HDMI can be transmitted using senders and receivers over a single cat 5e/6 data cable. With the introduction of HDBaseT transmitters and senders power and control was incorporated into the single 5E/6 cable solution.

The Importance of Cabling for A/V Installations

Larry Harris | RAM Electronics

Tell us about RAM Electronics and what makes you unique.

Ram Electronics is a one stop cable, wall plate and connecting solution company for audio, video and data products. Ram started in 1977 as a contract cable and harness assembly manufacturer. Ram also fabricates electro - mechanical subassemblies for government, medical and industrial customers. In 1998 Ram launched their online retail store. Initially, selling data patch cables, computer cables and data media converters and quickly expanded into A/V cables, A/V switchers, extension and distribution products. In 2002, RAM launched a line of custom cables made in – house, using all the best manufacturing practices developed from the OEM harness and cable side. They also offer audio, video, data and computer cables from a list of high quality qualified suppliers.

What products and services does RAM offer?

Ram designs and engineers connectivity solutions for A/V and computer applications from a list of quality suppliers using switches, distribution, converters and extenders and all connecting products.  We sell quality brands like Geffen, TVOne, Audio Authority, Shinybow and Key Digital. We have on-site engineering and manufacturing and completed projects for schools, conference rooms and house of worship customers. In addition, we sell custom cables and bundles plus standard and custom wall plates. We are a multi service one solution supplier.

Why does RAM offer so many brands of A/V Distribution Products?

Our customers are very extensive and we service both B2B and C2B customers. We offer a wide variety of brands to address this broad spectrum of customers. Customers are looking for the best value that works. Installers need value and reliability to eliminate service calls. An education or worship customer may be looking for the best fit for the application. Our brands have products and strengths in one or all of these markets.  Because of our level of technical expertise, we can assist our customers in identifying, which product is the best fit for the application.

HDMI extension seems to be a very popular topic with A/V these days. Why would a customer need to extend HDMI?

HDMI extension is popular because most of the new high definition displays and televisions are now available up as 1080 progressive scan. These displays have become the standard for digital signage, education, conference rooms, plus worship and restaurants. In these applications HDMI signals are transmitted up to 200 feet. It is easy to run a single cable with both sound and video to these remote locations and reduce the clutter. The technology has improved, since the initial introduction, and now HDMI can be transmitted using senders and receivers over a single cat 5e/6  data cable. With the introduction of HDBaseT transmitters and senders power and control was incorporated into the single 5E/6 cable solution.

Are HDMI extenders expensive?

A long length HDMI cable generally has an amplifier built into the cable, to increase the signals integrity. The prices have come down on long length HDMI cable, but they are still an expensive solution. In addition, reliability also becomes an issue. A simple receiver and extender over cat 5e/6 cable can cost as little as $80 per set. The reliability is better and the signal integrity is better, making them a feasible and economical solution over a long length cable run. If you want HDBaseT technology, it will cost you about $325 for the set. However in many cases the reliability and  signal integrity will outweigh the added costs.

Do you lose quality when you extend HDMI?

HDMI is a digital video and audio signal; there is less chance of losing quality, when it is extended properly. However, we always recommend you test the sources with the actual displays you are using in an application before permanently installing the products. The performance is very source and display dependent and some extenders and cable technology works better with different products and applications.

How do you control HDMI sources that are extended?

The technology for extending HDMI has changed significantly over the past few years. Some manufacturers have been able to incorporate IR (infrared) control into their transmitters and receivers over a single cat5e/6 cable. HDBaseT has the ability to transmit and IR control signal over the cat5e/6 cable. If the extender system does not have the capability, a separate IR control system is very easy to add.  This will cost you from $50-$100 depending on the level of the system.

RAM offers custom cables, who is your target client and why might they need a custom cable?

Custom cables are designed for three customer segments. Installers/integrators will buy high-quality cables to install in-wall or for broadcast and recording studio applications.   OEM equipment manufacturers purchase custom cables for their specific equipment requirements.   Finally, the A/V enthusiast wants the best cable and connection available for his equipment. Our custom cables are designed and manufactured using the best materials and connectors available from many quality brands sources like Belden, Canary and Mogami. They are the same broadcast cables found in many world-class recording studios. Connectors are from Neutrik, Canary and various suppliers meeting stringent quality standards over the years. They include WBT, Audioquest, Viablue and a number of world-class connector manufacturers. We also developed custom connectors from overseas sources. Every single cable assembly is 100% tested before shipped and backed by an unconditional lifetime warranty.   It will be repaired or placed at no cost, but shipping is not included.   Cables are broadcast and audiophile quality without the snake oil.  If you wanted it dressed up, we can do that too.  Woven Techflex in various colors can be added for appearance and protection.

Where are Ram's custom cables made?

All cables are made in–house at Ram Electronics 20,000 square feet facility and crimped or silver soldered to mil spec standards. Need a single cable or hundreds, we can do small or large orders, prototype or production runs.   With our extensive history in manufacturing cables and harnesses, many of the best practices were integrated into custom cable production.   

Is there any advantage to using a custom cable?

Custom cables allow you to complete your project with the best quality cables made in the exact length you need. They also give you a quality connection that is designed to perform the same from day one and for many years into the future, without degrading the signal quality. The value to performance is the best available.

Wireless products seem to be the trend, how do you see this effecting RAM Electronics and cabling products in the future.

We field many inquiries for wireless HDMI, VGA and audio applications. There are some decent products on the market, if you must spend the money. However, they are limited in distance and not designed to pass-through walls and floors, plus subject to noise and interference. Wireless products are also expensive and not designed for continuous 24/7 use. Every audio, video and digital or analog signal can now be transmitted over cat 5e/6 cable or coaxial cable. Both types of cables are easy to route, install and hide. Hardwire cable is the most reliable, noise immune and low cost solution available. You can run a lot of cable for a fraction of the cost associated with wireless systems.

 

About RAM Electronics Industries And Larry Harris
Ram Electronics Industries, founded in 1977,  is a custom cable and harness manufacturer located in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  In 1998 Ram opened it's online retail store specializing in connecting, converting, switching and distributing audio, video and computer data.  Larry Harris joined Ram Electronics in 2002, as a consultant specializing in business development.  After designing and building his first amplifier, pre-amplifier and speakers as a teenager, his excitement for audiophile equipment continued to develop over the past 40 years.   Prior to joining Ram Larry worked in various capacities with Grumman Areospace, Proctor and Schwartz, Exide Electronics and Tyco Electronics.  He holds a BS in Commerce and Engineer Sciences and a MBA from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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