HDMI is a marvel of technology. Digital pulses zoom over delicate wires, bringing you audio and video in sharp clarity and contrast. Paired with the newest LED televisions, it can certainly seem as though little slices of life are being beamed across time and space, directly onto your screen. HDMI is a sprinter, though, and not well-suited to marathon runs. Depending on output strength, cable quality, and a number of other factors, you might find yourself losing signal before you get to where you’re going. Resolution is usually the first to drop, followed by the sound or image. It doesn’t matter how long your cable is- if the signal can’t make it, you’ve got one high-tech jump rope.
The job of HDMI repeaters and extenders is to train or push the signal to go farther. There are several different ways to do that. One of the easiest ways is FireFold’s HDMI-EXTEND. This HDMI repeater acts just like a regular coupler with female ports for connecting the ends of two cables. The real magic is on the inside. Using only the native 5V power carried over HDMI, this small and unimposing extender can essentially double the distance you can send your signal. Instead of a mere 50 feet to play with, this coupler can regenerate your signal for 105 feet or you could daisy-chain two of them and increase your run to 165 feet. You don’t have to sacrifice any of the advanced features of HDMI, either. High-definition resolutions, HDCP compliance, and 3D playback are all left intact for the length of your run.
This basic coupler design means there’s no set-up. You just plug in your cables and you’re ready to go. There are two things to keep in mind when using the HDMI-EXTEND. The first is to make sure it is flipped the right way. There are clear labels by the HDMI ports that say either “input” or “output.” The cable coming from your Blu-ray, DVD, or other source goes into the input and the cable to your display goes into the output. The second thing is that this repeater works best with a maximum length of 60 feet from source to repeater and 45 feet from repeater to TV. Stay within those parameters and you’re sure to enjoy all of the perks of a solid HDMI signal.