by heavy objects

5) Spools of coax are readily available locally, ends to fit it and/or tools for those ends may be another story.


Some thoughts on the HDMI cable method:

If you are not taking the cameras beyond 50-60 ft. cable length from the switcher, then this could be a very simple and inexpensive option. It requires no extra things to deal with, plug one end in the camera and the other in the switcher and you're done.

1) More limited in distance from the switcher than SDI.

2) Unknown resiliency to being run over by heavy objects.

3) If the cable gets damaged, you either get it warrantied or buy a new one. No repairs.

4) In the case of redmere cables, they are unidirectional (they are well labeled). Not necessarily a bad thing, just good to keep in mind.

5) Only one cable is needed to be run to the camera and requires no external power source. The camera is free to be powered by any available means necessary.

6) Outside spec? the cables are made to go these lengths.

7) The 50ft redmere cables we have are roughly the size of rg6 (a tad bigger). However, flexibility is more akin to a standard HDMI cable of the same diameter, so its pretty decent to work with.

IMHO, you could not do much better than either of these options. However in this case, going via redmere's are a perfectly viable option that will likely meet the OP's needs with simplicity/cost savings and should not be so casually dismissed.
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Fred Rodrigues

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostMon Dec 15, 2014 8:12 am

Cheers, to be more straight forward see the above post from black magic, the company whos gear we are talking about using
HDMI cable runs longer than 10-15 ft can cause signal loss and we suggest that you stay around that range.
http://www.fredrodrigues.net/
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TylerRiddle

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostMon Dec 15, 2014 2:19 pm

I have the older tvs, I know the hdmi spec is different on the tvs vs the 4k. It is more stringent in terms of resolution, but apparently now powers the chip! Glad to hear the redmere cables work!
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ModestaSerrano

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Re: HDMI Cable Length

PostWed Aug 14, 2019 7:54 am

There does exist long HDMI cables on the market, some of them reach 7 feet long. It gives you the convenience to connect two devices but always getting worse picture quality than a short HDMI cable. You just can get both at a time.Image

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