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Cables To Go TruLink HDMI via Cat5E Extender review

Barry de la Rosa
11 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
70
inc VAT

Easy to set up, but it can't manage the range claimed and you're probably better off with a good-quality HDMI cable

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Specifications

HDMI cables can only carry high-definition video so far before you start to lose the signal - with normal cables 15m is around the limit. Last month we saw Asus' WAVI, which uses a wireless signal to do this, but only works best in line of sight and has a very limited range. Cables To Go's TruLink HDMI via Cat5E Extender claims to extend the reach of your HDMI devices to up to 60m.

Cables To Go TruLink HDMI via Cat5E Extender front

Once we read the small print, we found out that the 60m range is only for 720p or 1080i video content. For Full HD (1080p) content, the theoretical range is reduced to 40m. Still, it's further than the WAVI device and doesn't need line-of-sight. Although 40m might seem excessive, remember that you'll want to guide the cable out of sight, so a projector 20m away might in fact need twice that distance of cable.

The TruLink is simple to set up, and only the receiver unit needs mains power. The transmitter and receiver each have two Ethernet ports, so you'll need two Ethernet cables of the same length to connect them together. You can buy 30m snagless Ethernet cables for £6.50 from www.ebuyer.com.

We tested the TruLink with a PlayStation 3 and a Samsung Blu-ray player, with an LG TV as the display. As a control, we first tested the extender with two-metre cable lengths, and found that our test kit would display 1080p without any problems. At 50m, we weren't able to get a proper signal from either device, although we did notice the screen flickering with a partial picture from the Blu-ray player.

Cables To Go TruLink HDMI via Cat5E Extender rear

With 10m less network cable, we still couldn't get a 1080p signal on our TV, but when we set the Blu-ray player and PS3 to output 1080i the picture was fine at 40m. At a 30m cable length, there was a perfect 1080p picture from the Blu-ray player, but we still could only run our PS3 at 1080i.

While the TruLink can't manage the distances claimed, it's still an effective way to send a video signal long distances, as long as you're happy with lower resolutions. However, you may have trouble with 1080p video depending on your source equipment, even at 30m, and below that you may as well buy an active HDMI cable such as the Lindy 20m High Speed Active HDMI for £100.

Details

Price£70
Rating***

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