A while ago I bought a new desktop computer. It’s lovely. Shiny. New. Silent. One of its many fine attributes is the fact that it can drive five (!) separate displays. Now, my desk has only two monitors, but it’s not too far to the credenza whereupon sits our old HDTV.
The old beast is an ancient 42” Sharp Aquos. While not pretty, it’s still basically functional. I could not simply discard it. So it sits out here connected to a Tivo Mini, only occasionally used to watch TV.
The new computer presented a new opportunity to put the old TV to use. I ordered a suitably long HDMI cable to make it monitor #3 on the desktop.
It was nice to be able to drag a YouTube window over to the big screen, even making the TV play the computer sound. In fact, it was nice enough that I was considering acquiring another Vizio M Series for the office, when budget allowed. We like the M50-D1 a lot. No hurry though, as the price is sure to fall when new models are launched in Q3.
Recently, the younger of my two office–mates took it upon himself to perform a slight modification to my working situation. Setting aside the plastic chew toy that had been holding his attention, he decided to investigate the white plastic strip running from the desk to the cadenza.
Somewhere along his line of investigation he found it necessary to give that white plastic strip a few good chews. So, like a cell dividing, what had been one, was suddenly two. My new HDMI cable ceased to be. It was an ex-HDMI cable.
It’s hard to stay mad at the youngster, even if the $30 cable he destroyed was only a few weeks old.
Reflexively, I looked at Amazon.com to order another, but then decided to rethink the matter. A long HDMI cable is not repairable. Nor extensible.
It occurred to me that a Cat 6-based HDMI extender kit might be a better idea in the long run. Network cables are cheap and easily made or purchased. Powering the interfaces is fiddly, but tolerably so.
Such an extender would allow me to use whatever length of cable a situation demanded. That might be 12 feet in the office, or 100 feet to drive a display in a front window, as part of our Halloween extravaganza.
Happily, I see Cat6a HDMI extenders starting at just $30. That’s only a few dollars more than the simple cable that was retired by canine misadventure.