Audio Authority is a name that gets a lot of attention when it comes to providing innovative and value-added products to the audio home theater market. The company designs and manufactures audio and video electronics, offering hardware for the custom integrator. My first experience with Audio Authority was with their Signal Sensing Digital Input Selector (Model 1177), a nifty little device that solved a common problem in my complex home entertainment system. A lot has changed since then and so has their product line. One thing that remains consistent is the company's desire to innovate and provide new solutions for their customers. A common challenge with today's home theater systems is running HDMI signals over long distances. This is especially true when using a projection system, where the source electronics can often be far from the ceiling mounted projector. Audio Authority's new HXE-11 HDMI Extender Kit is a system that solves this problem, achieving distances many times those possible using a standard HDMI cable.
The HXE-11 Kit (1341T and 1341R) is ideal for new or retrofit construction and can even pass multi-channel audio over the long cable run.
The HXE-11 system is deigned to work with one transmitter (1341T) and one or more receivers (1341R), depending on the configuration needed. The receiving units can be daisy-chained together offering the same high resolution signal to multiple displays (up to 1080p) from a single source. Users simply add (daisy-chain) receivers as needed using inexpensive RG-6 coaxial cable. Daisy chaining the receivers can be ideal for showroom floors, sports bars, and other venues where multiple screens displaying the same video is desired.
The HXE-11 Kit is designed to be easy to install, allowing systems to run in short time with no programming or complicated configuration required. Each unit measures only 1.1 x 3.625 x 3.875 (HxWxD) and includes mounting flanges. Simply connect the transmitter to the source and the receiver to the display or projector and attach the supplied power adapters. Each unit (transmitter and receiver) comes with its own universal power adapters (100-240VAC input, 5V-1A output). Users need to supply their own RG-6 coaxial cable between the units. According to the company, high bandwidth RG-6 cable length can be as long as 200-feet with 1080p and 300-feet with 1080i/720p. Our 100-foot RG-6 test cable provided excellent performance with more than enough length to our projector. Each receiver (1341R) has a second BNC jack for daisy-chaining to additional receivers.
The HXE-11 Kit is HDMI 1.3 and HDCP compliant and supports today's latest video and audio formats, including 1080p video with 36-bit deep color.
We ran several tests using an OPPO BDP-83SE Blu-ray player and satellite content from our Dish ViP-722 DVR. Even with the pristine video quality produced with the BDP-83SE, we did not see any artifacts with the video when using this system to transmit and receive the signal over 100 feet of RG-6 cable. Furthermore, the video was solid and the audio had no problem passing through the system. However, we did see a synchronization issue that showed up every once in a while when using the OPPO BDP-83SE player — even with two different display products. We could never determine what caused it, but it appeared to be independent of the cabling length. Power cycling the BD player or either the HXE-11 transmitter or receiver units seemed to fix (re-synchronized) the problem.
While the HXE-11 supports lossless bitstream audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS‑HD Master Audio, Multi-channel LPCM), the system cannot pass the raw bitstream. Instead, the HXE-11 tells the source to output multi-channel PCM, which actually can sound just as good. However, you will not see the Dolby TrueHD or DTS‑HD Master Audio bitstream indicator on your processor or receiver since the decoding takes place at the source.
The HXE-11 offers a simple way of sending 1080p (1920x1200, 1080p/60Hz) video over a very long distance with commonly used RG-6 cable. Challenging installations or systems requiring multiple displays can also benefit from this product. The HXE-11 system is very easy to setup and does not require any special configuring to get a picture up and running. The transmitter (1341T) and receiver (1341R) are small and can be tucked away behind equipment. While the HXE-11 Kit is not cheap at $598, it solves a common problem when running HDMI video over long distances. Sure, there are plenty of cheap cables out there, but passive designs just cannot maintain signal integrity when the length becomes significant. Audio Authority's HXE-11 Kit solves this problem.