I have a tv about 40+ feet from my pc (multiple rooms and 1 level separate us) I want to use as another monitor. I ran HDMI to the tv which worked fine, but then I tried to run a chain of multiple 10 ft USB 2.0 M/F from my computer to a USB 2.0 Hub, where I then plugged my keyboard and mouse into the hub. I did this without consulting anyone, and now realize I should have, as I am having problems getting my PC to recognize the devices plugged into the hub. I can plug a single device into the end of the USB chain and that works fine, however I do need two devices on the hub on the end. Signal strength degradation isn't a big deal for me by the way as all I need it for is keyboard/mouse.

I've been reading about active extension USB and powered USB hubs today and think they might be able to solve my problem, but I am not familiar with them. Can anyone offer an idea for a setup so I can use a mouse and keyboard with this tv, all while my PC is 40+ feet away?

There were a couple similar questions I read that did not solve my problem by the way, so I don't think this is a duplicate. Sorry in advance for anything, as I'm new.

please provide a solution for my desired setup

  • The max length of a USB cable is 16 feet 5 inches - really the max distance a USB signal can travel is 16'5" – Keltari Aug 18 '15 at 17:00
  • @Keltari I read that one, but USB extensions can still work on long lengths with active extension and or powered hubs, apparently. Also I needed advice on my specific setup in addition to this problem, so I did not think it would be considered duplicate. That article does not answer my question as it does not address active extensions and powered hubs. – Hatandboots Aug 18 '15 at 17:01
  • You can increase the length with hubs, but just a small amount. the signal timing gets degraded with hubs and extensions. You might be able to extend it a little, but to much and it just wont work. – Keltari Aug 18 '15 at 17:04

How to break the USB length limitations

You can use multiple USB hubs (no more than 5m between them) or Active Cables.

With the USB specs limiting the length of cables, is there a way to extend those limits? Yes! However, in order to go beyond these cable length limits (or recommended lengths) you need to use self-powered USB hubs or active (repeater) cables; both of which have their own limits as well. Other options such as USB over Ethernet or building your own USB bridge can extend the USB range further. Back to Top

USB Hubs:

You can use extension cables and self-powered USB hubs connected together to extend the range of your USB device. However, it is important to remember when using 2.0 hubs and cables that the distance between each powered hub can be no more than 5 meters (16 feet and 5 inches). When using 3.0/3.1 hubs and cables, do not exceed the recommended length of 3 meters (9 feet and 10 inches) between hubs. Note: It is possible to use bus-powered USB hubs, but you will quickly run out of power as you extend your setup.

Active (Repeater) Extension Cables:

USB active extension cables contain electronics that regenerate the USB signal. Active cables are essentially 1 port USB hubs. You can use a regular USB cable in conjunction with an active cable as long as the regular cable is not more than 5 meters (16 feet and 5 inches) long for 2.0 devices and not more than 3 meters (9 feet and 10 inches) long for 3.0 devices. Note: Typically, active cables are bus-powered cables. To ensure you receive the full 500mA power of a USB port, consider purchasing an active cable that includes a separate power adapter.

USB Hub Limits and Maximum Length of Active Cables

Just like there is a limit on a regular (passive) USB cable, there is also a limit on how long an active cable can be and how many USB hubs you can use.

Maximum number of USB Hubs:

The USB 2.0/3.0/3.1 specifications call for only 7 tiers of devices to be connected. When you count the devices on each end (the host and the peripheral device), that only leaves 5 tiers available and a USB hub is considered 1 tier. Thus, only a maximum of 5 USB hubs can be used for a total maximum length of 30 meters (about 98 feet and 5 inches).

Maximum length of USB active (repeater) cable:

This number depends if you are using a regular cable with an active cable or not. If you are not using a regular cable, then the maximum active cable length for USB 2.0 is 30 meters (98 feet and 5 inches) and the maximum recommended length for USB 3.0/3.1 is 18 meters (about 59 feet). If you are using a regular cable (max length of 5 meters for 2.0 and max length of 3 meters for 3.0/3.1) with an active cable, then the maximum length for USB 2.0 is 25 meters (about 82 feet) and the maximum recommended length for USB 3.0/3.1 is 15 meters (about 49 feet).

Is there any way to go beyond the limit of active cables or hubs?

There are other ways you can extend a USB signal beyond the 30 meter limit. You can use USB over Ethernet to achieve distances up to 100 meters (about 328 feet). Additionally, you can build your own USB bridge to transmit data over different communication channels such as wireless methods.

Source USB Cable Length Limitations And How To Break Them

  • Hmm, so would using an appropriate length of active extension with a usb hub(powered or not?) on the end work? – Hatandboots Aug 18 '15 at 17:09
  • It would appear so ... – DavidPostill Aug 18 '15 at 17:11

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