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When should I use a longer video cable vs. a video extender?

You should only use video converters and extenders if it is absolutely necessary to do so. In many cases, most video converters and extenders are not necessary if you purchase the correct cable.

The following table lists the maximum length of cable for common video standards.

Video standard Maximum length
DisplayPort 50 ft. (15.2m)
HDMI 50 ft. (15.2m)
DVI 50 ft. (15.2m)
VGA 200 ft. (71m)

Note: StarTech.com offers cables longer than what is listed above, including active cables, which typically include built-in active signal boosters that allow for longer cables. Active cables are specifically designed to exceed the suggested maximum lengths and are tested at the listed specifications (for example, the maximum listed resolution).

Video adapters

Video adapters passively adapt a cable from one connector type to another. Video adapters do not change the signal type, or change the video standard.

Examples of common applications for adapters include the following:

  • DVI-I to VGA

  • RCA to BNC

  • Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort

  • Couplers (female to female, or male to male)

Note: You can use a coupler to extend a cable for a short distance. However, each coupler that you use can introduce signal loss, which degrades the signal quality.

Video converters

Video converters actively process and change the signal type from one video standard and convert it to another standard. They are typically used to convert digital to analog and vice versa, but can be used to convert a digital signal to another digital video standard (for example, HDMI to DisplayPort).

Video converters work over short distances from the source to the destination: up to 15 feet or 3 meters.

Video extenders

Video extenders convert an input signal to a higher voltage for transmission over longer distances and then convert the input signal back to the original video standard. The input and the output signal will match on a video extender, as the same video standard is maintained end-to-end. If a cable is extended with adapters or converters, the signal quality degrades.

Note: For more information on using a video adapter or converter with a video extender, see the following FAQ: http://www.startech.com/faq/video_signal_converters_convert_then_extend.

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This FAQ applies to these products:
COMPUTPEXTA COMPUTPWALLA CPNTHQ25 CPNTHQ6 CPNTUTPEXT CPNTUTPWALLA DISPL10MA DISPL15MA DISPLPORT10L DISPLPORT15L DISPLPORT1L DISPLPORT20L DISPLPORT25L DISPLPORT30L DISPLPORT35L DISPLPORT3L DISPLPORT50L DISPLPORT6L DP2MDPMF3 DPEXT6L DPMDPHD2HD DPPNLFM3 DPPNLFM3PW DS128 DSRXL DVI92030202L DVIDDMF10 DVIDDMF15 DVIDDMF6 DVIDDMM1 DVIDDMM10 DVIDDMM15 DVIDDMM20 DVIDDMM25 DVIDDMM3 DVIDDMM30 DVIDDMM40 DVIDDMM50 DVIDDMM6 DVIDDMMBA6 DVIDDMMTA6 DVIDSMF10 DVIDSMF15 DVIDSMF6 DVIDSMM10 DVIDSMM15 DVIDSMM20 DVIDSMM25 DVIDSMM30 DVIDSMM35 DVIDSMM6A DVIIDMF10 DVIIDMF6 DVIIDMM10 DVIIDMM15 DVIIDMM20 DVIIDMM6 DVIISMM10 DVIISMM15 DVIISMM6 DVIMM3 DVIMM6 DVIVGAMM10 DVIVGAMM15 DVIVGAMM3 DVIVGAMM6 DVIVGAYMM6 GCDPFF GCMDP2DPMF HD15CPNTMF HD2MM10MA HD2MM15MA HD3MM1MW HD3MM2MW HD3MM3MW HD3MM5MW HD3MM7MW HDAARET4 HDACDFMM HDACFM HDACMF HDACRET4 HDADMM3M HDADMM5MA HDADRET4 HDCDVIMM1M HDCDVIMM2M HDCDVIMM3M HDDDVIMM1M HDDDVIMM2M HDDDVIMM3M HDDVIMM25 HDDVIMM3 HDEXT2M HDMIACMM1 HDMIACMM3 HDMIACMM3S HDMIACMM6 HDMIACMM6S HDMIADMM3 HDMIADMM6 HDMICCMM6 HDMIDVIFM HDMIDVIMM10 HDMIDVIMM15 HDMIDVIMM20 HDMIDVIMM30 HDMIDVIMM50 HDMIDVIMM6 HDMIMM10FL HDMIMM10HS HDMIMM15 HDMIMM15FL HDMIMM15HS HDMIMM20HS HDMIMM25FL HDMIMM3FL HDMIMM3HS HDMIMM3HSS HDMIMM6 HDMIMM6FL HDMIMM6HS HDMIMM6HSS HDMIMM80AC HDMIPLATE HDMIPNLFM3 HDMIROTMM6 HDMM1 HDMM10 HDMM10MA HDMM12 HDMM15 HDMM150CM HDMM15MA HDMM1M HDMM1MFL HDMM20 HDMM20MA HDMM25 HDMM2M HDMM2ML HDMM2MLP HDMM3 HDMM30 HDMM30CM HDMM30MA HDMM30MAO HDMM35 HDMM3M HDMM40 HDMM45 HDMM50 HDMM50A HDMM50CM HDMM5M HDMM5MA HDMM6 HDMM7M HDMM8 HDMMU6 HDPMM25 HDPMM35 HDPMM50 HDPSMM1M HDPSMM2M HDROTMM1M IPUSB2HD2 IPUSB2VGA MDISPLPORT3 MDISPLPORT6 MDP2DPMF3 MDP2DPMM10 MDP2DPMM1MW MDP2DPMM2MW MDP2DPMM3 MDP2DPMM3MW MDP2DPMM4M MDP2DPMM6 MDPEXT3 MDPEXT6 MDPMM1MW MDPMM2MW MDPMM3MW MHD11PMM3M MHDPMM3M MXT101 MXT10110 MXT101HQ MXT101HQ_100 MXT101HQ_150 MXT101HQ_200 MXT101HQ_25 MXT101HQ_50 MXT101HQ10 MXT101HQ3 MXT101HQ35 MXT101HQ75 MXT101LP15 MXT101LP6 MXT101MM MXT101MM10 MXT101MM15 MXT101MMH100 MXT101MMHD15 MXT101MMHD6 MXT101MMHQ MXT101MMHQ1 MXT101MMHQ10 MXT101MMHQ20 MXT101MMHQ25 MXT101MMHQ3 MXT101MMHQ30 MXT101MMHQ35 MXT101MMHQ40 MXT101MMHQ45 MXT101MMHQ50 MXT101MMHQ55 MXT101MMHQ60 MXT101MMHQ65 MXT101MMHQ70 MXT101MMHQ75 MXT101MMHU10 MXT101MMHU6 MXT101MMLP10 MXT101MMLP15 MXT101MMLP6 MXT101PMM25 MXT101PMM35 MXT101PMM50 MXT105 MXT105HQ MXT105MMHQ MXTHQMM15A MXTHQMM25A MXTHQMM30A MXTHQMM35A MXTHQMM50A MXTHQMM6A PC2TVSVID10 RCA3N1HQ12 RCA3N1HQ6 RCAVIDHQ12 RCAVIDHQ6 ST1212T ST1214T ST1218T ST121EXT ST121HDBT5 ST121HDBTE ST121HDBTL ST121HDBTPW ST121HDBTU ST121HDFXA ST121HDT4P ST121HDWP ST121R ST121SHD30 ST121SHD50 ST121USBHD ST121UTP ST121UTP232 ST121UTPDVI ST121UTPEP ST121UTPHD2 ST121UTPHDMI ST121UTPMINI ST121WHD ST121WHD2 ST121WHDS ST121WHDST ST122UTPA ST122UTPAL ST124UTPE ST124UTPEA ST128UTPE ST128UTPEA ST12MHDDC ST12MHDDCRP ST12MHDLAN ST12MHDLAN4K ST12MHDLAN4R ST12MHDLANRX ST12MHDLANU ST12MHDLANUR STHDBTRX STUTPEA4X STUTPEALR STUTPRXL STUTPRXWLA STUTPTXWLA STUTPWALL STUTPWALLA SVID2COMP SVID2COMPFM SVID2RCAMM10 SVID2RCAMM6 SVIDEOMM24 SVIDEOMM30 SVIDEOMM50 SVIDHQ25 SVIDHQ50 SVIDHQ6 SVIDUTPEXT SVIDUTPEXTA VHDCI24DVI VHDCI24HD WIFI2HDMC WIFI2HDVGA WIFI2VGA ZENDIGCOAX1 ZENDVIHDMI2 ZENHDMI1 ZENHDMI2
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