HDMI vs YCbCr Digital Component video

I’m going to be cabling our new house soon with Cat6 for phones and data, speaker cabling (more on this later) and I’d like to run something at the same time to future proof us if we decide to purchase a projector in the future. I’ve got to make the decision between running an HDMI cable, of around 10m, into the ceiling, or instead run some cabling for YCbCr Digital Component video (as opposed to analog YPbPr/RGB). This post goes through my thought process when choosing HDMI vs YCbCr Digital Component video

We’ve got two input devices, a Blu-ray and Home Theatre PC (Mediaportal), both with HDMI outputs as well as an Onkyo amplifier with a single HDMI and a single component output. The Onkyo has the feature to upscale any input signal to HDMI or Component output. Scenario one is that we have a projector running component, and the TV running on HDMI. Scenario two is that we could run both devices on HDMI and have some sort of switching box to select the output device. HDMI seems to be the best option when it comes to resolution and information but…

The Problem with HDMI cabling

Component video can be delivered over quality 75 ohm coaxial cable, minimising signal loss, with practically no loss in a 10m cabling run. The digital video standard (serial digital video) that preceeded HDMI, also specified coaxial cable which would allow a long run of low loss cable. HDMI however typically uses 28AWG twisted pair cabling which, at distance, can cause signal loss and signal interference issues.

There are some HDMI over Cat5/6 products on the market, which claim to be able to carry an HDMI signal up to 45-50m using a pair of Cat5/6 Cables. These are an option, but aren’t ideal as they require a power supply at both ends of the HDMI Cable.

I’ve not decided the best way to go yet, but will outline the final choice in a future post.

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