Internet Explorer will soon be unsupported on this site. Please upgrade to a newer browser to continue using our site.

extension

  1. What are HDMI Cables?

    HDMI is the most common audio/video cable used today. Ushered in as the new standard for the digital age, HDMI was created in a joint project by numerous electronics manufacturers who wanted to set the stage as the switch from analog to digital technology was made. The development of HDMI cables began in 2002 and was completed the following year. Each following year saw more and more HDMI-ready products enter the market. Electronics equipped with HDMI ports became readily available across the world in the coming decade, with an estimated 3 billion HDMI-ready devices made by more than 1,300 companies as of HDMI’s 10-year anniversary in 2013.

    HDMI Specifications

    While HDMI has been around for some time now, the technology has continued to evolve since its invention. The current standard for HDMI is version 2.0, which was introduced in 2013. This was the first version of HDMI fully capable of supporting 4k signals, which have become increasingly popular for televisions, computer monitors, and projectors. While newer versions of HDMI do exist, they exceed the specs most televisions and other electronics are currently capable of supporting. Since version 2.0 cables are more cost-effective to produce, manufacturers have stuck with them as the standard for the time being. Version 2.0 will eventually become outdated but for the time being, they are considered more than adequate.

    While HDMI is certainly the most popular audio/video cable for electronics, it is not the only choice available. DisplayPort is HDMI’s main competitor, also being a digital audio/video cable. While DisplayPort is a little bit better than HDMI, it was designed specifically for use with computer monitors. It is very rare to see DisplayPort on other electronics like televisions or projectors. DVI is an older video-only cable that can be digital or analog, depending on the type of DVI, but cannot perform as well as HDMI. VGA is even older and analog-only, making it the weakest video cable still in use today.

    Types of HDMI Cables

    Read more »
  2. The Do’s and Don’ts of Network Installation

    Ethernet cable has a major role anytime and anywhere the Internet is involved. Whether Internet connections are used at home or in a professional setting like an office, school, hospital, or manufacturing plant, Ethernet plays a part. Even wireless connections have to get their signals from devices like routers or wireless access points that are using Ethernet themselves. But most people who use the Internet for activities with high data usage, like video streaming, will choose Ethernet for its faster speed over Wi-Fi.

    Getting hardline connections ready may sound easy, but there is a bit of a planning process that goes into it. Firstly, think about what type of Ethernet cables you will need. Ethernet is divided into different categories. The current default cable is Cat5e, although newer and faster versions are also available. Consider what kind of data speeds the cable should be expected to handle and make a decision from there. Also, ask yourself where the cable will be located. If it is sitting on a desk in a room-temperature climate, any Ethernet cable will do. But if it will be exposed to extreme temperatures, sunlight, water, oil, chemicals, or any other harsh conditions, make sure to select a cable

    Read more »
  3. Copper (Ethernet) to Fiber – Media Converters

    Media converter is a bit of a catch-all term by itself. It refers to any device that can convert one type of signal into another type. A fiber media converter specifically refers to a media converter used to convert fiber cable to another format. Fiber media converters are sometimes just called fiber converters while general media converters are simply called converters. The phrase “fiber converters” is also typically used to describe fiber to copper (Ethernet) converters. Although other types of fiber converters do exist, they are much less common.

    What are Fiber Media Converters?

    Simply put, a fiber media converter is able to take fiber signals and translate them into Ethernet signals, or vice versa. Fiber transmissions are broadcast using light (lasers) signals, giving them a leg up over older cables with increased speed, less attenuation (signal loss), and greater maximum distance per cable. Ethernet signals are transmitted via electrical signals running through copper lines. On their own, these two types of signals are too different to be compatible. But with a fiber media converter, they are able to work together.

    Both fiber and Ethernet signals use the same methodology for signal transmission. A series of light or electrical pulses are sent down the cables. These pulses flicker on and off very quickly, 1000s of times per second. When a pulse is on, a computer registers it as a “1”. When it is off, the machine picks up a “0”. These numbers are used to make up binary

    Read more »
  4. Connecting Multiple Computer Monitors

    Office tasks and activities at home alike frequently require users to have more than one window open on their computer screen. Clicking back and forth between these windows on one screen is an option, but that becomes tedious rather quickly. Setting up a desktop or laptop with multiple displays makes multitasking much easier. It may sound simple to set up additional monitors, but there is a bit of forethought that goes into the process.

    How Do I Connect Multiple Monitors?

    Start by checking the back of the computer and look for the ports to see what kind of video connections the machine has. This could include HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA, and more. On a desktop, one of these should already be in use for the existing monitor. Laptops frequently feature an extra video port for dual monitor set-ups. If you do not have an extra video port, a USB adapter can be used instead.

    Read more »
  5. Cable Distance Limits - Data

    Every type of cable has a maximum distance. These distance limits can vary greatly from one type of cable to the next. Along with determining whether a cable will work, distance limits will also determine how well a cable works. Knowing the fundamentals behind cable distance limits is the first step in selecting the best cable for your needs.

    Cables will always have some sort of “maximum signal” rating, depending on the type of the cable. For ethernet cables, it will be the maximum upload/download speed. For HDMI, it will be the maximum resolution of the video. And so on and so forth for other cables. Any type of “maximum” rating should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Those ratings are the best possible rating the cable is capable of under theoretical, perfect conditions. For example, modern HDMI cables are all rated for 4k. But if the HDMI cable is running through a coupler, users will almost certainly not get 4k. Each time a signal passes through a connection, even just connecting a cable to something like a TV or computer, the signal quality degrades a little. Using devices like extenders and couplers will make the signal weaker; for example, coupling a 10’ cable to a 5’ cable will result in a weaker signal than just using a single 15’ cable.

    Another key factor for signal quality is the distance of the cable. The further a signal has to travel, the more it will degrade by the time it gets from Point A to Point B. Going back to our HDMI example, a 15’ cord will give a clearer image than a 50’ cable. It is possible to get around this issue using an extender/boo

    Read more »
  6. Cable Distance Limits - Audio/Video

    Every type of cable has a maximum distance. These distance limits can vary greatly from one type of cable to the next. Along with determining whether a cable will work, distance limits will also determine how well a cable works. Knowing the fundamentals behind cable distance limits is the first step in selecting the best cable for your needs.

    Cables will always have some sort of “maximum signal” rating, depending on the type of the cable. For ethernet cables, it will be the maximum upload/download speed. For HDMI, it will be the maximum resolution of the video. And so on and so forth for other cables. Any type of “maximum” rating should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Those ratings are the best possible rating the cable is capable of under theoretical, perfect conditions. For example, modern HDMI cables are all rated for 4k. But if the HDMI cable is running through a coupler, users will almost certainly not get 4k. Each time a signal passes through a connection, even just connecting a cable to something like a TV or computer, the signal quality degrades a little. Using devices like extenders and couplers will make the signal weaker; for example, coupling a 10’ cable to a 5’ cable will result in a weaker signal than just using a single 15’ cable.

    Another key factor for signal quality is the distance of the cable. The further a signal has to travel, the more it will degrade by the time it gets from Point A to Point B. Going back to our HDMI example, a 15’ cord will give a clearer image than a 50’ cable. It is possible to get around this issue using an extender/boo

    Read more »
  7. USB Extension Cables

    Most devices that use USB cables come with one, but these prepackaged cables tend to be too short. Few things are as annoying as having to leave your device in a weird spot to recharge or trying to keep your phone charger from falling off the table. Using USB extension cords to get a little extra distance can be convenient or outright necessary in these situations.

    There are a few facts to keep in mind when it comes to USB extension cables. First off, make sure you are picking out the correct type of extension cable. The average USB extension cord is going to be USB 2.0 A Male to Female. Some other types do exist, but typically “USB extension” means an A Male to Female cable.

    Another other key detail to check is whether you need a USB 2.0 or 3.0 extension. Usually, the plastic inside the metal end of the USB cable will be color-coded, with 2.0 cables being black or white and 3.0 cables being blue. Not every manufacturer does this, so it never hurts to double-check your cable beforehand. You can use 2.0 extensions with other 3.0 cables, but you will only get USB 2.0 data and recharging speeds. If you want 3.0 speeds, every piece of equipment you are using must be 3.0 rated.

    Read more »