These days, on the home entertainment cabling front, no one settles for anything less than HDMI. We’ve tossed our 3-part component and composite cables, and now only have eyes for the one-connector, all-inclusive digital wonder that is HDMI. Then why do we treat our HDMI cables so badly?
You know what I’m taking about. The way we smash and twist them to fit behind our shiny HDTVs. The way we bend them at angles that would make most contortionists shudder. Come on, people – HDMI cables have feelings, too! Well, maybe not feelings, but they do have very specific bend radius needs… needs that we, selfish entertainment hounds that we are, are constantly ignoring.
Ummmmmmm, bend radius? Yes, bend radius. It’s the term that describes how tightly you can bend a cable before it cries “Uncle!” and either starts losing signal, or just stops working completely. As far as HDMIs go, there’s no such thing as partial signal loss, like you might get with a data cable. They just quit on you altogether. Sigh. Sounds like it’s time to clean up our acts, and start treating our home theater cables with a little more respect.
If you’re worried that this self-improvement is going to mean moving your TV for the benefit of your HDMI cable, it doesn’t. No compromise there. But it is going to take a little thing called an HDMI adapter, which is designed to snap right onto the end of an HDMI cable, and into the device of your choice. Sound like no big whoop? I’m not done yet. Vanco is making a line of special HDMI adapters that bend, swivel and rotate at the connector level, so that your cable remains straight (or almost straight) no matter how you need to position it, and keeps those gorgeous audio and video signals moving right along. Okay… now I’m done…
Everybody loves an HDTV, and these days it seems like hardly anyone takes the “stand” route anymore – it’s wall-mount or bust. Wall mounting is a great way to show off your flat panel, but it can be a little tricky, in that it usually requires two things: a professional AV installer, and studs. To any of my fellow ladies out there who may be starting to get excited, don’t try to simplify things by hiring an A/V installer who also happens to be a stud. While that would be a very scenic option, it just won’t work, because I’m talking about wall studs, not man studs.
Technically, the A/V pro is optional, as long as you (or someone you know) is handy with a level and a power drill. But as for studs, they’re a must-have, because if you haven’t noticed, flat screens are heavy. Try to hang one of those babies on drywall alone, and you’re done for… within minutes (or even seconds), both your TV and a section of the wall it was hanging on will be on the floor, in pieces. Not good. But if you anchor your HDTV mount into studs, the weight is distributed and supported, and everyone can live happily ever after. Except…
What if they’re aren’t studs located exactly where you want your TV to go? Hmmmmmm…. little dilemma, there. Honestly, I don’t like inanimate objects telling me what I can and can’t do, and I’d be really ticked if a couple of punk studs were to prevent me from centering my new flat panel on a wall, just because they weren’t in the right place. Sheesh.
Luckily, Vanco has found a way for HDTV fans to get around hassles like uncooperative architecture. Their Secure Mount anchor kit lets you provide plenty of support for your wall and TV – without tapping into studs. It’s all thanks to ingenious D-shaped drywall braces that are able to support up to 150 lbs of TV, despite the fact that they’re less than 4 inches long. Now that’s engineering.
So, you want to stretch the distance between your HDTV and a high-def source (like an HD-DVD player, Blu-Ray, or PS3 gaming console), but shudder to think of the search for, and cost of, a 100+ foot long HDMI cable? I feel your pain, but don’t worry – you won’t be in it long. Your worries, and HDMI-related budget woes, are about to melt away – at least they will as soon as you meet this Cat5e HDMI Extender from Vanco.
As you can probably tell from its name, this particular HDMI extender uses Cat5e cables (delightfully inexpensive Cat5e cables) to carry your HDMI signals from Point A to Point B. By now you’re probably wondering, “How the heck do you get a decent high-def digital signal over a type of cable that’s usually used for Ethernet connections?” Easy – it’s all in the transmitter and receiver.
While it’s called an extender, it’s actually made up of two separate components – the above-mentioned transmitter and receiver. Using 2 short HDMI cables, the transmitter is connected to the high-definition source, and the receiver is connected to the display. From there, you just need to run 2 Cat5e cables between the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter starts out by translating the HDMI signal into the proper format for Cat5e. The modified signal then travels down the Cat5e cables to the receiver, where it’s translated back into HDMI format, and fed through to the display. And there you have it, ladies and gents – long distance HDMI.
The Vanco HDMI Over Cat5e extender works for distances up to 200 feet, and the resolution can vary depending on how far you’re sending the signal. Up to 100 feet, and the final resolution delivered is 1080p; for 100-165 feet, you get 1080i. When you push it anywhere from 165-200 feet, the resolution drops to 720p, but that’s still high-def! The extender system also reduces annoying EMI and RFI, so you’ll get the clearest audio and video possible.
Want to get a terrible HDMI connection? First, make sure that your home theater components are squeezed into a very tight space; the closer to the wall or the back of your entertainment center, the better. Next, twist and bend your HDMI cable into tight angles to get it plugged into your DVD or Blu-Ray™ player. And finally, start your movie or video game and wait for the signal to eventually cut out on you – it’s inevitable after all, since you’ve done everything in your power to damage your HDMI cable’s conductor. There you have it, folks: the perfect recipe for home theater disaster.
Okay, I’m being facetious here – first of all, no one wants a failed high-def connection, and secondly, I would never encourage you to make that happen. The main idea here was to point out a common practice that can have you burning through an unending succession of HDMI cables. While you can’t always avoid positioning A/V equipment against the wall or in the close quarters of an entertainment center, you can take steps to ensure that tight spaces don’t become the death of your HDMI connection. Meet the VANCO Swivel HDMI Cable.
Perfect for plugging into a wall-mounted Plasma or LCD screen or home theater components stored in the aforementioned short-on-space cabinet, this HDMI cable is equipped with a 180° swiveling connector at each end, which means that the cable can flex and bend to make just about any difficult connection without putting undue stress on the conductor. This design feature lets the conductor do its job (transmitting clear signals) instead of squishing it into oblivion and rendering it useless. Can you see how this unique cable can save you both money and frustration?