An HDMI coupler is a hardware component that allows HDMI cables to transmit uncompressed signals from the audio-video source to the display device or source it is plugged into.
The common uses of HDMI couplers are for connecting monitors, desktops, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and other areas of workplace communication and home entertainment.
This unit is available in various configurations and sizes. But even if you use the best ones, there are chances that it may result in signal degradation.
So, should you use an HDMI coupler or not, and if not then what are the best options available for availing of a secured connection? The answer to these queries lies in this post!
What is an HDMI Coupler?
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For those who don’t know or have partial knowledge, HDMI couplers are compact and small units useful for connecting dual HDMI signals through female jacks. Most of the HDMI cables come with male jacks. It is because female jacks prevent these cables from breaking in the course of hit or drop.
These cables are engineered using 19 pairs of wire, which delve into multiple pins reaching towards a single plug. With the help of a coupler, you can connect these pins between female jacks facing opposite each other. As a result, a better connection is available between the male plugs.
They are used on the notion that using a coupler offers a strong connection as that provided by a wire.
Why You Need an HDMI Coupler?
HDMI is a short form for digital standard and when the cable length increases, the picture quality does not reduce in the same way as the case is with analog signals. The length cable results in issues like loss of details or the video or audio suddenly stopping working and others.
If the length is 40feet or more, it may result in instability and signal stuttering.
In such cases, HDMI couplers can solve the problem to a great extent by allowing the best outputs from an audiovisual setup. The coupler allows smooth transmission of signal over the distance so that it is free from external disturbances.
Best Ways for Extending HDMI Cables
- Installation within the Walls
HDMI is considered low-voltage wiring. Hence, wall plates can be used with a simple bracket rather than an electrical box. This ensures you can secure a smooth connection with lengthy cables.
- Cat6 Cables
Using Cat6 cables is another option to consider. You may use a balun to connect the HD cable box with a short HDMI cable. This balun is a small router-like box and it passes an HDMI signal to one or more Cat6 or Cat 5e cables. Such cables are used with Ethernet networks.
The receiving end of these high-end cables uses a box to pass the signal back on the HDMI cable, which connects the display.
- Wireless Setup
If you want complete freedom from these lengthy and messy wires, you must plan a wireless HDMI setup. It means establishing a network between various wireless products, which transmit video and audio signals using wireless standards.
For this, you need to place a transmitter close to the video source along with a small receiver near the TV.
Which is Best – Cat Cable or HDMI Cable?
On comparing Cat cables with HDMI cables, the former one offers more advantages than the latter one in the long run. Cat cables are lightweight and more versatile and flexible than HDMI cables. The main reason for this is that Cat cables accompany four pairs of wire. Hence, they easily run on the walls and floors.
Furthermore, it is easier to keep the floor free from traffic using cat cables. They can be easily mounted on the walls using cable clips or adhesive. You can also install them underneath the surfaces to hide them.
But cat cables are unshielded. Also, if you install them on walls or floors they are exposed. We suggest painting the cables with the color matching to your décor so that it does not look awkward. You may even get special small pieces for a more elegant appearance or route them closely to the corners of the walls.
Finally, cat cables come in lengthy rolls of up to 25 feet, which means you don’t need a coupler or connector for a long connection. You can easily establish a long connection with just one cable without compromising on signal quality.
HDMI Coupler Tips and Advice
- When buying an HDMI coupler for cable extension, do consider the length of the cable. You can use a coupler to extend cable in different lengths including 3 feet, 1.5 feet and 10 feet.
- To secure 3D or 4D video signal support you must choose an HDMI cable offering high-speed. Otherwise, even if you use a high-quality coupler you will not be able to get the support for technologies you want. The HDMI cables supporting 4K are slightly more expensive than the standard cables.
- Some HDMI couplers come with gold-plated connectors. Though there is not much difference in quality of signal transmission between gold plated couplers and one that does not have. But those with gold-plated connectors hold more resistance to corrosion and need less cleaning or replacement. It is therefore best to pick a coupler with gold-plated connections.
- To make sure your devices get proper signal, it is best to keep them closer to the cable. Moreover, look for a coupler that comes with an angled connector. There are connectors available, which offer a 90-degree angle so they reduce cable mess and occupy less space.
Guidelines to Extend HDMI Cables for a Better Connection
It is better to follow some general guidelines to extend the HDMI cables for establishing a secure connection.
- Make sure you always place the cable away from the furniture and feet. If your cables keep coming in the path they are prone to get damaged. It is best to install them on walls without placing furniture nearby.
- If there is no other option left, you may place a rug over the cables or affix it to the floor using tape.
- Try using the shortest cable length. This ensures your connection is less prone to interference. For better installation, it is wise to consult a professional while planning your setup and cable requirements.
- Avoid installing the cable to the corners. It is because whenever a twist or 90-degree angle is generated to install the cable, this generates a point of tension, which damages the wire. Some sort of rearrangement may also be needed, but it is wise to avoid routing the cable around the corners.
What You May Do?
It is better to pick short HDMI cables and plan to set up a compact and small setup. But if your entertainment system hosts numerous screens you must look for other options than using an HDMI. In such situations, it is best to go wireless!
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