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Peripherals How far can you extend USB/HDMI/etc?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by boiled_elephant, 9 Dec 2020.

  1. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    We have two gaming PCs in our house, and it's becoming a faff. One resides upstairs at a desk, the other downstairs in the living room for the VR. We never use them at the same time, and I'm 90% of the gaming time in the house anyway.

    I just had a crazy, harebrained, mad-enough-to-maybe-work idea.

    What if I just drill a small cable hole in the floor and drop an HDMI cable, the VR interface, and a USB extension to a hub, down into the living room? PC, monitor, KB+M upstairs; VR, second KB+M, controller, TV via HDMI, downstairs.

    Question is, how long can you actually extend HDMI and USB 3 without encountering issues for gaming?
     
  2. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    I had attempted to run HDMI across to my TV years ago, it's about 15m run with 2 cables and a female-female connector. Doesn't work. I also tried a HDMI booster unit with its own power supply, I can get a display but the image isn't rock solid stable, flicks to black sometimes.

    USB 3 will need powered booster. I recall seeing people get 5m extension and then a 3m cable for early Oculus Link when it was still requiring USB 3.

    How about locate the single PC near VR headset. Then use a thin client to stream everything to upstairs terminal.
     
  3. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I think you can do 50m over powered optical ones, but they're expensive if memory serves!
     
  4. Midlight

    Midlight Minimodder

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    I've got a 6m HDMI into my TV from the main PC. That works OK, there will be the occasional fuzzy bit and it refuses to do 4k.
     
  5. Xlog

    Xlog Minimodder

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    For USB3 passive cables:
    2m for 5Gbps
    1m for 10/20Gbps

    Hub should work as a repeater and reset cable length limitation on each hop.

    For HDMI will again depend on your bandwidth requirements, but as its mostly one direction (as far as high speed data is concerned), it will mostly depend on cable construction, quality and interference from adjacent cables. Though generally for passive cables 15m is max for 1.4 and ~2m for 2.1
     
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  6. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Comes down to what you want to spend but you get usb hybrid optical cables at 10m for example which will do data and video @ 4k 60 but depending on what you really need you can use things like active splitters on video to do upstairs and downstairs, placing splitter/repeater in the middle to allow for extension.
     
  7. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Interesting. I can get a powered USB hub at around ceiling level 2m from the PC, that'd do for a wireless KB+M and for the Vive's little interface box. The tricky thing is HDMI; the Vive is fine, only requires 1.4 supposedly, so presumably it'd cope with a ~2m cable down into the living room, and then its own cable length the rest of the way. But the TV would be about 8-10m I think. I don't gaf about 4k though, I run the TV at 1080p for PC stuff anyway, so maybe that'd be alright. It's a fancy TV, definitely has HDMI 1.4 or better on it.

    The problem with this is latency. The downstairs is VR; the upstairs is proper desktop gaming. So both rooms need good responsiveness. I've not had good experiences with local streaming, even an extra 20-30ms is very noticeable for twitchy gaming, I find.
     
  8. Xlog

    Xlog Minimodder

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    Vive uses USB2 if I'm not mistaken, so you could use 5m cable. Don't know about Vive's bandwidth requirements, if its close to max, putting KB/M on same line might cause problems. Hubs induced latency should be minimal (unless, again, it gets bandwidth limited). To be safe just put 2 USB cables - one dedicated to Vive and second to Hub for KB/M.
     
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  9. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    active usb3 extension cable will do at least 15m and 15m optical hdmi 18GBps for 1080/4k is about 50quid, to do 8k/4k120 will need a 48Gbps cable at about 75quid for 15m.
     
  10. Yaka

    Yaka Modder

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    you can do hdmi over ethernet lots of diff kits available. and usb2 over ethernet as well but it was crazy expensive when i last looked at it
     
  11. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    HDMI over ethernet i.e. HDbaseT is super expensive, but you can do HDMI over CATx (or rather 2xCatx) for cheap-ish - probably comparable to an optical HDMI cable, but potentially easier to route and more flexible for future use.
     
  12. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    I'll be guided by price ultimately, if either optical or ethernet is close in price to regular HDMI I'll get it, if it's 3-4x the cost I might try regular HDMI first and see what I can eke out of it. I vaguely recall a customer running a 10m cable at 1080p without any issues.

    Rooms are measured, I've identified my drill point in the ceiling/floor. More importantly, I've convinced the missus that it's not a horrendously dumbstupid idea. I think getting an entire PC out of the living room is a sufficiently appealing tradeoff in her mind.
     
  13. Spraduke

    Spraduke Lurker

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    I have a 10m long HDMI for hooking my amp to my projector - now admittedly its an older HDMI spec (probably 1.x) and a fat cable but it wasn't pricey and has never given a hint of an issue. However I suspect going up to the HDMI 2.x bandwidths decreases the acceptable lengths a fair chunk.
     
  14. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Yes. Ah, but - would an HDMI 2.x rated cable, only used for HDMI 1.4 specs (i.e. 1080p/60 or 1080p/120), do better over a 10m length than a 1.4 rated cable? Showing my ignorance here.
     
  15. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    IME, HDMI ratings are BS. I have an 8m cable from when HDMI was in its infancy that is just fine with 4K and all the trimmings just as there cut price "HDMI 2.1" cables on amazon that are hit and miss. I have a smorgasbord of HDMI cables of varying types and certifications after NAD tried to pin a bunch of HDMI issues I was having on cables. News flash, they all worked fine and the AVR itself was the fault.

    A quality cable is a quality cable, just as a shoddy one is a shoddy one, regardless of the HDMI number printed on the jacket - this isn't like CatX cable, even the "proper" certification scheme is nonsense.
     
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  16. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    I just measured up, with the tower on the floor in the upstairs office, the run from the PC, through the floorboards, around the ceiling edge, down the wall (will trunk it all) and into the TV is - get this - exactly 590cm.

    [​IMG]

    I'm ordering some cables now. I mean it's gonna be annoying AF having to run upstairs any time a USB controller malfunctions or a game crashes, but IT'S FINE
     
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  17. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    remote lan startup/shutdown and web enabled socket will resolve both of those.
     
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