Do HDMI Extenders Reduce Signal Quality? (Checked)

HDMI extenders are devices that can extend the length of an HDMI cable. They do this by splitting the signal and sending it over two cables.

So, if you need to run a cable longer than what’s available in your home theater or commercial setting, an HDMI extender could be your solution.

But how do they work? And do they reduce signal quality? Let’s find out.

Here’s if HDMI Extenders Reduce Signal Quality:

HDMI extenders normally don’t reduce signal quality as the digital signal doesn’t disrupt your picture or sound quality like analog cables could. HDMI carries both video and audio signals, and there’s a slight difference between gold-plated and cheaper cables, though.

HDMI cables on a white background

Do HDMI Extender Cables Affect Image and Sound Quality?

HDMI has become the preferred way to connect high-definition video sources, such as Blu-ray players, cable set-top boxes, game consoles and other devices, to HDTVs and home theater receivers. Unfortunately, this format does not travel well through long distances.

But how much difference do these devices actually make? Are they worth using? Does using an HDMI extender cable affect image and sound quality?

If you’re using a long HDMI cable, it’s important to know that electrical interference can cause problems with the quality of the signal.

Other signals from devices using radio signals (RF) can interfere with the digital signal in the HDMI cable. So, it’s best to run the HDMI cable directly from the computer (or likewise) to the TV or monitor.

Make sure the HDMI cable doesn’t get interference from routers and other radio frequency devices. You can decrease that interference by using a cabled connection to your TV for the internet signal and make sure not to run the HDMI by a router or Wi-Fi signal extender. 

Extending an HDMI signal over a long distance increases the risk of this kind of signal interference.

How Does Electrical Interference Affect HDMI?

HDMI cables contain copper conductors that carry data signals at high speeds. If a cable is too long or if it’s poorly shielded, it may pick up stray voltage from nearby power lines or other sources of electromagnetic interference (EMI).

This EMI can interfere with the quality of your video and audio signals, causing them to look distorted or grainy onscreen.

The longer your cable is and the more interference there is along its path, the greater chance you’ll have for image distortion or loss of sound quality.

Read our blog here about do HDMI cable carry different speeds?

Will HDMI Extenders Cause Graphic Delays?

HDMI Extender cables will not cause a visible delay between the graphics on your screen and the device. You will not notice the delay.

If you want the ABSOLUTE fastest signal and no lag or delay for a computer game (that’s typically the only case where this is relevant) you should instead investigate your internet connection.

Make sure you used an ethernet cable for the fastest internet with the shortest lag or delay and also use fiber internet when possible – it’s much faster and has less lag than (ping time) than your mobile internet solution.

Do HDMI Splitters Affect the Signal Quality?

The answer to this question is no The HDMI signal will not suffer from being split into two or more cables. That is true for the image signal as well as the sound singal.

Can Two HDMI Cables Be Coupled Together?

Yes, you can couple two HDMI cables. This is a good way to create a longer HDMI cable but often an HDMI cable will have male plugs in both ends which makes sit impossible to couple them together.

If you’re using other types of cables, then there are two different ways to connect them together:

  • Using an adapter: You can use an adapter that has a female connector at both ends. They’re available in various sizes and configurations depending on how many connectors you need on each end of your cable.
  • Using an extension: If you’d prefer not to buy any adapters, then you could cut off one end of one cable and add in another male connector (called a breakout) or just leave it open-ended (called a jack). Then, just plug both ends into your devices and everything should work fine!

Do Long HDMI Cables Affect Signal Performance?

It’s a common misconception that longer HDMI cables will negatively affect the picture quality of your TV. In reality, the length of an HDMI cable has no impact on picture quality at all. Not something, at least, that’s visible to the human eye.

However, you may want to use a shorter HDMI cable in most cases in order to avoid the cable picking up signals from other radio frequency devices (routers, Wi-Fi extenders, etc.).

It’s still perfectly safe to use long cables if you’re just connecting one device to another though!

Read our blog here about do HDMI cables carry both audio & video?


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