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Running HDMI 2.1 cable through 3/4 inch PVC conduit

 
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Arjan



Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:34 pm    Post subject: Running HDMI 2.1 cable through 3/4 inch PVC conduit Reply with quote


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Hi,

We are moving to a new home (just built) and we're in the process of laying additional conduit for several things.

One thing I would like to do is run HDMI 2.1 cable from one side of the living room (where the regular TV, BluRay player, Streaming settop box but also the projection screen will be located) to the opposite side near the ceiling for use with a projector.

General question: what is the recommended way of doing this?

I plan on using 3/4 inch PVC conduit which will be routed into the wall, through the crawling space and then up the other wall to the ceiling (3/4 and 5/8 inch PVC is what invariably gets used here in the Netherlands) and I have found a supplier who offers a cable with the following:


  • Removable HDMI plug housing for feeding through 3/4 inch PVC pipe
  • Built-in amplifier
  • Guilded
  • 20 meter (roughly 60 ft)
  • Maximum supported resolution 1920x1080p
  • Cable thickness 7.3mm, AWG 28


I have not been able to find a cable that can be fed through 3/4 tubing with HDMI 2.1 (I want at least 4K support).

Apart from that, having male HDMI-A connectors on both ends of a cable does not seem ideal. Wouldn't it be better to have wall-mounted female connectors recessed into the wall? I'm making standard 80mm (diameter) by 50mm (depth) wholes in both walls to terminate the 3/4 so I'm wondering if such in-wall connectors exist and if it would be possible to connect these to a HDMI 2.1 supporting cable (the female wall-mount part is not going to fit through the 3/4 inch I'm sure).

Any thoughts, suggestions, sources for suitable cables/connectors etc?
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kal
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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 15827
Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standards change over time, and often quicker than you think, as you are aware. So conduit makes sense. That's what I did when we finished our basement in 2013 and ran a conduit from the equipment room to just above the projector. I knew that eventually the HDMI cable I had there would need to be upgraded as things changed.

If you can't do a straight run, use the largest conduit you can and do not use sharp turns if you can avoid it. 3/4" conduit is pretty small.

Arjan wrote:
Apart from that, having male HDMI-A connectors on both ends of a cable does not seem ideal.

What other option is there? You can't solder or crimp HDMI connectors on to wire. There's simply too many wires and it's too delicate.
I would avoid extra connection points too. The more you have, the more failure points you have. So I'm against wall mounted female HDMI connectors.

Good luck!

Kal

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Curt Palme
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Langley, BC

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PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could use an HDMI receiver/transmitter via CAT5, but I agree with Kal, I would put in a 1 1/2 or 2" conduit.
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kal
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TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curt makes some good suggestions. I needed to HDMI from the basement to the main floor family room. About a 50 foot run. I didn't want to (and couldn't easily) run conduit for an HDMI cable so instead I ran a couple of CAT6 cables as they only require a tiny pencil-sized hole and are fairly flexible. I then crimped on my own RJ45 connectors and used HDMI over RJ45 adapters. I also pulled an extra wire or two, just in case and for future expansion. I'm not concerned of the 1080p limit in my case given the small(ish) TV size as compared to the basement HT.

Kal

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Arjan



Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies everyone, appreciated.

Running conduit larger than 1" is going to be though, bordering on impossible. Over here (Netherlands, Europe) 5/8" is what gets used normally and the 3/4" that I'm laying is already larger than usual and not used very often. Even just finding 1.5" flexible conduit is going to be difficult and expensive as I'd probably have to buy an entire roll of 450ft or more.

I was hoping to find long cables with mini HDMI connectors but they don't seem to exist? Perhaps because all such long cables have active circuitry which won't fit inside a mini HDMI.

Regarding the HDMI to CAT converters, do those require a direct, single physical CAT cable in between A and B, ie. do they use some proprietary signal format on the CAT segment? Or does the signal actually get turned into an Ethernet signal which could travel through a switch or router?

I could in fact probably solder on a HDMI connector to a cable (I have the tools and do in fact have the hands of a brain surgeon so to speak) but then I would en up with a fully passive cable and I'm not sure how reliable that is over such a distance (about 12m or 36ft). I suppose I could use a separate signal amplifier instead of one built into the cable?

I could also perhaps splice the cable and re-solder the two ends together after running it through the conduit but that might be more difficult and is definitely messier than soldering on a proper HDMI connector.

Does HDMI 2.1 require different (quality) connectors than HDMI 1.4 or is it mainly the cable that has changed?
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kal
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arjan wrote:
Running conduit larger than 1" is going to be though, bordering on impossible. Over here (Netherlands, Europe) 5/8" is what gets used normally and the 3/4" that I'm laying is already larger than usual and not used very often. Even just finding 1.5" flexible conduit is going to be difficult and expensive as I'd probably have to buy an entire roll of 450ft or more.

We may not be talking about the same thing. My conduit isn't flexible. It's rigid PVC pipe, smooth on the inside. Looks like this:



In North America you buy it at home improvement stores in 6 to 10 foot lengths. Cut and glue together with couplings. It's cheap, used for plumbing, central vac systems, etc. You just want something rigid and smooth.

Quote:
Regarding the HDMI to CAT converters, do those require a direct, single physical CAT cable in between A and B, ie. do they use some proprietary signal format on the CAT segment? Or does the signal actually get turned into an Ethernet signal which could travel through a switch or router?

Would depend on the converters but I doubt anything is meant to go over true ethernet due to lag or other issues. Mine required 2 cables.

Quote:
Does HDMI 2.1 require different (quality) connectors than HDMI 1.4 or is it mainly the cable that has changed?

Cable pinout hasn't changed from what I understand but the higher bandwidth means it must be made to much higher tolerances. Probably similar to when you go from Cat5e to Cat6: If you make these cat 6 cables yourself the requirements are a lot more strict on how their crimped. HDMI cables are not really something you should try and solder no matter how standy your hand is. The tolerances are so strict with lengths and cable interactions that they can likely only be machine made.

Kal

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Arjan



Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
We may not be talking about the same thing. My conduit isn't flexible. It's rigid PVC pipe, smooth on the inside.


Correct. Rigid PVC pipe would be preferred but is going to be impossible to lay at this point, even more so than flexible pipe of such diameter.

The problem is that both walls are thick poured re-inforced concrete. The floor consists of several layers with a total thickness of 50cm (almost 20"):

  • Anyhydrite top layer 7cm (almost 3")
    Also contains tubing for water-based floor heating, 3cm from top surface, 15cm from walls (nominally!)
  • Insulating foam sheet that insulates the top layer from below and from the walls
  • Thick tempex insulating layer
  • Thick poured concrete support floor
  • Thick layer of tempex
  • Crawling space (60cm high)
  • Actual dirt ground


To get from one wall to the other I'm having to route through the concrete wall and while inside the wall get below the top layer, then route through the top layer and then drill through the entire set of floor layers as close to the wall as possible. Go through crawling space to the other side and repeat this.

The tubing will have to make a kind of S curve where the floor and wall come together, running parallel to the joint for a short distance, in order to get the turns with a big enough radius.

I'm having this done by a professional company but even then it's going to be difficult to do this properly and we don't want to damage the floot heating tubing as that will set us back several thousand Euros to get it fixed. Not worth it taking the risk to try to fit even larger conduit. I could perhaps try 1" though.

kal wrote:
Would depend on the converters but I doubt anything is meant to go over true ethernet due to lag or other issues. Mine required 2 cables.


I'm being silly, even HDMI 1.4 is 18 Gbps and Gigabit Ethernet is just that: 1GBps. Those converters must be using only the physical part of what a CAT6 'Ethernet' cable is, not the protocol. Still wondering about bandwidth actually because even CAT6 has only 500MHz bandwidth per pair of which their are four so no wonder you needed more than one cable.

kal wrote:
Cable pinout hasn't changed from what I understand but the higher bandwidth means it must be made to much higher tolerances. Probably similar to when you go from Cat5e to Cat6: If you make these cat 6 cables yourself the requirements are a lot more strict on how their crimped. HDMI cables are not really something you should try and solder no matter how standy your hand is. The tolerances are so strict with lengths and cable interactions that they can likely only be machine made.


They do sell solderable HDMI connectors but yeah it might be difficult to solder it to such standards that it will support the full bandwidth.

There's no real need to have such high uncompressed bandwidth over such a distance really, in many ways it would be preferable perhaps to just put a streaming player (Raspi?) or Chromecast or whatever up there with the projector but I also want to be able to watch TV from our Internet/TV provider's set top box or from a bluray player.

I can't put all of that up there with the projector, the wife will object (plus it's not really practical for a Bluray player) Very Happy She' accepted a Barco 801 in our old home for many years but that's going to be acceptable in the new home. Will need to get a much smaller, digital projector to put up there. Or just buy a big flatscreen and forget about projecting altogether Embarassed .

I could perhaps run a larger diameter conduit from the ceiling to near floor level and not any further to at least get the cable behind the couch without being in sight.

Is anyone familiar with this no-soldering HDMI connector which claims to support 4K:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrNk85K4Zbo
http://www.houselogix.com/shop/hdmi-repair-kit[/list]
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kal
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Posts: 15827
Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I see your issues about pulling conduit.

Something I've done in the past (in my previous house) is create a false front as a conduit around the perimeter of the room near the ceiling in order to run speaker wire and other similar things. It was just some 1/2" x 1/2" strapping with with 1/8" thick hardboard on top that dropped down about a foot into the room. You can see it on the left/right sides of the room in my picture here:

http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=688

From the side you don't see it as it looks like part of the dropped ceiling:

http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=695
http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=696

Sometimes the best approach is to no go in the ceiling but just change the ceiling slightly.

Kal

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Arjan



Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks pretty good but that's not gonna happen in our living room, WAF and all that. I think I will go for the original 3/4" 'conduit HDMI cable' from my first post plus, thanks to the comments here, a direct CAT6 or CAT7 cable link that I will be able to use with a HDMI to CAT converter like this one which claims to do 4K @60Hz:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06X3S94YT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=curtpalmecrtp-20&linkId=d5fdf6492260c554ac82a7a72dfc893e&language=en_US

https://www.gofanco.com/products/hdmi-extenders.html


At this point I'm not even 100% certain I will be putting up a projector but if I don't get these conduits and cable runs done now it will definitely never happen. I won't be putting up my old Barco Data 801s, that's for sure. If there's going to be a projector permanently installed in the living room it will have to be a much smaller, digital one.

A big(ish) flatscreen is perhaps also an option for me but there's a bit of a dilemma: if I put up a big affordable flatscreen it will still not be as big as a projected image but it will take up the space where I would project so then I would have to also install the projection screen (3m/9ft wide) whereas otherwise I woudl be able to project on the white(ish) plastered wall.

A smaller flatscreen could occupy the space just to the right of the projection surface so in that case I could still project onto the wall directly.

Problems, probkems, problems...

Smile
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