MuxLab 6G-SDI Extender: Transmit a 6G-SDI Signal an Additional 300 Feet

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It seems like there is a new 4K video camera announced every week, and as more and more productions move to 4K capture, manufacturers are aggressively developing peripheral devices to accommodate the new standards and the demand for higher bandwidth. Enter 6G-SDI, a new serial digital interface standard designed to enable the transmission of a 4K video signal. Although, if you are familiar with SDI, you may already know that bandwidth isn’t your only issue.

Like the rest of the SDI family, 6G-SDI has a relatively limited signal transmission range. Most coaxial SDI cables top out at around 300 feet, because any longer would risk the loss of signal strength. Now, 300 feet might be enough for most applications, but many users may need to run cable for longer distances. Thankfully, MuxLab Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of connectivity solutions, now offers a 6G-SDI Extender.

"This system doesn’t just convert SDI to UTP; it also boosts the signal to achieve extended transmission range."

The MuxLab 6G-SDI extender allows users to transmit a 6G-SDI signal an additional 300 feet via Cat5e or Cat6 UTP cable. This system doesn’t just convert SDI to UTP; it also boosts the signal to achieve extended transmission range. The MuxLab extender is also backwards compatible with HD-SDI and 3G-SDI. If you are still working in Full HD 1080p, you should note that this device can also extend an HD-SDI signal up to 500 feet. It’s a great solution for schools, churches, and for other broadcast environments that need to run cable for longer distances.

In addition to the extended transmission range, the fact that UTP cable is significantly less expensive than either coaxial or fiber optic cables of equivalent lengths should also be a major selling point for this system. The longer the run, the more this system pays off. At 250 feet, a professional coaxial cable might cost anywhere between four to ten times the price of Cat5e cable. Moreover, consider the fact that you might be replacing as many as five individual coax cables with only one Cat5e cable.

Here’s how it works. The MuxLab 6G-SDI Extender consists of two units—a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter features four BNC SDI input connectors, one BNC Sync output connector, and one RJ-45 etherCON connector. Yin to the transmitter’s yang, the receiver unit features four BNC SDI outputs, one BNC Sync input, and one RJ-45 etherCon connector. Both the transmitter and receiver also feature an array of small LED lights to indicate when an SDI link has been established.

The transmitter and receiver are tethered to one another via either a Cat5e or Cat6 cable. This single UTP connection can transmit HD-SDI using two or four coax cables, 3G-SDI using single or two coax cables, 6G-SDI using a single coax cable, depending on your desired configuration. For multi-camera productions that use a sync generator, it can also transmit an optional sync signal. Additionally, this single UTP connection provides power-over-Ethernet, which means that only the receiver requires a DC power source.

Both the transmitter and receiver feature a robust, aluminum enclosure. The transmitter also features a locking RJ-45 etherCON port, an industry-leading design proven to endure professional use. Both units also have a USB interface for diagnostics and for updating the system with future firmware upgrades. These features help ensure that the MuxLab 6G-SDI Extender will stand you in good stead for years to come.

A sample configuration might look like this: You connect the transmitter to your camera via a compatible coaxial cable. MuxLab recommends Belden 1694A (RG6) or 1505A (RG59) cable. Then connect the transmitter to the receiver via UTP Cat5e or Cat6 cable. Next, connect the receiver to your destination device (monitor, recorder, capture card, etc.) via coaxial cable. Finally, plug the supplied 48-Volt DC wall-mount power supply into the receiver. Each unit will power up and initialize automatically, and the link indicator light will blink when the negotiation process is complete.

MuxLab plans to offer a rackmount plate for mounting up to two receiver units in a standard 19-inch rack. The receiver also features four rubber feet, in case you prefer to simply set it on a desktop. The transmitter unit can be securely mounted via four ¼"-20 threaded holes. Three of these holes are on the bottom, and the fourth hole is on the side, so the unit can be mounted in a vertical or horizontal orientation.

In addition to the transmitter and receiver units, the system includes a 48V AC adapter, with three interchangeable plugs to accommodate different regions (one North American plug, one European plug, and one UK plug). The system is covered by MuxLab’s customary, limited 2-year warranty.

If you’re thinking of adopting 4K in the near future, then you will definitely want to consider this 6G-SDI-capable device. If you are sticking with HDTV, the ability to transmit up to four SDI signals plus a sync signal via one UTP cable is also an amazing value proposition. For more information on the MuxLab 6G-SDI Extender and other professional-grade peripherals please visit the B&H SuperStore in New York City or contact our experts online via Live Chat.