Anyone use CAT6 HDMI BALUNs? Help getting receiver/speakers/TV setup correctly over outdoor fireplace

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
81
Chesapeake, Virginia
We finished our outdoor patio and fireplace next to the pool. I had planned a TV over the fireplace, and ran CAT6 wire from the fireplace to inside the house 30 feet away on advice of the GEEK SQUAD (thru the now sealed off ceiling). They mumbled a lot a technical geek stuff and using "BALUN's" which I had never heard about before. Now due to COVID19 virus - they won't come out to complete the install, so I have had to figure this out on my own. I included the photos and wiring diagram below. Most of the time we plan on using the smart TV using WIFI (Netflicks, Hulu etc) so the TV will select the input, and I think we need to use an RCA over ethernet adapter (a BALUN) to bring the audio from the TV over the fireplace, into the house where the AV receiver/amp is, which then will feed the sound out normal speaker wires to the 2 outdoor patio speakers. This is represented in the highlighted yellow pathway. The alternate function is the signal going the opposite was - for example playing a DVD inside the house thru the Onkyo receiver which sends the sound to the speakers, and will send the HDMI signal to the fireplace via HDMI ethernet/CAT6 adapter (BALUN's again) similar to the last picture. My question - is there a better way to do this as there are two sets of BALUNs being used (one for audio and one for video)fireplace.jpgwiring diagram.jpgHDMI BALUN.PNG? I don't see a way to use only 1 set as the HDMI BALUN is only unidirectional - but electronic and media are not my forte. Thank you in advance.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
Baluns work great. Cat6 will carry 2 channel audio and up to hdr video over 1 cat6 even if not shielded.

I only use atlona branded baluns for my installs cause I want no call backs cause they can be picky at times. With atlona I get zero issues. They r expensive. Some models.
With that said your run is very easy. I have run 250 plus feet and zero issues. I have 2 in my basement and I carry 4K video hdr no problem.

so again u want to go from DVD player inside house to tv outside. So hdmi to hdmi.

You are want to do something with rca. I didn’t get that part.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
U mention one directional? Most baluns are back and forth. If u want to send video from Blu-ray player to tv a set of hdmi baluns is fine.
 

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
81
Chesapeake, Virginia
Baluns work great. Cat6 will carry 2 channel audio and up to hdr video over 1 cat6 even if not shielded.

I only use atlona branded baluns for my installs cause I want no call backs cause they can be picky at times. With atlona I get zero issues. They r expensive. Some models.
With that said your run is very easy. I have run 250 plus feet and zero issues. I have 2 in my basement and I carry 4K video hdr no problem.

so again u want to go from DVD player inside house to tv outside. So hdmi to hdmi.

You are want to do something with rca. I didn’t get that part.
For the RCA part - I want to watch the smart TV running the Netflix app. I want to get sound to the speakers (outside near the TV) that are wired to my inside receiver. For a signal to get there they have to go from the outside TV, then to the inside receiver, then back out on the hardwired speaker wires to the patio speakers. Do I need to use RCA plugs (red and white) thru an additional BALUM) for that to work? Not sure otherwise how to get the sound back to the receiver otherwise. All the descriptions I saw for the HDMI BALUNs imply then are one way since there is a transmitter and a receiver so if I have HDMI going from the inside receiver to the outside TV, can it carry an HDMI signal back the other way? (PS - thank you for your reply)
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
F78D1F5C-2499-44C7-B0C5-7BDDEECFB827.jpeg
This end is to the cable box 150 feet away in a media rack the hdmi goes to cable box the cat6a shielded goes through wall to tv to send audio and video E7CA8523-0745-4114-B493-9A90D4CC0D96.jpeg

other end behind tv. Cat 6 from media rach and hdmi into tv.
 

fields_g

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2014
152
Rockville, MD
Regular receiver setups use a single HDMI cable. Audio and video are sent through the receiver to the TV via HDMI, but if the TV is the audio source, ARC (audio return channel) is used to send audio "backward" to the receiver on that same HDMI cable. This passes the actual digital audio signal to the receiver, not a downmixed analog stereo signal. This is also the same principle for connecting soundbars via HDMI. You can easily test the functionality of your equipment by temporarily locating the TV and receiver by each other and using any HDMI you have around. (Both devices must support ARC, usually requiring certain HDMI ports to be used on each).

Make sure any HDMI extender you purchase is ARC compatible.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
For the RCA part - I want to watch the smart TV running the Netflix app. I want to get sound to the speakers (outside near the TV) that are wired to my inside receiver. For a signal to get there they have to go from the outside TV, then to the inside receiver, then back out on the hardwired speaker wires to the patio speakers. Do I need to use RCA plugs (red and white) thru an additional BALUM) for that to work? Not sure otherwise how to get the sound back to the receiver otherwise. All the descriptions I saw for the HDMI BALUNs imply then are one way since there is a transmitter and a receiver so if I have HDMI going from the inside receiver to the outside TV, can it carry an HDMI signal back the other way? (PS - thank you for your reply)
ok now i got you. like said below. . . arc. most new tv's are arc compatible. you can avoid the arc issue and use 1 balun and buy a cheap streamer vs using the tv's media center. buy apple tv. hook it up to the receiver. steam from that. use the apple tv app to control it from outside over ur wireless in the house. that way no arc and 1 set of baluns. i hate arc channel. i avoid it at all costs for installs cause we always have issues with it at some point.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
ok if you don't want to deal with arc cause 2 way over baluns as far as i know doesn't happen you can do this. . .

1. tv needs to have optical output
2. receiver needs to have optical input to accept audio in from tv.

Altona makes a kit: transmitter and receiver that will carry video over hdmi and audio from tv to receiver. both over single cat6.

at-hdr-ex-100cea-kit
AT-HDR-EX-100CEA-KIT
  • 4K/UHD capability @ 60 Hz with 4:4:4 chroma sampling, plus support for HDR formats
  • HDCP 2.2 compliant
  • HDBaseTTM extender kit for HDMI®, Ethernet, power, and control up to 330 feet (100 meters)
  • Receiver powered by transmitter via PoE (Power over Ethernet)
  • Extends RS-232, IR, Ethernet, and CEC control signals over HDBaseT
  • Delivers return audio from a TV via dedicated HDBaseT audio return path
  • HDBaseT link status testing

that is the part number. only one they sell. it retails for 950.00.

ya lot but it does what you need. i would buy a apple tv and be done with it. simple setup.

sources at receiver in house. balun at receiver. balun at tv. use phone to control apple tv.
 

fields_g

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2014
152
Rockville, MD
I know the ceiling is sealed, but would the cat6 cables move if pulled? If so, you could affix a real HDMI cable and a pair of pull strings and guide them through (really make sure they are secured). Then, if wanted, you could return that cat6 with one of the pull strings. At the end, you would have 1x HDMI, 2x Cat6, and 1x pull string (future use).

At 30ft, you would be on the cusp of needing an active cable to achieve high bandwidth connections. Something like the following would be economical (<$40).

I see your receiver is an Onkyo tx-nr686. That does ARC. Instructions on page 31 of your manual.

If you ended up with issues with ARC, you could then explore more expensive methods of using HDMI extenders via the cat6.
 
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SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
81
Chesapeake, Virginia
Thank you JIMIM - I've been too close to this project and it has morphed from the original plan. I think the solution I'm looking for is to just run Netflix etc off of my DVD player (or a firestick on the back of the receiver) and ignore the smart TV aspects - there should then be no issue with sound getting to the patio speakers - duh on me. We cut the cord, don't use a cable TV service and originally was just doing to do the outside TV with a miniamp and outdoor speakers.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
Right keep it simple. Them just buy a balun for the hdmi run. Simple transmitter and receiver. Call it a day. But will u be able to control the fire stick from outside if it’s inside. So they have an app? I don’t have one. That’s why I said Apple TV cause I know. Same with ur DVD player. Does it have an app to control the smart media aspect of it? That I would assume no but a lot of baluns have a ir control over the cat 6. So meaning I can point the remote at the receiver balun outside at the tv to control the DVD player inside. Just make sure the balun is hdmi to hdmi with “ir control.” Very typical.
 

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
81
Chesapeake, Virginia
Fields-G, jimim - thank you for your valuable input. I learned more today then in 5 months of noodling around on my own. I wondered what ARC was (audio return channel). And I always wondered why I couldn't use surround sound when watching TV in my living room. For others that may not understand you have to run sound back to the receiver via an optical cable or the ARC - here is a photo worth 1000 words.Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 7.22.48 PM.png
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,030
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Firestick remotes use Bluetooth for their connection. I don't know if that will work at 50' away..... optical cables only support SPDIF which will limit anything above basic Dolby digital to be sent... none of it is easy anymore... I have used 50+ long shielded HDMI cables before and they work. Baluns are iffy, at 50' likely they will be okay... Those boxes shown are active, not baluns.. they would likely work well for the use, but it's still not clear how all of your remotes would work out.
 

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
81
Chesapeake, Virginia
Thanks Rattus Suffocatus - I'll likely use HDMI with IR repeater baluns. I've been happy with the prior IR repeaters I've used elsewhere. I'll update in a couple weeks - not sure if it will be the "thrill of victory" or the "agony of defeat". I was tossing out the Firestick idea only because I have an extra one. Will likely use NETFLIX/HULU on the DVD player and call it a day. May look into Apple TV too.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
Firestick remotes use Bluetooth for their connection. I don't know if that will work at 50' away..... optical cables only support SPDIF which will limit anything above basic Dolby digital to be sent... none of it is easy anymore... I have used 50+ long shielded HDMI cables before and they work. Baluns are iffy, at 50' likely they will be okay... Those boxes shown are active, not baluns.. they would likely work well for the use, but it's still not clear how all of your remotes would work out.
i have run 100's of baluns over 50'. many over 100'. a well made balun with a properly run cat6 will work. like i said above we only use talon cause they are rock solid. 3 of the baluns in my house are 150' over cat6a shielded. both carry 4k HDR with zero issues.

OP run is short. easy to do with proper balun and solid connectors.