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Tech Roundup: Signal Extenders 2023

Here’s to the good old days when analog AV signals would gladly go wherever you could string a wire and even begin a gradual, graceful degradation when there was a problem. Now, digital AV rules the globe and if those signals are not properly coaxed, converted, and actively extended, they just quit. While digital signal extension has been widely baked into a broad range of AV products, there is still a huge market in standalone devices. Here we have a look at the gadgets that provide upgrades, versatility, and a very long reach to the systems carrying digital sound and video.

The Adder Technology ADDERLink XDIP allows growing businesses to keep close control over physically far-flung PCs while getting HD video from their displays. As the physical plant expands, the XDIP can be integrated into larger systems and controlled by third party software. The device offers sophisticated KVM extension with KVM matrix functionality along with remote control via RESTful API or HTTPS web browser. PoE capability greatly simplifies installation. When used with high-speed HDMI cables and multimode fiber up to 3280 ft. long, the Snap One B10-FBR-EXT-18G, as part of the Binary B10 Series fiber to HDMI extenders, handles 4K@60Hz, 4:4:4 video. A USB power cable is connected to one terminal on each unit while the HDMI joins with the display on the receiver or the video source on the transmitter

Many modern signal extension solutions require quick and easy SDI-to-fiber conversion and the AJA Video FiDO-2T is designed specifically to provide this capability. Cable runs over 32,000ft. with complete electrical isolation are increasingly needed. This 3G-SDI to single mode LC fiber transmitter has dual, independent 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs where both SDI-tofiber paths are completely independent. This unit’s ace in the hole is that it can do all of this and physically fit just about anywhere including on-camera and behind a display monitor


HDBaseT has changed the fundamental landscape of AV signal transmission and the Apantac MT Hood HDBT-1-Ex and HDBT-1-Rx 1080P HDBaseT HDMI extender and receiver with Ethernet and PoE maximize all of this technology’s advantages. There is a built-in Ethernet hub and support for bi-directional RS-232, LPCM, Dolby True HD and Dolby Digital audio. HDMI (UHD@4:2:0) signals can be extended up to 115ft. A locking 48VDC connector assures steady power.

The ATEN UCE3250 has four input ports to serve as a USB hub as well as a powerful extender taking signals from remote USB peripheral devices more than 150ft. all the way back to their computer over Cat 5/5e/6 cable. This USB 2.0 compliant transmitter/receiver pair has a data transfer rate of up to 480 Mbps while housed in durable, wallmountable metal cases. The remote input unit provides USB bus power for a wide range of peripherals.

One of the most useful and widely deployed extension applications involves wall plates and the Atlona AT-OME-EX-WP-KIT-LT utilizes HDBaseT to carry HDMI 1080p/60 video, power, control, and USB up to 230ft. while the transmitter is powered by the receiver. This is an excellent solution for classrooms and conferencing facilities using interactive displays and presentation systems. 4K/60 4:2:0 video can be run as far as 130ft

Another high performer in the HDBaseT realm is the Aurora HTE-TX2 transmitter taking 4K60 4:4:4 and HDR all the way to 330ft. on unshielded Cat twisted pair cable. The USB source and peripheral can be placed at either end of the line. IP conveyed commands can be sent by a control system for a variety of functions as a single PoE port powers both the transmitter and receiver. There is also optional Dante/AES67 multichannel audio capability.

The Black Box KVXLCDPF-200, also known as the KVX Dual Head KVM Extender, can project KVM control up to 18.6 miles on single mode fiber, allowing 4K video, RS-232, USB 2.0, and bi-directional audio to be used from that distance. At the transmitter end, a local video source has access to an additional monitor. There are power and link LED indicators on the front panel of the metal case.

Mission critical performance is a prime design factor in the CE Labs UHX70M which supports 4K60 HDR at distances over 200ft. over CAT 6/6a/7 cable. Capable of handling input data up to 18Gbps, this unit features full audio pass-through and it supports bi-directional infrared control signals. The rugged and compact steel housing stands up to commercial use and assures continued reliability.

Versatility shines through in the Crestron A-HD-EXT-USB-2000-C for HDMI, USB 2.0, RS-232, IR, and Ethernet signals, as well as analog audio, taking them up to 330ft. With HDBaseT technology, this transmitter/receiver pair enables control, uncompressed digital video, multi-channel sound, bi-directional USB 2.0 and local area network traffic to be carried over a single Cat twisted pair cable. The system is HDCP 2.2 compliant and passes CEC and EDID signals.

Maximum performance and signal versatility in the minimum physical form is the main feature of the DVIGear DVI-7317 4K HDMI fiber optic extender. With one device at each end, it extends content and control to great distances over a single strand of LC-terminated optical fiber while using different wavelengths to carry signals in opposite directions. HDMI resolutions of 3840×2160/30p (4:4:4) and 3840×2160/60p (4:2:0) are sent up to 1000ft. EDID and HDCP pass-through are also supported.

Housed in a compact metal case, the Extron DTP HDMI 230 TX supports computer and HDMI video resolutions up to 4K along with analog audio, taking them up to 230 feet on shielded Cat cable. This involves data rates up to 10.2 Gbps, Deep Color up to 12-bit, 3D, HD lossless audio formats, and CEC pass-through. Extron XTP DTP 24 shielded twisted pair cable is recommended for best performance.

With transmitter and receiver units in tiny metal cases that can fit anywhere, the Gefen EXT-UHD600-1SC can transmit uncompressed, full-bandwidth HDMI 2.0 audio/video with HDR, up to 660ft. on a single SC-terminated 50/125µm OM3 or better multi-mode fiber-optic cable. In addition to video such as 4K CinemaDCI and 4K Ultra HD, this model also handles multichannel digital audio including 7.1 channels of LPCM and HBR (High Bit Rate) digital audio formats. This extender can be powered from sources and displays featuring powered USB ports, or by using external power supplies.

In the HDM-CPU Series, the G&D HDM-CPUFiber(M) Basic extender module can project HDMI video along multimode fiber at 850nm wavelength for distances in excess of 1300ft. with high video quality and latency-free transmission. The system provides DDC/CI support as well as bi-directional stereo audio signals. The rear panel includes a power indication LED, fiber terminals and a 12VDC power connection.

Hall Technologies debuted three new extenders at InfoComm. The bold red trio of the Hall AIM-70, AIM-100, and ASTRO2-4 join the company’s line of HDBaseT Extenders. The AIM extenders fill a gap of a mid-range extension product and replace the outdated UH-BT and UH-BTX 70m and 100m HDBaseT extender sets for laptops to projectors or flat panels in classrooms or meeting rooms. ASTRO2-4 is an extender kit for USB 2.0 devices like interactive flat panels, USB cameras, microphones, and speakerphones. ASTRO is also ideal for classroom and conference room environments where robust transmission is needed for signal extension for up to four USB devices. AIM-70 and AIM-100 support resolutions up to 4K@60Hz and HDCP 2.2 over CATx cables and support bidirectional IR and RS232 pass-through. ASTRO2-4 supports high-speed USB 2.0 (Up to 480Mbps) devices over CATx cable 50m (164ft); up to 4 x USB 2.0 device connections are available with this plug-and-play device. ASTRO2-4 can also be used for connectivity for soft-codec applications such as TEAMS, ZOOM, and more. All three products are in-stock and shipping now.

It is possible to convey two simultaneous video streams on single mode fiber or a Cat cable connection with the IHSE Draco ultra MST (Multi-Stream Transport) extender. Dual DisplayPort monitor workstations along with their keyboard and mouse connections can be located very far from the associated computers while the video signal is passed from the first monitor to the second over a daisy-chained link. Also, the MST video signal can be split by MST hubs and sent directly to any DisplayPort monitor.

4k60 4:4:4, 36-bit color video, Dolby Vision and all HDR formats are supported by the new Just Add Power MaxColor Series of transmitters and receivers. At home with both fiber and Cat networks, the MaxColor 2 transmitter has a USB-C port for keyboard, touchscreen, mouse or other uses. Like the MaxColor 1, it can run parallel or be bridged with a 3G Ultra system. The MaxColor 1 and 2 receivers can support video wall installations.

When there is a long way for 3G-SDI and HD-SDI feeds to go and very little room for the extension hardware, the solution is the KanexPro EXT- SDIFIBER. Capable of taking video with resolution up to HD 1080p/60 as far as 6.2 miles, this model features a pluggable and interchangeable fiber SFP design with an LC connector for fiber and BNC for the SDI interface.

USB 3.1 knows no bounds when the Kramer PT-3UC re-clocking and equalizing extender is in the line and it works as soon as it is connected, with no drivers or extra software needed. It buffers the incoming and outgoing signals and is backward compatible with USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1. 4k60 video with a data rate up to 10Gbps is carried with ease.

The new kvm-tec media4Kconnect 4K DisplayPort 1.2 extender is compatible with 10G network switches and provides a 4K signal in perfect 4:4:4 color space. Available in various versions that support stand-alone extension, redundancy, and 4K video transmission, the series can integrate into point-to-point or much larger KVM switching systems. Operation is done through either an on-screen menu or by using the kvm-tec switching manager software.


The Lightware HDMI20-OPTC-TX220- Pro combines HDMI 2.0, uncompressed 4K UHD resolution at 60Hz, bi-directional RS-232 and Gigabit Ethernet all riding together over multimode fiber for over 2200ft. There is advanced EDID management and Galvanic isolation between source and display helps to eliminate ground loops and hum effects. The system supports both HDR and Dolby Vision. Two separate Gigabit Ethernet signals can run on the fiber connection.

Configurable in a point-to-point or networked scenario, the Matrox Extio N3408 IP KVM extender conveys multiple video, keyboard, mouse, USB 2.0, and audio signals on fiber or copper lines. Through its four DisplayPort connectors, the device carries multiple video signals to enable complete computer operation and monitoring from distant control points. Aggregator Mode allows an operator to shift from the current desktop to the next by moving the mouse across multiple desktops while Tile View shows up to four systems on one monitor.

To transmit video with resolution up to 8K DSC (7680×4320@60Hz) for distances as far as 656ft. the recently introduced Opticis DPFX-1F14-TR DisplayPort 1.4 optical extender is perfect for the task. Using one LC multi-mode fiber (OM3) line, the system supports Multi-Stream Transport, and of course it allows all of the increased security advantages of fiber optic links. This new device is also compatible with the company’s other extension products, the DPFX-700-TR and DPFX-300-TR.

HDMI video at resolutions up to 1080p@60Hz can easily travel up to 5000ft. on fiber with HDMI 1.3, HDCP 1.3 compliance using the PureLink HDX II Tx/Rx extension system. It also features automatic EDID management and a built-in signal repeater for lossless, long-distance transmission. System status can be monitored at each end of the line using the front panel LCD display. One of the most elegant HDBaseT extension solutions is the RTI VEX100-18G-KIT running 4K UHD video as far as 230ft. along with sound, Ethernet, bi-directional IR, RS-232, PoH, and RTI control. It does all of this while making installation easy with a single Cat-5e or higher cable. There is also support for ARC (Audio Return Channel) from a connected display via HDMI or optical digital inputs.

Wherever a group of operators require long range KVM access to computers and control systems, the RGB Spectrum XtendPoint can send signals up to 4Kp60 4:4:4 UHD and include USB, audio, and RS-232 whether the controlled systems are in the next room or a hemisphere away. Point-topoint or networked communication can be used through KlickSimple cursor navigation. Device discovery, configuration, management, and monitoring is accomplished for all transmitter and receiver endpoints.

In the area of audio extension, the RDL TX-TPS6A audio sender accepts a single +4dBu low-impedance balanced sound input on a detachable terminal block and sends the output along RDL Format-A twisted pair products. Two twisted pair terminals are on the front panel of the transmitter. One of these is a loop input. On the output RJ45 connector, three different wire pairs (A, B, or C) can be selected on a surface mounted switch.

The SmartAVI USB2-MAX can stretch the reach of USB 1.1 and 2.0 to 330ft. and it has a four-port USB hub at the receiving end to which keyboards, printers, mice and other devices can be connected. The transmitter is equipped with a USB Type B connector and the receiver has four USB Type A terminals comprising the USB hub.

Heavy duty signal extension capabilities of the Thinklogical TLX20 extension system include 10Gbps bandwidth per port, RS-232 transmission, support for DisplayPort 1.2 to 4096×2160@60Hz resolution as well as HDMI to 3840×2160@30Hz, bi-directional unbalanced analog stereo sound, Ethernet, and USB 2.0 throughout several form factors of the devices. These can be used with Cat/x, multimode fiber or single mode fiber. The TLX20 modules are fan cooled and hot-swappable.

Available in a wide range of lengths to suit the application, the TVOne Magenta MG-AOC-661 Series of active optical cables allows 4K60 4:4:4 video, with no compression or latency, to be run as far as 328ft. using no external power. The cable is also available in UL rated Plenum (CMP) type. Supporting HDCP and EDID, the 661 variety is jacketed in PVC while the 662 version is plenum rated. The 663 cables are LSZH covered and the 664 version is armored.

The Wyrestorm EX-70-H2 HDBaseT extender uses dynamic compression technology for high frame rate HDR-10 and HLG content, employing the company’s VLC (Visually Lossless Compression) to be ready for 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 HDR. Signal re-clocking is a standard feature of all H2 extenders as is the ability to be powered from either the transmitter or receiver. Wide-band bidirectional IR/RS-232 control signals are also carried.


In addition to taking 1080p/4K HDMI 2.0 more than 200 feet, the Zigen ZIG-POC-70U extends USB 2.0, RS-232, and bi-directional IR on CAT-6a cable. Visually lossless video compression enables transmission of HDR-10 and 4K@60Hz 4:4:4 video. For KVM applications, there is also a 3-port USB hub on the receiver unit. System features include autonomous EDID management, CEC pass-through, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, and Dolby Digital Plus DTS HD-Master.

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