HDMI

Can an HDMI signal degrade?

Episode 1270

John from Kingsford, MI

John has an HDMI switcher and is concerned that it will degrade the signal. Leo says it won't though. Digital signal either works or doesn't, and there's no degrading of the signal. What about juttering? Leo says that is likely coming from a bandwidth issue. It's likely the satellite connection. One issue could be distance. If he has a really long HDMI cable, it could cause weird artifacting and juttering. That's where a higher quality cable comes in handy.

How can I connect my home theater wirelessly?

DVDO Air3C

Episode 1267

Greg from San Jose, CA

Greg has a new HDTV and he doesn't want wires. How can he go wireless with his home theater unit? Scott says that a company called DVDO makes a wireless HDMI system called Air3C. It's around $200 for a transmitter and receiver, which uses the 60 GHz band. That means the transmitter and receiver must be more or less in line of sight with each other and can't be used to transmit from one room to another.

How can I stream audio through my TV?

Chromecast Audio

Episode 1242

Mike from Fontana, CA

Mike wants to expand the range of his television by streaming via the internet. Leo says that since Mike wants to play internet radio through his home theater system, the Chromecast Audio would be the best option. He can then browse to the internet radio station (if supported) and then connect to it. Roku has a lot more stations available, but if he has to get a website up to stream with it, then Chromecast is the simplest way to go. If he wants to connect the computer to it, then using Miracast would work.

Why doesn't my TV switch to my laptop connection?

Episode 1241

Jeff from Ontario, CA

Jeff bought a Samsung Smart TV and it's connected to FIOS. Sometimes, though, they connect a laptop to it through HDMI. The TV doesn't like it and jumps back to HDMI 1, though. Leo says that is due to CEC or Consumer Electronics Control, which in theory will switch to the active device. In practice, it's sketchy at best. Some ports may be CEC and some may not be. And Samsung may not call it CEC. Jeff will also have to make sure that CEC is enabled. Another issue is a device going into sleep mode and not grabbing the CEC.

How can I plug an LCD TV into an old cable box?

Component cables

Episode 1240

Joey from Laguna beach, CA

Joey inherited an LCD TV and he needs an adapter to plug in from his old coax cable box. Leo says that coax is an analog connector designed largely for over the air antennas, rather than digital, which is what HDMI or DVI is. Leo says it's going to cost Joey more to get a Coax to DVI converter than it would just to get a new cable box. Then he can get an inexpensive HDMI to DVI adapter. He'll also need a separate sound cable. Since Joey also has component, another option is to go from Component to DVI. That's an inexpensive option as well. But then he could end up with sync issues.

How can I extend the range of my video signal?

Episode 1234

Steve from Chino Hills, CA

Steve has a Security Camera DVR and he's used a splitter to watch it in several rooms using a balun, but he keeps losing the signal. Leo says that HDMI doesn't throw very far, and using a balun amplifies the signal and sends it over ethernet to the other side. The distance is still limited to around 200' and it could be that he's at the extreme edge of the range. Steve could go RF. The chat room says that using Cat6 Ethernet cables could make it that far, and at MonoPrice.com he could get an extender kit to around 328 feet.

How can I run HDMI 50 feet or more?

HDMI Cable

Episode 1209

Glen from Rolling Heights, CA

Glen wants to split his TV signal via HDMI. It works for a minute and then it gets really dark. Leo says the challenge is that Glen is splitting the signal and then transporting it over a greater distance. So chances are it's dropping bits due to interference. That's why Leo says a Balun is a better choice. He can then send HDMI over ethernet and the signal is amplified over both ends. It's much better and not very expensive. Glen can check out HDMI Extenders or Baluns at monoprice.com.