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So I have just learned about HDMI over CAT5, this sounds awesome. But I am having trouble finding information about it as google's result list is saturated with products and not info.

So how does this work? Does a CAT5 cable essentially do an inline replacement of a HDMI cable or does the setup run over an existing network?

I also see that there are some solutions that require two CAT5 cables and some that require one. What is the main difference? Can I get away with one and a gigabit network?

Are there HDMI switchers and if so how do they work? I want to move my cable box (which can be controlled over WIFI) and a computer into a different room, only one will need to be active at a time, but how would I change which signal source to show remotely?

And lastly, from my initial research there are tons of products. Is there anything to avoid when looking for something to buy? Any recommendations?

Is audio also supported? Is there any compression with the video or audio on any of these solutions?

Thanks! (I should also point out I do not know the terminology or all the options so if I am looking in the wrong direction please point me right! I just basically want to move my cable box and computer to another room, controlling them remotely is taken care of, the HDMI link is what I am missing.)

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HDMI over CAT5 sounds rather like you can use CAT5 cables (for example in an in-house wiring with a patch field) instead of using an original HDMI cable. This is quite different from HDMI over Ethernet (or even over TCP/IP). –  Martin May 31 '11 at 13:39
    
Is HDMI over Ethernet such a thing? I have no idea. I am not limiting myself to HDMI over CAT5, I just thought that was the terminology. –  Tom H. May 31 '11 at 13:50
    
For your described purpose, you would need something like HDMI over TCP/IP to use your existing wireless LAN infrastructure. However, I don't know if HDMI over TCP/IP exists. –  Martin May 31 '11 at 13:56
    
I do not need a wireless solution. My house is wired for ethernet. I would prefer a wired solution because I feel that is faster and more reliable. To me HDMI over CAT5 does sound like you can use a CAT5 cable instead of a HDMI cable, but just because it sounds like that doesn't mean it is. –  Tom H. May 31 '11 at 14:01
    
Because two ethernet cables are used, this looks like a one-to-one mapping of pins, possibly ignoring pins 14-19. This should provide the 10.2Gbit/s needed for HDMI, but it is not compatible with normal LAN ethernet. Cat5/6 is probably cheaper or more convenient than a 30m HDMI cable. –  sblair May 31 '11 at 14:04
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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

HDMI over CAT-5 "Extenders" just use the Cat-5 network wiring to transmit their signal in place of an HDMI cable. If you put a switch (or alike) between the ends, it won't work. Example

There are DVI/HDMI-over-IP solutions out there as well, primarily for digital signage. Example

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HDMI Extender solutions have been around for a while. First generation units used 2 Cat5e/6 cables, but the new version units with or without HDBaseT support only require one cat5e/6 cable. HDMI Extender units carry both video and audio.

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