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How to Extend HDMI Cables Beyond Their Limits

Find out how to extend an HDMI cable to reach beyond the maximum passive HDMI cable length.

How to Extend HDMI Cables Beyond Their Limits Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Last Updated: March 18, 2023

Written by Brandon Jones

HDMI cables have limitations on how far they can reach, so what if you want to extend them farther? There are multiple solutions to extend an HDMI cable to connect them across your house or even farther!

This article will discuss extending HDMI cables and the limitations of standard HDMI cables. Afterward, you'll be able to connect your displays wherever and however you want, without being limited.

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How to Extend an HDMI Cable

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The primary way to extend an HDMI cable is to either use an HDMI repeater, fiber optic HDMI cable, or extenders. Each solution has its limits, so it's best to pick the best type for your situation.

For example, if you need to extend an HDMI cable across a room, an HDMI repeater would be good enough. If you wanted to extend the connection from your top floor to the basement, then you'd use one of the types of HDMI extenders.

Below, I list the recommended ranges and devices and more details about each solution.

HDMI Repeater

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HDMI repeaters are best for shorter ranges but can still go up to 60 to 100 ft for 4K resolutions. A repeater is best for going from one room to another and isn't recommended for in-wall installations.

An HDMI repeater extends the connection for shorter runs by connecting two HDMI cables and amplifies the signals for better transmission.

Determining the max length when using a repeater depends on the HDMI repeater and the HDMI cable type, but I give the average ranges below. Remember that HDMI repeaters are directional, so be sure to use the device's correct input/output sides.

HDMI Repeater Range
Resolution Length
4K @ 60 Hz 60–100 ft (18–30 m)
4K @ 30 Hz 100–130 ft (30–40 m)
1080p @ 60 Hz 135–195 ft (40–60 m)

To be safe, assume a repeater can reach only the shorter end of those ranges.

Fiber Optic HDMI Cable

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Fiber optic HDMI cables can reach similar distances as HDMI repeaters, but it's a more compact and cleaner solution. No extra devices are needed, just the cable.

Fiber optic HDMI cables are like standard HDMI cables but made with optical fiber inside the cable and meant for farther distances up to 164 ft (50 m) for 4K @ 60 Hz.

These cables aren't meant to be used with an extender, repeater, or switch and should be used alone. They also must be installed in the correct direction, with the output/display label connecting to the side with the display.

Learn more about fiber optic HDMI cables in my article: What Is a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable and Is It Worth Getting?.

HDMI Over Ethernet Extender

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HDMI over Ethernet extenders can extend an HDMI connection similar to a repeater or fiber optic HDMI cable, but this solution is better for in-wall installations.

For example, if you want to extend the connection from upstairs to the basement, you'd run an Ethernet cable through the walls then put the extender devices at each end of the cable close to your display. Then run a standard HDMI cable from the extender to the display. If you are using this for outdoor use, be sure to use an Ethernet cable rated for using outdoors.

The HDMI over Ethernet extender is similar to an HDMI over fiber optic extender but uses an Ethernet cable for a shorter extension.

An HDMI over Ethernet extender can extend the connection up to 130 ft (40 m) for 4K @ 60 Hz or 230 ft (70 m) for 1080p.

Learn more about HDMI over Ethernet in my article: HDMI Over Ethernet - How to Extend HDMI With Cat 5e/6a.

HDMI Over Fiber Extender

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HDMI over fiber extenders are best for in-wall installations or for extending the connection a lot farther than the other solutions can go.

If you wanted to extend from the top floor of a building or to another house, you could run the cable through the walls or underground. Then connect the extender devices on each end of the cable and a standard HDMI cable from the device to your display. If you are using this for outdoor use, be sure to use an optical fiber cable that's rated for using outdoors.

An HDMI over Fiber extender uses an optical fiber cable to transmit the data to reach a much farther distance. You could use an HDMI over Fiber extender to extend the connection up 1,000 to 3,300 ft (300 to 1000 meters) for 4K @ 60 Hz.

Learn more about HDMI over fiber in my article: HDMI Over Fiber - How to Extend HDMI With Fiber-Optic Cable.

Max HDMI Cable Length

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You might not need to extend an HDMI cable if one will already reach where you want.

Each type of HDMI cable has a limitation of how long it can reach. There's no specific "max" length a cable can go, but a limitation from the material they're made with.

Most newer copper HDMI cables reach around 15 to 25 ft (5 to 7.5 m). HDMI cables made with fiber optic can reach much farther. On average, fiber optic HDMI cables can reach around 50 to 200 ft (15 to 60 m).

Below are the three types of copper HDMI cables with their average length limits and resolutions they can handle at their max cable length:

Max Length of Copper HDMI Cables
Type Max Cable Length Speed Supported Resolutions
Standard HDMI 49 ft (15 m) < 10 Gb/s 720p 60 Hz | 1080i 60 Hz
High Speed HDMI 15–25 ft (5–7.5 m) 18 Gb/s 1080p 60 Hz | 4K 30 Hz
Ultra High Speed HDMI 10–15 ft (3–5 m) 48 Gb/s 4K | 5K | 8K | 10K 120 Hz

Why HDMI Cables Have a Max Length

Most HDMI cables are made of copper, limiting the cable's length because it loses signal strength the farther it reaches. Signal loss can happen with cables made of other materials also. This signal loss (attenuation) is measured in decibels per distance—the greater the distance, the more signal loss.

The signal level may not be high enough if an HDMI cable is too long due to too much attenuation. If you need to support a longer distance, you'll need an extender, repeater, or fiber optic HDMI cable. Otherwise, you will need to find a way to use a shorter HDMI cable.

Learn About TVs

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Want to learn more about TVs? Check out the articles in my TV series:

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