Product Review (September 2011)

Accell Corporation
UltraCat™ HD HDMI® Over Cat5e/6 Extenders

By Kevin Nakano


Accell UltraCat HD HDMI ExtenderAccell Corporation has recently introduced the new UltraCat™ HD HDMI® Over Cat5e/6 Extenders to address the needs of long HDMI runs while providing additional connectivity to the remote displays. The UltraCat™ HD Extenders feature HDBaseT technology that is designed to transmit uncompressed full 1080p HD digital video, digital audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, RS232 and infrared control signals all within a single Cat5e/6 cable. Did I say "all within a single Cat5e/6 cable"? The UltraCat HD Extenders are optimized for High Definition video application, supporting all resolutions and video formats including 1080p, 4Kx2K and 3D. Data transfer rates as high as 10.2Gbps are supported and are fully HDCP compliant, meeting the latest HDMI High Speed specifications. The system is capable of transferring a bi-directional infrared control signal in parallel with the HDMI signal, providing two-way IR communication between the transmitter and receiver. Both extender units transmit and receive IR remote control signals when using the included IR emitters and receivers. The extenders also support the CEC functionality and provide an Ethernet 10/100BaseTx pass-through, which is ideal for use with IP enabled TVs and devices. If your TV has built-in streaming capability (Netflix or similar), the TV can be connected to video, IR control and ethernet through a single CAT5e/6 cable up to 328 feet.


Accell 5x1 HDMI Switch FrontInterfaces
The front of the UltraCat HD Extenders have HDMI, ethernet, and IR Tx/Rx connections. The IR interfaces use standard 3.5mm jacks that allow the IR signals to be passed in either direction. In our tests, we only used the IR interface to send the signal to the display. The system includes a pair of IR receivers and a pair of IR transmitters. Standard ethernet lights on the front of each RJ45 port provides the user with the link status of the connected devices. This can come in handy when first setting up the system.

Accell 5x1 HDMI Switch Rear The back of the UltraCat HD Extenders have UTP input and output jacks that are designed to use standard and inexpensive Cat5e/6 cabling. This is the link that connects the transmitter to the receiver. A link light on each unit provides status on the connection. Power jacks accept input power for the universal power adapters provided with the system. The RS232 port is yet another data link between the transmitter and receiver that allows users to send low rate data remotely. Jumpers in the unit allow this serial port to also be used for updating the firmware on the extenders.


Performance
Our test (Cat5e) cable was pulled from a 1000-foot spool and with custom-terminated end using a $5 crimping tool. Once we verified the cable was good, we connected it to the extenders and it immediately worked with our OPPO Blu-ray player. We also connected the IR cables and an ethernet connection. We did not use the RS232 interface in our tests.

Accell 5x1 HDMI Switch RemoteEthernet Pass-thru
We have to admit we were a bit skeptical about how well the ethernet would perform considering the 1080p video shares the bandwidth over the single Cat5e/6 cable. However, we saw little difference in ethernet speed when connected to the UltraCat HD Extenders when compared to a direct connection to our network switch. The link speed continued to exceed 20 Mbps (download) with our FIOS system even with 1080p video running and looking great. That is rather impressive considering the link is shared.

We did notice that the receiver gets significantly warmer than the transmitter. After looking at the specifications, it does mention the receiver consumes twice the power of the transmitter.


Conclusion
Accell's new UltraCat™ HD HDMI® Over Cat5e/6 Extenders are great products that provide more than just an extension of your HDMI video. Ethernet, IR (2-way), and RS232 interfaces complement the HDMI and does so with a single inexpensive Cat5e/6 cable. While we were skeptics of the capabilities, Accell proved that it is possible to handle a myriad of interfaces with ease. A highly recommended product for those looking for a long HDMI cable solution.

- Kevin Nakano




OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player



Review System

Display: Mitsubishi LT-52148 52-inch 1080p LCD Display
Set-top Box: Dish Network ViP 922 HDTV Satellite and Terrestrial Receiver
Blu-ray Player: OPPO BDP-83 Special Edition Blu-ray Player
Media Player #1: Roku XD-S Media Player
Media Player #2: Nixeus Media Player


Review at a Glance


Accell Corporation

UltraCat HD HDMI-Cat5e High Speed Extender


Features:

  • HDMI High Speed Transfer - 10.2 Gbps (340MHz)
  • Supports All HD Resolutions - 1080p, 4K x 2K and 3D
  • Ethernet, RS232 and Bi-Directional IR Pass Through
  • Uncompressed A/V Signal Transmission Over Single Inexpensive CAT Cable
  • Fully HDCP Compliant - Compatible With All HDMI Devices

Specifications:

  • HDTV Resolution: All HD resolutions including1080p@60Hz@48-Bits, 4Kx2K, 3D
  • Computer Resolution:Up to 1280x1024
  • Signaling rates: 10.2 Gbps (340 MHz)
  • Output Video:.HDMI v1.4 + HDCP v.1.1+CEC
  • Audio Format Support: LPCM, Compressed Audio, DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD
  • Mounting Ears: Supplied
  • Distance (1080p): 328 ft. (100m) using Cat-5e (UTP)
  • Cat-5e/6 Termination (signal and Ethernet): TIA/EIA-568B
  • Power Supply (2): 5V/2Amps - 100-240V 50/60Hz 0.3A
  • Power Consumption: 2.5W (transmitter) 5W (receiver)
  • Dimensions (approximate) .6” (W) x 4.13” (H) x 1.22” (D)
  • Weight (both modules): 1.98 lbs. (metal enclosure)
  • Operating temperature: -5 to +35°C (-41 to +95°F)
  • Operating humidity: 5 to 90 % RH (no condensation)
  • TMDS Input Voltage: 1.2v peak-peak
  • Input DDC Signal: 5 volts peak-peak
  • IR TX and RX on Each Module: 3.5mm connector
  • Ethernet Pass Through: 10/100BaseT
  • Serial Pass Through: RS-232C to 57600 bps/full duplex

Package Contents:

  • Extender Set (Transmitter and Receiver)
  • Power Adapters (2)
  • IR Emitter (2 qty)
  • IR Receiver (2 qty)
  • Instructions

Company Information

Accell Corporation
44951 Industrial Drive
Fremont, California 94538
Tel: 510-438-9288
Fax: 510-438-6775
Support: 510-438-9288

Product: Accell UltraCat HD HDMI-Cat5e High Speed Extender
Part Number: E090C-003B
MSRP: $499.95
Source: Manufacture supplied

URL: www.accellcorp.com
Support: support@accellcorp.com


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